Lynne Benton was born in Bournemouth, but moved to Bath at 18 to train as a teacher, and has lived there ever since. She has taught in several primary schools in the area, as well as working as pianist and receptionist in a Dancing school and bringing up four children. In 1982 she and her husband, Robin, a fellow-teacher and composer, co-wrote a musical play for primary schools based on the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece (still, happily, in print) but it was only when their children began leaving home for university that she began writing seriously. In 1996 she was a prizewinner in the Independent's Children's Story of the Year competition, and since then has had several fiction books published. As well as writing longer novels for older children she enjoys writing humorous "bite-size" stories for younger ones. She welcomes invitations to go into schools and talk to children about her books, since it keeps her in touch with her readers, who she finds a continual source of inspiration.
Robin Benway grew up in Orange County California and attended college at both NYU and UCLA. At NYU she won the Seth Barkas prize for fiction. Robin Benway lives in Santa Monica and Audrey, Wait is her first published novel.
Michelle is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in Roeland Park, Kansas, with her two dogs, Gretta and Rowland. She is a designer and art director for Hallmark Cards and has illustrated many books for children.
Mara Bergman is an award-winning poet and children's writer. She grew up on Long Island, NY, and always knew she wanted to write. Her poetry has been published widely in magazines and anthologies in the UK and abroad. Her short collection, The Tailor's Three Sons and Other New York Poems, won the 2014 Mslexia Poetry Pamphlet Competition and was published in 2015 by Seren. Mara has always felt a strong link between poetry and picture books and began to write for children when her own were young. She has published more than twenty books, including Snip Snap! (reissued as Snip Snap Alligator!), illustrated by Nick Maland, which won the Stockport Children's Book Award and, in the US, a Parents' Choice Award and the Society of Illustrators' Silver medal. In 2009 she won the Booktrust Early Years Prize for Oliver Who Travelled Far and Wide, also illustrated by Nick Maland. Mara works in London as a children's fiction editor and lives in Kent. Visit her at www.marabergman.com
Ana Bermejo hails from Spain. More specifically, a small town in the North. Sounds nice doesn't it? But actually it's a bit boring. Which is why she moved to Valencia, home of paella, partying and a rather good Art School. It was here that Ana really learnt to draw. She liked drawing goats, unicorns and deer. And she still does (well, goats are pretty cool). Anyway, not content with 5 years at Art School, she came to London to study some more. This time at St Martins. And that was that. She became an illustrator/designer. Nowadays Ana resides in Manchester. There aren't any goats or deer and certainly no unicorns but there are plenty of squirrels. And they're nice to draw too. So she's happy.
Alex Bertie is a 21-year-old transgender YouTuber from rural Dorset. While attending school aged 14, he started making videos on sexuality and gender identity, continuing to do so with weekly uploads. His YouTube channel, TheRealAlexBertie, now has almost 300,000 subscribers, he has 72,000 Instagram followers and 47,000 Twitter followers.Alex has worked with organisations such as Childline and Stonewall, and has been recognised by the Independent, YouTube magazine TenEighty and trans publication FTM Magazine.
Junissa Bianda moved to San Francisco from her hometown in Indonesia to study for her masters' degree. She studied illustration for children's books at the Academy of Art University and later joined the New York and London based art agency, Astound. Junissa is passionate about Illustrating, she loves creating whimsical and colourful illustrations for kids. Now settled back in Indonesia, in her spare time she gets involved in social campaigns as their lead graphic designer and also works as an illustration consultant. Grateful to have support from loved ones, she's able to put her best efforts into her work.
Rosemary's first book for children "Alpaca" sold over a million copies. There were three further stories featuring the toy rabbit and two about the adventures of a boy called Ben.She has worked as a children's nurse and in over twenty theatres all over the UK, doing a variety of jobs from acting to archives, singing to stage management and box office to press office.
Rachel Billington was the fifth of eight brothers and sisters and has four children herself. She has published 16 adult novels, of which A WOMAN'S AGE was a bestseller, and 7 children's books. Until recently she was president of the writers' organisation PEN. She is also co-editor of the only national newspaper for prisoners, INSIDE TIME. She spends part of her time in Dorset and part in London.
Jane Bingham is an experienced children's author and editor. She specializes in history and contemporary issues.
Hettie loves to write about interesting people. She also writes stories and songs for children of all ages. She has raised three strapping lads and lives in Teddington, England with her husband and youngest son. She enjoys eating cheesecake and likes to dance while she cooks - usually to something jazzy.
Beverley was born in London, grew up in Kenya and came to Britain for the first time to take A levels. She graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Economics and Sociology. After travelling in Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East, Beverley joined Penguin as an editor. Since then she has continued to work in publishing - at present she combines writing and working as an editor here at Hodder. She has two daughters and is married to photographer Nick Birch.
James was born in Oxfordshire - he is proud that after 32 years, he has moved one town over from where he was raised (although he does still feel homesick).Previous work includes writing credits on Diddy TV and Gigglebiz, as well as "successfully" convincing 90's pop act Hanson to play at his wedding. Well, they didn't actually play, but they sent him on a honeymoon to Jamaica which James thinks is even better.James spends his spare time thinking of inventive ways to engineer more spare time for himself ... so far unsuccessfully.
Born in Estonia, Aleksei loved to draw as a child and doodled all over his school books. Although he originally intended to become a teacher, his extensive travels brought him back to art. Aleksei studied illustration in London at LCC and Camberwell, where he received his masters degree. Influences on his quirky, humorous illustrations include Tove Jansson and Russian animators. He lives in London with his wife and son.
Holly Black is the co-creator of THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES. A NEW YORK TIMES No. 1 bestselling phenomenon, the series has been described as 'vintage Victorian fantasy' and has been made into a hugely successful film. The books have been translated into 32 languages. Holly Black lives with her husband in Massachusetts.For more information, please visit Holly's website www.blackholly.com, read her Livejournal at http://blackholly.livejournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hollyblack and Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/hollyblack, and like her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HollyBlackFan.
Sophie Blackall is the illustrator of many picture books, including Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear - winner of the prestigious Caldecott Medal. She lives with her family in New York, but keeps an eye on lighthouses for sale, just in case.
After leaving Oxford with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics, Andy disappointed nearly everyone by joining a rock band.The band disappointed the record buying public and he moved to Amsterdam where he was employed to realise the questionable ambitions of visiting American musicians.He returned to London to become a music publisher and then a professional skateboarder.His friend the editor Susan Hill encouraged him to write and there followed a number of books on implausibly disparate subjects. He won the Independent/Scholastic Children's Story of the Year competition with Spare Bear, which involved drinking champagne with Andrew Marr (the awards ceremony, not the story). Since then he has written over twenty titles, mainly for younger children and including the Little Joe trilogy.He is also the author of books on scuba diving and ultra-marathon running, as well as a (not very) grown-up novel, Accrual World.However, his most likely qualification for immortality so far is the advertising jingle, Um Bongo, Um Bongo, they drink it in the Congo.Andy invented the NatWest Piggies, has run across the Sahara Desert, ridden horses through the Atlas Mountains and these days tries to suppress an unhealthy interest in fast motorcycles.He is a mitra with the Triratna Buddhist Community, teaching meditation to prisoners in a high-security prison. He lives in the country with his wife, an English teacher, and their daughter.
After leaving school Malorie Blackman studied computer science and after ten years working in that profession she decided she'd had enough of bits, bytes and debugging and had found something she wanted to do more - writing! Malorie joined writing classes at the City Lit and spent every spare moment writing, writing and writing. Eighty-two rejection slips later she had her first short story accepted for publication.Malorie cites one of her reasons for writing as the fact that there are so few books featuring a black child as the main character - she wanted to redress the balance and has been doing so ever since.For Orchard Books, Malorie has written Elaine, You're a Brat and the Puzzle Planet series of books in the Super Crunchie range. Malorie's first full-length novel Hacker (Corgi) won WH Smith's Mind Boggling Books Award in 1994 and since then her writing has gone from strength-to-strength.
Sage Blackwood worked for many years as a teacher in Alaska, and now writes full-time. Jinx: The Wizard's Apprentice is her first fantasy novel.
Adam Blade is the name for a small collective of authors who have been writing the bestselling series Beast Quest and Sea Quest for ten years! Beast Quest has now sold over 10 million copies. The newest series from the Adam Blade team is called Team Hero. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: beastquest.co.uk and teamherobooks.co.uk