Authors in the Media – May

Congratulations to Michael Smith who was long-listed for the CWA’s Gold Dagger for non-fiction for The Real Special Relationship (Simon & Schuster). Furthermore, the Henley-based writer will appear at this year’s Henley Literary Festival alongside Sir John Scarlett, former MI6 Chief, to discuss how UK and US politicians and secret services work together.

Sue Dobson’s explosive memoir Burned: The Spy South Africa Never Caught, continues to attract world-wide attention. The BBC World Service aired their two-part programme live, which can be listened back here.

The popular US podcast Spycraft101 also interviewed her here.

Sarah-Louise Miller appeared in the Aspects of History magazine featuring The Mobilisation of Women in Another World War. Her new book, The Women Behind the Few is out now.

She also wrote an article in issue 118 for the magazine History of War.

Finally, listen as Mary Novakovich shares her insider’s perspective on the best places for an authentic meal or an impromptu concert in Croatia for the Wanderlust Magazine podcast.

Authors in the Media – April

Spies and secrecy are the theme for April.

Sarah-Louise Miller celebrated the publication of her new book THE WOMEN BEHIND THE FEW (Biteback) in a media blitz, appearing on the popular We Have Ways of Making You Talk podcast with Al Murray and James Holland.

The Daily Mail ran an article about the WAAF. Dr. Miller, tells how members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) overcame prejudice and smashed stereotypes. RAF chiefs initially feared women were too gossipy and prone to hysterics for vital military work in the Second World War.

She also wrote an exclusive article for the Daily Express below.

She also appeared with Professor Alice Roberts for a brand new documentary series on Channel 4 called Fortress Britain. She can be seen in episode 2.

You can catch up with History Hit Podcast with Dan Snow too here.

In the run up to publication of BURNED (Vine Leaves Press) on May 16, Sue Dobson was interviewed for a two-part BBC World Service broadcast called Lives Less Ordinary, entitled ‘The Spy who Wanted to bring down Apartheid.’

Sue Dobson was a white South African who risked her life as an ANC secret agent.

This can be listened on catch-up here. It will broadcast on the BBC World Service in May.

Lucy Hooft’s sequel to THE KING’S PAWN – HEAD OF THE SNAKE (Burning Chair) – was published on March 30th and was included in the Financial Times’ thriller roundup by fellow spy writer Adam LeBor, describing her ‘fine eye for detail‘ in a story that ‘moves seamlessly‘.

Holly Watt, journalist, crime writer and winner of the 2019 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, said, ‘It’s so exciting to see a powerful female character like Sarah Black emerging. A fast-paced espionage thriller that feels fresh and exciting – and takes you to some shocking places. It will keep you up far too late!

Acclaimed veteran spy writer David Brierley’s return from the cold, DEAD MAN TELLING TALES (Safe House Books), received high praise as Mike Ripley’s Book of the Month in Shots Crime & Thriller eZine saying it was, ‘written with all the sly cynicism of the spy world, along with some wonderful descriptions of a country coming to terms with a changing present while living with memories of a cruel history, this is Brierley’s first novel in more than twenty years and an elegant reminder of what a fine writer he is.‘ An enjoyable conversation between Ripley and Brierley can be heard at the Spybrary website too.

It was also written up at Beyond the Books as ‘an absolute cracker of a book. The story is so skilfully woven together. I couldn’t put this book down from the very start. The research must have been immense. The authenticity of the story just placed me there, in Latvia.


World English Language rights have gone to Vine Leaves Press, and audio rights have gone to Tantor Media for Sue Dobson’s explosive spy memoir. The book will publish on May 16, 2023.

In the 1980s Sue Dobson was a young, middle class, South African white woman, who risked everything to spy for the ANC during the latter days of the brutal Apartheid regime.

She lived a ‘legend’—a life where she pretends to conform, moving easily through the echelons of the racist government in her work as a journalist, whilst concealing her espionage and military training in the Soviet Union, and her intelligence work for the banned African National Congress.

Matters come to a head when sinister forces try to derail the Namibian independence process and Sue’s cover is blown during a difficult honey trap operation, bringing the Cold War to Africa, and leading to her desperate flight across Southern Africa with the Apartheid security police snapping at her heels.

This is the story she has spent the last 30 years hiding.

“An unflinching memoir of a spy during a tumultuous time and unsavory alliances. Dobson recounts her recruitment, training, and espionage with rare self-awareness.” – ★★★★★, Henry R. Schlesinger, author of Honey Trapped

Recent press include an interview on BBC Radio Cornwall, an article in The Observer, an episode on Spyscape’s True Spies podcast narrated by Vanessa Kirby, an interview for Russian media site Meduza and a new two-part BBC World Service radio programme Lives Less Ordinary, broadcast today and the following Monday.

Film rights are under option. The book can be pre-ordered here.


Authors in the Media – March

This month sees the publication of Sarah-Louise Miller’s The Women Behind the Few and she’s been busy, appearing on the Dan Snow’s History Hit podcast and her publisher Biteback’s own podcast.

Dan goes down into the earth with Dr Sarah-Louise Miller, who brings their stories to life in the room where the Battle of Britain was organised, overlooking the very maps that show what happened there during that decisive summer of 1940. Dr Sarah-Louise’s new book ‘The Women Behind the Few’ puts the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force back at the heart of Britain’s war, exploring what they did- collecting and disseminating vital intelligence- that led to the Allied victory.

Mary Novakovich was featured in Time Out magazine and her book was listed in National Geographic ahead of the Stanford Travel Awards, one of eight finalists nominated for the prestigious Edward Stanford Travel Book of the Year due to be announced in London on March 16.

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Finally, Robert Sellers’ book The Secret Life of Ealing Films, was featured in the Daily Mirror. The book reveals the secrets from behind the scenes of classic movies, including a crevasse fall by John Mills and the stunt that nearly drowned Alec Guinness.

The Secret Life of Ealing Films by Robert Sellers is out now published by Dean Street Press.



Bloomsbury Methuen has acquired world all language rights (excluding dramatic rights) to THE CAMBRIDGE FOOTLIGHTS: A VERY BRITISH INSTITUTION by Robert Sellers.

This book will tell the story of Britain’s oldest student sketch comedy troupe, whose notable alumni include Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Julian Fellowes, John Cleese, Peter Cook and Richard Osman. As well as being a detailed history of the Footlights, the book will include first-hand interviews with former Footlights alumni, extracts from past Footlights productions, and illustrations, including a reproduction of posters, flyers and programmes.

“Like a night sky in the countryside, the more you look, the more stars you see,” wrote comedian and Footlights alumnus David Mitchell in his 2013 memoir. “Footlights seem to be behind about half of the stuff worth paying attention to.”

The Cambridge Footlights

Robert Sellers is the author of over 25 books on subjects such as cinema, theatre, television, music and popular culture. These include Raising Laughter: How the Sitcom Kept Britain Smiling in the ’70s (2021), as well as authorized biographies of Oliver Reed, Kenny Everett and Ernie Wise, along with histories of Ealing Studios, Radio 1 and the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals.