Victoria Parker grew up in Sutton Coldfield and went on to read English at Oxford. After having spent 10 years living in London and working for 6 of those in children's publishing, Vic decided to go freelance. She still teaches dance and fitness, a passion since she was young. She has had her work published by a number of other publishers including Belitha Press, Watts as well as of course Hodder.
My father was a brilliant story-teller. He had a very boring day-job, so exercised his mind making up long, involved (and often very funny) bedtime stories for my sister and me - with a cliff-hanger ending every night! On the rare occasions when he was stuck for ideas, he used to fall back on lesser-known folk tales. Re-telling traditional stories is still the kind of writing I most enjoy.At school I used the English essay subjects we were given as an excuse to write stories of my own, which weren't always appreciated. 'Write on the subject!' written in red and a mark of C+ was my first experience of rejection.My French teacher was more appreciative, which maybe explains why I ended up doing not English but French at university. Straight after graduation I married and settled down to be a full-time wife and mother - it was a straight choice in those days between motherhood or a career.Apart from some freelance journalism and a few stories for radio, my writing career was on hold until my three sons were grown up, at which point I decided it was now or never if I wanted to be a full-time writer.I was lucky enough to get my first book - a retelling of an old East Anglian folk tale - accepted by the second publisher I sent it to. Luckier still to get a review from Susan Hill, saying it deserved to become a children's classic. (It didn't, of course.)Since then I've published around thirty books, ranging from picture book texts to a teenage vampire novel.My first young teenage novel, 'Owl-light', was short-listed for the WH Smith Mind-Boggling Books award.My most recent one, 'Shadow of the Beast', was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal.Nowadays, I'm a book junkie. I buy more books than I can ever possibly read and enjoy all kinds, bar chick-lit and modern biography.My other interests include cryptic crosswords, going to the theatre and foreign travel.
Jillian Powell has an MA in English from Cambridge University and an M.Phil in Art History from the Courtauld Institute, London. She is an experienced writer of children's fiction and non-fiction, and has written on many social issues.