5SOS, as they are affectionately referred to by their ever-burgeoning fan base, first met in the schoolyard in a small town in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. Luke (18), Mikey (19), Calum (19), and Ash (20) were brought together by a mutual love of pop-punk and the adrenaline-fueled super rock of turn-of-the-millennium America.
They started posting videos on YouTube and within six months had amassed 50,000 Facebook fans, 100,000 Twitter followers, and more than 5 million YouTube views. The band relocated to London in September 2012 with one eye on world domination.
Fast-forward eighteen months, and, having spent 2013 and 2014 touring the globe, 5SOS released their debut album, which immediately reached #1 on iTunes in 71 countries and topped charts around the world, including the US Billboard chart. With more than 1.5 million albums sold worldwide and total single track sales in the US alone surpassing two million, it's been a busy year for 5SOS.
Curtis James Jackson III (born July 6, 1975), better known by his stage name 50 Cent, is an American rapper. He rose to fame with the release of his albums Get Rich or Die Tryin (2003) and The Massacre (2005). Both albums achieved multi-platinum success, selling over twenty-one million copies combined. He is the author of From Pieces to Weight: Once Upon a Time in Southside Queens (S&S, 2006). He lives in New York.
Stacy Parker Aab has written political and social commentary for The Huffington Post and Salon.com, and served as the primary contributor to Voices from the Storm: The People of New Orleans on Hurricane Katrina and Its Aftermath. She continues to work on Katrina-related research projects.
David Pruitt, M.D., editor-in-chief, is past president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, with over 6,600 members, is the leading national association of physicians dedicated to the healthy mental development of children and adolescents.
Leroy Aarons, an award-winning journalist and playwright, was a national correspondent for The Washington Post and executive editor of The Oakland Tribune. He is the founder and past president of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association.
Morra Aarons-Mele is the founder of the award-winning social impact agency Women Online, hosts the podcast Hiding in the Bathroom, and created the influencer network the Mission List. She was founding political director of BlogHer.com, and has written for the Harvard Business Review, the Huffington Post, MomsRising, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Guardian. She has lectured at the Yale Women’s Campaign School, the Harvard Kennedy School, and at the World Economic Forum for Young Global Leaders. Aarons-Mele is a graduate of Brown University and the Harvard Kennedy School, and lives in her pajamas in Boston, Massachusetts.
Deborah Aaronson is currently executive editor at Harry N. Abrams. She lives in New York.
Frank W. Abagnale is now one of the world's most respected authorities on counterfeiting and secure documents. He has worked with the FBI's Financial Crimes Unit for more than 25 years and today teaches at the FBI Academy and for the FBI's National Academy. The founder of a secure-document corporation based in Washington, D.C., he lectures regularly worldwide. Abagnale lives in the Midwest with his wife and three sons.
Stephan Abarbanell grew up in Hamburg. He holds a Master of Divinity in Germany, served as a volunteer in a kibbutz in Israel, and worked as a chaplain at the University Hospital in San Francisco. As a journalist, he is head of cultural affairs with public Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg television and radio in Berlin. Displaced is his first novel.
Edward Abbey was born in Home, Pennsylvania, in 1927. In 1944, at the age of 17, he set out to explore the American Southwest. Bumming around the country by hitchhiking and hopping freight trains, Abbey developed a love of the desert which would shape his life and art for the next forty years. After a brief military career, Abbey completed his education at the University of New Mexico and the University of Edinburgh. Abbey worked as a park ranger and fire lookout at several different National Parks throughout his life, experiences which provided material for his many works. He died at his home in Oracle, Arizona, in 1989, and is survived by his wife and five children.
Laura Abbot's very arrival on the planet is a romantic plot device. Her parents, married five years, had been unable to have children. Her dad was working two jobs and under a great deal of stress. A wise doctor suggested that they needed a prolonged vacation away from home where they would feel free to - er - do the deed. Often. Day or night.
However, this was during the Depression and romantic getaways were hard to come by. To the rescue came a West Virginia cousin who owned a primitive cabin in the mountain wilds, which he put at their disposal. So they went. And voila! Laura Abbot arrived nine months later.
Laura was blessed with an idyllic childhood. Make-believe was a favourite pastime; Laura was especially good as either a racehorse or a G.I. In those days, kids were free to roam the neighbourhood, and they did - using vacant lots and open spaces as enchanted lands.
Perhaps because her grandmother and another elderly friend lived in their household, expectations for Laura were pretty high. She was supposed to be a lady, a scholar, and an example to her two younger brothers. A born tomboy, the first was hard to achieve, but she did an adequate job in the other two categories.
Then in eighth grade, Laura discovered boys. At the time she felt reasonably certain that her mother was about the most old-fashioned, intrusive female she'd ever encountered. Looking back now from the vantage point of being the mother of daughters, she realises her mother saved her from herself.
Laura found college liberating, and still keeps in touch with several of the women who became her friends in those years. By attending summer schools and loading up on the hours she took each semester, she graduated in three years and went out into the world, a pretty big deal after attending the same grade school and high school all her life!
Laura taught eighth- and ninth-grade English, and from the very first day, knew she'd found the thing she was supposed to be doing. She loved the school environment, the kids, and how the work fulfilled her. From that point on, Laura taught off and on for over 25 years.
After that first year of teaching, Laura married, and she and her husband subsequently had three children. Ten years into the marriage, they were divorced, but Laura is happy to say they ve been able to remain amicable through the years.
Single, with three children under 10! Talk about scary. Fortunately, Laura's prayers were answered, and she fell in love with her current husband, who never once has been anything but accepting of Laura and her three kids. His daughter and orphaned nephew brought their total to five children.
Like most parents, they've had their ups and downs with them, but strong faith, consistent discipline, and a ton of love and forgiveness have made their family bonds very strong. And what joy it is now to have 13 grandchildren! Now Laura and her husband don't have to worry about school conferences, curfews, or questionable friends. All they have to do is love.
Laura's writing career, which began later than most, has been absolute icing on the cake! What fun it is to follow a long-held, somewhat secret desire - to write publishable fiction. Remember the scene in Little Women of Jo scribbling away in the attic? She was Laura's role model. And to think it's all come true. Sounds like a storybook ending, right? It is!