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Award-winning author Natasha Deen spent the first part of her life in Guyana, then her family moved to Calgary, Alberta, which she found terribly exciting until her first minus-forty-degree winter day, at which point she began to question the sanity of the grown-ups around her. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, dogs, and cats, and regularly entices the muses to her office with offers of cupcakes and tea.

Born in the Kingdom of Fife in 1960, Ian Rankin graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1982 and spent three years writing novels when he was supposed to be working toward a PhD in Scottish Literature. His Rebus books have been translated into 36 languages and are bestsellers worldwide. Rankin received the Order of the British Empire for services to literature, opting to receive the prize in his home city of Edinburgh, where he lives with his partner and two sons.

Scott Turow is the author of many bestselling works of fiction, including Testimony, Identical, InnocentPresumed Innocent and The Burden of Proof and two nonfiction books, including One L, about his experience as a law student. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages, sold more than 30million copies worldwide and have been adapted into movies and television projects. He has frequently contributed essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as the New York TimesWashington PostVanity FairThe New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

Mark Billingham has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year, and has also won a Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British writer. Each of the novels featuring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne have been a Sunday Times bestseller. Sleepyhead and Scaredy Cat were made into a hit TV series on Sky 1 starring David Morrissey as Thorne, and a series based on the novels In the Dark and Time of Death was broadcast on BBC1. Mark lives in north London with his wife and two children.

Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realized that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.