Writers of Witney Guest Speaker – an introduction to Mary Hoffman


Today I’m delighted to introduce Mary Hoffman, our second guest speaker happy to share her wealth of experience.

Mary Hoffman is the author of over 100 books, mainly for teenagers and children but she has also been published as an author of short stories for adults and recently wrote two novels for adults under the pseudonyms Kate Snow (The Italian for Love) and Amy Lovell (When she was Bad – forthcoming).

As a children’s writer, Mary has had successes with a series of books that began with Amazing Grace in 1991 (anniversary edition 2015) and a sequence of six fantasy novels for Bloomsbury, called Stravaganza (2002-2012), which has been published in 30 languages. Her latest teenage novel is Shakespeare’s Ghost.

Shakespeare's Ghost-small


Mary is also a campaigner for libraries and in 1999 started the children’s books review journal Armadillo. She edited it for ten years then handed over to Louise Ellis-Barrett.

She moved out of London to West Oxfordshire in 2001 and writes all her books on a laptop, on her lap, in her green and white study overlooking the garden.

It beats living in a terrace in Crouch End, though she enjoyed that for 23 years too.

Mary started the joint blog, The History Girls , which has just celebrated its fifth birthday.

And this April, with her husband, Stephen Barber, she launched the first five titles published by The Greystones Press.* They are publishing quality fiction for adults and young adults and non-fiction for adults in the field of the Humanities and Arts.

Seven Miles of Steel Thistles-small


Mary and Stephen have three grown-up daughters and three grandchildren, with another due in September. Sadly two of these lovely beings are currently living on the other side of the world, which means the ones who live in London are bound to get double grandmothering.

You can find her website at www.maryhoffman.co.uk

* Article in The Bookseller – “Hoffman launches indie list”

MH and SJB at GP party

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