William Shakespeare is the world's greatest ever playwright. Born in 1564, he split his time between Stratford-Upon-Avon and London where he worked as a playwright, poet and actor. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare died in 1616 at the age of 52, leaving three children - Susanna, Hamnet, and Mary. The rest is silence.
The Doctor is from Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborus. He has been saving the universe for centuries, and is a noted Shakespeare expert and name-dropper. In addition to writing out the first draft of Hamlet (after Shakespeare strained his wrist writing sonnets), the Doctor also helped the great playwright banish the Carrionites to the Deep Darkness. The Doctor has a granddaughter (probably) and lives in his TARDIS.
James Goss has written the books Doctor Who: Dead of Winter and Summer Falls, as well as several Torchwood books and radio plays. His favourite play is Pericles, oddly.
Jonathan Morris is one of the most prolific authors of Doctor Who novels, audio plays and comic strips and a regular contributor to Doctor Who Magazine. He first read the complete works of Shakespeare as a precocious 15-year-old but 25 years later still struggles with iambic pentameter.
Julian Richards is an English and Theatre Studies student at the University of Warwick. He is a Third Dan Karate Instructor, keen amateur writer and lifelong fan of both Shakespeare and Doctor Who, making this almost his ideal book (lacking only Karate).
Justin Richards has written for stage and screen, audio, children's novels, the science fiction series The Never War, and all sorts of other things. In his spare time he acts as Creative Consultant to BBC Books for all their Doctor Who titles - including this one. He has a degree in English and Theatre Studies, and once kidnapped someone by accident.
Matthew Sweet is a writer and broadcaster with a doctorate in Wilkie Collins. He presents Free Thinking and Sound of Cinema on BBC Radio 3 and The Philosopher's Arms on BBC Radio 4. His books and TV documentaries include The West End Front, Shepperton Babylon, The Rules of Film Noir and Me, You and Doctor Who. A million years ago he played Iachimo to Eve Best's Imogen, but Hollywood never called.