Related to: 'Catweazle'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell’s Hiccup books, which she also illustrates, are now published in over 30 countries around the world and the first book in the series, How to Train Your Dragon, has been made into an animated movie by DreamWorks; Cressida also writes and illustrates picture books. The eleventh title in the Hiccup Saga, How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel, is published in September, and here she talks to Graham Marks about pretty much everything to do with writing a hit series…

Helen Dennis

Helen Dennis was born in Brighton and loves living near the sea. Her mum gave her a library card when she was six weeks old which made her, at the time, Brighton Library's youngest member! She went to the library every Saturday morning ... to change her books and have a doughnut in the library café and by the age of seven she was sure she wanted to be a writer. Helen wrote her first (unpublished) book at the age of eleven. It was inspired by The Hobbit and set in outer space! As a student Helen volunteered at a boarding school for deaf children and at Brighton Deaf Centre. She also worked in a bookshop. After university Helen taught at the largest Junior School in Europe as Head of English and then Assistant Headteacher. Many of the characters in her stories are inspired by children she has taught but her biggest inspiration comes from her daughter, Meggie, who patiently listens to all her story ideas and also corrects her spellings! Helen loves chocolate, hates marmite and is still very keen on libraries and doughnuts.Previous books include the Secret Breakers series written under the name H L Dennis, Book Three of which was nominated for the Carnegie Award.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of many children's books.

James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.

Jamie Thomson

Jamie Thomson is the minion and slave of the Dark Lord, Dirk Lloyd. He's an author and games developer who has written numerous choose-your-own-adventure style gamebooks and worked on many computer games from the Tower of Despair (1984) to Warrior Kings: Battles (2003) Jamie Thomson lives in the dungeons below his Master's Iron Tower in East Sussex, where he spends every day writing for his overlord.His book, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years, was the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner.

Jason Chapman

Jason Chapman's great passion is writing and illustrating picture books - several of which have been published worldwide. He has also illustrated for museums and charities including the Natural History Museum, the NSPCC, the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery and has worked with leading children's TV company Ragdoll Productions developing new characters. A promotional postcard posted to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 1990 featuring dogs and cats relaxing in a pub, sparked a working relationship between Jason and the Home that is still strong today. Jason's charming and humorous dogs and cats have appeared on murals, magazines, books, factsheets, education packs, websites, animations, advertising and much more.

Jenny Jinks

Jenny Jinks comes from a family of writers - both her sister, Katie Dale and her mum, Elizabeth Dale have penned many children's books between them and now Jenny is joining them! At the Zoo is her first book for Franklin Watts.

Jill Atkins

Escaped teacher, now writing for children with 46 books published so far, ranging from early reading material to teenage novels. I've written 4 books for Franklin Watts, 4 for Wayland and one for Hodder.I'm married with two grown up children and five grandchildren, no pets, though I used to have three beautiful cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. When I was a child, we kept chickens and I loved them, too.I always have my nose in a book. I read both adult's and children's books. My favourite children's books include The Railway Children by E Nesbit, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, River on the Say by Philippa Pearce. My adult reading varies from Charles Dickens to many modern authors. I enjoy listening to music, classical, jazz and some pop.

Jillian Powell

Jillian Powell has an MA in English from Cambridge University and an M.Phil in Art History from the Courtauld Institute, London. She is an experienced writer of children's fiction and non-fiction, and has written on many social issues.

John Agard

John Agard was born in Guyana and emigrated to Britain in 1977. He has worked as an actor and a performer with a jazz group and spent several years with the Commonwealth Institute, travelling all over Britain giving talks, performances and workshops. He has visited literally thousands of schools. His poem 'Half-caste' is on the AQA Englsih GCSE syllabus, and every year he tours the country performing with other top poets for GCSE students. His children's poetry includes WE ANIMALS WOULD LIKE A WORD WITH YOU, POINTS OF VIEW WITH PROFESSOR PEEKABOO, and most recently EINSTEIN, THE GIRL WHO HATED MATHS and HELLO H2O, poems about maths and science respectively. All these titles have been in collaboration with the illustrator Satoshi Kitamura He lives in Sussex and is married to Grace Nichols, herself a respected Caribbean poet. They have a daughter.

Jonathan Meres

Jonathan Meres left school at the age of 16 to join the merchant navy spent the next 7 years sailing around the world. Since then he has worked as an ice cream van driver and in Harrods, got a band together, appeared in a pop video and been a stand up comedian. He's won a Time Out Award for Comedy and been nominated for The Perrier Award at the The Edinburgh Festival. He began writing full time in 1994: he's the author of the bestselling World of Norm series, a comedy about a small boy whose life is very unfair...

Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson - formerly known as James - grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHCE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at www.junodawson.com

Kate Purdie

Kate Purdie has written many non-fiction titles for children.

Katie Dale

Katie Dale had her first poem 'The Fate of The School Hamster' published in The Cadbury's Book of Children's Poetry, aged 8 and hasn't stopped writing since. On graduating, she went travelling through South-East Asia - only to discover whilst in a Vietnam internet cafe that she was a winner of the SCBWI 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child is a multi award-winning, bestselling writer and artist whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Clarice Bean, Ruby Redfort and Charlie and Lola. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over 3 million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Prize for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

Laurence Anholt

Laurence and Catherine Anholt live and work in a house and studios on top of a hill above the sea in Devon. They started making picture books in 1984 when their first daughter was born. Since then they have made more than 200 classic picture books, which are published all over the world in more than 30 languages. Their titles range from their Orchard picture book series which include Babies Love Books and Billy and the Big New School; to Laurence's self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series, an introduction to great artists for young children, which include Camille and the Sunflowers. Laurence also collaborates with his friend, the illustrator, Arthur Robins on the bestselling Seriously Silly Stories, which include the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award winner Snow White and the Seven Aliens.The Anholts' books have won many awards and are frequently featured on television and radio. Babies, Babies, Babies is listed in The Sunday Times 100 Modern Classics. Laurence was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described as 'one of the most versatile authors writing for children today'. Laurence was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He then went on to study Fine Art for eight years, finishing with a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on many occasions. Recent projects include a full-scale stage musical in Korea. Laurence and Catherine have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Laurence's favourite things include, 'my lovely family, travelling to wild places and anything to do with art'. The best way to relax? 'A long soak in a warm book.'

Lee Wildish

Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award in 2013, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize in 2013, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.

Lizann Flatt

Lizann was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She's the author of over 12 nonfiction books and numerous short stories and poems. Her picture book "Let's Go! The Story of Getting from There to Here" was named the 2009 TD Grade One Giveaway title, which means the book was given to every grade one child in Canada-nearly 500,000 kids. Her work has appeared in Ladybug, Babybug, and Highlights for Children magazines. Lizann is a former editor of Canadian children's magazine Chickadee. She has an Honours English degree. When she's not writing, Lizann gardens, bakes, works as a part-time library circulation clerk, and photographs the flora and fauna in her backyard. (She's almost embarrassed to say it but, as the exception that proves the rule, she actually does have beavers in her backyard.)

Maudie Smith

Maudie Smith began her career as an actor. She spent years perching on scenery in the back of a van, while touring with a small-scale theatre company. In children's theatre, she played well-known characters such as Piglet and the Snow Queen. She co-devised many of the plays in which she performed and has written lyrics for musicals, cabaret and a libretto. She recently graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People. Maudie lives in a village near Bath with her screenwriter husband, two daughters, two cats, two chickens and far too many stick insects.Visit her website http://www.maudiesmith.co.uk/ and follow her on Twitter @MaudieSmith

Michael Bright

Michael Bright has worked as an executive producer with the BBC's world-renowned Natural History Unit, based in Bristol, and with its Science Unit in London. He is author of over a hundred books on wildlife, science, travel, and conservation, including many for children. His bestseller Africa: Eye to Eye with the Unknown accompanied the popular television series presented by Sir David Attenborough. He is the recipient of many international radio and television awards, including the prestigious Prix Italia. He is a graduate of the University of London and a corporate biologist and member of the Royal Society of Biology.

Michael Lawrence

Michael Lawrence originally trained as a graphic designer and photographer, but subsequently became a television script reader, press officer, an art and antiques dealer, a painter and sculptor, and several other things he would rather not talk about. His first book, a novel for children, was published in 1995. He is now a full time author, creator of the bestselling and ever-popular Jiggy McCue books, and the Aldous Lexicon trilogy.