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9 of the best Liverpool authors

9 of the best Liverpool authors

Lyn Andrews

Lyn was born in Liverpool, and an only child. Her father tragically died on D-Day when Lyn was just 9 months old. Her mother, a hairdresser, remarried to a police man. Lyn did not have a particularly literary upbringing, more a working class one.

” I have written a historical novel and thirty-four successful sagas, set in my native city of Liverpool as well as in Southern Ireland where I lived for eleven years and the Isle of Man, where I live now. “

From Liverpool With Love – In 1920s Liverpool, Jane, her little brother Alfie and their mother Ellen have faced the horrors of the workhouse together. But when Ellen dies, two very different paths open up for the siblings.

Jane is sent to work in the Empire Laundry and builds a new life for herself with the neighbours who take her in. She finds solace there and the promise of a happy future when she falls for Joe, their eldest son.

But Alfie absconds from the workhouse and embarks on a life of crime. When their paths cross once more, Alfie turns on his sister.

From Liverpool With Love is a heartwarming story from the bestselling author of The House on Lonely Street, Liverpool Angels and many more.

Eddie Braben

Eddie Braben was best known as the third man behind the success of Morecambe and Wise. Following his successful play “The Play What I wrote, Braben has written his autobiography – with the inimitable, timeless humour, warmth and affection for Eric and Ernie of that wonderful bygone era which made their classic sketches so successful.

The Book What I Wrote – Eddie’s writing style shines through in this book, littered with amusing observations and the ever present one-liners.

A really good read that is both amusing and interesting, and well worth tracking down. The opening paragraph sets the scene for what is to come: “This is not a textbook with precise detail, nor is it a powerful novel with a strong storyline. It’s the story of my time with two mates who happened to be the funniest and most loved double-act in the rich and glorious history of British comedy.”

Paul Du Noyer

Paul Du Noyer is an Liverpool-born rock journalist and author. He has written and edited for NME Magazine, Q Magazine, and Mojo.

For more than 30 years he was a music journalist, whose interviewees ranged from Madonna to Pavarotti, David Bowie to Mick Jagger and nearly everyone with a strong connection to The Beatles, not least Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

Deaf School: The Non-Stop Pop Art Punk Rock Party – Deaf School were a band formed in John Lennon’s old art college, rehearsing in the very same rooms. With their chaotic and wildly entertaining brand of rock cabaret, Deaf School were tipped for instant stardom, but Deaf School were suddenly swept aside by Britain’s punk rock revolution.

40 years on, Deaf School’s influence is acknowledged by British bands from Madness to Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Their reunion shows, still madly glamorous and eccentric, are tribal gatherings for a fan-base that never forgot them. This is the band’s first full-length biography, as Paul Du Noyer was a follower since Deaf School’s early days in Liverpool.

“Deaf School are such a delicious secret,” he says, “it’s almost a shame to reveal it.”

Helen Forrester

Helen Forrester was the eldest of seven children of inept, socialite, middle-class parents. When her father was made bankrupt during the Great Depression, the family was thrown into poverty. Evicted from their comfortable home in an English market town, the large family took the train to Liverpool where they hoped to rebuild their lives. The running of the household and the care of the younger children all fell on twelve-year-old Helen.

Twopence To Cross The Mersey – an autobiographical novel, set in Depression-ridden Liverpool. With very little food or help from her feckless parents, Helen led a life of unrelenting drudgery and hardship. Helen Forrester sheds light on an almost forgotten part of life in Britain. Written with good humour and a lack of self-pity, Forrester’s memoir of these grim days is as heart-warming as it is shocking.

The stage play of Twopence To Cross The Mersey will be at the Epstein Theatre 10th-28th March this year. Produced by Pulse Records in association with Bill Elms. Written by Rob Fennah and directed by Bob Eaton with an all-star cast.

“The feeling of the show is very accurate; the writers have a real understanding of life” – Helen Forrester

Beryl Bainbridge

Dame Beryl Margaret Bainbridge was a born in Liverpool, and primarily known for her works of psychological fiction, often set among the English working classes. Bainbridge won the Whitbread Awards prize for best novel in 1977 and 1996. She was also described in 2007 as a “national treasure” and named in The Times’ list of “The 50 Greatest British Writers”

The gritty spirit of Bainbridge’s home city informed her books, which blended humour, tragedy and the absurd.

“All the books I’ve written, even the historical ones, came from the place of my birth, the characters based on my parents and relations,” she once said.

The Bottle Factory Outing – Freda and Breda spend their days working in an Italian-run wine-bottling factory. A work outing offers promise for Freda and terror from Brenda; passions run high on that chilly day of freedom, and life after the outing never returns to normal. A haunting yet hilarious novel.

The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress – Bainbridge was on what proved to be her deathbed, but was insistent that the doctors gave her 30 more days in which to finish her novel. Now that is a writer worth admiring. The Girl in the Polka Dot Dress was that novel, and is in my opinion one of her best.

In the rainswept summer of 1968, Rose sets off for the United States to meet a man she only knows as Washington Harold. In her suitcase is a polka-dot dress and a one-way ticket. In a country rocked by the assassination of Martin Luther King and violence.

Rose, who is a damaged of postwar Britain, and Harold, a nervous and obsessive man do make an odd couple, nevertheless they travel through America together in a camper van. But somewhere in the vast American darkness, Dr Wheeler is waiting.

Brian Jaques

Brian Jacques

Brian Jacques was born in Liverpool, and along with forty percent of the population of Liverpool, his ancestral roots are in Ireland.

Brian grew up in the area around the Liverpool docks, where he attended St. John’s School. His very first day foreshadowed his future career as an author; given an assignment to write a story about animals, he wrote a short story about a bird who cleaned a crocodile’s teeth. He had always loved to write, but it was only then that he realised he had a talent for it.

“In our imaginations we can go anywhere. Travel with me to Redwall in Mossflower Country.”

The Redwall Series – A series of children’s stories set in a mythical world of Redwall. Redwall Abbey, a tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge – the evil-one-eyed rat warlord – and his army. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn’t bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends.

Jacques’s clever use of detail creates an animal world as compelling as that of The Wind in the Willows. From the beginning, each of Redwall’s characters is endowed with a distinct personality: there is a powerful badger named Constance; a mute squirrel named Silent Sam, who knows the forest better than anyone; and his mother Jess, a champion climber. This epic adventure contains elements of all grand quests, with heroic archetypes that will keep fans of Tolkein and King Arthur engaged to the final battle. A fantastic tale for all ages.

Kate Colquhoun

Kate Colquhoun’s talents as a historian and writer turns a curious murder case into a fascinatingly quirky portrait of the underside of Victorian London.

She reviews regularly for the Daily Telegraph and has written for The Times, the Financial Times, and BBC History Magazine.

Did She Kill Him? – In the summer of 1889, young Florence Maybrick stood trial for the alleged arsenic poisoning of her much older husband, Liverpool cotton merchant James Maybrick.

‘The Maybrick Mystery’ had all the makings of a sensation: a pretty, flirtatious young girl; resentful, gossiping servants; rumours of gambling and debt; and torrid mutual infidelity. The case cracked the varnish of Victorian respectability, shocking and exciting the public in equal measure as they clambered to read the latest revelations of Florence’s past and glimpse her likeness in Madame Tussaud’s.

Florence’s fate was fiercely debated in the courtroom, on the front pages of the newspapers and in parlours and backyards across the country. Did she poison her husband? Was her previous infidelity proof of murderous intentions? Was James’ own habit of self-medicating to blame for his demise?

Historian Kate Colquhoun recounts an utterly absorbing tale of addiction, deception and adultery that keeps you asking to the very last page, did she kill him?

Maureen Lee

Born in Liverpool during the Second World War. She became a shorthand typist at a young age and quickly discovered her love her writing.

“Being a teenager in such a wonderful city, with its numerous theatres, cinemas and dance halls was very exciting. I was a regular devotee of all three and had a great time. I still have friends from the old days whom I see whenever I go back to Liverpool – I shall always think of the place as ‘home’.”

Maureen Lee’s stories are all set in Liverpool. The stories are very different but they all have the warmth and charm that readers have come to expect from this wonderful, natural storyteller.

The Girl From Barefoot House – For Josie Flynn, life with her beautiful, wayward mother in the heart of Liverpool was all she ever wanted – until Hitler’s bombs ripped her childhood apart. But The War was just the start of a journey which brings her friendship and heartbreak.

Laceys of Liverpool – Alice Lacey couldn’t be more different from her sister-in-law, the bitter, ambitious Cora. And, when both women give birth to sons on one chaotic night in Liverpool in 1940, Cora’s jealousy and resentment promptS her into an action with the most far-reaching consequences.

The House by Princes Park – Ruby O’Hagan never knew her parents. Brought up in a convent, at fourteen Ruby is chosen to be a lady’s companion but before long she finds herself in the slums of Liverpool, alone and with two children to support.

Jane Costello

Jane was a full-time journalist before she became an author, working on the Liverpool Echo, The Daily Mail, and The Liverpool Daily Post.

Jane wrote her first novel, Bridesmaids while on maternity leave and, as well as becoming a bestseller, it was nominated for the Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.

Bridesmaids – Four weddings. Three disgruntled ex-boyfriends. Two very effective chicken fillet boob-enhancers. And one gorgeous man. It’s tough being a bridesmaid.

With less than an hour to go before her best friend is to walk down the aisle, Evie is attempting to fulfill her most important role as bridesmaid: to deposit the bride at the start-line. Although the odds appear stacked against her, she at least has her new ‘chicken fillets’ to boost her confidence. Until, that is, they are witnessed popping out of her dress by the dazzlingly handsome Jack. Evie is twenty-seven, a sparkly, down-to-earth journalist who has never been in love and has started to think that she never will be. Small wonder then that the prospect of so many impending weddings fills her with utter trepidation. When Jack starts becoming a regular fixture at the nuptials, however, things really start looking up. Only between her discovery that he’s dating the self-obsessed Valentina, and an unfortunate incident with a 10-inch vibrator, not everything goes quite as Evie might have hoped…

So there you have it, some of the best books you could hope to read and all by Liverpool Authors. From Morecambe and Wise to Murder Mysteries. Liverpool is famous for many things, mainly our music and great sense of humour, but never before did I realise how fantastic our writers are.

I highly recommend all of these authors, but if you only choose one, remember as you are reading, ‘the streets of Liverpool inspired these words’, the same streets that you walk today. What a privilege it is to share a home.