Local Authors (and some no longer local)

Over the years the English Book Centre has had the great pleasure of working with a number of local authors. Although with busy schedules, they found the time for Literary Luncheons, Book Signings or simply to pop into the book centre to say 'Hello'.


Dave Taylor-Jones

Dave Taylor-Jones was born in Carpenders Park, near Watford and worked most of his life as a chartered structural engineer in the oil and gas sector. He left England in 1970 and spent the next five years living in Brussels, Rotterdam, West Berlin, and Dusseldorf. In 1975 he took two years off to back-pack around the world with his wife, taking the Hippy Highway through the Middle East to South East Asia, stopping in Australia for 10 months and then returning via the Far East and Canada. He lived in Heemstede, the Netherlands until 1980, when he moved to settle down near Nice. He worked for thirty years in Monaco for Single Buoy Moorings, initially as a structural engineer, but then as QA and Safety Manager and finally in Human Resources as the corporate Training Manager. He is now retired, lives in the village of St. Blaise and is busy writing memoirs, poetry and short story fiction.

His first book Another Side of France is published by Troubador and is a collection of twenty-two short stories. They are presented like the two sides of a card, alternating fiction stories with life experiences. They cover in a humorous manner how he and his wife, Bonny, have adapted to living and working in France for the last thirty-odd years, capturing their experiences of getting to grips with the special way French people see the world.

One of the stories from this collection, If Only Stones Could Talk, concerns the haunting of the Chateau of St. Blaise and has been translated into French, dramatized into a play and enacted by the theatre group ‘Ni d’Eve, Ni d’Adam’ at the Fête Médiévale of St. Blaise in September 2017.

Dave is planning to publish People and Places in 2019, his second collection of short stories which cover encounters in Europe and more fiction stories. He has also written Life in the Suburbs, a collection of stories about his early life growing up near Watford, which he plans to publish soon. Some of these stories have already been published on the Watford Museum.





Dr Paul T.M. Jackson

Dr Paul T. M. Jackson is a translator, writer, and poet living in Provence. A graduate in classics, he has master’s degrees in both classics and education and a PhD in ancient philosophy, and, as a qualified teacher, has taught religious education, Latin, Ancient Greek, and literature both in the U.K. and in France for a number of years. He has numerous academic publications, but his interests presently are focused on the works of Alexandre Dumas, French poetry and literature, cookery, and travel. He has recently published his first book of formal poetry entitled Impressions, inspired by quiet moments and observations - whether they occurred while cycling through Provence, rambling in Wales, trekking through Galicia, hunting for castles in Corsica, or even on a pirogue in the Amazon. His book was launched at the bookshop on Saturday, 2nd June 2018.


Visit Paul's website.




Carol Drinkwater

Carol Drinkwater is an award-winning actress, probably still best known for her role as Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. Also an accomplished writer and filmmaker, Carol has achieved bestselling status with her much-loved memoirs of life on an olive farm in Provence. The set of six Olive books have sold close to a million copies worldwide. Four of the books are set on her olive farm in Provence: The Olive Farm, The Olive Season, The Olive Harvest and Return to the Olive Farm. While The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, recount Carol’s journeys travelling alone around the Mediterranean. Carol says: I spent sixteen months on my solo journeys around the Mediterranean, in war zones, wearing burkhas where necessary, carrying a backpack weighted down with camera and laptop. The seeds for my two books and, now, our television series, were sown during that time. I was knitting together a tapestry, a network. I was meeting modern-day folk who have put the olive tree at the heart of their lives, whose ancestors have forgotten more than I will ever learn. I sincerely hope that I have succeeded in sharing in my books and our films some of these amazing discoveries and extraordinary encounters, a little of all that has been revealed to me. The Olive Route and The Olive Tree have been the inspiration behind the making of five documentary films. The DVDs are available via Carol’s website. Carol also writes for the young adult market. These books are published by Scholastic.


Visit Carol's website.



Robert V. Camuto

Career American journalist Robert Camuto moved to France with his French-born wife and their Texas-born son in 2001. In France, Robert has regularly contributed epicurean and travel articles to the Wine Spectator, Food & Wine, Cucina Italiana and other publications. He has authored two very personal and entertaining books about wine terroirs in France and Italy. Camuto’s first book, Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country describes a pilgrimage through French wine country and was published in 2008 (University of Nebraska Press) to critical acclaim. The story is of a new generation of French regional winemakers striving to preserve endangered traditions, reconnect with nature, and produce quality wines on what are often times little known wine regions. In 2009 the book was translated into French (Editions Michel Lafon) under the title Un American dans les vignes: Une ode amoureuse à la France de bien vivre and it has won two distinguished literary awards incuding the the 2010 Prix Jean Carmet des Vins de Bourgueil. Camuto’s second book, Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey is an exploration of Sicily, from its cuisines to its history, mores, culture, and antimafia movement. The narrative is explored through the lens of the winemakers and the wine they create in this newly emerging yet ancient land. Published in 2010, the New York Times wine critic Eric Asimov called it a "beautiful, enthralling work."


Visit Robert's website.



Ted Jones

Ted Jones was born in Liverpool, England and has lived and worked in New Zealand, Australia, London, Philadelphia and France. He currently divides his time between Nice, France, and Windsor, England. He is a free-lance writer whose journalistic output is wide-ranging. His travel articles have appeared in publications on both sides of the Atlantic. His articles on business management have been published worldwide in several languages and his short stories and poetry have won a number of awards. As a writer for The Guardian he has published articles on subjects as diverse as modern jazz and horse-racing. He is the author of The French Riviera: A Literary Guide For Travellers and Florence and Tuscany: A Literary Guide.


Visit Ted's website.




Maureen Emerson

Maureen Emerson, from an Irish-Austrian background, grew up in London. She brought up her family in North Africa, Lebanon, Dallas and Singapore, before settling in Provence for twenty-two years. There she worked as a local co-ordinator for CBS and NBC at media festivals in Cannes. During her years in Provence Maureen became enthralled with the stories of those expatriates who lived on the Riviera in the 1920s and 1930s and how the Second World War affected their lives. Maureen's first book, Escape to Provence, published in 2008 and re-printed in 2009, is the result of 8 years of extensive research and is the true story of Lady Winifred Fortescue and Elisabeth Starr, two remarkable women and their quest for a new life in an idyllic Provence of the early 1900s. Click here to read synopsises from her latest book, Riviera Dreaming.


Visit Maureen's website.




Michael Nelson

The son of a carpenter, Michael read history at Magdalen College, Oxford, before joining Reuters as a trainee. He was initially posted to Asia. He was made the global head of Reuters economic services in London at the age of 33. In 1964 Nelson acquired the rights outside North America to an American system of computerised financial information called Stockmaster. He retired as General Manager of Reuters in 1989. His first book, War of the Black Heavens: The Battles of Western Broadcasting in the Cold War was published in 1997. His next book, Queen Victoria and the Discovery of the Riviera was published in 2007, followed by Americans and the Making of the Riviera (2008). His latest book, Castro and Stockmaster (2011) is Michael's fascinating memoir and covers his time with Reuters when he travelled throughout the world and met many heads of state.


Visit Michael's website.




Elizabeth Morgan

Throughout her professional life Elizabeth Morgan has worked in the entertainment business as an actress and writer and has appeared in numerous television serials and series. She has written 26 plays for BBC.R.4, several short stories, two recently published in a collection, and four television plays. Since her first book, Can we afford the Bidet? (published in 1993) she has written scores of articles for magazines. Life Style French Style (2007) is her second book on France and available everywhere. This takes a detailed regional look at France and French life. Her third book, For Catherine, has just been published.


Visit Elizabeth's website.



Chris France

I moved to Valbonne in 2003 after a successful career in the music industry. I began writing a daily blog about life amongst the idle rich in the village which was turned into a book called “Summer In The Cote d’Azur” in 2011. The sequel, The Valbonne Monologues will be published on 15th March 2013 this time with colour pictures included, with a launch at Café Latin in Valbonne. It is a humorous look at the antics of the ex-pat community at play and seeks to illustrate the fun and frolics that can happen when surrounded by sun, sea, wine, great characters and great food. I am currently continuing the administration and exploitation of the Marriott legacy, actively exploiting the Music Of life catalogue of around 1200 recordings and again working with my oldest pals John Otway and Wild Willy Barrett. I also represent Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie and the estate of the late Greg Ridley of Humble Pie and Spooky Tooth, who have recently been sampled on the multi-platinum selling album Church Of The Wild by Jay Zee and Kanye West. I still write a daily blog called www.valbonnenews.me, and have also written articles for a number of publications including the Daily Telegraph.


Visit Chris's website.



Alan Watson
Alan was born in Swindon, southern England, which probably explains his early motivation to travel and become an expatriate. During his early twenties he began the experience by joining the advertising world, account manager, making regular trips to every European country; he loved life on the road gaining valuable experience. At the age of 25, Bahrain appealed, moving up a gear, account manager for brands such as, American Express, British Bank of The Middle East, organizing campaigns in The Emirates, Oman and Saudi. A near fatal car crash in Muscat brought this passage of his life to an end. After a year of 'repair work' the financial services industry pulled him to The Hague, a true Expatriate centre with entrepreneurs on every corner and the offshore centre booming. After 2 years
of working for “the boss,” he and a partner started Studio Financial, a money management company for the International community. The firm grew like wildfire with offices in The Hague, Brussels and Paris and became the largest boutique expatriate advisor in Europe during the Nineties.  After 15 years of business in Holland, a Dutch wife, and now two "incredible sons,” the lure of France was increasing. 16 years further on, after starting French life in The Haute Savoie, Chambery in the Savoie is now home. Sitting on the balcony one day, reflecting, trying to work out his French neighbours, Alan decided to put
his vast experience of travel and the financial world into a somewhat different thriller, Hidden Assets. All those years of working for the paranoid wealthy, the diplomats of Brussels, and the international money hiders found a place, and the sequel will be published in 2016. The book has been well received, the story is rather unique, reviews in French Property News, The Riviera Reporter and Global Living from the US are very positive, confirming his writing appeals to anybody who travels or lives the expatriate life. Money and France will certainly form the backdrop for his future writing.