Steve Backshall is well-known as a TV presenter, wildlife enthusiast and explorer. He travels the world to learn about the most inspiring animals, from boxing mantis shrimp to charging tigers. Steve also regularly writes articles for newspapers and magazines including the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELER and BBC WILDLIFE and is an inspirational public speaker.Steve's website is www.stevebackshall.com, and you can follow him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/stevebackshallofficial and on Twitter @SteveJBackshall.
Peter Bailey has been illustrating books for more than 35 years and has worked with many of today's best known authors, including Philip Pullman, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo and Joan Aiken. He lives near Liverpool with his wife, Sian, who is also an illustrator.
Clare Balding is one of the BBC's leading sports presenters. She won the coveted Royal Television Society's Sports Presenter of the year Award in 2003. She has been working for the BBC in radio and television for over 15 years across a range of sports, covering three Olympic Games, two Paralympics, two Winter Olympics and a Commonwealth Games. Clare is the face of the BBC's coverage of horseracing, equestrian sports and rugby league. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Evening Standard and the Racing Post and is currently involved in a web magazine called Eclipse.Clare Balding, a Cambridge graduate, was elected President of the Union in 1992. She was a good all-rounder in sport, and was champion lady rider in 1990 and leading amateur flat jockey in 1989 and 1990. Clare was honoured with the Horse Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Racing Journalist of the Year Award in 2003 and in 2004 she won both the HWPA Sir Peter O'Sullevan Broadcaster of the Year award and the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year award. In 2009, she was praised for "perfect presentation" by the judges of the Broadcast Awards who named the Grand National 2008 as their sports programme of the year.
Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed adult crime thrillers, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. CHASE is his first book for children. He lives near Toronto with his wife. Visit his website at www.linwoodbarclay.com, or follow him on Twitter @linwood_barclay
Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.
To his legions of fans across the world, Chris is best known as Rimmer - the Red Dwarf character who made love only once in his life. To others he is Hilary, Angelina Jolie's butler in Tomb Raider; or Gordon Brittas, the most irritating manager in the history of the British leisure centre industry. After moving to London from his native Northern Ireland, Chris started out in the comedy clubs as an impressionist then he was picked up by the producers of Spitting Image, and he went on to provide the voices for a stream of characters from HRH Prince Charles to Paul Daniels. Other acting roles include the part of Alexander Pope in the Channel 4 production of Handel: Honour, Profit and Pleasure, Zastrozzi, televised in April 1986 and a lead role in Plague of Goodness, the controversial Radio 4 Monday Play.
Martyn Beardsley lives just outside Nottingham. As well as writing children's books, he loves reading and writing about history, almost any period. He gets many of his ideas for stories when he's taking his mad dog for a walk early in the morning. Martyn has written over fifteen books: Five Naughty Kittens and The Dog that went Woof, the Sir Gadabout stories, a couple of ghost stories and some history books for children. For adults, he has written one historical biography, a book about England's last duel, and edited the diary of an eighteenth century surgeon-apothecary.
Holly Black is the co-creator of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. A NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 bestselling phenomenon, the series has been described as 'vintage Victorian fantasy' and has been made into a hugely successful film. The books have been translated into 32 languages. Holly Black lives with her husband in Massachusetts.For more information, please visit Holly's website www.blackholly.com, read her Livejournal at http://blackholly.livejournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hollyblack and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hollyblack, and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HollyBlackFan.
Quentin Blake was born in 1932. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before studying English at Downing College, Cambridge. After National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.
He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl, as well as creating much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books.
Described by The Guardian, as 'a national institution', in 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature.
Born in Amersham Buckinghamshire into a family of artists and other creative types, Emily has always flourished in art classes and decided she would like to be an artist when she was 5. She attended Brighton school of Art 1987-1990 and continues to live in the town working from a converted warehouse studio close to the beach. Despite spending all day drawing both, Emily has no children or animals. When not thinking of the next book she likes to watch the world perambulate along Brighton seafront whilst eating icecream. Emily has been widely published by Orchard, Macmillian, Orion and DK.Emily Bolam trained at Brighton Art College and is a very successful illustrator of children's books, among them Francesca Simon's MIAOW MIAOW, BOW WOW and MOO BAA BAA QUACK, and Georgie Adams's THE THREE LITTLE WITCHES. She lives and works in Brighton.Her website can be found at http://www.emilybolam.com/
Samantha Bond is best known for her role as Miss Moneypenny in the Pierce Brosnan James Bond films. She trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004 she starred opposite Peter Davison in the ITV drama-comedy Distant Shores and in 2006 she was nominated for an Olivier Award for her performance in Michael Frayn¿s Donkey¿s Years. Samantha also featured in ITV¿s Downton Abbey as Lady Rosamund Painswick. She has read numerous audiobooks including those by Agatha Christie, Philippa Gregory and also Orion¿s And Furthermore by Judi Dench
Richard Brassey is the author and illustrator of a host of colourful and original non-fiction books for children, among them the bestselling Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and The Story of Scotland, which won the TES/Saltire Society Award. He lives in Essex. Visit his website at http://www.richardbrassey.com.
Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website www.burchettandvogler.co.uk and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BurchettVogler. Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at http://samsilverundercoverpirate.blogspot.co.uk.
Claire has been gardening since she was a child and is now one of the UK's top gardening bloggers - her Youtube channel has had over 1 million views with over 4,000 regular subscribers, and she was recently interviewed by the DAILY TELEGRAPH. She has worked with various children's groups, including gardening clubs and the Matrix theatre company.Read Claire's blog at http://clairesallotment.wordpress.com, like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Claires-Allotment/177191835646647 and watch her Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/clairesallotment.
Steven Butler is an actor/writer from London. He starred as Horrid Henry in John Godber's play Horrid Henry Live and Horrid! He has also played Peter Pan opposite Brian Blessed, Benjamin in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Fleance in Macbeth and provided voice work in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Steven's books for children include The Wrong Pong series and Dennis the Menace. Follow him on Twitter @sbutlerbooks or visit his website at www.stevenbutlerbooks.com
Jess spent her childhood between the UK and India, and grew up hearing stories about the Himalayas from her grandmother. She's lived in India and even met with the Dalai Lama. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and now lives between Louisiana and the UK.