Sir Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1983. As a young child he spent time in Djibouti before moving to England at the age of eight. Mo initially struggled with the language barrier, but his PE teacher at Feltham Community College, Alan Watkinson, quickly spotted his potential as a runner and encouraged him to join Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club. After attending St Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre in Twickenham, Mo became a professional athlete. At the 2012 London Olympic Games he won gold in the 10,000m - Britain's first gold in this event. He followed this up with a stunning victory in the 5000m to become, in the words of Dave Moorcroft, 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen.' Mo was appointed CBE in the Honours List in 2013 and in December 2016 he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tania, and their three daughters Rhianna, Aisha and Amani.
Charlie Farley grew up by the sea in North-East Scotland, where he spent his days reading, writing and day-dreaming. Charlie has always been inspired by nature, and much of his writing is influenced by the landscape and animals of Dorset, where he lives with his wife, four children and two dogs.
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As a member of a family who embraced art, she was very much encouraged to be anartist. She studied painting and sculpting at the faculty of art in the Lebanese university andgraduated in the year 2000. She has been illustrating ever since and has illustrated over 17books, most of which have been done for Kalimat publishers.
Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.
A former teacher, Perdita Finn began writing instructional books about reading and writing before turning to fiction. She lives in the Catskill Mountains with her family.
Emma Fischel is an experienced writer, specialising in both fiction and non-fiction for children of primary school age. She has written several titles in this series. Emma lives in London with her three children.
Catherine Fisher is an award-winning fantasy writer and author of the New York Times bestseller Incarceron. The Oracle was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award 2003, The Conjuror's Game for the Smarties Award, The Snow-Walker's Son for the WH Smith Mind Boggling Award, The Candle Man won the Tir-Na-n'Og Award, and Corbenic was shortlisted. Author of many books for children and two volumes of award-winning poetry, she is particularly well-known in Wales and has been named as the first Welsh Young People's Laureate.
Ruth Fitzgerald grew up in South Wales but has lived most of her life in Suffolk. She wrote her first story at the age of six and immediately announced she wanted to be a writer. Her teacher immediately told her that being a writer was a hobby and she needed to get a proper job. Ruth tried twenty-three proper jobs before deciding her teacher was wrong. She lives near Ipswich with her family, a tiny dog and five chickens.Find out more about Ruth and her Emily Sparkes series at www.ruthfitzgerald.com
Marie Louise Fitzpatrick
Born in Dublin (where she still lives) in 1962, Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is an award-winning children's book author and illustrator. She frequently gives talks, workshops and conducts residencies for all age groups throughout Ireland. In addition, she has worked at the Irish College in Paris and was writer-in-residence at Hollins University, Virginia USA. Apart from travelling, her interests include photography, history ... and chocolate. Her books have been published throughout the world in various co-editions.
Having studied English Literature at university , Charlie began his career in the film business carrying cans of film round Soho and making very bad cups of tea on the principal that he'd then be asked to do something a bit more interesting, a strategy that he recommends to anyone starting out as a tea-boy. He progressed to the BBC where he worked in film editing on everything from Drama to Current Affairs. He then went to California where he morphed into a screenwriter, having been awarded a Warner Brothers Fellowship in Screenwriting at USC School of Cinema and TV. He's written screenplays for Tri-Star, MGM, Paramount and Warner Bros among others. He continues to write for the movies, and also television. He still thinks that being a film editor is a pretty damn fine way to learn about story-telling in general, and narrative structure and pacing in particular. Charlie also moved into other types of writing including magazine features, a computer game and as both a national Sunday newspaper columnist and restaurant reviewer. Finally he found the way to combine all those writing strands and produced some rattling-good children's books! The Stoneheart trilogy has been a massive international hit and Charlie has recently sold the movie rights of Stoneheart to Paramount. He has also been asked to write the screenplay himself, which just shows you should never make plans, since he actually wrote the books to get away from Hollywood for a bit... In his personal life, Charlie met and married his wife, a fellow Scot, in LA. They have two children, whom Charlie calls his first, most important, and toughest audience. They've all now returned from California and live in Edinburgh with a terrier called Archie.
Louise was born in 1987 - most likely with a pencil in her hand! Her passion for drawing started at around 4 years old. Nothing was safe from her coloured pencils! She spent most of her childhood watching cartoons and drawing comics to give to her favourite teachers. She went on to graduate from Newcastle College in 2008 with a BA Hons in Illustration and Animation. Louise works from home in a small studio (and sometimes from the sofa) being supervised by three noisy and very naughty Jack Russell Terriers
Bob has written/co-written fifteen of the eighteen 'What They Don't Tell You About' series and always produces interesting text and lively, humorous illustrations. He is the author of 'Who's Who in British History' and 'Who's Who in Science and Technology', as well as the four 'Who? What? When?' books; 'Tudors', 'Victorians', 'World War I' and 'World War II'.
Emilia Fox appeared in the BBC's PRIDE AND PRJUDICE whilst still at university, and has gone on to star in REBECCA, DAVID COPPERFIELD, BBC's 2009 MERLIN series and in 2012 starred as Lady Portia Alresford in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. She also reads regularly on Radio 4 and has taken over the role as Dr Nikki Alexander in the TV series SILENT WITNESS. Emilia has read numerous audiobooks including the MAGICAL CHILDREN series, THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Alan Bradley and SECRETS OF THE TIDES by Hannah Richell for Orion.
Lara Fox is the pseudonym for a published author living in the UK. A runner up in the Lit Idol competition in 2005, this author has published one other teenage title and is currently working on the follow up to My Year in Agony - again featuring Miss Understanding as a beleaguered publishing intern who enthralls her blog readers with the inside scoop on publishing ...
Debbie Foy is an experienced writer of non-fiction books for children. She specialises in fashion, food and biography writing.
Antonia Fraser is the author of many widely acclaimed historical works, including the biographies MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS (a 40th anniversary edition was published in May 2009), CROMWELL: OUR CHIEF OF MEN, KING CHARLES II and THE GUNPOWDER PLOT (CWA Non-Fiction Gold Dagger; St Louis Literary Award). She has written five highly praised books which focus on women in history, THE WEAKER VESSEL: WOMEN'S LOT IN SEVENTEENTH CENTURY ENGLAND (Wolfson Award for History, 1984), THE WARRIOR QUEENS: BOADICEA'S CHARIOT, THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII, MARIE ANTOINETTE: THE JOURNEY (Franco-British Literary Prize 2001), which was made into a film by Sofia Coppola in 2006 and most recently LOVE AND LOUIS XIV: THE WOMEN IN THE LIFE OF THE SUN KING. She was awarded the Norton Medlicott Medal by the Historical Association in 2000. Antonia Fraser was made DBE in 2011 for her services to literature. Her most recent book is MUST YOU GO?, celebrating her life with Harold Pinter, who died on Christmas Eve 2008. She lives in London.Visit Antonia Fraser's website at www.antoniafraser.com
Malcolm Freeman trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He has appeared on television in Trail of Guilt, Holby City, Family Affairs, EastEnders, Prime Suspect and The Rag Nymph. His theatre work includes The Balcony, Country Dancing, Richard II, and Romeo and Juliet with the RSC, and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Fitting for Ladies at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh. He also works as a dialect coach.
Writer and teacher Charles Freeman specializes in the 20th century and international affairs. He is an examiner for the World Affairs paper in the International Baccalaureate's history programme, in which 'Dictatorship' was a popular option.
Echo Freer was born and brought up in Yorkshire. After training to be a teacher, she moved to London, where she taught Special Needs in one of London's social priority areas. When her son was diagnosed as severely dyslexic, she completed a specialist training course to teach and diagnose specific learning difficulties. She now assesses and teaches under-achieving children. She lives in London.