Jessie Keane was born in Hampshire, United Kingdom to Protestant parents. The Keane family were very wealthy due to the family business, however, when Jessie was fourteen, the family firm went bankrupt and she was left struggling financially in dead end jobs. She was the youngest and only girl in a large family of boys. She began writing at an early age, scripting puppet shows in primary school and winning literary prizes at the age of eight.
Her first novel, Dirty Game was published in February 2008, after Jessie phoned a highly popular publisher who commented that Keane’s book was “highly gripping”.
After the success of Jessie’s first book, which featured fictional character Annie Bailey, Keane went on to write a collection of books featuring Bailey. Those books included Dirty Game, Scarlett Woman, Black Widow and Playing Dead. In 2008, when her first book was first published, Keane won five National Book Awards. Keane’s books have been described as “Utterly compelling” by television presenter Lorraine Kelly and also television presenter Philip Schofield commented that he “couldn’t put the book down”.
Her latest novel, Nameless, is a move away from Annie Bailey, and features the headstrong character, Ruby Darke. Keane released Ruthless in July 2013; it is the fifth book in the Annie Bailey/Carter series.
1. Jacqui Rose
Jacqui Rose is a novelist who now lives in London, although she hails from Manchester and South Yorkshire. Jacqui first came to appreciate the power of the written word when as a child she charged her classmates a packet of sherbet dips to write their essays for them. Adopted at a young age and always a daydreamer, she felt isolated growing up in a small mining village in South Yorkshire and it was her writing which kept her company. Sent to boarding school as a teenager, it was there she discovered her love for acting and in particular her love of making people laugh. Before taking her exams she was expelled and after a stint in drama school she headed off to London where she was homeless for a short period of times.
Jacqui started teaching voluntarily;drama and writing workshops for prisoners, ex-offenders, the homeless and people sufferring from mental health issues. She helped them to develop and create their own plays and ideas, giving them a voice which seemed so lacking within their lives but it was several years before Jacqui herself wrote again.
Jacqui’s introduction back to writing was when she began to write and perform stand-up comedy and although this was very short lived it brought back the joy and freedom which writing gave to her, showing her what she’d missed out on for all the years she’d stopped writing.
The idea of her first novel, Taken was born after being in an abusive relationship – once again her writing became her salvation and her freedom. Her next novels, Trapped and Dishonour will both be published in 2013 by HarperCollins.
2. Anna Smith
Anna Smith (born 14 August 1988) is a professional tennis player who represents the United Kingdom. She has won fiveInternational Tennis Federation (ITF) singles titles, 25 ITF doubles titles and reached a career high singles ranking of world no. 262 on 9 August 2010.
Anna Smith is an award-winning journalist who spent a lifetime in daily newspapers, reporting from the frontline all over the world. She has covered conflicts from Somalia to Rwanda to Kosovo, where she witnessed the plight of tragic refugees, genocide and hideous ethnic cleansing. She has also worked on major investigations, unmasking drug dealers and paedophiles, as well as reporting on the Dunblane Massacre, to 9/11, where she was one of the first journalists on the scene in both world shaking events.
Her highly acclaimed debut novel, The Dead Won’t Sleep, was the first in the series, exposing corruption and child abuse at the very top of the establishment, echoing real news stories that are being reported at the moment, even though the novel was published three years ago.
The second in the series is, To Tell The Truth, and takes Rosie on a terrifying investigation into the kidnapping of a three-year-old girl from a beach in Spain while on holiday with her parents. It’s a fast paced story of people trafficking and international child porn, and is set in Glasgow, Spain and Morocco.
Book three, is Screams In The Dark, is a harrowing tale of refugees going missing in Glasgow. It’s a story close to Anna’s heart as she reported from Kosovo at the start of the war when stricken refugees were spilling across the border in their thousands.
Her latest novel, A Cold Killing, takes Rosie on the dangerous trail of gun runners as she probes the murder of a retired Glasgow University lecturer. The deeper she digs, she finds that he has a dark past that leads all the way to MI6 and the KGB.
3. June Hampson
June Hampson was born in Gosport, Hampshire, where she still lives. She has had a variety of jobs including waitress, fruit picker, barmaid, shop assistant and market trader selling second-hand books.
4. Mandasue Heller
Martina Cole (born Eilidh Martina Cole, on 30 March 1959) is a British crime writer, businesswoman and occasional television presenter.
Cole was brought up in Aveley, Essex. As of 2015 she has released twenty two novels about crime, most of which examine London’s gangster underworld. Four of her novels, Dangerous Lady, The Jump, The Take and The Runaway have been adapted into high-rating television dramas. She has achieved sales of over fourteen million in the UK alone and her tenth novel, The Know, spent seven weeks on The Sunday Times’s hardback best-sellers list.