About Members


Some of our members with our first anthology


Here you can find out a bit more about the people who make up Open Book Writers. There are short bio’s below, if you’d like to read a longer piece and samples from that author, please click on their name to go to their library pages.

Amanda Ashton
Amanda Ashton was born in Derbyshire and raised in Nottinghamshire. She moved to Chesterfield 11 years ago after meeting her husband. She works full-time, commuting sixty miles a day to Nottinghamshire and still fitting in the school run for her little boy. How she managed to write and keep a blog going is a mystery! But somehow she find time between office, mummy and wife duties.

All her life she has had a passion for writing fantasy, sci-fi and horror. Her ambition is to get published one day and make her little boy and husband proud. She hopes that you enjoy her stories and you can follow her blog on amandaashton.blogspot.co.uk which is about motherhood, life and writing. She also Tweets @AAshtonWriter

Andrew Clewett
Hi my name’s Andrew and I’m from Chesterfield. I started writing only a few years ago and have begun to assemble a collection of short stories and novel beginnings. I try to write as often as I can between work and hobbies. I haven’t settled on one genre but my most used include crime fantasy and sci-fi.

Brian James
Brian has just published his first children’s novel ‘Dangerous Sky’ based on his childhood during the London Blitz and being evacuated to a coal mining community in South Wales. He has had a number of short stories broadcast on radio, as well as a play about the birth of his first child. He is currently writing a novel about his experiences as a National Serviceman in Malaysia aimed at young/grown-up readers.

Cat Martin
Cat Martin has a great track record of talking about writing. Actual writing no so much. When inspiration does strike, it tends to cause something in a fantasy style or science-fiction. She’s particularly interested in urban fairy stories and alternate histories (those ‘what if’ scenarios that lead proper writers to produce books like Fatherland and Ruled Britannia.) If asked to write about what she knows, Cat would probably have to come up with something about astronomy, the Romans or computers. All three at once could be fun or possibly disastrous.

Dawn Anderson
Dawn began writing when she discovered daydreaming, her imagination has burned brightly ever since. She has worked on dozens of stories, sketches and screenplays over the years (and even managed to finish some of them!) Her current project is a children’s book (started when her daughter was seven, hopefully finished by the time her daughter goes to university!) In her spare time she has acted in semi-professional theatre and had walk on parts in BBC’s Doctors and done supporting artist work on Life on Mars and many other TV productions. She is pleased to be immortalised on film, and now in the written word.

Gemma Phipps
Gemma Phipps, originally from Birmingham, has been writing on and off for fifteen years. After finding Open Book in 2012 she finally had an opportunity to at least think about writing, although she still didn’t do a great deal of it. Amongst her other creative pastimes, she is the mother of two very energetic toddlers. Well, at least that’s the excuse.

Georgina M. Coates
Georgina Coates was born on All Saints Day, and her father likes to joke how he narrowly avoided having a pumpkin for a daughter. Currently residing in Ashover, she works hard to become a successful writer whilst attending to her dogs and trying to sort out her frankly mad life. Fond of fantasy, horror and romance but not fond of sexism and stupidity.

S. Fraser-Martin
S. Fraser-Martin lives in Chesterfield with her spouse and a grumpy cat. She cooks a mean apple crumble, does archery, and was a prose editor for the Ink Magazine  in 2014 as well as being a member of Open Book Writers since 2009. She writes on a broad range of subjects in the style of grim and has performed her work at local events. You can find more of her work on her blog at liminis.wordpress.com, read her twitter feed @SFM_writer or e-mail her at amalasuntha9@gmail.com

Sara Davies
Sara Davies was born and lives in Derbyshire with her family. She joined Open Book Writers in 2013 where she shares creative ideas with her talented fellow members.  Sara mainly writes about real situations/ dramas, her travels and her love of art, cake and chocolate. Much of this can be found in her blog at www.patisserielola.com

Her favourite writers include Joanne Harris whose novel ‘Chocolat’ inspired Sara to start her own patisserie business. She also dreams of becoming a chocolatier, eating her own chocolates and writing about them!

Contact: sara@patisserielola.com

Steve Hewitt
Steve Hewitt left home to study and took over 25 years to find his way back. He now lives just around the corner. He spent most of his life working with numbers. A few years ago he began working with words. He enjoyed this so much that he recently took early retirement to concentrate on writing.
His first book A Brief Tour Around my Head is a collection of short stories in a variety of genres. It is available on most e-readers. You can download a free sample, or purchase the whole thing at www.smashwords.com/books/view/311150.

Susan M. Francis
Hi I’m Susan Francis, born and brought up in Chesterfield. I attended Tapton House Grammar School then joined the Civil Service where I continue to work full-time.

I have always loved reading and making up little stories… usually to get me out of trouble, and whilst at junior school won a poetry competition. I am renowned for letting my imagination run away with me.

I enrolled on a Creative Writing course with WEA and then completed a Creative Writing Certificate with Sheffield University.

I love writing poetry, short stories and scripts. I also have an overwhelming desire to be humorous.


2 thoughts on “About Members”

  1. Hi I would like to speak to someone as I live in Holymoreside and love to write, I enjoy writing horror sci fi as well as mystery if someone could back to me, so we could have a chat, i would be very grateful thank you

    • Amalasuntha said:

      Hello, Lorraine. I’m Cat, half of Suzanne and Cat who look after the website.

      We’re a variable bunch, writing-wise: we have members who specialise in poetry and prose, and work in genres as diverse as romance, horror, science fiction, fantasy, historical, social commentary and observational slice-of-life; we have humour and drama and downright grim (I’m looking at Suzanne here), with the occasional foray into the surreal and peculiar. We welcome every level of experience, too, with members who’ve been independently published, some putting the final touches to more-or-less finished work, and some who’re just starting out. And we have a range of aims: some write for publication, others simply for fun, so there’s no pressure in any direction you don’t want to take. We don’t ask you to sign up to any membership commitment because we know people live varied and interesting lives.

      We’d love to see you if you wanted to attend one of our meetings, which we hold at the Crispin Inn on Ashgate Road from 19:00-21:00 twice a month, the next being after Christmas on 06 January. First-time attendees can join us for free but we do have to ask a small subscription for subsequent meetings as we keep a pot to pay for the occasional guest speaker – past examples having included Matt Black, the former Derbyshire poet laureate; Mark Morris, author of Toady, Fiddleback and Horror Hospital, and writer for Doctor Who and Torchwood; and Heather Shaw, author of Brush Strokes.

      Our typical meetings can include doing short exercises, reading out work and sharing structured critique, discussions about aspects of writing… though we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we’re generally quite sociable. You’re welcome to join us and just have a chat, or you can leave us more comments here if you’ve got any more questions.

      Hope to see you in the new year!

      — Cat and Suzanne

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