Meet The Team
Alan Wilkinson and Rebecca de Saintonge are both professional writers who have contributed to all the major broadsheets, national radio and television and a wide range of magazines.
For many years they worked together at The Literary Consultancy reading completed manuscripts or works in progress to assess their chances of getting published, and acting as editors and mentors to writers seeking to improve their skills.
As a journalist and broadcaster Rebecca de Saintonge began her professional life as a newspaper reporter. She worked for many years with the BBC and Granada Television as an investigative journalist specializing in programmes on social justice, the penal system and religious affairs. Later she became a regular contributor to Woman’s Hour and You and Yours. She has also written for The Weekend Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times and a variety of magazines.
As an editor and mentor Rebecca was the manager of The Literary Consultancy in London – one of the country’s most prestigious consultancies set up by Rebecca Swift to give writers the vital critical help they need before publication. There she mentored many new writers, as well as supporting published authors. She has edited several autobiographies including Dear Sir or Madam: The autobiography of a female-to-male transsexual by Mark Rees (Cassell), Rescued by Love, the story of a woman who killed her husband (Hodder and Stoughton) and An Improbable Career, by Anne Seagrim (published privately).
As a biographer and ghost writer her publications include Outside the Gate (Hodder/Spire), the biography of Nico Smith, a prominent South African anti-apartheid campaigner, and two ghosted autobiographies: Now I Call him Brother (Marshalls), the story of Alec Smith, the rebel son of Ian Smith, who worked under cover for reconciliation in Zimbabwe during UDI, and The Love Hammer (Marshalls), the story of Ken Lancaster, a criminal minder.
As lecturer and teacher she has lectured at London University in medieval social history and is currently half way through a PhD. She continues to work as a freelance journalist and teacher of creative writing as well as running LifeLines Press.
Latest publication: Rebecca’s memoir, ONE YELLOW DOOR, Darton Longman and Todd, October 2015 became an Amazon No 1 best seller in a matter of weeks and as a result of the public response she is setting up an interactive website www.oneyellowdoor.co.uk which will become live at the end of April, 2016.
Re-launch: Her biography of the Afrikaner anti-apartheid campaigner, Nico Smith, OUTSIDE THE GATE, Spire/Hodders, 1989, has been re-issued on kindle at the request of the public, and is being considered for translation into Afrikaans.
Works in progress: she is currently researching a historical novel set in the middle ages.
Awards for work in journalism and design. In the 1980s Rebecca developed and managed Falcon AVA, an award-winning audio-visual company. Her work there was bought by BBC children’s television and won a British Industrial and Scientific Film Award for the best new company. Later she and her husband moved to Zimbabwe where she worked as a writer and broadcaster, winning another national award, this time for magazine layout.
Alan Wilkinson is the ghost-writer for Mike Pannett, the former Yorkshire bobby whose memoirs are currently taking the book market by storm. Now Then, Lad (a Radio 4 Book of the Week) and You’re Coming With Me, Lad are well on their way to becoming best-sellers. Not On My Patch, Lad is due out in July of this year, and the series is set to continue into 2012.
In 2006 Alan ghosted Brim Full of Passion, the extraordinary story of Warwickshire cricketer Wasim Khan’s emergence from the back streets of Birmingham into the professional limelight. This book won the Wisden Cricket Book of the Year award, and Wasim is now Chief Executive of the Cricket Foundation.
Alan is also a talented mentor whose encouragement and advice has helped many writers on their way. Last year he mentored Barbara Want through the gruelling process of writing about her life with BBC World At One presenter Nick Clarke and his death from cancer. Why Not Me? A Tale of Love and Loss is published by Orion, March 2010. He worked closely with Terry Darlington on his highly successful memoir Narrow Dog to Carcassonne, (Bantam Press, 2005).
Alan Wilkinson has been writing professionally for over twenty years. He has scripted over 200 documentaries for TV, mostly for the BBC, including Holiday Reps, Life of Grime, Someone to Watch Over Me and all ten series of Vets in Practice as well has writing numerous episodes of Emmerdale.
As a travel writer his reviews and features have appeared in such papers as The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Times Higher Educational Supplement, but his main interest is in travel writing. His work has been published in The Sunday Times, Telegraph, Yorkshire Post and magazines like Traveller, Country Walking and Bike Culture. Rather than writing about package tours and resort destinations, he concentrates on the individual’s experience of travel – in particular his engagement with the landscape. Alan spends some time each year exploring, mostly in the western United States, where he writes for American Cowboy.
As a researcher and writer of company histories Alan has researched and written a number of company histories, including one for B.P., Molasses to Acid (BP Chemicals, 1998) and is currently working on the history of Morrison Construction.
Co-founder of LifeLines Press, and non-fiction reader for the prestigious literary consultancy TLC, Alan continues to guide and mentor writers, face-to-face and by correspondence.
In 2004 Alan was appointed the Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence in Orlando, Florida. He has also worked as a lecturer and mentor for other writers and continues to read for The Literary Consultancy.
To find out how to make a book with LifeLines Press see How it all works.