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.
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.
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.
Simon Rickerty graduated from The Royal College of Art in 2006 with a master's degree in Communication Art and Design. His first picture book, Peas, written by Andy Cullen, was published in 2009 and shortlisted for the Booktrust Early Years Award. Simon has gone on to illustrate many more highly acclaimed books for children, including Ten Little Pirates, winner of the Nottingham Children's Book Prize, and Monkey Nut, winner of the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. He lives in Bristol.
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.
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.
Georgie Ripper was born in London and is a children's book illustrator known for her work on the Rainbow Magic series of fairy books. She won the Macmillan Prize for Picture Book Illustration in 2000 with My Best Friend Bob and Little Brown Bushrat which she authored and illustrated.
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.
Hilary Robinson is the author of over 40 children's books including the top selling Mixed Up Fairy Tales and The Copper Tree. She is also a broadcaster and freelance BBC radio producer. Hilary was born in Devon and brought up in Nigeria and England. Her books have been translated into a number of languages and are sold across the world.
After a long career as a primary school teacher, Pam Robson is now a part-time teacher and devotes the rest of her time to writing. During the past ten years she has written nearly 40 books for Macdonald Young, Wayland, Evans and Watts. She is also studying for an MA in children's literature at Roehampton. She is vice-chair of the British section on IBBY (International Board on Books for Young Children) and a member of the selection panel for the biennial Hans Anderson award.
Kate is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Brighton. She studied surface pattern at art college then went on to develop her career in fashion textiles, graphics, greeting card designs, and editorial illustrations. Kate has worked with Marks and Spencer, George @ Asda, Tesco and the NHS.
Since landing on planet Earth, Paul Rockett has spent much of his time reading up on the adventures of human life, while also experiencing a few of his own. In his quest to find out more about his chosen home planet, Paul has travelled, doodled, eaten a lot of food, plundered dusty libraries and gazed out of windows. Having gathered together a vast amount of fascinating data, it is now his mission to present as much as he can in interesting ways, so that any passing Martian can see how brilliant life is on Earth.
Patricia's work as a professional actor spans twenty years, with dozens of lead roles in stage plays, radio drama, commercials and cartoons. Highlights include performing alongside acclaimed director Robert Wilson in his slow-motion play Deafman Glance, and nine years playing Sue Ellen in the Emmy award-winning cartoon Arthur. She has worked in Canada as an arts critic and television host and is now based in London. Audiobook narrations include Karin Slaughter's The Unremarkable Heart, Heather O'Neill's Lullabies for Little Criminals, Donna Milner's After River and Anita Shreve's Light On Snow
I write short books for short children and longer books for longer people. I've been writing fiction and non-fiction for young people, and non-fiction since the last millennium - luckily, the end of the last millennium and I'm not even nearly 1000 years old. I particularly enjoy reading and writing stories with a bit of a twist and, for older readers, an element of horror. I definitely have a Gothic streak. Writers I really admire include Minnie Gray, Oliver Jeffers, Shaun Tan, Edward Gorey, Tove Jansson, Marcus Sedgwick, Siobhan Dowd and Melvin Burgess. I love being a writer because (a) it gives me the chance to be enthusiastic about things and share my enthusiasm with other people (b) I get paid for telling lies and (c) I don't have to do as I'm told, unlike people with a real job. I like to listen to music when I'm writing, and usually pick a few pieces of music that go with each book and listen to them again and again - most of them are opera.Although I spend most of my time writing, I also spend some helping other people with their own writing - mostly young people, who are doing a degree at university. This is great fun as I get to read lots of stories by writers who are just starting. I live in Cambridge, which is a very ancient city in the east of England with lots of ornate and pointy buildings. It's very flat in Cambridge, so it's easy to go everywhere by bicycle, but it's also rather wet. If I could live anywhere at all, it would probably be in Venice, which is also flat, ancient and full of pointy buildings. It's even wetter than Cambridge, and people go everywhere by boat.
Michael Rosen held the post of Children's Laureate from 2007-2009. He is one of the best-known figures in the children's book world, renowned for his work as a poet, performer, broadcaster and scriptwriter. As an author and by selecting other writers' works for anthologies he has been involved with over 140 books.