Features Editor of extravagance.com, Amanda has written numerous features for hotel and city guide portal websites on the Internet over the last two years. Before discovering this medium she worked for a travel business, compiling worldwide historic, educational and cultural group tours, specialising in France and Italy.
Her introduction to the world of media started in the early 80s, when faced with the prospect of bringing up two young children on her own, she contributed to The Good Schools Guide, Edbury Press and never looked back. Within a year she was fortunate enough to head a public service broadcast team for the BBC, which lead to working in busy newsrooms as a reporter, throughout the southwest of England. As well as producing news reports, Amanda has contributed features to a number of BBC Radio 4 programmes, including Women's Hour and A Spoonful of Sugar.
Wishing to expand her language skills she returned to university in 1992, as a mature student, to take a BA Honours degree in French and Italian at the University of Bath. Her overriding ambition is to write and have published a work of fiction; something she talks a lot about but never seems to find the time to put into action.
Born in 1956, Martin Hesp grew up in a West Somerset village with one ambition in mind - to follow in the footsteps of his journalist father. By the age of 17 he was working as a junior reporter for a local newspaper and the experiences he gleaned on this rural newsdesk were later to be incorporated in his first novel 'Beastly News'.
'Dropping-out' had become a common phenomenon by the mid-70s and after two years of wedding reports, village fêtes and flower shows, Martin took this insecure escape route in order to explore a wider world. He travelled extensively for more than a decade, living off freelance journalism as well as undertaking a bizarre range of jobs ranging from working on the shop-floor of a huge factory in Holland to lemon-truck loading in Greece; from chanterelle mushroom picking in the forests of Finland to lobster-pot fishing off the Isles of Scilly.
Since the birth of his first child in 1988, Martin (with partner Sue Onley who's an artist) has lived a slightly more conventional life running a video-production company as well as fulfilling various journalistic contracts such as radio reporting for the BBC, programme-making for the BBC's World Service and feature writing for various newspapers, including The Guardian. Now with two children, the couple live just outside a small village in south-west England where Martin is pursuing a career as a writer while maintaining his newspaper work in the form of a weekly column called 'Hesp's Hikes', which appears in the regional-daily-newspaper-of-the-year, The Western Morning News. This newspaper also carries his regular food articles and he is currently contracted to write two new major series on other topics.
In addition to this, Martin is in negotiations with Carlton Television which has approached him with a proposal to present a series based on the 'Hesp's Hikes' format. Martin was also recently commissioned to work on a factual book looking at freak weather occurrences such as great storms and blizzards that have hit the South West over the centuries. This work was published by Halsgrove in September last year.
Naomi was born in 1978 in Reading, England but has lived most of her life in Cornwall, where she has recently moved to Newquay. She comes from a large family of nine children and during her childhood spent many happy family holidays in this beautiful part of the country.
She attended Bath Spa University College to do teacher training, where she gained invaluable experience working with seven- to eight-year-olds. However, her overriding interest in English resulted in changing her course to study English and Creative Writing and in 1999 she graduated with a BA Honours Degree. Keen to increase her literary skills she then took a proofreading course in Exeter. She has been writing for extravagancemagazine.com since October, last year.
Her creativity is also reflected in her interest in silk painting and she currently sells these, together with cards and cushions, through a local craft shop. When she's not writing or painting, Naomi enjoys cycling through the Cornish countryside and listening to 'soul' and 'R&B' music. Naomi is extremely interested in travel and last year visited Cypress and Portugal. She is intending to go to the Greek Islands this year. Her ambition is to publish her stories for children.
Sandy Francis has worked as a writer for several years producing works of fiction and the occasional journalistic feature. Travelling has always been her first love, particularly the kind that involves seeking out the more weird and wonderful aspects of a country or culture.
She is also interested in alternative forms of travel, holidays for people with special circumstances and speciality journeys that involve retracing the life and times of a particular historical figure.
She has been writing for Open World Ltd for almost one year, after initially standing in for fellow writer Martin Hesp when he went to South Africa for a couple of weeks.
Her other interests include food, music and literature, all of which play an important part in extravagance magazine. She is enjoying the experience of finally finding a position where she can combine her skills with her many interests. Sandy is 35 and lives in a 500-year-old cottage in the hamlet of Withycombe West Somerset, with two teenage boys and several animals.
Carol Nasaw has been involved with art for most of her life. From studying Art History to owning her own gallery (in the late 70s early 80s) - Nasaw Averill Galleries, that specialised in contemporary artists working in prints and etchings. She has been involved with the Museum of Contemporary Art for the last 30 years.
As a volunteer in the 70s, she was a volunteer docent giving tours to school children. Today, as a Senior Museum Educator, a post she has held for four years, she organises and guides tours to private groups through special exhibits and permanent collections. When Carol is not working at the museum, she is busy running Fine Art Consultant, Ltd; a consulting firm that helps private and corporate clients develop collections specialising in established and emerging contemporary artists working in all media.
Chicago-based Helmut Horn has been making beautiful images for over two decades now. Intially known for his powerful underwater photography, this German-born image maker expanded to landscapes and photojournalism in 1990. An enthusiastic global traveller, Mr Horn has used his many journeys to capture indelible moments of dramatic beauty.
For extravagancemagazine.com's First Issue, he contributed many of the magnificent shots in 'Song of Africa' (under 'Great Journeys') and in 'A Quiet Room' (under 'Spas - Pampering').
He shoots large format film, primarily with a Hassleblad camera, and prefers to print in outsize scale, using Cibachrome colour. His works are available at Gallery Sur, in Carmel, Calfornia.