ALICE McVEIGH

Official website of the novelist

About

Biography

Alice McVeigh was born in South Korea, of American diplomatic parents, and lived in Bangkok, Singapore and Myanmar until she was 13, when the family returned to Washington D.C. There, she started to learn the cello.

After winning the Beethoven Society of Washington cello competition, and reaching the finals of the National Music Teachers Association Young Soloists national competition, she achieved a B.Mus. with distinction at the internationally acclaimed Jacobs School of Music. She then came to London to study cello with William Pleeth for a year – instead, she married an Englishman, and performed in London for two decades, touring with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, among others.

Her first two contemporary novels – While the Music Lasts  and Ghost Music – were published by Orion Publishing/Hachette in the late 90s, and subtitled “the secret life of an orchestra”. The arrival of the McVeigh’s only child caused her to turn to ghostwriting for several years before returning to serious orchestral work – but ghostwriting only served to re-inspire her own fiction. McVeigh’s speculative thriller,  Last Star Standing, was published by Unbound Publishing in 2021 under her pen name, Spaulding Taylor. It won a Kirkus star and was runner-up in the Independent Press Awards. It was also, a finalist in CIBA’s Cygnus Award, the Wishing Shelf Book Awards, the Eric Hoffer Book Awards, the International Book Awards, The New York City Big Book Awards etc.

McVeigh turned down several medium-sized traditional publishers for her next project. In June 2021, she published the first in her series of six Jane Austenesque novels ( Susan: A Jane Austen Prequel). An imagining of Jane Austen’s Lady Susan at only sixtteen, Susan was a quarter-finalist in Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize, won gold in the Pencraft, Global, eLit and Incipere Book Awards, was a finalist in seven other competitions including Chanticleer’s Goethe Award. 

In 2022 McVeigh published Harriet: A Jane Austen Variation  – a re-imagining of Austen’s immortal Emma from the points of view of Jane Fairfax and Harriet Smith. Harriet was a finalist and joint Honorable Mention for the prestigious Foreword Indies’ “Book of the Year” 2022,  and Editor’s Pick (“outstanding”) on Publishers Weekly. It also won gold in the Historical Fiction Company’s annual awards (2023), where it was a finalist for “Book of the Year 2023”, as well as a bronze in the Independent Publishers Book Awards (the IPPYs) and several other awards.

The third and most recent release in what Publishers Weekly described in its review as “McVeigh’s celebrated Austenesque series” is Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation (2023). Again starred by Publishers WeeklyDarcy has already won gold in the Pencraft and Global Book Awards, placed fourth in the Readers Favorite Book Awards and is a current semi-finalist in Chanticleer’s Chatelaine Book Award. Shelf Magazine ranked it in its final ten choices for “Book of the Year, 2023”.

Alice is married to Professor Simon McVeigh, and still lives in London. They share, along with their daughter – now a Presidential Scholar at Harvard in Chinese Literature (Ph.D) – a passion for tennis, and a second home in Crete.

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ALICE McVEIGH

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