The authors

Welcome to our author‘s corner. We want to tell people more about you and your books. So please, send us your biography with a photo of self and join our growing community of writers, editors, bloggers, poets, dramatists, playwrights and novelists. 

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Giovanni Bonello

Giovanni Bonello was Judge of the European Court of Human Rights[1] from 1 November 1998 until 31 October 2004. As the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe rejected the names proposed by the Maltese Government, Bonello’s term was extended, in terms of article 23 para. 1 3 CON of the European Convention on Human Rights, until 19 September 2010. In 1990, he was nominated Chief Justice and President of the Constitutional Court but declined the appointment.

Bonello has been considered a “liberal” judge. He has been the first judge whose separate opinions were published during his tenure, later also the separate opinions of the Portuguese judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque were also published in Italy. Judge (later Court President) Nicolas Bratza and leading authority on Human Rights Law Michael O’Boyle published them with Wolf Legal Publishers of the Netherlands. His separate opinions were also collected in the book When Judges Dissent, published in 2008.

Bonello has published several history books.

Upon his retirement from the European Court of Human Rights, Court president Jean-Paul Costa said “Vanni” brought “robust independence of spirit and unflagging commitment to the protection of human rights”. He displayed such qualities time and again in numerous separate opinions given in his unique and memorable style, which was “elegant as it is forceful”, using “vocabulary as rich as it is rare”. In fact, his opinions led Judge Bonello to attain “near-legendary” status among all those who followed Strasbourg case law, he said. President Costa said Judge Bonello was a true gentlemen who gained the respect and affection of all those who worked with him, whether they agreed with him or not. He was a marvellous ambassador for his profession and his country. “Along with his professional achievements, Vanni is a man of broad and deep culture, a connoisseur of great art and a distinguished historian. Now that he can finally take his leave of the Court, he can and will dedicate himself more fully to these intellectual and aesthetic pursuits.” The president recounted an anecdote about the man he befriended during his long term at the Court. He said he had tried making a modest personal contribution to Judge Bonello’s historical studies about the French occupation of Malta during the Napoleonic era, however, he soon realised his assistance was almost useless because Judge Bonello knew virtually everything there was to know on the subject.

Daria Troitskaia

Born in Saint Petersburg, brought up in Vienna, and now living on the Mediterranean island of Malta, Daria’s love of travel is only matched by her fondness for capturing the invisible, in nature and in others. Storytelling and intriguing context are what make her pictures; her static images are living paragraphs of a story which has been only partly told. Formally trained at an art school and well-versed in graphic and web design, she has worked as an art director of several companies before starting her own business. She had several exhibitions in Europe and was featured in a number of magazines. Her works are in private collections all over the world.

Ronald Bugeja

Ronald Bugeja twieled Tal-Pietà fl-1978 u joqgħod ix-Xewkija, Għawdex. Spiċċa l-edukazzjoni tiegħu fl-iskola tas-snajja’ Abram Gatt, Bighi ġewwa l-Kalkara, fejn ikkwalifika fis-sengħa tal- elettriku. Illum jaħdem bħala uffiċjal pubbliku.

Ronald Bugeja huwa PRO fl-Assoċjazzjoni Glarac Malta, li fiha wkoll jirrappreżenta lil bużnannuh Giuseppe Francica kif ukoll l-erba’ midalji li ngħataw fis-servizz tiegħu. Huwa wkoll membru f’Research Team Program ġewwa Nüremberg fil-Ġermanija, li jagħmlu studju fuq il-bijografija u l-istorja tal-Führer Adolf Hitler kif ukoll l-istorja tal-Ġermanja fit-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija.

Il-kitba u l-lingwa Maltija minn dejjem kienu l-ispirazzjoni tiegħu. Fil-fatt, huwa beda jaħdem fid-drama fl-1999 u ħadem f’diversi proġetti ma’ kumpaniji lokali fuq produzzjonijiet televiżivi. Sal-lum baqa’ għaddej bil-ħidma tiegħu f’dan is-settur. Ronald Bugeja huwa direttur tal-entità Starline Creations Media, li ttella’ attivitajiet u xogħlijiet fuq il-palk kif ukoll attivitajiet għal ġbir ta’ fondi, fosthom għall-ALS Malta kif ukoll Puttinu Cares. Hu ħa sehem f’diversi xogħlijiet kemm fuq drama televiżiva kif ukoll fuq il-palk. Kiteb diversi xogħlijiet, fosthom il-kummiedja Miftuħ dan Miftuħ il-Bieb, il-kummiedja Ara ma Tidħolx!, il- kummiedja Il-Principessa Jasmine u l-Lampa Maġika, id-dramm tal-passjoni Fidi, il-musical Heaven and Hell u l-musical It-Tieġ ta’ Dr Stroker. Ronald Bugeja kiteb ukoll żewġ kotba – Mill-Glorious sal-Vitorja, u kiteb u pproduċa fuq it-televiżjoni d-drama Id-Djarju L-Iswed, ibbażata fuq storja vera, li wara ġie ppubblikat fi ktieb ukoll. Kien involut ukoll fid-drama taż- żfin Redlands u proġetti kbar televiżivi fosthom il-film li ħareġ fiċ-ċinema Dejjem, li huwa kien parti mit-tim ta’ script writers, kif ukoll kiteb screen writing tal-istess film, li anke rebaħ xi unuri fl-Awstralja. Hu ħadem ukoll f’ħafna produzzjonijiet differenti anke minn wara l- kwinti.

Huwa ta s-sehem tiegħu wkoll kemm bħala riċerkatur kif ukoll fuq kitba fil-programm Storjografija, li fih ippreżenta r-riċerka tiegħu fuq il-bastiment HMS Glorious kif ukoll fuq l- assedju l-kbir ta’ Għawdex tal-1551. Kiteb ukoll fuq diversi rivisti lokali u għal xi għaqdiet tal- festi. Illum Ronald Bugeja jikteb fil-ġurnal Kullħadd, fejn l-artikli tiegħu jidhru wkoll kull ħmistax fuq il-ġurnal It-Torċa, fir-rokna tal-istorja Taħt il-Lenti.

Ix-xewqa tal-awtur hija li jibqa’ jikteb il-kotba bil-lingwa Maltija kif ukoll drammi televiżivi. L- għan u x-xewqa tiegħu huma li jibqa’ mfakkar minn bosta għal ġenerazzjonjiet sħaħ fejn tidħol il-kitba kif ukoll riċerka fuq l-istorja. Permezz ta’ iktar proġetti ippjanati fil-futur qarib kif ukoll opportunitajiet li jaħdem ma’ iktar nies fl-istess qasam, kemm dawk lokali kif ukoll internazzjonali, din il-bijografija se tagħlaq bi kwotazzjoni li kiteb hu stess b’dedika lill-kitba:

“Il-kitba hija taħlita ta’ fantażija u kreazzjoni li jiġu mill-qalb u l-moħħ, li joħduk go univers li ma jintemm qatt.”

Ronald Bugeja 2012.

George E. Kissaun

George-E-Kissaun BDL BooksGeorge E. Kissaun was born in Sliema at the advent of World War II, on 24 June 1938. His whole family had to leave their residence in Sliema, when it became clear that Germany was going to pound Malta until it surrenders in 1941-42. The family took refuge in Attard and later transferred to Fleur-de-Lys in Birkirkara, before returning to Sliema at the beginning of 1945. He was educated at the Montessori Junior School and St Anthony’s private school in Sliema. At the age of eleven years, he sat and was successful in the Lyceum entrance examination and started his adult education at the Lyceum in Ħamrun. He transferred to Valletta in 1953 for his final three years up to Sixth Form or “Sesta”, as it was popularly known.

His first job was as a Clerk at the General Retailers and Traders Union and then successfully started his short Government career, also as a Clerk. His Army career started after his mother refused his successful application to join the Royal Air Force for a commission in Her Majesty’s Services. George was commissioned in the British Army in 1962, an ambition that satisfied his mother’s traditions. In 1970, he was selected to join the Palace staff as Aide-de-Camp to the Governor General Sir Maurice Dorman and promoted to Captain in 1971. After his service at the Palace came to an abrupt end, he went on to pursue a highly successful career in aviation. His mentor was Rigas Doganis, a Professor at Cranwell University, well known for its aviation specialisation. George participated in very important conferences and spoke on General Aviation in Austria as it celebrated 25 years of flying since the first flights were permitted after the war. In 1984, he was appointed to the Administrative Board at the National Tourism Organisation Malta (NTOM), and also a member of the Air Terminal Committee. He was appointed Head of Administration and deputy Chief Executive at NTOM, and later head of the first Environment Department. George’s expertise saw him involved directly with the extension of the old Air Terminal and a member of the Committee that built the new Air Terminal. He served as Executive Secretary of the Airport Users Committee, and from 2005 to 2013 as Chairman of the Airport Council. His skills in financial and organisational matters saw him part of a team that built the dual carriageways and the University Complex Pool.

The final years in Government were mainly spent pursuing Systems Auditing, and he became Senior Internal Auditor until his retirement. Once he left the Public Service, he immediately tried his skill at Local Councils from which he retired in 2009. In 1998, he was invited to join the Single European Sky I team at Euro Control in Brussels, and carried on in the main team until Countries eventually signed the SES. George has been a non-paid Chairman of the International Air Rally of Malta for 50 years, an aviation event very close to his heart, and lived to see the General Aviation scene in all its branches flourish and move forward to the state it is today.

Lawrence Gatt

Lawrence-SalibaLawrence Gatt twieled ir-Rabat, Malta, fit-12 ta’ Mejju 1941. Ħa l-edukazzjoni tiegħu fil-Liċeo u fl-Università ta’ Malta minn fejn iggradwa bħala perit fl-1967. Miżżewweġ lil Agnes née Sciberras u għandhom tlitt itfal – Louiselle, Etienne u Joseph.

Ikkontesta l-elezzjoni ġenerali f’isem il-Partit Nazzjonalista għall-ewwel darba fl-1971 u ġie elett. Baqa’ jiġi elett fl-erba’ elezzjonijiet li ġew wara. Hekk għal ħamsa u għoxrin sena rrappreżenta l-kostitwenti tiegħu fil-Parlament.

Għal ħdax-il sena (1976–87) kien Shadow Minister tal-Agrikoltura u Sajd. Wara l-elezzjoni tal-1987 ġie maħtur Ministru tal-Iżvilupp tal-Produzzjoni (1987–90), Ministru tal-Agrikoltura u Sajd (1990–92) u Ministru tal-Ikel, Agrikoltura u Sajd (1992–94).

Għal tlieta minn erba’ laqgħat tal-Ministri tal-Agrikoltura tal-Ewropa, organizzati mill-F.A.O. ġie appuntat viċi chairman u mexxa laqgħa fit-tlitt okkażjonijiet.

Kien il-moħħ wara l-introduzzjoni tal-Akkwakultura f’Malta, it-twaqqif tal-Istitut tal-Agrikoltura fl-Università ta’ Malta kif ukoll l-introduzzjoni tad-Drip Irrigation fuq skala nazzjonali. Ġiet stabbilita wkoll it-teknika moderna tal-micropropagation, u d-Dipartiment tal-Konsumatur li kien jaqa’ taħt il-Ministeru tiegħu.

Lawrence Gatt ingħata l-onorefiċenza “Ġieħ il-Mosta” mill-Kunsill Lokali tal-Mosta. Kien l-ewwel President tas-Sirens Football Club ta’ San Pawl il-Baħar u żamm din il-kariga għal tmienja u għoxrin sena. Huwa membru tal-Għaqda Poeti Maltin u tal-Akkademja tal-Malti.

Il-Pubblikazzjonijiet tiegħu huma: ktieb ta’ stejjer umoristiċi, Stejjer mill-Għorfa (1996), ġabra ta’ poeżiji Fejn Tħabbat il-Qalb, (1998), tliet rumanzi, Marlene – meta l-Qalb Tħobb (2000), Il-Ġurament tal-Ħatra (2013), Id-Dnub ma Jorqodx (2015), novelli Il-Qlugħ Aħmar u 31 Novella oħra (2016) u r-rumanz Rabtiet (2017).

Mario Gauci

Mario Gauci studied at the University of Malta for a Bachelor’s Degree in Libraries, Information and Archives Studies in 2010 and a Masters in Arts and Baroque Studies in 2013. He has been serving as Senior Assistant Archivist for the Metropolitan Cathedral Archives in Mdina since March 2005. Prior to his current position, Mario worked for the Government Libraries Department. His scholarly work specializes in ecclesiastical archives and processed significant institutional documents and personal papers of Maltese scholars. He took keen interest in the restructuring programme of the Cathedral Archives and was appointed ex-ufficio member and secretary of the Cathedral Archives Management Board.

His work entails, the administrative and managerial, preservation, cataloguing and classification of the archival documentation. He monitored the digitization project of the Archdiocese of Malta and collaborated with the Malta Study Centre of the Hill Monastic Library for Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota, USA. He promotes and facilitates effective collaboration between foreign scholarly institutions and the Cathedral Archives. Mr Gauci was offered a brief scholarship in the Archivio di Stato of Bologna 2011 and participated in a conference organized by Archivo della Congregazione per la Dottrina delle Fede at the Vatican in May 2018.

His published and unpublished studies include: art history, architecture, social history and the archival scenario in Malta.

Ursola Borg

Ursola Borg BDL BooksUrsola Borg was born in Xaghra, Gozo. She attended the Xaghra Primary School and Secondary School in Victoria, Gozo. The area where she grew up overlooked Ramla Bay. She was surrounded by nature and this instilled in her, from a very young age, a love of simple things, beautiful landscapes and nature in all its moods. She is a very down-to-earth person and this also influences her writing. Her children’s stories reflect her upbringing in the rural countryside of Gozo. When in her teens, she moved to Malta to further her studies.

She is married to Carmel, a mother to two daughters and also a grandmother. Her hobbies are reading, gardening and travelling. She is a TEFL teacher and loves her job. She also enjoys meeting people from different cultures as this broadens her horizons. Her dream to publish her stories for children is seeing the light of day as some of her books now have been published and more are in the pipeline.

Monica Gatt

Monica Gatt qualified as a teacher from Mater Admirabilis Teachers’ Training College, Tal-Virtù, with history as her special field of study. Subsequently she followed a career teaching history in secondary schools and junior lyceums. She has also served as Guidance and Counselling teacher and was seconded to the Guidance Unit to conduct careers seminars for Form 5 students.
 
She holds two diplomas from the University of Malta: a Diploma in Educational Guidance and Counselling and a Diploma in Educational Administration and Management. She attained the grade of assistant head in the secondary sector.alt
 
From a young age she has been an avid reader. She reads about a wide spectrum of subjects; however, her favourite literature is biographies and historical novels.
 
For the last three years or so she has taken up a new hobby, that of writing novels with a historical background. So far she has written three novels, two of which have been published while the third is yet to be published.
 
She likes crossword puzzles, sudoku and codebreakers. On television, she likes watching documentaries, news reports and light entertainment programmes. A good comedy show is much to her liking!

Lorna Vassallo

altLorna Vassallo (B.A., L.P., M.Jur.) graduated as a legal procurator and specialized in European law, but went on to embrace the teaching career in state schools. Along the years she gained prolific experience in the teaching of the main European languages (English, Italian, French and German) and also obtained basic certification in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. In 2011 she did a postgraduate conference interpreting course at the University of Malta. Presently employed as Administrative Manager at the Cooperatives Board. she is also a licensed tourist guide and a regular newspaper columnist. In the past she also worked as a radio and television producer/presenter.

Natalino Fenech

alt

(15.12.1962-). Journalist.
 
Fenech graduated in communications and journalism from the University of Malta, and also has a doctorate in geography from Durham University, England. 
 
​He started his journalistic career in 1992, first as news editor for The Malta Independent, and in 1997 he joined The Times and The Sunday Times. Between January 2008 and May 2013, Fenech served as registered editor and head of news with the Public Broadcasting Services. 
 
He wrote, and co-authored several scientific papers, short notes and popular articles about Maltese ornithology for international journals, including Bird Conservation International, British Birds, Dutch Birding, Birdwatch and Gli Uccelli d’Italia.
 
He also wrote seven books, two of which won first prize in the National book awards in 2007 and 2010.
 
Books:
1992: ​The Fatal Flight: The Maltese Obsession with Killing Birds (London)
2004: ​Lark Mirrors: Folk Art from the Past (with H.F. Arensten)
2007: Richard Ellis – The Photography Collection Valletta & Floriana Volume 1 (BDL Books)
2008: Richard Ellis – The Photography Collection Grand Harbour & Cottonera (BDL Books)
2010: A Complete Guide to the Birds of Malta (Midsea Books)
2016: Kif Dieb il-Gemiem, rakkonti dwar kaċċa u nsib mill-passat (Midsea Books)
2017: Birds of the Maltese Islands, Nature Guide Series (BDL Books)
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