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Our Authors
Jill Atkins

Escaped teacher, now writing for children with 46 books published so far, ranging from early reading material to teenage novels. I've written 4 books for Franklin Watts, 4 for Wayland and one for Hodder.I'm married with two grown up children and five grandchildren, no pets, though I used to have three beautiful cats, guinea pigs and rabbits. When I was a child, we kept chickens and I loved them, too.I always have my nose in a book. I read both adult's and children's books. My favourite children's books include The Railway Children by E Nesbit, Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson, River on the Say by Philippa Pearce. My adult reading varies from Charles Dickens to many modern authors. I enjoy listening to music, classical, jazz and some pop.
Tim Atkinson

Tim Atkinson has worked in education for more than 20 years. He was assistant headteacher at Boston Grammar School until July 2009 and is now a full-time author and educational consultant.In addition to his contribution to the Discover Countries series Tim has written books on the subject of Fatherhood and Creative Writing and is the author of the acclaimed novel, Writing Therapy.
Lara Avery

Lara Avery is the author of A Million Miles Away, Anything But Ordinary and The Memory Book. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she is a contributor at Revolver and at work on her next novel.
Nila Aye

Nila Aye has been an illustrator for over twenty years, producing artwork for clients such as British Airways, Paperchase, Marks & Spencer and British ELLE. She lives in Brighton with her husband and two children. Follow her on Twitter @nilaaye, or visit her website at www.nilaaye.com
Alex Ayliffe

Alex Ayliffe is a bestselling, award-winning writer and artist. Her distinctive papercut illustrations are bright and bold with lots of child appeal. Alex has illustrated many books for children, including the bestselling Dig Dig Digging and Boo Barney, winner of the Sainsbury's Baby Book Award. She lives with her family in Hertfordshire.
Russell Ayto

Russell was born in Chichester, Sussex and bought up in Oxfordshire. At school he loved both drawing and sciences and once thought about becoming a zoologist. He has worked in a medical laboratory and as as postman, but his favourite job is being an artist! The thing he loves best is the chance to be creative and use his imagination to make characters come to life. He has illustrated many picture books and been shortlisted for the Nestle Award, the Mother Goose Award and the Blue Peter Book Awards, and won the 2008 inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for the Witch's Children go to School.
Paolo Bacigalupi

Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl was one of the most celebrated SF debuts of all time, winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards. Following a number of award-winning novels for younger readers, The Water Knife marks his return to adult fiction. He is a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist, and lives in Colorado with his wife and son.
Steve Backshall

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.
Asa Bailey

The first book Asa Bailey ever read was about Vlad the Impaler. He was six years old. Since then he has been fascinated by vampire history, the gothic, the bizarre and the fantastic. Asa is a novelist and film-maker who after living in London and New York moved to a medieval village high in the Snowdonia Mountain range of North Wales. Today, surrounded by dark mountains, forests and rivers, he likes to create stories about worlds where anything is possible.
Jacqui Bailey

Jacqui Bailey has spent a lot of her adult life working with children's books. She has been an editor and publisher of everything from picture books to encyclopedias, but mostly enjoys finding out amazing bits of information and then writing about them. She particularly likes writing about science, as the information so often turns out to be far stranger than fiction.
Peter Bailey

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.
Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey was born and brought up in Northumberland, a county she always regarded as home.Barely into her teens, Helen invested her pocket money in buying a copy of The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and spent the next few years sending short stories and poems to anyone she could think of. Much to her surprise, she sometimes found herself in print.After a degree in science, Helen worked in the media, running a successful London-based character licensing agency handling internationally renowned properties such as Snoopy, Felicity Wishes, Dilbert and Zorro.Helen died in 2016, leaving behind a significant body of work. She is best known for her Electra Brown series, of which the first is 'Life in the Shallow End'.
Jonathan Baillie

Jonatahn Baillie is a leading zoologist and Director of Conservation Programmes at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). Amongst many other projects, he is responsible for establishing the EDGE programme for ZSL. He was born in Canada but now is based in London, but spends much of his time travelling the world for his work. His mother is an award-winning children's author and he has worked with her on Very Wonderful, Very Rare and Animals on the Edge, which won an SLA information book award.
Grahame Baker Smith

Grahame Baker Smith studied at Berkshire College of Art and Design and has had two picture books published: JO-JO'S JOURNEY in 1994 and THE VELVETEEN RABBIT in 1996. Since then, he has experimented with different styles of illustration and been commissioned for various adult books from The World of Angels to an HG Wells trilogy. He also does frequent illustration work for magazines and has set up his own card company, Shooting Stars, which he has run with his wife, Linda. They have three young children.
Laura Baker

Laura grew up in Canada with a passion for stories. She followed this passion to attain an Honours BA in English and then moved abroad to Wales for an MA in Creative Writing and an adventure - and she never left! She now lives in a lovely coastal town in South Wales with her husband, son and big basset hound and has been writing and editing award-winning books for adults and children for the last ten years. She loves finding special stories to tell in the everyday, relatable world of a child (or dog).
Clare Balding

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.
Aaron Balick (Dr)

Aaron Balick is a psychotherapist, author, academic and media contributor. He's got a passion for taking ideas from the world of psychology and making them understandable so as many people can benefit from them as possible. Aaron has worked with both young people and adults and is really keen to share what he has learned. He does this through blogging, tweeting, writing books, and being on Radio 1's "Surgery with Aled" as their resident psychotherapist.
Carol Ballard

Dr Carol Ballard has written several children's books on human biology and health. A specialist in primary science, she currently teaches science, mathematics and geography in primary school.
Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart is a cheesy movie-loving, fantasy football-playing, globe-trotter. She grew up in rural Maryland, with a cornfield in her backyard and flying squirrels in her bedroom walls, and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and pretty scenery led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. After high school, Tracy escaped to North Carolina, where she got her BA in English from Davidson College. After college, she sampled city life in Canada and D.C. before jetting off to England, to pursue a master's degree in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. When she returned stateside, Tracy dabbled in various publishing jobs but didn't give up on her dream of being a published author. Her husband convinced her that writing full time made perfect sense given the unpredictability of his job, thus affirming her conviction that he was better than any book boyfriend. Tracy now lives with her husband, young son, and sundry pets in Hawaii, but it won't be long until the Army sends them off on new adventures.
Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is the author of brilliant series Secret Princesses and Secret Kingdom. You can find out all about Secret Princesses and much more at the series website: http://www.secretprincessesbooks.co.uk