For this special issue, Stylist commissioned six of our favourite writers to create an exclusive anthology of short stories for Christmas. Between them, they have sold over five million books and won 12 literary awards. Scroll down to find out about the authors and click on the links to read their stories.
Illustrations: Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini
Governors Island by Kate Mosse
Kate Mosse burst onto the literary scene in 2006 with Labyrinth (which has sold 2m copies to date and was the number one paperback in the UK for six months) and has since gone on to become one of the most respected British female authors of her generation. She followed up her debut success with Sepulchre and then, in October, the final instalment of her Languedoc trilogy, Citadel. Her standalone novel, The Winter Ghosts, was also an international bestseller in 2010. A regular columnist, broadcaster and playwright, Mosse also co-founded the Women’s Prize For Fiction in 1996.
Monique by Lisa Jewell
A Sunday Times bestselling author of 10 novels, Jewell wrote her first book in 1996 after being made redundant and making a deal with a friend that if she wrote three chapters of a novel, she’d get dinner at her favourite restaurant in return. Three years later, Ralph’s Party was the bestselling debut novel of 1999. She now spends her days writing in a cafe near her north London home. Her third novel, 31 Dream Street, is currently being turned into a film, while her latest book, Before I Met You, was published in July.
Deadman’s Curve by Liza Klaussmann
Liza Klaussmann’s debut novel Tigers In Red Weather – Stylist’s book of 2012 – turned her into one of the year’s breakthrough authors, both in the UK and her native United States. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, and worked as a journalist in New York and Paris before moving to the UK in 2008 to study creative writing and start work on her first book. The novel was the subject of a bidding war between eight publishing houses and the final manuscript went to Picador, with Klaussmann bagging a six-figure two-book deal.
What She Was Hunting For by Eowyn Ivey
An essayist, short fiction writer and reporter whose work has been published in The Observer and The Sunday Times, Eowyn Ivey (who was named after a character from The Lord Of The Rings) shot to fame with her debut novel The Snow Child, which she started writing while working at an independent bookshop. Stylist tipped it for success back in February, and since then, it has become a bestseller in both hardback and paperback and brought Ivey the prize for International Author Of The Year at the 2012 National Book Awards. She lives in Alaska with her husband and two children.
Christmas Eve by Nell Leyshon
Nell Leyshon, who made headlines in 2012 with her novel The Colour Of Milk, has been working on the literary circuit for several years as a playwright (Comfort Me With Apples won the Evening Standard Most Promising Playwright Award in 2005) and in 2010 became the first woman to write for Shakespeare’s Globe. She was also the first person to become playwright in residence for the 2012 Hay Festival, and is writer in residence at Vita Nova, a charity that works with people recovering from addiction. Published in June, The Colour Of Milk met with critical acclaim thanks to its Hardy-esque portrayal of life for rural women in early 19th-century Somerset.
My Plagiarist by Sophie Hannah
Sophie Hannah is currently one of the most prolific authors in Britain, and her work has been published in 22 countries around the world. Specialising in psychological thrillers, she has written seven bestselling books and five collections of poetry which are studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level, as well as two books for children. Her fourth novel, The Other Half Lives, was shortlisted for the 2010 Independent Booksellers’ Book Of The Year award. Her latest novel, Kind Of Cruel, was published in February. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and two children.