Here is an introduction to some of our current members with links to their websites and published books. If you would like to come along to our fortnightly meetings and join the group, we would be happy to include you in the list below.
Pam Barton has recently joined the Rugby Cafe Writers’ Group and began writing again after many years. She has in the past had a radio programme for children, been a D.J. and put through the landing on the moon for the Australian Radio in the Indian Ocean. On returning to England, she was a busy parent with John, and became a skin care consultant up to District Manager. After moving again, she went to Luton University for a marketing course. She retired to Rugby with John. Now she is enjoying writing again, painting is also a great pleasure although, as with the writing, hard work is needed.
Poet E. E. Blythe prefers to write under a pseudonym and here explains why: ‘Teasing, name-calling, bullying, violence and ridicule necessitated the name for an alias. It was good to stand, impassive, and listen to complimentary comments, and even praise, for poems, songs and stories; and my tormentors had no idea it was me. So when I write, I am E.E.Blythe.’
David J. Boulton took up writing well into retirement from a career in the NHS, so far publishing three historical detective novels. Set in the Peak District, their protagonist has a Quaker background and the books comprise a trilogy. A fourth novel, set in the Second World War, is complete and he has embarked on a sequel. Alongside General Practice, he and his wife have run a small farm in Northamptonshire for the last thirty years. Of their two grown-up children, one lives in the Peak District with her family, their son completing a five-generation connection for the author with the area. The Writing Fiction class at the Percival Guildhouse tutored by Gill Vickery has provided the author with encouragement and inspiration, not to mention improving his grammar. What’s all the Fuss About? has its origins in a class exercise.
Here is a link to David’s author page on Amazon.
Terri Brown – voice actor, artist and author – does not have a book that got her into reading because she doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t read. Her mother boasts that Terri was reading the likes of Jane Eyre at age seven. First published in a local newspaper aged nine, she caught the writing bug… she just had some things she needed to do first. A few decades, many adventures and a life less ordinary later, financed largely by freelance writing, she has now published her debut fiction novel, Shadow Man, which is now available from Amazon. www.terri-brown.com
Here is a link to Terri’s author page on Amazon.
Wendy Goulstone began writing plays from the age of four when given a model theatre, then for performing in story-time in primary school, where she was encouraged by a wonderful headmaster who introduced her to poetry. When eleven years old, she wrote a dramatised version of Little Women and a novel about a group of theatre-mad children. That was a long time ago, but Wendy is a member of Rugby Theatre where she continues to write short plays and organises Open Mics for poets, singers and musicians. Several of her poems have been published in literary magazines and anthologies.
Philip Gregge studied Optometry in Birmingham, UK. He served as an optician in Rugby for over forty years. Shortly after qualifying as an optometrist, he went on to study Theology at Birmingham Bible Institute. He is currently part of the leadership team of a charismatic church in Rugby, UK. Philip enjoys teaching Theology and is the author of a Systematic Theology training manual which has been used successfully in study groups. He has a website called ‘Let’s Ask Phil’, in which he answers a range of theological questions. Philip’s novel writing journey started when he woke from an anaesthetic after a back operation with the germ of a plot in his head. He wrote an (unpublished) novelette about a murder mystery in Anglo-Saxon times. This whetted the fascination he already had for this historical period, and his research led him to write and publish this book, as he puts it, ‘based upon history, but with some of the intriguing blanks filled in’. Philip has been married to Anji for forty-seven years and they have three adult sons. In his spare time he plays dance music on the banjo in a small Irish Music band.
Simon Grenville has lived in Rugby for over twenty years. He has been variously employed as a residential social worker, landscape gardener and Welfare Rights Benefit advisor on disability issues. He has written a number of plays for children including most recently Searching For The Happiness, a musical entertainment drawn from the work of Maurice Maeterlinck which appeared at the Birmingham Children’s library, the Midlands Arts Centre and at St Andrew’s Church during the most recent Rugby Festival of Culture.
Originally from Essex, Christine Hancock has lived in Rugby for over forty years. A passion for Family History led to an interest in local history, especially that of the town of Rugby. In 2013 she joined a class at the Percival Guildhouse with the aim of writing up her family history research. The class was Writing Fiction and soon she found herself deep in Anglo-Saxon England. Based on the early life of Byrhtnoth, Ealdorman of Essex, who died in 991AD at the Battle of Maldon, the novel grew into a series. She has self-published three volumes and is currently working on the fourth. Her short story in Get to the Point is based on the prologue, later discarded, of Bright Sword, the first of the Byrhtnoth Chronicles. www.byrhtnoth.com
Here is a link to Christine’s author page on Amazon.
Read about Christine’s favourite books.
Sadly Christine passed away in December 2021. We remember her with great fondness.
Born in England, Desmond Harding spent his early childhood overseas, giving him the bug for travel. In addition to having worked in the marine industry, acquiring and supplying spares for the larger ships, he has lived in the Middle East, visiting a few countries along the way. There have been a few gentle escapades, boyhood night-time adventures in Kenya, temporarily penniless in Marseille, supervised overnight by armed Iranians on Abu Musa island, and a fire-bomb attempt on the family’s Bahrain compound which added to life’s rich tapestry. But he must be one of the limited few who have arrived back from the rich Gulf States, landing at Heathrow, destitute and homeless, with a wife and two children barely in their teens. Now retired and living in Rugby with his wife and two cats, replacing the children who have flown the nest, he has self-published two thrillers, available from Amazon, The Dhow and The Irish Prime Minister. He is now trying to obtain an agent for his third manuscript and is currently working on editing his fourth thriller.
Here is a link to Desmond’s book The Dhow on Amazon.
Kate A. Harris and her three siblings lived on their farm until she left home at 16 to follow a career with children. She trained and qualified with Barnardo’s, worked as a nursery nurse, met and married her future Royal Navy husband in Southsea. As a naval wife, she was in Malta with her young family when the navy were shutting the naval base. She has two sons and two grandchildren. Kate loves travel including a visit to Sri Lanka when there were hostilities in the country, South Africa, Thailand, and Hong Kong. Kate joined the local newspaper at 50. She enjoyed writing, including property features, Chelsea, and the Gardening Show in Birmingham with Prince Charles and Camilla on the front page. Her Barnardo’s two-page spread was published in The Lady magazine. Kate attends a Life Writing course where she is enjoying writing features, her family history, memoirs and or autobiography.
Cathy Hemsley has been writing short stories and full-length novels for over ten years: inspired by her family history and by her daughter’s ideas for a fantasy novel. Two of her stories have been published in The People’s Friend and she has a book of short stories, Parable Lives, published on Amazon. She is preparing a novel for publication as well as working on a fantasy trilogy. Currently she works as a senior software engineer for GE Power. In addition, she is a member of a local Anglican church and regularly volunteers for a Rugby charity for homeless people.
Here is a link to Cathy’s author page on Amazon.
Geoff Hill is a Zimbabwean writer and journalist living in Johannesburg. He is chief Africa Correspondent for The Washington Times (DC) and maintains a second home in Rugby along with a wildlife estate north of Pretoria. In 2000, Geoff became the first non-American to receive a John Steinbeck award for his writing. He has authored two books on Zimbabwe.
Geoff’s profile on Wikipedia.
John Howes is a former local newspaper journalist and website editor now working as a teacher. He has self-published two books – We Believe, a collection of his writings on spirituality, and a guide on how to teach poetry. He runs a poetry website for teachers, a blog of reflections on Christianity and a collection of stories for children about the Holocaust. He plays the piano and writes music for schools and choirs. John is working on a spiritual memoir and a book about the Gospel of St Luke. This is one of his first attempts in the short story genre. oadonai.wordpress.com
Here is a link to John’s author page on Amazon.
Ruth Hughes was born in 1946. She was a bulge baby which is lucky as she is 5ft and rather roundish. From about seven, she wanted to milk cows and worked on farms around Warwickshire. She married a farmworker, and has lived with her husband Monty in their tied house for 53 years now. They have three children, five grandchildren and one new great-grandchild. She loves her village, her family and writing.
Theresa Le Flem, a novelist, artist and poet, always wanted to be a writer. She lives in the Midlands, in the UK, with her husband Graham, an electrical engineer. With four novels now published, and also an anthology of her poetry and drawings, her dream was first fulfilled when her first novel was accepted and published by Robert Hale Ltd. She never looked back. Born in London into an artistic family, daughter of the late artist Cyril Hamersma, she has three children and five grandchildren all who live abroad in America and New Zealand. Her creative life began by writing poetry, painting and later in running her own studio pottery in Cornwall. But she has had a succession of jobs too – from factory-work, antiques, retail sales, veterinary receptionist and sewing machinist to hairdressing. Over three years ago, Theresa formed a group of local writers, Rugby Café Writers, who meet fortnightly to talk about their work over a coffee. Writing remains her true passion. Married to a Guernsey man, Theresa shares a love of the sea with her husband and recently they have bought an almost derelict cottage in Guernsey. Gradually they are working to bring it back to life. Situated only a short walk to the sea, it might one day become the perfect writer’s retreat where a new novel might emerge out of the dust and cobwebs. Theresa is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and The Poetry Society. https://theresaleflem.wordpress.com
Here is a link to Theresa’s author page on Amazon.
Madalyn Morgan was brought up in a pub in the market town of Lutterworth. Her dream was to be an actress. Her mother wanted her to have a ‘proper’ job so she became a hairdresser. Eight years later, aged twenty-four, she gave up a successful salon and wig-hire business for a place at Drama College and a career as an actress. In 2010, after living in London for thirty-six years, she moved back to Lutterworth. She is currently writing her eighth novel, as well as a memoir of short stories, articles, poems, photographs and character breakdowns, written when she was acting. madalynmorgan.wordpress.com
Here is a link to Madalyn’s author page on Amazon.
Fran Neatherway grew up in a small village in the middle of Sussex. She studied History at the University of York and put her degree to good use by working in IT. Reading is an obsession – she reads six or seven books a week. Her favourites are crime, fantasy and science fiction. Fran has been writing for thirty-odd years, short stories at first. She has attended several writing classes and has a certificate in Creative Writing from Warwick University. She has completed three children’s novels, as yet unpublished, and is working on the first draft of an adult novel. Fran has red hair and lives in Rugby with her husband and no cats.
Bella Osborne has been jotting down stories as far back as she can remember but decided that 2013 would be the year she finished a full-length novel. Since then, she’s written five best-selling romantic comedies and been shortlisted three times for the RNA Contemporary Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Bella’s stories are about friendship, love and coping with what life throws at you. She lives in the Midlands, UK with her husband, daughter and a cat who thinks she’s a dog. When not writing, Bella is usually eating biscuits and planning holidays. www.bellaosborne.com
Here is a link to Bella’s author page on Amazon.
Born in Bedfordshire to a French mother and English father, Sandrine Pickering enjoyed a very varied childhood in Yorkshire, Rutland and Warwickshire, with school holidays in France. Upon leaving Rugby High School, she read Biological Sciences at both the University of East Anglia (UEA) and Aix-Marseilles as an Erasmus exchange student, and completed her teacher training at Cambridge University. She has worked in marketing, PR, educational publishing, event management, teaching and complementary therapies. She has always enjoyed writing, and now, as the mother of eight-year-old twins, she is exploring memoire and children’s story writing.
Steve Redshaw has spent most of his life as a Primary School teacher, a thoroughly rewarding career. A late change of direction was taken in 2007 when he, and his wife Sue, bought a B&B and Tea Room business in West Sussex, at the foot of the South Downs. Now retired, he lives on his narrow boat, on the Oxford Canal, which skirts the northern fringes of Rugby. He has always been an avid reader and particularly enjoys children’s books (all good children’s books were really written for adults!) and short stories. He discovered Rugby Cafe Writers fairly recently and values the camaraderie and encouragement to read and write. He is hoping that shared experience, advice and writing insights will rub off and improve his own efforts at writing.
Read Steve’s blog about living on a narrowboat.
Lindsay Woodward has had a lifelong passion for writing, starting off as a child when she used to write stories about the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock. Knowing there was nothing else she’d rather study, she did her degree in writing and has now turned her favourite hobby into a career. She writes from her home in Rugby, where she lives with her husband and cat. Her debut novel, Bird, was published in April 2016 and Lindsay is now working on her seventh novel. Her short story, Bird, is the original inspiration for the novel.
Here is a link to Lindsay’s author page on Amazon.
Chris Wright was born in the wagon of a travelling show and raised on Brummies’ tales of welsh gypsies, lead zeppelins, dangling cables that shredded the factories of the first world war and great grandfathers lost coming home to find their wives remarried and doing very nicely thank you! He stopped wanting to be a shepherd when an escaped flock stopped the Tesco man from delivering his olives. Never mind Mr two-brains, Chris has seven brains: jester, logical, musical, word-brain, bread-head, portable idiot, says his wife and a membrane to contain the conflict. Likes include Love, the Sea, Fishes, Wishes, Jokes, mellow folks, olives, originals, Aboriginals, fun and Brum.
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