Paul Bryers is a novelist, screenwriter and filmmaker based in London, England, whose novels have been published by Bloomsbury, Hachette, Doubleday, Bertelsmann, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Atlantic Monthly Press and McBooks Press.

Writing as Seth Hunter, he is the author of a series of historical novels set at the time of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars featuring Nathan Peake, who combines the roles of naval officer, secret agent and diplomat.  The first in the series The Time of Terror was a #1 Kindle bestseller in the US in 2017.  It was followed by eight others, the most recent being The Force of Fate.

His latest novel The Vatican Candidate is a murder mystery and political thriller that moves from Hitler’s bunker in the last week of WW2 to modern America, Germany and Italy. Published by McBooks Press in the US in April, 2023, and in the UK in June, 2023.

Earlier novels include The Used Women’s Book ClubPrayer of the Bone, In a Pig’s Ear, The Adultery Department and Coming First, published by Bloomsbury in the UK, Farrar, Straus & Giroux in the US and other leading publishers.  He was the winner of a British Arts Council award for Best First Novel and In a Pig’s Ear was named as one of the Guardian’s six Best Novels of the Year.

He has also written a series of novels for children and young adults under the generic title The Mysteries of the Septagram (Hodder Children’s Books), the first of which, Kobal was longlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Year Award, while Spooked: The Haunting of Kit Connelly was shortlisted for the Phoenix Award. 

Film and Television

As a filmmaker, Paul has written and directed many award-winning dramas and documentaries for British and American television, including the four-part Queen Victoria’s Empire for PBS, Murder at Canterbury for BBC-2 about the conflict between King Henry II and archbishop Thomas Becket, The Line in the BAFTA-nominated Seven Wonders of the Industrial World (BBC-2),  Nelson’s Trafalgar, for Channel Four which was a finalist for the Grierson Award, and Harem (C4), a series of docudramas about the life and power of women in the Ottoman seraglio.  He was writer and director of the docudramas A Vote for Hitler and A Strike Out of Time for Channel Four and the feature-length drama Fireworks featuring Oliver Cotton, Gawn Grainger, Larry Lamb and Jan Ravens.  He has directed films by such outstanding playwrights as Arthur Miller with The Golden Years with Robert Powell and Ronald Pickup as Cortes and Montezuma, and Incident in Judea adapted from The Master and Margarita by Mikhael Bulgakov, with Mark Rylance, John Woodvine and Jim Carter.

He has written plays for theatre and radio including the The File on Leo Kaplan and The Dancing Faun, with Alison Steadman, The Floating Republic, with Brian Cox and Bernard Hill, about a British naval mutiny during the French Revolution, The Legion of the Lost about the 1797 French invasion of Wales, and Fen Fever, about the 1642 draining of the fens.


Paul Bryers was born in Liverpool and educated at Quarry Bank school and Southampton University where he took combined honours in modern history, politics and economics. He joined the Mirror group training scheme for journalists and worked on national newspapers for two years before moving into television as a reporter and presenter for Southern ITV and then as a freelance producer and director working mainly for the BBC and Channel Four.

He has produced and directed documentaries in many parts of the world and was deputy editor and series director of Channel Four’s The Shape of the World and A Week in Politics.

He has taught creative writing to MA students at the Universities of Southampton, Winchester and Bath Spa and is a member of PEN and the Society of Authors.  His literary agent is Bill Hamilton at A M Heath and for film and television Jonathan Kinnersley at the Agency.