Related to: 'When Darkness Comes'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Hodder Children's Books

Voyage to Valhalla

Robert Swindells
Authors:
Robert Swindells
Orchard Books

The Orchard Book Of Viking Stories

Robert Swindells, Peter Utton
Contributors:
Robert Swindells, Peter Utton

Hilary Mckay

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved recognition: The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize, whilst Saffy's Angel, the first in the Casson Family series, won the Whitbread Award, for which the third book, Permanent Rose, was also shortlisted.

Ian Whybrow

Ian Whybrow has lived in Kent, various places in London and as far afield as Hong Kong and New York. The most important thing to him in his writing is that it reads aloud brilliantly and that there is something in it for everyone.

James Campbell

James Campbell is a writer, storyteller and creator of Comedy 4 Kids. He travels around schools and theatres nurturing a love of storytelling and inspiring the children's own creativity too. James can be regularly seen at the Edinburgh Festival, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and on children's TV programmes such as Blue Peter and The Big Book Babble. He lives in Suffolk with his family, some chickens and a really silly dog.

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.

Jan Mark

Jan Mark was one of the most distinguished writers for children of recent times. She won the Carnegie Medal twice - for Thunder and Lightnings (1976) and Handles (1983). Other acclaimed titles include They Do Things Differently There, which was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award and The Eclipse of the Century, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. Her science fiction novels - The Ennead, Divide and Rule and Aquarius (all Hodder) - are acclaimed as masterpieces. A former teacher, Jan came from a London family, spent many years living in Norfolk but, for the last twenty years of her life, made her home in Oxford, where she died in 2006.

Jen Green

Jen Green received a doctorate from the University of Sussex (Dept of English and American Studies) in 1982. She worked in publishing for 15 years and is now a full-time writer, who has written over 150 books for children. Her book 'Your Feelings: I'm Special' was short-listed for the NASEN Special Needs Award.

Jenny Oldfield

Born and brought up in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Jenny Oldfield went on to study English at Birmingham University, where she did research on the Brontë Novels and on Children's Literature. She then worked as a teacher, before deciding to concentrate on writing. She writes novels for both children and adults and, when she can escape from her desk, likes to spend time outdoors. She loves the countryside and enjoys walking, gardening, playing tennis, riding and travelling with her two daughters, Kate and Eve.

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 PSHE. 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 Pennington

Kate Pennington is a pseudonym for a very successful, million-selling author. She has chosen to publish with a different name because her new work is a major departure from her established work to date - as she writes about favourite, and much loved, areas of history and literature (which formed the backbone to her post-graduate studies in literature).

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

Kes Gray

Voted by the Independent as one of the TOP TEN children's authors only a year after publishing his first book, Kes Gray is a major talent and the author of the bestselling and award-winning Eat Your Peas and many more. He lives in Witham, Essex, with his wife, family and assortment of animals.

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Kevin Crossley-Holland won the Carnegie Medal in 1985 for Storm. His many notable books for adults and children include poetry, classic retellings and anthologies. He has written and presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. For some years he held a university post in Minnesota and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Seeing Stone won the prestigious Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, At The Crossing-Places won a Silver award at the SWPA Spoken Word Awards and Gatty's Tale was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal.

Lauren St John

Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series THE WHITE GIRAFFE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD-winning LAURA MARLIN series and THE ONE DOLLAR HORSE trilogy. Her first adult novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, was published in 2013. Visit Lauren's website at www.laurenstjohn.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-St-John/120957211278399 and follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

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.

Lita Judge

Lita Judge is the author and illustrator of over 20 fiction and non-fiction picture books. Her books have received numerous awards including the Sterling North Award, the Jane Addams Honor, ALA Notable and Kirkus Best of. She enjoys teaching both writing and illustration to students of all ages and shares much about her creative process in classrooms and on her blog and website. Lita lives with her husband, two cats and a little green parrot named Beatrix in Peterborough, New Hampshire. You can visit her online at LitaJudge.net

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Malinda Lo

Malinda Lo was born in China and moved to the United States as a child. She was the managing editor of AfterEllen.com, with over half a million readers each month. In 2006, she was awarded the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT Media by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for her writing about gender, race and sexuality. She lives in Northern California with her partner and their dog.

Marta Kissi

Marta Kissi is a London based illustrator originally from Warsaw. She studied BA Illustration & Animation at Kingston University and MA Communication Art & Design at the Royal College of Art. Her favourite part of being an illustrator is bringing stories to life by designing charming characters and the wonderful worlds they live in. She shares a studio in London with her boyfriend and their pet plant Trevor.