John Foley is an actor, puzzle setter and Audie®-nominated audiobook producer. After years of stage work he turned mainly to audio and writing. He has scripted and voiced hundreds of programmes for BBC English/World Service. Other audio work includes adapting numerous plays by writers as diverse as Alan Bennett, Brecht, Ibsen, John Osborne, J. B. Priestley and Victoria Wood for World Service Drama and Radio 4, and for Macmillan, Naxos, Random House and other publishers producing nearly 200 fiction and nonfiction audiobooks including unabridged works by Boccaccio, Byron, Agatha Christie, Chekhov, Wilkie Collins, Conrad, Dostoevsky, Gogol, Hardy, Henry James, Kipling, Salman Rushdie, Sir Walter Scott, Bram Stoker, Trollope, H. G. Wells, Virginia Woolf, Zola and many others.
Previously published work includes The Guinness Book of Beards & Moustaches (with Leslie Dunkling), and The Guinness Encyclopedia of Signs & Symbols; a volume of musical anecdotes for Classic FM; stories for Disney comics, and graded readers for children including Rubbish Rivals and Smellybear.
He is a regular contributor of French-themed crosswords and puzzles to The Connexion (‘France’s English-language newspaper’), plus puzzles for three London area-specific magazines: The Covent Gardener, The Mayfarer, and to celebrate and promote the City of London The City Courant (named after Britain's original daily newspaper The Daily Courant, first published on 11 March 1702).
The first QuizzicalWorks book, Seven Simple and Slightly Silly Stories, was published as a stocking filler for Christmas 2017. It was followed in 2018 by Another Seven Simple and Slightly Silly Stories. Inspired by summers spent in Hans Christian Andersen’s house in Copenhagen, both collections of fables were enlivened by drawings from award-winning screenwriter, illustration artist and actor Grant Cathro. All profits from the first book were shared between Macmillan Cancer Support and The Silver Line, while from the second book all profits went to Mencap. Similarly, all profits from the 2019 Christmas book The Bear in the Fifth Floor Flat (with illustrations by Alice Hawthorn) were also for Mencap. A third volume of fables, Still More Simple and Slightly Silly Stories, planned for release in autumn 2020, was postponed due to the Covid pandemic. The sporadic 2020-22 lockdowns led to the latest book: In and Out of the Schnoodle Bag with all proceeds to Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice and end of life care.
Coming next: another collection of stories in More from the Schnoodle Bag, and for younger readers Book One of 'The Adventures of Woo’: Invasion of the Jaggerlies.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, John is currently also a member of the City of London’s Court of Common Council for the historic ward of Farringdon Within (separated from Farringdon Without in 1394). He is also a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers; a Chevalier of the Confrérie du Sabre d’Or, and an enthusiastic placomusophile.
For the origins of QuizzicalWorks, the stories and the upside-down man logo, see this blog post.