Author Spotlights

Read interviews with our authors here!

Author Spotlight

Get to know more about your favourite authors when they're interviewed by Graham Marks.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Taran Matharu

Taran was born in London in 1990 and found a passion for reading at a very early age. His love for stories developed into a desire to create his own, writing his first book at nine years old. Straight after graduating with a First Class degree in Business Administration, Taran was keen to explore a new avenue and get inside the publishing world, landing an internship in Digital Sales at Penguin Random House, from June to September 2013. At twenty-two, while taking time off to travel, Taran began to write Summoner, taking part in Nanowrimo 2013. Thanks to Wattpad.com and updating daily, its popularity dramatically increased, reaching over three million reads in less than six months. After being featured by NBC News, Taran decided to launch his professional writing career and has never looked back.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Gillian Philip

Gillian Philip is a prolific writer who has been short-listed for a number of awards and also has a Carnegie nomination. While she has worked as a music store assistant, wine sales rep, radio presenter, theatre usherette, barmaid, and sung in a Caribbean Celtic reggae band, here she talks to Graham Marks, from her home on the Moray Firth in Scotland, about her latest series, Ravenstorm Island…
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…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Robert Muchamore

For official reasons the characters in Robert Muchamore’s award-winning Cherub and Henderson’s Boys series don’t exist. The man behind these worldwide bestsellers certainly does, and here he talks to Graham Marks about writing, research and how he came to create the shadowy, sometimes savage and very real world of Charles Henderson…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

James Campbell

James Campbell is a playwright, a comedian, a storyteller and he does comedy workshops. He has been described as ‘the only stand-up comedian for children in the known universe’. Last but not least, he’s also an author, of books. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his latest book Boyface and the Tartan Badger.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly is the 2003 Carnegie Medal-winning author of A Gathering Light; she is a multi-award winning American writer of historical and Young Adult fiction. Here she talks to Graham Marks, from her home in upstate New York, about her latest novel, Deep Blue, which is the first in the Waterfire Saga quartet.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher has written numerous screenplays, and is the author of the critically acclaimed Stoneheart trilogy. Here he talks to Graham Marks about the story so far, the differences between writing for screen and page, America, literary mash-ups, and of course his latest novel, Far Rockaway.
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.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Teri Terry

Teri Terry arrived on the children’s book radar last year with her debut novel Slated, which was immediately shortlisted for a number of prizes, and has recently won the 14-16 category of the Leeds Book Awards. Here she talks to Graham Marks about the extraordinary journey she has taken to become an author – a story almost worthy of a book itself.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Steve Antony

Steve Antony, author of The Queen's Hat, talks to Graham Marks.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore

Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow (aka The 2 Steves) are a pair of authors who are as comfortable with working on the page as they are on a stage, their highly theatrical live events as popular as their books. Here they talk to Graham Marks about how they met, how on earth they work together and their new iHero ‘Decide Your Own Destiny’ series Blood Crown Quest.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jamie Thomson

Jamie Thomson is an award-winning children’s book author, as well as a writer and developer of a range of successful adventure game books and computer games. Here he talks to Graham Marks, often in his own voice*, about a life spent surrounded by goblins, evil villains and, of course, Dark Lords…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees is the award-winning author of whole shelf of bestselling picture books, including the international hit Giraffes Can’t Dance. He writes his own stories, as well as working with other authors, such as Giles Andreae and Tony Mitton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his world of colour, line and characters, and his latest Tom & Millie books.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Julian Sedgwick

Julian Sedgwick is a some time screen writer and therapist, and a highly accomplished, largely self-taught artist; you could call him a Renaissance Man, if he wasn’t so down-to-earth. He is also award-winning children’s novelist Marcus Sedgwick’s slightly older brother. Here he talks to Graham Marks about sibling rivalry, his obsessions (China, Japan and the Flying Wallendas), and his debut novel…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Almond

David Almond is an award-winning author and playwright with an international reputation, as well as being a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; his books include Kit’s Wilderness, The Fire-Eaters, Clay and My Name is Mina. Here he talks to Graham Marks about life before and after his debut novel, Skellig, which is about to celebrate it’s 15th anniversary…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Ally Carter

Ally Carter is the international best-selling author of two hugely successful YA series: The Gallagher Girls spy sequence and the crime thriller Heist Society novels. Here she talks to Graham Marks about her writing career, how she writes, and what it’s been like to work on United We Spy, the last in the Gallagher Girls series…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Sarah Mussi

Sarah Mussi started out with every intention of following a carer as an artist; that did not turn out to be what happened, and now she is now an award-winning and critically acclaimed YA author - as well as being a teacher. Here she talks to Graham Marks about her fascinating and well-travelled life, and the story behind her latest novel, Siege…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

HL Dennis

HL Dennis is the author of the six-book ‘Unlock the Truth’ Secret Beakers series, the fourth of which, Tower of the Winds, has just been published. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how the series came about, how she writes and what it’s like to live in a world of codes and clues. As far as we can tell, there are no hidden messages in any of her answers…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Lauren Child

Lauren Child is the best-selling, multi-award winning illustrator and author of the Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean books, among many others. She started her creative journey making lampshades and is now an MBE; here she talks to Graham Marks about how it all began, and the fact that it’s now ten years since I Am Absolutely Too Small For School was first published…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Nicholas Allan

Nicholas Allan is the award-winning and best-selling author and artist behind some of our most popular picture books, including The Queen’s Knickers and Father Christmas Needs a Wee. Here he talks to Graham Marks about the journey down the creative road he’s travelled, how he works, as well as his latest picture book, The Big-Hearted Book…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Kate O'Hearn

Kate O’Hearn is a larger-than-life author who was born in Toronto, Canada, but has since travelled the world – as well as working in the fashion and film industries - before making her home in England. Here she talks to Graham Marks about childhood adventures, both good and bad, and how she eventually became a writer of acclaimed fantasy novels. Prepare yourself…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

AllenZadoff

Allen Zadoff is an award-winning writer of Young Adult novels, as well as a critically acclaimed adult author; born in Boston, Massachusetts, he now lives in Los Angeles. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he got to be a writer in the first place, spills the beans on the genesis of his latest novel, Boy Nobody, and reveals where he got the idea for his mysterious kid-with-no-name hero…
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Lucy Cooke

Lucy Cooke is, in her own words, ‘a National Geographic explorer, award-winning TV producer, presenter and best-selling author with a Masters in zoology and a passion for odd animals’. She has also founded Slothville.com, the HQ of the Sloth Appreciation Society. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how an online video changed her life, how to pronounce the word ‘sloth’ correctly, and about her new book The Power of Sloth...
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jonathan Meres

Jonathan Meres has swapped a career as an award-winning stand-up comic for one as an award winning children’s writer; to celebrate the publication of the The World of Norm: 7: Must Be Washed Separately, here he talks to Graham Marks about humour, music, dialogue and just eactly how he works.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Mick Inkpen

Mick Inkpen, the award-winning author/illustrator - known to his millions of readers world-wide as the creator of Kipper, Lullabyhullaballoo, The Blue Balloon, Penguin Small and of course Wibbly Pig – has two brand new Wibbly Pig books publishing in September: Wibbly Pig has 10 Balloons and Oh no Wibbly Pig, not a rabbit!. Here he talks to Graham Marks about this, that and quite a lot more...
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Bernard Ashley

Bernard Ashley is the award-winning, Carnegie-shortlisted writer of over twenty novels; he has, in his long career, also written a number of picture books, TV scripts and stage plays. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his new novel, set in World War 1, Shadow of the Zeppelin...
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Sarah Ridley

Sarah Ridley is a well-known writer and editor of children’s information books. She has recently, in Brothers at War, used her own family’s history to create a very personal view of the First World War; now, with previously unseen letters sent back home from the front lines, she has brought to life an entirely new perspective on the conflict. Here she talks to Graham Marks about the story behind her latest book, Dear Jelly.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

James Mayhew

James Mayhew is the award-winning author and illustrator of some forty books, including thirteen about his ever-popular character, Katie, the girl who really can get inside famous paintings; he also devises and presents concerts incorporating music, narration and live illustration. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his love of illustration and the fact that it is twenty five years since Katie’s Picture Show, the first book in the series, was published.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Kendall Kulper

Kendall Kulper is an American author who lives in Boston; here she talks to Graham Marks about her debut novel, The Witch of Salt & Storm.
Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Ryan Graudin

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina with a severe case of wanderlust. When she's not travelling, she's busy photographing weddings, writing and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog.