Kate O'Hearn was raised in the heart of New York City. Throughout her life, she has always had an active and vivid imagination. As a child walking down Fifth Avenue, she would envision herself soaring among the city's canyons on the back of a wild dragon. While in Florida, looking over the sea, she could imagine living amongst the whales and breaching in the heavy swells. At night, a star studded sky was yet another playground. These dreams and ideas never faded. Instead they grew until they spilled over into the books she loves to write.Kate's first book, Shadow of the Dragon: Kira, won the 1066 Schools' Book Award.
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.
June Oldham attended her mother's village school, a grammar school in Lincoln, then took an honours degree in English and a diploma in education. After some years' teaching, she had children and began to write. Although her award winning novel, Flames, was for adults, most of her books have been for children and adolescents. Many of them reflect her love of the Yorkshire Dales where she has lived for the last thirty years. She has directed Ilkley Literature Festival, tutored for the Arvon Foundation, been a judge for the Constable Trophy (now defunt), encouraged imaginative writing in a gaol, held fellowships in creative writing. Occasionally she leads workshops, visits adult groups and schools.
Kenneth Oppel wrote his first novel at the age of 15, and enterprisingly sent it to his favourite writer, Roald Dahl. Publication soon followed, and since then he has written more than twenty for which he has won many prizes in his native Canada. He now lives and works in Toronto with his wife and children.
Hiawyn Oram grew up in South Africa. After graduating in English and Drama from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, she worked as an advertising copywriter before becoming a full-time writer. She's written more than a 100 children's books starting with the old classic ANGRY ARTHUR Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, now an ebook by MEBOOKS. Her work has been published in more than 30 languages including Russian and Chinese, Turkish, Slovak and Polish and won or been short-listed for several awards. She also writes poetry, script and lyrics for musicals and has developed and written for animated TV. Dreamworks in the US have optioned her series starring Rumblewick, an overworked cat to a reluctant witch, as the inspiration for an animated movie. THE VACKEES, a musical for which she wrote the words, is regularly performed across the country and LAST TRAIN TO TOMORROW, about the rescue of 10,000 Jewish children from the holocaust, was performed by the Halle Orchestra, junior choir and actors to standing ovation. Her favourite children's book ever is THE SECRET GARDEN by F.H. Burnett and her vote for best children's movie goes to Disney's JUNGLE BOOK, narrowly pipping KUNG FU PANDA to the post. Hiawyn lives in London where, when not writing, she can be found inventing games for grandchildren and getting messy covering canvasses in paint.
Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent. She secured her first publishing deal at 17 and has gone on to write three YA novels. She is now a full-time writer and illustrator. She can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything she can to avoid getting an office job.
Toto the Ninja Cat series was inspired by Dermot O'Leary's real-life cats.Dermot started his career on T4 for Channel 4, and has presented shows for both ITV and the BBC. His best known work includes ten series of The X Factor, Big Brother's Little Brother, BBC3's First Time Voters Question Time, Unicef's Soccer Aid, the RTS Award winning 'Live from Space' season following the International Space Station's orbit of the Earth in 2014 and the Brit Awards which he presented with Emma Willis in 2016.2017 saw Dermot launch his new Saturday morning show on BBC Radio 2, 'Saturday Breakfast with Dermot O'Leary'. Previously in the Saturday afternoon slot, 'The Dermot O'Leary Show' won three Sony Radio Awards and was well known for its support of new and emerging bands.2018 saw Dermot host the National Television Awards for the ninth time. He also joined Kirsty Young and Huw Edwards to host the BBC's coverage of the Royal Wedding in front of an audience of 13 million people.Dermot lives in London with his wife Dee and their cats Socks and, of course, Toto.You can find Dermot on Twitter and Instagram - @radioleary