Guests of Honor
Robert Ryan graduated from Brunel University with a M.Sc. in Environmental Pollution Science and spent some years lecturing, but at the same time worked for GQ in the USA, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Telegraph and Arena. He subsequently moved into writing fiction, including the WW2-set books Early One Morning, Blue Noon and Night Crossing, which were Sunday Times bestsellers. His contemporary London thrillers written under the pseudonym Tom Neale, Steel Rain and Copper Kiss, were optioned by Freemantle TV. The same company optioned Empire of Sand, a novel about T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia).
Signal Red, a fictionalised account of The Great Train Robbery, was produced for the BBC by World Productions, with a script by Chris Chibnall (Broadchurch). Ryan’s latest books imagine the career of Dr John Watson as a medical man in WW1 and the second in the series, The Dead Can Wait, was shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s prestigious Historical Dagger Award. Writing in the FT, crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw said: “Ryan remains the key heir apparent of Conan Doyle” and best-selling crime writer Mark Billingham said: “Brilliant. Conan Doyle would most definitely approve”. The Sunday Times commented on A Study in Murder: “Plenty of writers have used the Sherlock Holmes stories as a springboard to launch their own fiction, but few have done it with the skill and ingenuity of Robert Ryan.”
As well as writing novels, Ryan also regularly collaborates with jazz trumpeter and composer Guy Barker on various projects, including dZf, a narrative version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute transposed to New York (featuring Brooklyn-born actor Michael Brandon) and a 90-minute music and song cycle (with spoken word) called That Obscure Hurt (with singer Kurt Elling and actress Janie Dee), which premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival in 2013. He provided both the narrative and the lyrics for that piece, which was also broadcast on BBC Radio 3 (one critic: “Barker and Ryan’s work demands and invites repeat listens and will yield just as much pleasure time after time”). Ryan also wrote the narrative behind Barker’s Soho Symphony (also broadcast on Radio 3) and Alison Balsom’s Lanterne of Light trumpet concerto (premiered at The Proms in summer 2015). Their next major project is a two-hour opera/song cycle called And The Hippos (Were Boiled In Their Tanks) for orchestra, actors and singers, to be produced at The Albert Hall in late 2018. Before that there is a piece for singers and augmented jazz band called The Last Highway.
Ryan is also a regular contributor to The Times newspaper. The third and fourth Dr Watson books, A Study in Murder and The Sign of Fear, are out now, along with a companion collection of six short stories available as a an e-book (The Case Of The Six Watsons).
He just signed with S&S to write two new crime/thrillers, with the first appearing in 2017. They are contemporary, with a female protagonist, based on an online advertisement. The first is called Safe From Harm.
He lives in North London with his wife Deborah, their dog Joe and a rotating cast from their three children.
Larry Albert has worked as an actor/director in the Seattle-Tacoma area for over 41 years. In that time he has appeared in over one hundred stage productions. Some of his favorite stage roles are Dolittle in My Fair Lady, Froggy in The Foreigner, Tevya in Fiddler on the Roof, Andrew in Sleuth, Cap'n Andy in Show Boat, and Harry Brock in Born Yesterday. As a director he has helmed award-winning productions of My Fair Lady, The 1940's Radio Hour, Shadowlands, Sherlock's Last Case, Biloxi Blues, and Harvey. Other directorial assignments have included Oklahoma, The Wizard of Oz, Brigadoon, L'il Abner, Blithe Spirit, Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and 1776.
For one season Larry was a semi-regular performer on the FOX network series Total Hidden Video. He has also been seen in the CBS series The Fugitive and Northern Exposure. Some of his commercial appearances have been for NBC-TV, Kellogs, Wrigley's Gum and Chevrolet as well as enacting featured roles in two major films, Warner Bros. Born to be Wild and Agate Productions Darkdrive.
A talented voice artist, Larry has been heard in dozens of radio commercials and as the voice of several different characters on CD-ROM games. For twenty-one years now Larry has been an actor on the Jim French dramatic radio series The Kiro Mystery Playhouse, The Adventures of Harry Nile, Kincaid, the Strangeseeker, Raffles, the Gentleman Thief, and Imagination Theater of which for the latter he has also been a contributing writer and director. For the last eighteen years he has been the voice of Dr. John H. Watson on the nationally syndicated dramatic radio series' The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, making him the longest running Dr, Watson in the history of English language radio, and The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. In 2016 Larry and John Patrick Lowrie became the second Holmes and Watson audio team to record and broadcast the entire canon of the 60 stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the first Americans to achieve this. In 2005 he assumed the the title role in the Harry Nile series.