The authors

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Joseph Sultana

Joseph is one of the new faces on the Maltese literature field. He started to write short stories at the age of 10 and has several unpublished works waiting in line. His debut came in September 2010, when at 28 years old, he successfully published his first book entitled Misteru Ark-Anum. His main interest concerns mostly on plots that are heavy on mystery, suspense, wordplay, twists and drama, with a pinch of humour.

The author is a dedicated fan of Agatha Christie (whom he admits has had a big influence on his work and occasionally mentions her in his books) and Stephen King. Lately he also became absorbed in Dan Brown’s and J K Rowling’s works falling in love with their writing techniques and narration style. Furthermore he’s also influenced by the work of Maltese author Anton Grasso, although he tries to avoid too much negativity when writing.

A motto he created for himself is: ‘A story without a twist sometimes is like a cake without cream.’ Joseph is dedicated to his passion and makes his best effort in creating a story so efficient that he keeps readers glued to the book. He hates “boring” moments throughout the narrative and won’t waste a lot of time on “romantic breaks” since his target is to keep the blood boiling and nerves as tense as possible. In his own words: ‘As long as I’ve a great twist at the end, I’ll do whatever it takes to build an appropriate story around it, sometimes spending weeks, or even months, to put all the pieces together. My biggest delight is to hear from readers that they were shocked by the ending and couldn’t stop reading.’

Joseph is Gozitan by birth but crosses to Malta several times. His other hobbies include reading, walking, swimming, internet surfing, watching movies and meeting new people. He’s the youngest of 3 children, having two sisters older than him living in Gozo and New York.

Future plans include the continuation of Misteru Ark-Anum (a long series which is becoming very popular with Maltese readers) and other novels that will be published sideways with the series.

Emmanwel F. Attard

Emmanwel F. Attard

Twieled Ħaż-Żebbuġ (Malta) fl-1931, iżda issa ilu jgħammar Birżebbuġa sa mill-1979. Skola Primarja Ħaż-Żebbuġ u ssokta l-istudju tiegħu fil-Kulleġġ Flores, fil-Kulleġġ għat-Taħriġ tal-Għalliema, u għal xi żmien fl-Universita`.

Għal ftit tas-snin ħadem mas-Servizzi Ingliżi, biss fl-1955 daħal Għalliem tal-Emerġenza fid-Dipartiment tal-Edukazzjoni u beda jgħallem fl-iskola Primarja ta’ Ħaż-Żebbuġ stess. Fl-1963 mar jgħallem fl-Iskola Sekondarja Teknika ta’ Raħal Ġdid u, fl-1964 intbagħat jgħallem (l-aktar il-Malti) fil-Liċeo (1964-78). Fl-1978 inħatar Asst. Kap tal-Iskola Primarja, fejn qeda dmirijietu f’din il-kariga sal-1984 fl-Iskola ‘B’ ta’ San Ġorġ, Ħal Qormi. Minn dik is-sena, Attard aġixxa ta’ Aġent Kap ta’ Skola fl-Iskejjel Primarji f’San Sebastjan, Ħal Qormi stess, fl-Imqabba u f’Birżebbuġa. Irtira ta’ 61 sena fl-Iskola ‘B’ bħala Kap ta’ skola.

Bejn l-1978 u l-1992 Attard inħatar Segretarju Onorarju tal-Akkademja tal-malti (kariga li żamm għal seba’ perjodi konsekuttivi). Wara dil-kariga nħatar teżorier fl-1995 sa ma rtira mill-Kunsill sena jew sentejn wara. Serva kemm-il darba bħala eżaminatur ta’ eżamijiet pubbliċi, kif ukoll ta’ diversi konkorsi letterarji (fosthom dak imniedi kull sena mill-Kunsill Nazzjonali tal-Ktieb). Fl-1980 Attard kien ukoll iċ-Ċerman tal-Kumitat Organizzattiv tal-Festi tas-VI Ċentinarju ta’ Ħaż-Żebbuġ. Barra minn hekk, kien ukoll membru attiv fit-twaqqif tal-monumenti nazzjonali lil Manwel Dimech, Dun Mikiel Xerri, u b’mod speċjali ta’ Mikiel Anton Vassalli.

Fost il-pubblikazzjonijiet letterarji – barra għadd kbir ta’ artikli f’ġurnali u rivisti lokali – barra wkoll dan il-ktieb, Aqra, Xtarr, Agħder!,fl-1972 Attard kien ippubblika l-ewwel ktieb ta’ esejs tiegħu, Ħassejt…Ħsibt…Ktibt! Dan il-ktieb kien intlaqa’  tajjeb mill-kritiċi letterarji – sa ddaħħal fl-iskejjel sekondarji (dawk statali u anki privati), u partijiet minnu ttieħdu wkoll għall-eżami tal-Malti tal-G.C.E., kif kien magħruf f’dik l-epoka. Ittraduċa wkoll għall-Malti żewġ rumanzi ta’ Jules Verne li nqraw fuq Radju Malta u li ġew ippubblikati, wieħed Is-Sigriet ta’ Wilhelm Storitz f’Il-Ħajja, u l-ieħor Is-S.I.D. (‘Sid id-Dinja’), – Fil-Gwida. Attard għamel ukoll traduzzjoni tat-teledramm tal-BBC, il-plej Raġel tad-Destin, ta’ George Bernard Shaw – li ntweriet fuq il-Malta Television.

Attard kien jiddelitta fil-kwiżżis. Naturalment mhux l-ewwel darba li ħareġ tellief – imma huwa kien rebaħ il-finali fuq Cable Radio One fi tliet okkażjonijiet: Redifortuna (1974), Il-Mazz f’Idejk (1977) u Ta’ l-Aħħar Ibaħħar (1978).

Lydia Sciriha

Lydia Sciriha is Professor of Linguistics in the Department of English at the University of Malta, where she has been teaching sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and other related areas since 1987. For a number of years, she also directed the University’s Language Laboratory Complex. She has authored and co-authored eleven books, and has edited two journal issues. Professor Sciriha is a former Commonwealth scholar and Commonwealth fellow and has taught in Australia, Cyprus, Germany and Luxembourg.

Joseph A. Briffa

Joseph A. Briffa is an architect who graduated at the Royal University of Malta in 1961 obtaining his B.Arch., degree and the diploma of A.& C.E.  He later joined the Public Works Department in 1963 and retired in 1997 as the Director of the Construction and Maintenance Department following the reformed Works Division. This Department had the Restoration Unit of the Division attached to it thus providing Briffa the opportunity to work in the restoration and maintenance of the Presidential Palaces and public monuments.

Joseph Briffa also obtained a diploma in religious studies from the University of Malta in 2002 and an  M.A. in Baroque Studies from the International Institute for Baroque studies within the said university in 2004. In fact Briffa wrote this monograph as an outcome of a revision of the dissertation on the same subject which he presented in partial fulfilment for his M.A. degree.

Joseph A. Briffa is the author of “Pietro Paolo Troisi 1686-1750 – A Maltese Baroque Artist.

Charles Micallef St John

BDL Books - Charles Micallef St John

Charles Micallef St John twieled il-Gżira fid-9 ta’ Lulju 1944. Trabba fi żmien meta Malta kienet għadha ħierġa mit-tifrik li ħalliet warajha t-Tieni Gwerra Dinjija u meta l-familji kienu kbar, riżultat tal-baby boom li beda hekk kif il-gwerra bdiet titbiegħed minn xtutna. Trabba fi żmien meta t-tfal kienu jilagħbu fit-triqat u l-għelieqi, meta karozza kienet lussu u rari tinterrompi logħba ballun fit-triqat. Dak iż-żmien, is-subien kienu jilagħbu bil-boċċi u l-bniet biż-żibeġ, u t-tfal kienu jaħlu l-enerġija u jikkuntentaw irwieħhom b’kollox.

Charles minn ċkunitu kien attiv fiżikament u l-logħob tal-ballun kien il-passjoni ta’ ħajtu u ma kienx ikun hemm okkażjoni li ma kienx jaħtafha. Meta għalaq il-ħmistax-il sena, skopra li kellu talent fil-ġiri u matul it-tliet snin li għamel jikkompeti fuq skala nazzjonali tista’ tgħid li rebaħ kull unur fil-qasam tad-distanza medja u fit-tul, u stabbilixxa rekords nazzjonali meta kien għadu junior. Sadattant, kien jilgħab ukoll il-futbol fl-ogħla livell mal-Gżira United.

Daħal il-Liċeo ta’ ħdax-il sena u spiċċa ta’ sittax fl-1960. Ftit xhur wara, jiġifieri f’Ġunju tal-1961, daħal jaħdem bħala clerk typist mal-Gvern. Tul aktar minn erbgħin sena ta’ karriera, Charles ħadem f’diversi dipartimenti u fost nies minn kull qasam tas-soċjetà Maltija. Dan kollu għenu biex jifhem aktar l-esperjenzi differenti tal-ħajja. Fil-fatt Charles jgħid li l-vera edukazzjoni tiegħu bdiet fil-15 ta’ Ġunju 1961 – l-ewwel jum tiegħu tax-xogħol.

Charles dam ftit biex beda japprezza l-ktieb. Kienu ħbieb tiegħu, fosthom il-Professur Joseph M. Pirotta, li bl-eżempju tagħhom beda jaqra l-ewwel kotba. Kellu erbatax-il sena dak iż-żmien, iżda minn dakinhar ’il hawn lil Charles qatt ma ssibu mhuwiex jaqra ktieb.

Il-qari ta’ Charles mhuwiex diskriminatorju. Jgħid li hu jaqra kull tip u ġeneru ta’ ktieb, u qatt ma beda wieħed mingħajr ma baqa’ jaqrah sal-aħħar anki jekk ikun qed idejqu għax isostni li ktieb dejjem ikun fih xi ħaġa li tgħallem. Isostni wkoll li biex wieħed jikteb jeħtieġlu jaqra kulma jiġi f’idejh.

Charles minn dejjem xtaq li jkollu x-xorti jikteb imqar novella u tkun ippubblikata anki f’antoloġija. Kien jgħir f’sens tajjeb għal min kien kittieb u meta darba qatagħha li jibda jikteb kellu f’moħħu biss storja qasira. Din l-istorja qasira żviluppat fl-itwal xogħol bil-Malti fil-qasam fittizju. Suwed ulied il-lejl, l-ewwel xogħol tiegħu f’erba’ volumi, huwa saga ta’ familja tipika Maltija minn Ħal Qormi. Tibda fl-aħħar kwart tas-seklu dsatax u tispiċċa madwar mitt sena wara. Ix-xogħol kollu fih madwar elfejn paġna u tant kien suċċess li kellu jerġa’ jiġi stampat.

Is-suċċess ta’ dan ix-xogħol kien ta’ inkoraġġiment għal Charles. Huwa kiteb ukoll L-olimpjadi tad-Dagħa, li huwa xogħol għalkollox differenti. Dan huwa ktieb umoristiku mill-bidu sal-aħħar, u forsi l-ewwel xogħol ta’ dan il-ġeneru għal ħafna snin.

Gordon Weston

altI was born in the UK where I spent the whole of my working life, but retired early in order to get done some of the things there was so little time for in the world of work. I always had a strong interest in modern history, particularly the First World War. I was an early and enthusiastic member of the Western Front Association (WFA). During my active time in the WFA I researched the raising in 1914-15 of the Tyneside Scottish Brigade (part of Lord Kitcheners ‘New Army’), resulting in a rather over lengthy and un-illustrated manuscript which for those reasons failed to find favour with various publishers. The advent of digital photograph led me to rekindle a previous interest in ‘creative’ photography. For the time being I found this a more immediately rewarding creative pursuit compared to the rigours of writing.

Not long after arriving in Malta I had my first photographic exhibition in 2007: courtesy of Ħeritage Malta. However, though I continued to take and sell photographs, I became increasingly fascinated and absorbed by Maltese prehistory, and returned to writing with some photography. Since the successful publication of my book on the Maltese Cart-Ruts in 2010 I have been engage in the writing a book dealing with one of those rare places in Malta where, within a relatively confine locality, much of Maltese history can still be appreciated by the interested visitor: due for publication in 2012. An ongoing longer term project is research into the origins and motivations of the Maltese Temple builders.

Marthese Fenech

altMarthese Fenech was born the youngest of five to Maltese parents in Toronto. She has traveled extensively across four continents, and in the course of researching for Eight-Pointed Cross, spent time in Malta, Turkey, Italy, France—a wealth of fascinating places that introduced her to her characters and their cultures in a most authentic way.

When she was twelve, she lived in Malta for six months, enrolling in an all-girls private school run by nuns. She lasted three days before getting kicked out for talking too much. Back in Toronto, she started her own business recording, editing, and selling bootleg heavy metal concerts. While in high school, she took a position with a popular seafood chain as its first female dishwasher. She later worked with special needs children and adults, where witnessing small miracles on a daily basis was part of the job.

A former kickboxing instructor, Marthese currently teaches high school English and history. She speaks fluent Maltese and French and is learning Italian. As part of her research for Eight-Pointed Cross, she took up archery, and ended up accidentally becoming a certified instructor. She loves adventure, photography, running, music, snowboarding, and yoga.

While living in Singapore, she began work on the sequel to Eight-Pointed Cross,  and has published Falcon’s Shadow: A Novel of the Knights of Malta in 2020.

Edmond Zarb

Born on the 2nd day of March 1945, Edmond Zarb is first and foremost a professional pianist. He plays at the Westin Dragonara Resort on a regular basis. He started his musical career at a very early age under the strict guidance of his father, who was also an acclaimed musician.

For over thirty years, Edmond Zarb was the resident pianist of Hilton International Malta under various General Managers. His vast exceptional repertoire covers both light and classical fields.

But besides music, Edmond Zarb developed a huge interest in the Maltese language since very early childhood. His love for Maltese intrigued him to write several short stories, essays and novels which some of them, namely NINA, EMMA, and F’TGĦANNIQA MAL-MEWT turned out to be bestsellers.

Edmond Zarb finds enjoyment in writing. Today he is well known among his followers. All his published novels were read in serialized form on the National Radio. Moreover, one of his best known works F’TGHANNIQA MAL-MEWT was adapted as a television series and produced successfully on the local TV.

Asked which one of his thirteen novels he prefers, Edmond Zarb gave a straightforward answer: EMMA, followed by NINA… two beautiful stories of love and betrayal.

His lateset novel: Veronika

Anton B. Dougall

BDL Books - Anton B. Dougall

Anton B. Dougall (born March 8, 1952) is a Maltese chef, writer, television personality. He also appears regularly as a guest on various TV programmes and radio shows. Dougall is the founder of the catering business Astoria Catering.

Personal life

Anton B. Dougall was born in Cospicua, Malta. The fourth child of George and Julia Dougall. Dougall attended the MCAST college in Malta, Westminster College in the UK and graduated from the Catering College, Leeds Polytechnic in the UK. He is married to Mariella Azzopardi. The couple have four children:  Rudi, Felicity, Pearl and Nigel.

Career

Anton B. Dougall, a self-proclaimed lover of food, started working as a Chef at the Villa Rosa Hotel in Malta in 1971 when he was just 19 years old. Determined and ambitious, he had his first television series on cooking and published his first cookery book the very same year called Tisjir Professjonali. [1] The first of its kind, Tisjir Professjonali was an immediate success. In 1976 Anton opened the first and, to this date, the only cookery club in Malta – Klabb tat-Tisjir. An immediate success, it is still hugely popular today This was a huge success from the start and it is still popular till today, reaching its 40th year. The accompanying website reaches 12000 members, in counting. Ten years later, Dougall had his business in publishing and contract catering, was the owner of restaurants and a Hotelier. Dougall became famous by producing and hosting a series of 120, 45 minute cookery television episodes on the National Maltese station, the first ever televised cookery course in Malta. [2]

Throughout his career, Anton B. Dougall was responsible for promoting Maltese food in various parts of Europe, including London, Paris and Italy and also North Africa.

Now he has a guest spot on 2 different local TV stations and and verious Radio talk shows including a guest spot on RTK every Friday, something he has been doing the past 15 years. Dougall was the Chef Patron for state banquets during the Presidency of HE Dr Anton Buttigieg and HE Agatha Barbara. Anton is member of the Hotel and Catering Institute, the Royal Society of Health, Contract Caterers Association, Association Culinary Frances and Couchi Italiani.

Publications

To date, Dougall has published over 40 cookery books in Maltese, English and also in German, plus a set of 350 cookery cards which sold over 25,000 copies. Tisjir bil-Għaqal, a set of four cookery books with an accompanying TV series, sold 80,000 copies, followed by A Taste of Malta, a book about Maltese food which sold 30,000 copies.

Anton now is working on a set of 50 cookery cards about Maltese food in English, and another set about cakes. He is also working on a major book called Taste of Malta, a collection by his grandmother Georgina Dougall.

Godwin Vella

Godwin Vella, the author, graduated Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Archaeology (1995), and Masters in Business Administration with a focus on Heritage Interpretation (2002). He held the post of Secretary Wirt Għawdex between 1992 and 2004, served on a number of government appointed boards and committees in the heritage sector, and authored several essays on Gozo’s cultural patrimony. He managed Heritage Malta’s Gozo Area Office between 2004 and 2008 and is currently heading the Ethnography Unit within the same National Agency.