Sheila grew up by the sea, which is probably why Maia's adventures in Sun Catcher start among cliff dwellers, wholive at the edge of the ocean. She started writing Sun Catcher when studying for an MA at Bath Spa University and won the United Agents' Prize for the most promising writer on the course in her final year.When she's not thinking about Maia's adventures, she works with dyslexic pupils in a mainstream comprehensive.She is currently writing the second book in the trilogy, Storm Chaser. Visit her website at http://www.sheilarance.co.uk/ and follow her on Twitter @SARance_Author
Jane Ray's exquisite artwork has gained acclaim both in the UK and internationally, and she regularly shows her work at galleries and exhibitions. Jane won the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation; The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award; and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane's books for Orchard include the contemporary fairy tale The Apple-Pip Princess, the heartwarming The Dolls' House Fairy and the fabulously festive The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is also the illustrator of Heartsong, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Jane lives in London.
Shoo Rayner should have been an astronaut, but he became an author and illustrator instead. He is the creator of more than 150 well-loved books, including the LITTLE HORRORS, RICKY ROCKET, VIKING VIK, AXEL STORM, SCAREDY CATS and the JUST SO STORIES series.
Nathan Reed has been a professional illustrator since graduating from Falmouth College of Arts in 2000. Recent books include How to Write Your Best Story Ever and the Marsh Road Mystery Series. His latest picture book written by Angela McAllister, is Samson the Mighty Flea. He was also shortlisted for the Serco Prize for Illustration in 2014. When he's not illustrating he can be found with his two boys and a football on Peckham Rye Common.
Martin lives in Cornwall with his wife and son. He is best known for his lively illustrations, and has just recently started writing. He is passionate about home-grown British legends, in particular those from his home island of Sark.
CLAUDIA RENTON trained as a choral singer. Without any formal training Claudia won a part in the BBC dramatisation of THE CAZALETS - her favourite book since she was ten. Her natural talent and enthusiasm have ensured frequent appearances on stage and screen since: she is a regular in the Granada series DISTANT SHORES, and has appeared in the films 1969, YOU'RE IN THERE, EXTRA PEPPER and DEAD BOLT DEAD. She recently appeared on stage in the RSC's production of Thomas Middleton's WOMEN BEWARE WOMEN: it was her singing as Ganymede in this which drew attention to her suitability for the challenge of reading (and singing) GATTY¿S TALE.
Toby Reynolds has worked in children's publishing for 20 years. After working for some of the largest UK publishers, he spent many years freelancing in a variety of roles. In 2011 he co-founded Green Android Limited,a children's publishing company. he lives and works from his home in East London.
Jon Richards is an award-winning author of non-fiction books for children. He specialises in visual literacy, infographics and data visualisation.
Miranda Richardson has appeared in films such as THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME, EMPIRE OF THE SUN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. TV work includes A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, JACKANORY, Queen Elizabeth in BLACKADDER and Queen Mary in THE LOST PRINCE. She has won two Spoken Word awards for her inspired readings of HORRID HENRY AND THE SECRET CLUB and HORRID HENRY'S STINKBOMB audiobooks for Orion.
Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal,and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon&Schuster).My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did. This book is currently being marketed as a film series by Wild Thyme Productions.TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.My first book for Franklin Watts was PLOP CITY, a book about bird poo which continues to be loved, especially by small boys. I have two copies of the Arabic version
Born in Suffolk, Sarah Ridley lives on the Suffolk/Essex border and is a writer and editor of educational books for children and young people. Recently, a life-long interest in history has led her to write books about the First World War, inspired by reading letters written by soldiers who served in the conflict. Brothers at War tells the story of uncovering the material held in her own family's archives. Dear Jelly sets letters written by soldier brothers to their younger sisters at its core. Teenage children keep Sarah busy when she isn't tied to her computer, and she relaxes by walking along river estuaries close to her home.
Kate is an experienced writer of children's non-fiction books.
Andy Riley is a highly successful cartoonist and comedy scriptwriter. TV writing credits include HBO's Veep, Gangsta Granny, Robbie the Reindeer, Little Britain and Black Books. Film credits include The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Gnomeo and Juliet. His bestselling books include The Bunny Suicides series.
Peter Riley was a science teacher for 25 years, 17 of them as Head of Science. His first book was published in 1981, and he has been a full-time author since 1996, with over 200 books published for children, students and teachers. He is the winner of the prestigious Schoolbook Award for Science in 2000, as well as being shortlisted for the Aventis Science Prize 2004 and nominated for the Educational Resources Award in 2009.
James Riordan grew up during the war. After he left school he worked as a postman, a barman, a crate stacker, a railway clerk and a double bass player before doing his national service. After demobilization he did a joint honours degree in Social Science and Russian and then spent five years in Moscow working as a translator. Back in England he lectured at Birmingham and Bradford Universities before becoming Professor of Russian at Surrey University. In 1999, he won the NASEN book award for 'Sweet Clarinet' (OUP) His book, 'The Prisoner' has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
Rebecca Rissman is an award-winning children's author and editor. Her writing has been praised by School Library Journal, Booklist, Creative Child Magazine, and Learning Magazine. She has written more than 200 books about history, culture, science, and art.
Scot is an award winning illustrator/author who has been drawing since the dawn of time. He has illustrated over 50 books, some of which he also wrote. Scot has worked with the National Film Board of Canada and has had his illustrations exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada. He lives in Vancouver, but enjoys traveling and has been able to pack up his laptop and work from London, Berlin and Hawaii.
For twenty five years, Jamie Rix has combined a career in television as a director, writer and producer with writing for children. He has worked on a wide variety of comedy programmes including the BAFTA winning The Revenge Files of Alistair Fury and Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids, as well as the British Comedy Award winning Faith in the Future and most recently the BBC sitcoms My Hero and Not Going Out. He continues writing for television and film, as well as writing books for children of all ages.
David Roberts is a hugely successful illustrator who has illustrated books by Philip Ardagh, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Chris Priestley. He's also the creator of Dirty Bertie and the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling artist of picture books IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT and ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER. David lives in London.
Arthur Robins is known and loved the world over for his witty and lively picture books and cartoons. He has illustrated numerous favourite books for Orchard, including the ever-popular 'Seriously Silly' series, written by Laurence Anholt, the 'Small Knight' series, written by Ronda Armitage, and the bestselling picture book 'My Granny is a Pirate', written by multi-award-winning, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid. Arthur lives in Surrey, near his two grown-up daughters.