Related to: 'Abie Longstaff'

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Trapdoor Mysteries: The Scent of Danger

Abie Longstaff
Authors:
Abie Longstaff
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Trapdoor Mysteries: A Sticky Situation

Abie Longstaff, James Brown
Contributors:
Abie Longstaff, James Brown

The first book in The Trapdoor Mysteries, a series about Tally, a code-breaking, animal-loving servant girl and her best friend, a squirrel named Squill, who solve mysteries with the help of a secret library...Ten-year-old Tally is a servant girl at Mollett Manor. She sleeps in the scullery sink, and spends her days scrubbing, polishing and ironing (when she's not secretly reading books). Then Tally and her squirrel friend, Squill, find a secret library hidden under the manor - a magical library where the books come to life! When Mollett Manor is burgled, can Tally use the knowledge she finds in the books to catch the criminals? Can they even help her solve the mystery of her missing mother?

Orion Children's Books

Operation Bunny

Sally Gardner, David Roberts
Contributors:
Sally Gardner, David Roberts

Emily Vole makes headline news in the first weeks of her life, when she is found in an abandoned hatbox in Stansted Airport. Then, only a few years later, her neighbour Mrs String dies leaving Emily a mysterious inheritance: an old shop, a small bunch of golden keys and a cat called Fidget. It's the beginning of an adventure of a lifetime as the old Fairy Detective Agency comes back to life. It is up to Emily to reopen the shop, and recall the fairies to duty. Together they must embark on their first mystery and do battle with their great fairy-snatching enemy, Harpella.

Hodder Children's Books

Oliver (who travelled far and wide) and the Noisy Baby

Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Contributors:
Mara Bergman, Nick Maland
Orion Children's Books

The Double Shadow

Sally Gardner
Authors:
Sally Gardner

Arnold Ruben has created a memory machine, a utopia housed in a picture palace, where the happiest memories replay forever, a haven in which he and his precious daughter can shelter from the war-clouds gathering over 1937 Britain. But on the day of her 17th birthday Amaryllis leaves Warlock Hall and the world she has known and wakes to find herself in a desolate and disturbing place. Something has gone terribly wrong with her father's plan.Against the tense backdrop of the Second World War, Sally Gardner explores families and what binds them, fathers and daughters, past histories, passions and cruelty, love and devastation in a novel rich in character and beautifully crafted.

Wikipedia

CHERUB

CHERUB is a series of young adult spy novels, written by the English author Robert Muchamore, focusing around a division of the British Security Service named CHERUB, which employs minors, predominantly orphans, as intelligence officers.[1] As revealed in the Henderson's Boys novel Eagle Day, CHERUB stands for Charles Henderson's Espionage Research Unit B. Initially, the series follows James Choke, better known as James Adams (his adopted name at CHERUB), as he enters CHERUB and performs various missions. However, the focus later turns to his sister Lauren and several other characters who get vital roles in the novels. The initial series of twelve novels runs from the recruitment of Adams to his retirement from CHERUB at age seventeen. After the success of the series in the United Kingdom, the novels have been released in the United States, New Zealand, and Australia, and translated into several languages including French, Danish, Spanish, Russian, Czech and Portuguese. A film adaptation was also commissioned. Man vs Beast was the last novel to be published in the USA.[2] A further series has been announced which involves an almost completely new cast of CHERUB agents, centred upon Ryan Sharma, however, sixteen-year-old Lauren Adams also appears. As of 2010, three novels have been announced.[15] The CHERUB novels have been released in twenty-seven countries to date.[20] CHERUB is the name of the fictional organization in the series. After years of speculation, Muchamore said in the Henderson's Boys novel Eagle Day that CHERUB stood for Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B; this was later confirmed in Secret Army by Eileen McAfferty in a telegram. CHERUB is a division of MI5. It was formed during World War II by Charles Henderson; a British spy who had used children during an operation in France. However, the official administrator of CHERUB was Eileen McAfferty. CHERUB began with a small number of boys which swelled in size as the government realised its worth. After several years of operation it took in a trial group of girls, which proved successful. Thus, girls became a part of CHERUB. Since then the CHERUB campus has grown a significant amount, improving many of its facilities. The dojo was built on behalf of a successful operation that took place in Japan and the new mission preparation building was built by the chairman of the first 6 novels, Dr. McAfferty, better known as Mac. The present chairwoman is Zara Asker. James Adams is put through a rigorous training course that lasts for 100 days, called "Basic Training." He is sent to Malaysia with his training partner and friend Kerry Chang as part of the training. After completing Basic Training, James goes on a mission with Amy Collins where they must infiltrate a commune called Fort Harmony. James has to stop two teenagers, Fire and World, and a redneck environmentalist Brian "Bungle" Evans from killing thousands of people in an anthrax attack. While investigating Fire and World's workshop, James is suspected of contracting the anthrax disease but is later (after a lot of very toxic and vomit inducing drugs) pronounced to have a vaccine strain of the disease and so is fine. Also in a nearby town, Adams has his first girlfriend called Joanna, but they later split up as James has to go back to CHERUB Campus. After the mission James is awarded his navy T-shirt and he is especially proud about it, and shows off to his friends who don't believe that he actually earned it.[3] At campus, Kerry, Nicole, Kyle, and James are sent on a mission to infiltrate a drug gang called KMG, led by Keith Moore. On the mission, James has to work to befriend Keith's youngest son, Junior. He and Kerry get involved in a drug dealing delivery that ends with them stealing a car and burning it. This nearly unveils their CHERUB training but luckily they find their way out of it. The four agents are exposed to drugs and on the mission Nicole snorts a large amount of cocaine. She gets expelled because agents are not allowed to take drugs, especially Class A drugs. James gets invited to Miami by Junior and his dad Keith Moore. He also gets his 2nd girlfriend, April Moore, although he dumps her in favour of Kerry. Whilst in Miami, they are attacked, causing James to shoot and kill a man. Keith eventually is incarcerated and the agents return to campus.[4] At the start of the book, James is struggling to come to terms with shooting someone in the previous book. He gets into a fight at a bowling alley and as punishment is sentenced to a recruitment mission. However, James is saved from the recruitment mission when he is offered a position in an upcoming mission. James is joined on the mission by Dave Moss. Moss is one of James's role models since James and the rest of CHERUB campus believe that Dave once made a girl pregnant. He is also joined by his sister Lauren Adams, on her first mission. The mission is about Jane Oxford, international arms dealer, who has been untraceable for as long as she's been on the CIA's most wanted list. But then they come across a breakthrough. Jane's 14 year old son Curtis Oxford has been jailed for murder. He's being held at Arizona Maximum Security Prison. They ask a favour from CHERUB, an organization with one essential advantage: even experienced criminals don't expect kids are spying on them. However, after a prison fight Dave is injured and taken to hospital leaving only James to break out Curtis. James becomes friends with Curtis and they break out of the prison after injuring some planted guards. Met by Lauren, they travel hundreds of kilometres until they reach Los Angeles. However, Jane Oxford betrays them and orders some of her men to murder James and Lauren. With James having snuck out early, one of the murderers tries to suffocate Lauren with a pillow. In response, she stabs him in the throat and knocks him unconscious. James, with an FBI team, follow the other killer and Curtis, who is being taken to Jane. They see Jane and arrest her and James and Lauren return to England. Ironically, the murderer from the team assigned to dispose of James and Lauren, wounded during a shootout, survived his wounds only to be sentenced to death by an American court at a later date.[5] After coming back from a mission with Shakeel, James is dumped by his girlfriend, Kerry Chang. As he leaves Kerry's room, he sees a red-shirt CHERUB called Andy Lagan and takes his temper out on him, beating him up. For this, James finds his friends ignoring him, and is punished with no holiday, suspension from missions, cleaning the mission preparation rooms every night for three months, and having anger management sessions with a counselor. Zara feels sorry for James, so she gets him a low-risk mission to get him out of the punishment and so he can spend some time away from his friends blanking him. For a second time, James is working with Dave, a 17 year old black shirt. They are being sent to investigate Leon Tarasov who runs a garage. When they get to their flat in south London, Dave gets a job at the suspect's garage, and James gets a girlfriend called Hannah. During his first night in the area, James gets into an altercation with two goons and is arrested for it. As he is being placed in the police car, police officer Michael Patel assaults him. Hannah tells James how her cousin, Will, fell off the top of the building more than a year earlier. As James has no computer that she knows of, she gives him Will's old one. Back home, James finds that Will had a CD with information about a robbery at a casino almost a year earlier. The theft totaled £90,000 but is too small for what they are looking for. Dave later realises that if the casino had an illegal floor with more gambling equipment that was also robbed, then there would be enough money to be what they are looking for. To help find more evidence to capture Michael Patel, Kerry and Lauren join the team. A few days later, Hannah reveals that after Will's death, Patel had deliberately run over to the body and touched it, supposedly to see if he was still alive. James and Dave figure out that that policeman had killed Will. They tell their mission controller, John Jones, who gets a special section of the police to investigate. They do, and find out that Alan Falco, the retired evidence keeper, had destroyed the statements of the witnesses which contained evidence which could have Michael Patel arrested. In return for immunity from prosecution Falco returns the statements and Michael Patel and Leon Tarasov are arrested for murder of Will Clarke and for robbery of the Golden Sun Casino. James and Dave return to campus and James reconciles himself to his friends, including Kerry.[6] James and Lauren Adams and Dana Smith are sent on a mission to Australia, posing as the children of an ASIS agent. They have been sent to determine whether a cult, The Survivors, is associated with Help Earth, and as such are sent to a "recruitment hotbed" area. The "family" starts going to cult meetings, and are eventually accepted into the commune. Lauren and James are accepted into an elite cult school in the Ark, the cult's headquarters. There, James befriends Rathbone "Rat" Regan, son of the cult's founder. After a while, Lauren develops a crush on Rat, and he uses his influence with one of his father's many wives to get her and James jobs in the offices, rather than in the stifling warehouse or laundry rooms. Dana, meanwhile, extremely depressed about her unspectacular role in the mission, is summoned to the head of the commune's office. There, she and another cult member are told that they are to participate in a Help Earth mission to blow up an oil tanker. Her attempts to warn the mission controllers fail, and she ends up having to stop the attack herself. However, ASIS now knows of the links between Help Earth and the Survivors. Having been waiting for an excuse to attack the Ark, elite troops are sent in to destroy it, despite the CHERUB agents' warnings that the cult is well-prepared for such an event. A helicopter is shot down and dozens of troops are killed in the first attack. In the lull that follows, James, Rat and Lauren attempt an escape. However, they are captured and locked in a room full of toddlers by a sadistic overseer. When they manage to overpower her, Lauren points out that they need to take the kids with them or risk them dying. James reluctantly agrees, and they drag the half-asleep toddlers with them. Rat says that the most likely way out is through the sewage system, so they go there. James is making his way through the tank when an engineer appears. A brief moment of panic is proved unfounded as Rat persuades the man that he is on a divine mission. The man then offers to help them. The now nine-strong group get out, but later hear that in another ASIS attack, several dozen children were killed when a wall collapsed on them. Rat is reported dead, but is revealed to be alive and going out with Lauren, who receives a black shirt. Dana is given her navy shirt, while all James gets is a stomach bug caught in the sewage system. Rat is recruited as a CHERUB agent and the four return to campus.[7] The book starts with a 14 year old boy called Andy Pierce witnessing his mother getting assaulted by two masked men who are working for the Animal Freedom Militia. The book then skips to Kerry being annoyed by her boyfriend, James. James goes into his room and he is met by his sister Lauren. She asks him to help her and her best friend Bethany to sneak into the basic training compound to give Bethany's brother, Jake, and Lauren's crush, Rat, some food. James refuses but Lauren blackmails him by threatening to tell Kerry about him cheating on her during a mission a year before. James joins the girls on the mission to get the food to the trainees. All goes fine but Mac watches them on the back up CCTV and they get caught. James is not punished for being blackmailed and he, Lauren and Kyle and sent on a mission to bring down the AFM (Animal Freedom Militia). Lauren is stuck with the ex-con while he meets up with his old animal rights protest group. They get invited to rescuing dozens of dogs from the compound which were supposed to be sold onto the testing company. All goes well in the rescue, but the rescuers were overwhelmed because many more dogs were rescued than they thought. This chapter ends with Lauren saving a puppy from getting run over by Zara's car. They end up keeping the dog in the chairwoman's house. Lauren always visits the puppy, who was called Meatball (due to Lauren being a vegetarian). Together James, Lauren and Kyle succeed in their mission and return home. On the mission Lauren becomes a vegetarian and at the end James puts meat in her bag on the plane to annoy her. Zara Asker becomes chairman succeeding Dr. McAfferty who retires. [8] An MI5 operation goes disastrously wrong when two agents working with James murder their prime suspect, Denis Obidin, and he is trapped within Aero City, Russia. He is not able to contact campus and when he attempts to he is beaten up badly by a group of Russian thugs. They have heard of a reward offered for James' capture, and as such they call the hotline. A short while later, a man appears, hands them their reward and bundles James into a car. Once they are driving, he reveals himself to be a CIA agent working undercover, and takes James back to his flat where he treats the boy to the best of his ability before challenging him as to why he was there, and why the suspect was killed. When James protests that their intentions were peaceful, he is shown CCTV footage of the murder. The agent lets James call CHERUB campus before he leaves, telling him not to go to sleep at any cost. Ewart appears a while later and takes James to an airfield where two British service people are to help with their escape. The Russian authorities appear, though, and they are forced to take the couple with them. On the flight, James passes out when air trapped in his broken nose expands due to air pressure changes and the pilot ends up making an emergency landing in Helsinki, Finland. Half a week later, James wakes up in hospital on CHERUB campus to the relief of Lauren and Kerry. Once he is up and about, James is made to choose between helping junior CHERUBs preparing for Basic Training or a course in socioeconomics. James chooses the PE training, and is asked to "help" a redshirt, Kevin Summer, who is scared of heights. Bruce Norris helps, but breaks his ankle falling from the height course. However, while this freaks James out, Kevin gains confidence and soon decides to try the height course alone. He succeeds, and James is rewarded for his work by having his history GCSE pass guaranteed. Meryl Spencer and some of James' best friends get together and organize a day out and they think he deserves it after all he went through. James has no idea what is happening until he gets a message from Meryl.He heads down to her office terrified as he doesn't know why she wants him. When he arrives he learns that all his friends have put together enough money and vouchers to go to a fancy hotel. Firstly they go motor carting and later they go a Spa Hotel where they get drunk and James pressures his girlfriend Kerry to have sex with him. She refuses and leaves in a crying state, but forgives him the next morning. After the Russia disaster, James has been suspended from all missions and after a talk with Mr. Pike, he suspects Ewart, the mission controller, of betraying him. James needs to have his history homework finished and spills coffee over Kerry's work while he was copying off it, landing in a fight. James is later heartbroken when Kerry shouts at him and accidentally mentions him screwing his mission. James later asks Kerry to help him investigate, but refuses, so James goes alone. While looking through Ewart's office, James is caught by Dana, another CHERUB agent, who decides to help. From investigating some papers they found in the office, they find out that Ewart has been lying about how much evidence he had. After, Dana admits that she fancies James and they end up kissing. Then it leads to stripping and Dana allows James to see her breasts. However, as things develop Lauren walks in and sees James with Dana's bra in his hand. James tries to wiggle out of trouble by saying it was an accident. Lauren is upset and as James tries to comfort her she says to James that he thinks sex is like eating chips. The next morning Dana and James take one of the CHERUB's pool cars and follow Ewart who meets an old reporter who used to write stories about Lord Hilton, a rival of Denis Obidin (James' mark from the Russia mission) and uncovered links that suggested that Lord Hilton was having people who endangered his son's political career and his own aeroplane business assassinated. He had arranged for Ewart to be killed but James and Dana saved his life for which Zara is very grateful. She apologises for keeping James in the dark and awards him and Dana the black shirt. By now, James had decided that he wants to date Dana. When the new couple go to dinner, Kerry (who found out about their kiss from Lauren) starts a fight with Dana. A food fight breaks out as James stands there, grinning as all hell breaks loose around him and that Dana and Kerry are fighting over him.[9] This centres around two major drug dealing gangs in the turf war surrounding the collapse of KMG (Keith Moore's Gang) (See CHERUB: Class A). Gabrielle O'Brien and Michael Hendry are sent to infiltrate the infamous "Slasher Boys," led by a man (DeShawn Andrews) who calls himself Major Dee. Later on Gabrielle is stabbed badly in the stomach and back by a Runt, a rival gang member and sent to a hospital. Michael Hendry still stays. In the first part of the book it describes how James and his new girlfriend Dana are helping on the last few days of Basic Training as instructors. After Gabrielle O'Brien's serious injury the Ethics Committee was thinking of calling off the mission but they decided that they would wait and see. Norman Large, the former CHERUB training instructor and Zara Asker's neighbour, tries to blackmail Lauren so he can be a CHERUB training instructor again. Kyle, James, Kerry, Lauren, and Bruce play a trick on Mr. Large's adopted daughter, Hayley Large-Brooks, who they trick into going for a date with James. When Kyle and Lauren confront Large with photographs of James and Hayley's date, he tries to kill them but is knocked out by Lauren. All the group except for Andy Lagan is punished for this prank with Kyle being expelled, Lauren getting suspended from missions for two-thirds of a year and helping in the junior block, while the agents with more minor roles get mainly suspended punishment laps. Before James leaves for his next mission, they have a leaving party for Kyle who is going on a gap year and then going to study law at University of Cambridge. James cries as Kyle leaves. Adams and his friend Bruce Norris are sent to infiltrate the group known as the Mad Dogs FC, who is run by Sasha Thompson, a gangster. James uses his past relationship with Junior Moore to make infiltrating the gang easier. He is soon accepted into the gang and given a major role. However, this annoys Junior, who Sasha Thompson is trying to protect. James has sex with Sasha Thompson's (the Mad Dogs' leader) daughter Lois. Junior asks James to help him rob a shop, and James is forced to refuse and warn the police, so that Junior is arrested. During the book there are many violent encounters. The biggest is a massive storming of an airport where police arrest around 40 people. James, Bruce and Michael are sent back to campus. In the end of the book, James admits to Dana that he had sex with Lois. Dana is happy that he would admit such a thing and forgives him, but makes him take an STD test. The test returns negative. [10] In The Sleepwalker, James' role is more of a sub-plot. James is sent to a fast food restaurant for 2 weeks work experience. The book starts with a family in a plane that crashes, later revealed to be Mac's family. At CHERUB campus, James, Lauren, and Dana are thrown into a training exercise pitting the minds of the black shirts against the white and red shirts. The black shirts have to try and get back to the main building and their beds, while the red and white shirts attempt to stop them. Any black shirt who didn't finish the exercise have to run punishment laps. Lauren saves James, Dana, Kerry and Gabrielle by using her brother's converted golf cart, which had been fitted out with a petrol engine for racing the other day. While at a club with Kerry, Dana, co-worker Gemma and her boyfriend Danny, he sees Danny pushing around Gemma. He tries to get Danny to stop, however, Danny sets on him and James knocks him out. Later Danny confronts James with two of his friends in an alley and tries to provoke him into a fight by saying he beat up Gemma the night before. When Gemma comes into the alley from the restaurant, Danny starts beating her to bait James. However, Kerry enters the alley from the restaurant and attacks Danny breaking one of his arms with her bare hands before breaking his legs with a wooden bat he was carrying. Meanwhile, James defeats Danny's friends and stop Kerry from further injuring Danny by taking the bat off her. However, the police arrive and seeing James with the bat wrongfully arrest him. Both Kerry and James get punished for the tussle. Later on though while fulfilling their punishments (painting) James and Kerry start snogging, but before anything went further than James taking Kerry's shirt off he realizes that what he was doing was wrong and that he didn't want to cheat on Dana. Then Kerry tells him that she still has feelings for him and offers him her body but they decide to stay friends. After the book's events James, Dana and several others are given 50 hours decorating duty for damage done to paintball equipment in James' drunken 16th birthday party.[11] This involves Adams on a mission at the beginning, acting as a protestor. It later moves on to many other things such as Lauren Adams and some other younger CHERUBs going on a breaking and entering mission to test the security of a new air traffic control centre to be opened in the coming months. Dana cheats on James with Michael Hendry but is spotted and photographed by Kevin Sumner, who James helped to get through basic training. Despite James' sister, Lauren, trying to hide it, James later finds out and they have an argument. They split up after James tries to beat up Michael. Four weeks later Dana dumps Michael who starts begging for Gabrielle back; she then tells him to stick it. James then goes on a big war game near Las Vegas with the many other special military forces. British special forces, and CHERUB agents against the American military. James plants a strong laxative in the Americans' water supply which leads to many of their troops being put out of action. He also learns card counting and starts helping Instructor Kazakov win money at various casinos. Working together they win a total of $92,300, playing at two blackjack tables. His dream is to ride around America on a Harley-Davidson and make tons of money gambling.[12] For the second time, James' plot isn't the biggest. He goes on a mission with Lauren and Dante Welsh to infiltrate the biker gang the Brigands (who appear to share many attributes of the real-life Bandidos Motorcycle Club), led by a man who is fascinated by Adolf Hitler and has therefore adopted the name "Führer". The Führer killed Dante's parents and all but one of his siblings four years earlier (shown in the first part of the book). Before the second part begins, it shows Dante and Lauren's first glance at CHERUB campus. During a party at CHERUB campus, Dante returns from a long mission, the second longest in CHERUB history and is told he cannot receive his black shirt despite such an outstanding effort on the mission, as you can only receive a black shirt after outstanding performances on two or more missions. Dante is asked to find a pen that Zara dropped two days ago, as an extra "mission." He finds it under his chair and returns it to Zara thus receiving his Black Shirt. James develops a rivalry with Julian (Ashley's boyfriend) after he and Ashley flirt. He works at the Marina Heights crepe stand, where the Führer's sixteen-year-old son, Martin, works. He is part of the "rebel tea party," but he still doesn't advance in the mission and it is abandoned. After returning to campus, Kerry challenges James. If he can pin her, he could do "anything he wanted." But Kerry is quicker and she threatens to kill James if he cheats on her again, like with Dana in The Fall. And Lauren is still with Rat, who she kisses near the end of the book.[13] Shadow Wave, begins with James and Kerry on a mission to finally catch the Fuĥrer; on which they succeed but results in James going to hospital after tearing open his thighs. When he gets back to campus, it's the wedding day of mission controller Chloe Blake and a junior block carer. This is an opportunity for ex-CHERUBs like Kyle, Amy, Dana and Mr. Large to return to campus. Kerry is then taken to James room for a cold bath because of her getting drunk. Kyle finds James's mission briefing and reads through it. He explains that the man James was protecting was a corrupt government official in Malaysia. So James decides to go through with the plan and while so he tries to persuade Lauren to do so but Lauren doesn't want to and wants to go on the shopping treat with the Malaysian minister's wife.[14]

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Almond

David Almond is an award-winning author and playwright with an international reputation, as well as being a Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University; his books include Kit’s Wilderness, The Fire-Eaters, Clay and My Name is Mina. Here he talks to Graham Marks about life before and after his debut novel, Skellig, which is about to celebrate it’s 15th anniversary…

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Chris Higgins

Chris Higgins is an ex English and Drama teacher turned award-winning writer. She has written the My Funny Family series for younger readers, but is probably best known for her teen novels, which have gained her two nominations for Queen of Teen. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how she became a writer, tells us some of her writing secrets and talks about her latest novel, The Day I Met Suzie.

Wikipedia

Enid Blyton

Enid Mary Blyton (11 August 1897 – 28 November 1968) was a Britishchildren's writer also known as Mary Pollock. She is noted for numerous series of books based on recurring characters and designed for different age groups. Her books have enjoyed huge success in many parts of the world, and have sold over 600 million copies.[1] One of Blyton's most widely known characters is Noddy, intended for early years readers. However, her main work is the genre of young readers' novels in which children have their own adventures with minimal adult help. Series of this type include the Famous Five (21 novels, 1942–1963, based on four children and their dog), the Five Find-Outers and Dog, (15 novels, 1943–1961, where five children regularly outwit the local police) as well as The Secret Seven (15 novels, 1949–1963, a society of seven children who solve various mysteries). Her work involves children's adventure stories, and fantasy, sometimes involving magic. Her books were and still are enormously popular throughout the Commonwealth and across most of the globe. Her work has been translated into nearly 90 languages. Blyton's literary output was of an estimated 800 books over roughly 40 years. Chorion Limited of London now owns and handles the intellectual properties and character brands of Blyton's Noddy and the well known series the Famous Five. Blyton was born on 11 August 1897 at 354 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich, London, England, the eldest child of Thomas Carey Blyton (1870–1920), a salesman of cutlery, and his wife, Theresa Mary Harrison Blyton (1874–1950). There were two younger brothers, Hanly (1899–1983) and Carey (1902–1976), who were born after the family had moved to the nearby suburb of Beckenham—in Oakwood Avenue. Blyton adored her father and was devastated after he left the family to live with another woman; this has often been cited as the reason behind her emotional immaturity. Blyton and her mother did not have a good relationship, and later in life, Blyton claimed to others that her mother was dead. After both her parents did die, Blyton attended neither of their funerals. From 1907 to 1915, Blyton was educated at St. Christopher's School in Beckenham, leaving as head girl. She enjoyed physical activities along with some academic work, but not maths. Blyton was a talented pianist, but gave up her musical studies when she trained as a teacher at Ipswich High School.[2] She taught for five years at Bickley, Surbiton and Chessington, writing in her spare time. Her first book, Child Whispers, a collection of poems, was published in 1922. On 28 August 1924 Blyton married Major Hugh Alexander Pollock, DSO (1888–1971), editor of the book department in the publishing firm of George Newnes, which published two of her books that year. The couple moved to Bourne End, Buckinghamshire (Peterswood in her books).[3] Eventually they moved to a house in Beaconsfield, named Green Hedges by Blyton's readers following a competition in Sunny Stories. They had two children: Gillian Mary Baverstock (15 July 1931 – 24 June 2007) and Imogen Mary Smallwood (born 27 October 1935). In the mid-1930s Blyton experienced a spiritual crisis, but she decided against converting to Roman Catholicism from the Church of England because she had felt it was "too restricting". Although she rarely attended church services, she saw that her two daughters were baptised into the Anglican faith and went to the local Sunday School. Since her death in 1968 and the publication of her daughter Imogen's autobiography, A Childhood at Green Hedges, Blyton has emerged as an emotionally immature, unstable and often malicious figure. By 1939 her marriage to Pollock was in difficulties, and she began a series of affairs. In 1941 she met Kenneth Fraser Darrell Waters, a London surgeon with whom she began a relationship. During her divorce, Blyton blackmailed Pollock into taking full blame for the failure of the marriage, knowing that exposure of her adultery would ruin her public image. She promised that if he admitted to charges of infidelity, she would allow him unlimited access to their daughters. However, after the divorce, Pollock was forbidden to contact his daughters, and Blyton ensured he was unable to find work in publishing afterwards. He turned to drinking heavily and was forced to petition for bankruptcy. Blyton and Darrell Waters married at the City of Westminster Register Office on 20 October 1943, and she subsequently changed the surname of her two daughters to Darrell Waters. Pollock remarried thereafter. Blyton's second marriage was very happy and, as far as her public image was concerned, she moved smoothly into her role as a devoted doctor's wife, living with him and her two daughters at Green Hedges. Blyton's husband died in 1967. During the following months, she became increasingly ill. Afflicted by Alzheimer's disease, Blyton was moved into a nursing home three months before her death; she died at the Greenways Nursing Home, London, on 28 November 1968, aged 71 years and was cremated at the Golders Green Crematorium where her ashes remain. Blyton's home, Green Hedges, was sold in 1971 and demolished in 1973. The area where Green Hedges once stood is now occupied by houses and a street called Blyton Close. A blue plaque commemorates Blyton at Hook Road in Chessington, where she lived from 1920-4. [4] Her daughter Imogen has been quoted as saying "The truth is Enid Blyton was arrogant, insecure, pretentious, very skilled at putting difficult or unpleasant things out of her mind, and without a trace of maternal instinct. As a child, I viewed her as a rather strict authority. As an adult I pitied her."[5] Elder daughter, Gillian, did not hold the same view toward their mother, and Imogen's biography of Blyton contains a foreword by Gillian to the effect that her memories of childhood with Enid Blyton were mainly happy ones. The Red Story Book, The Green Story Book, The Blue Story Book, Bedtime Stories are some other books by Enid Blyton. Blyton wrote hundreds of other books for young and older children: novels, story collections and some non-fiction. She also filled a large number of magazine pages, particularly the long-running Sunny Stories which were immensely popular among younger children. She used a pseudonym Mary Pollock for a few titles (middle name plus first married name). The last volumes in her most famous series were published in 1963. Many books still appeared after that, but were mainly story books made up from recycled work. Blyton also wrote numerous books on nature and Biblical themes. Her story The Land of Far-Beyond is a Christian parable along the lines of John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, with modern children as the central characters. She also produced retellings of Old Testament and New Testament stories. Enid Blyton was a prolific author of short stories. These were first published, for the most part, in Sunny Stories, an Enid Blyton magazine, or other children's papers. She also used to explore the forests when she was a little girl and wrote of her dreams in a notebook kept by her bedside. In February 2011, the manuscript of a previously unknown Blyton novel, Mr Tumpy's Caravan, was discovered in a collection of her papers which had been auctioned in 2010[6] following the death of her elder daughter in 2007.[7] Blyton books are generally split into three types. One involves ordinary children in extraordinary situations, having adventures, solving crimes, or otherwise finding themselves in unusual circumstances. Examples include the Famous Five and Secret Seven, and the Adventure series. The second and more conventional type is the boarding school story; the plots of these have more emphasis on the day-to-day life at school. This is the world of the midnight feast, the practical joke, and the social interaction of the various types of character. Examples of this type are the Malory Towers stories, the St Clare's series, and the Naughtiest Girl books and are typical of the times — many comics of the day also contained similar types of story. The third type is the fantastical. Children are typically transported into a magical world in which they meet fairies, goblins, elves, pixies, or other fantasy creatures. Examples of this type are the Wishing-Chair books and The Faraway Tree. In many of her short stories, toys are shown to come alive when humans are not around. Enid Blyton's status as a bestselling author is in spite of disapproval of her works from various perspectives, which has led to altered reprints of the books and withdrawals or “bans” from libraries. In the 1990s, Chorion, the owners of Blyton's works, edited her books to remove passages that were deemed racist or sexist.[8] The children’s author Anne Fine presented an overview of the concerns about Blyton's work and responses to them on BBC Radio 4 in November 2008, in which she noted the “drip, drip, drip of disapproval” associated with the books.[9][10] It was frequently reported (in the 1950s and also from the 1980s onwards) that various children's libraries removed some of Blyton's works from the shelves. The history of such "Blyton bans" is confused. Some librarians certainly at times felt that Blyton's restricted use of language, a conscious product of her teaching background, militated against appreciation of more literary qualities. There was some precedent in the treatment of L. Frank Baum's Oz books (and the many sequels by others) by librarians in the United States in the 1930s. There were numerous critical comments about Blyton: claiming that her vocabulary was too limited, that she presented too rosy a view of the world, even suggestions that little Noddy's relationship with Big Ears was "suspect", that he was a poor role model for boys because he sometimes wept when frustrated and the laws were politically incorrect. A careful account of anti-Blyton attacks is given in Chapter 4 of Robert Druce's This Day Our Daily Fictions. The British Journal of Education in 1955 carried a piece by Janice Dohn, an American children's librarian, considering Blyton's writing together with authors of formula fiction, and making negative comments about Blyton's devices and tone. A 1958 article in Encounter by Colin Welch, directed against the Noddy character, was reprinted in a New Zealand librarians' periodical. This gave rise to the first rumour of a New Zealand "library ban" on Blyton's books, a recurrent press canard. Policy on buying and stocking Blyton's books by British public libraries drew attention in newspaper reports from the early 1960s to the end of the 1970s, as local decisions were made by a London borough, Birmingham, Nottingham and other central libraries. There is no evidence that her books' popularity ever suffered: her response to criticism is said to be that she was not interested in the views of critics aged over 12.[11] Blyton was defended by populist journalists, and others. In November 2009 it was revealed in the British press that the BBC had a longstanding ban on dramatising Blyton's books on the radio from the 1930s to the 1950s. Letters and memos from the BBC Archive show that producers and executives at the time described Blyton as a "tenacious second-rater" who wrote "stilted and longwinded" books which were not suitable to be broadcast. In 1936 Blyton wrote to the BBC suggesting herself as a broadcaster, pointing out that she had "written probably more books than any other writer." She was turned down. In 1938, Blyton's husband, Hugh Pollock, wrote to Sir John Reith, the then Director General of the BBC, pointing out that his wife was receiving letters from children from all parts of the British Empire, and that she should be allowed to speak to them via the radio. Jean E. Sutcliffe, of the BBC's schools broadcast department wrote, "Her stories...haven't much literary value. There is rather a lot of the Pink-winky-Doodle-doodle Dum-dumm type of name (and lots of pixies) in the original tales."[12][13] Enid Blyton tried to get her work on the radio again in 1940, but her manuscript was once more turned down, the BBC employee who reviewed it writing, "This is really not good enough. Very little happens and the dialogue is so stilted and long-winded...It really is odd to think that this woman is a bestseller." Eventually, in 1954, Blyton's works appeared on air for the first time. Jean Sutcliffe wrote of Blyton's ability to churn out "mediocre material", and that "Her capacity to do so, amounts to genius...anyone else would have died of boredom long ago." Michael Rosen, the former Children's Laureate, said of the BBC's ban on Blyton, "...the quality of the writing itself was poor...it was felt that there was a lot of snobbery and racism in the writing...There is all sorts of stuff about oiks and lower orders."[12] The books are very much of their time, particularly the titles published in the 1950s. They present the UK's class system — that is to say, "rough" versus "decent".[14] Many of Blyton's children's books similarly reflected negative stereotypes regarding gender, race, and class. One incidence of altering this type of dated material might be the altering of a statement like "black as a nigger with soot" appearing in Five Go off to Camp.[15][16] At the time, "Negro" was the standard formal term and "nigger" a relatively common colloquialism. This is one of the most obvious targets for alteration in modern reprints, along with the replacement of golliwogs with teddy bears or goblins. Some of this responses by publishers to contemporary attitudes on racial stereotypes has itself drawn criticism from some who view it as tampering with an important piece of the history of children's literature. The Druce book brings up the case of The Little Black Doll (who wanted to be pink), which was turned on its head in a reprint. Also removed in deference to modern ethical attitudes are many casual references to slaves and to corporal punishment - The Faraway Tree's Dame Slap was changed to Dame Snap and several references to characters in the Malory Towers and St. Clare's series being spanked were changed to them being "scolded". Blyton's attitudes came under criticism during her working lifetime; a publisher rejected a story of hers in 1960, taking a negative literary view of it but also saying that "There is a faint but unattractive touch of old-fashioned xenophobia in the author's attitude to the thieves; they are 'foreign'...and this seems to be regarded as sufficient to explain their criminality."[17] Similarly, some have suggested the depictions of boys and girls in her books were sexist. For example, a 2005 Guardian article[18] suggested that the Famous Five depicts a power struggle between Julian, Dick and George (Georgina), with the female characters either acting like boys or being heavily put-upon. Although the gender issues are more subjective than with some of the racial issues, it has been suggested that a new edition of the book will "address" these issues through alterations, which has led to the expression of nostalgia for the books and their lack of political correctness.[19] In the Secret Seven books, the girls are deliberately excluded from tasks such as investigating the villains' hideouts — in Go Ahead, Secret Seven, it is directly stated "'Certainly not,' said Peter, sounding very grown-up all of a sudden. 'This is a man's job, exploring that coal-hole'".[20] In "The Adventurous 4, the two girls are often sent to do the cooking and washing up for the two boys. In the Famous Five this is less often the case, except Anne doing it voluntarily most of the times, but in Five on a Hike Together, Julian gives similar orders to George: "You may look like a boy and behave like a boy, but you're a girl all the same. And like it or not, girls have got to be taken care of."[21]. Similarly, in "Five have a wonderful time", Anne says "I don't expect boys to tidy up and cook and do things like that but George ought to because she's a girl". To this, George replies "If only I'd been born a boy". This is perhaps the most prominent example of gender stereotyping in her books. It shows that the stereotypes were not just enforced by boys but accepted by girls too. The story of Blyton's life was turned into a BBC film in 2009 with Helena Bonham Carter in the title role. Filming began in March 2009 and first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC Four on 16 November 2009, followed by a documentary on Enid Blyton. Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson played Blyton's first husband, Hugh Pollock, and Blyton's second husband, Kenneth Darrell Waters, respectively.[22]

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

HL Dennis

HL Dennis is the author of the six-book ‘Unlock the Truth’ Secret Beakers series, the fourth of which, Tower of the Winds, has just been published. Here she talks to Graham Marks about how the series came about, how she writes and what it’s like to live in a world of codes and clues. As far as we can tell, there are no hidden messages in any of her answers…

Robert Muchamore speaks to Graham Marks

Interview with Robert Muchamore

For official reasons the characters in Robert Muchamore’s award-winning Cherub and Henderson’s Boys series don’t exist. The man behind these worldwide bestsellers certainly does, and here he talks to Graham Marks about writing, research and how he came to create the shadowy, sometimes savage and very real world of Charles Henderson…

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Robert Muchamore

For official reasons the characters in Robert Muchamore’s award-winning Cherub and Henderson’s Boys series don’t exist. The man behind these worldwide bestsellers certainly does, and here he talks to Graham Marks about writing, research and how he came to create the shadowy, sometimes savage and very real world of Charles Henderson…

Wikipedia

Sophie Masson

Sophie Masson is a French-Australianfantasy and children's author. Sophie Masson was born in Indonesia of French parents who are of mixed ancestry (French, Spanish and Portuguese). Masson, the third in a family of seven children, came to Australia at the age of five and spent most of the rest of her childhood shuttling back and forth between Australia and France. Her first two novels, one for adults entitled The House in the Rainforest; the second, for children, called Fire in the Sky, were published in Australia in 1990. Having written 40 books, for children, young adults and adults, she is now published in the UK, United States, Thailand and Germany as well as Australia. Most of her novels are in the fantasy genre, but she has also written realistic fiction. She has also had many short stories, essays, articles and reviews published, in books, magazines, newspapers and internet journals. Sophie Masson is married, has three children and lives in northern New South Wales. Her Lay Lines trilogy is based on the life and work of the 12th century French poet, Marie de France, and involves love and magic, werewolves and fairy lovers. It evokes the medieval world and world view, notably through the device of the "book within a book". Her StarMaker trilogy for young adults is a set of unrelated fairytale fantasies set in an historical context. The books are based on Tattercoats and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Malkin), Sleeping Beauty (Clementine) and Puss in Boots (Serafin). Her Thomas Trew series for children is set in the Hidden Land, a fantasy world of several realms, each dominated by a particular type of mythical being: Middler Land, a mixed collection of magic-using villagers including pixies and werefoxes; Pandemonium, the realm of the brutish Uncouthers; Arkadia, populated by beings from Greek mythology; Montaynard country, land of dwarves and trolls; Oceanopolis, where selkies and mermaids live; Seraphimia in the sky, home of the winged ariels; and the Island of Ghosts, ruled by Mister D, the lord of death. The series was published by Hodder & Stoughton between 2006 and 2008. There are six titles, all illustrated by Ted Dewan.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore

Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow (aka The 2 Steves) are a pair of authors who are as comfortable with working on the page as they are on a stage, their highly theatrical live events as popular as their books. Here they talk to Graham Marks about how they met, how on earth they work together and their new iHero ‘Decide Your Own Destiny’ series Blood Crown Quest.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Sarah Mussi

Sarah Mussi started out with every intention of following a carer as an artist; that did not turn out to be what happened, and now she is now an award-winning and critically acclaimed YA author - as well as being a teacher. Here she talks to Graham Marks about her fascinating and well-travelled life, and the story behind her latest novel, Siege…

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Julian Sedgwick

Julian Sedgwick is a some time screen writer and therapist, and a highly accomplished, largely self-taught artist; you could call him a Renaissance Man, if he wasn’t so down-to-earth. He is also award-winning children’s novelist Marcus Sedgwick’s slightly older brother. Here he talks to Graham Marks about sibling rivalry, his obsessions (China, Japan and the Flying Wallendas), and his debut novel…

Wikipedia

Anthony Horowitz

Anthony Horowitz (born 5 April 1955) is an English novelist and screenwriter. He has written many children's novels, including The Power of Five, Alex Rider and The Diamond Brothers series and has written over fifty books. He has also written extensively for television, adapting many of Agatha Christie'sHercule Poirot novels for the ITV series. He is the creator and writer of the ITV series Foyle's War, Midsomer Murders and Collision. Anthony Horowitz was born in 1955 in Middlesex, into a wealthy Jewish family, and in his early years lived an upper-class lifestyle.[2][3][4] As an overweight and unhappy child, Horowitz enjoyed reading books from his father's library. At the age of eight, Horowitz was sent to the boarding school Orley Farm in Harrow, Middlesex. There, he entertained his peers by telling them the stories he had read.[2] Horowitz described his time in the school as "a brutal experience", recalling that he was often beaten by the headmaster.[4] Horowitz's father acted as a "fixer" for prime minister Harold Wilson. Facing bankruptcy, he moved his assets into Swiss numbered bank accounts. He died from cancer when his son Anthony was 22, and the family was never able to track down the missing money despite years of trying.[4] Horowitz adored his mother, who introduced him to Frankenstein and Dracula. She also gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday. Horowitz said in an interview that it reminds him to get to the end of each story since he will soon look like the skull. From the age of eight, Horowitz knew he wanted to be a writer, realising "the only time when I'm totally happy is when I'm writing".[2] He graduated from the University of York with a BA in English literature in 1977.[5] In at least one interview, Horowitz claims to believe that H. P. Lovecraft based his fictional Necronomicon on a real text, and to have read some of that text.[6] Horowitz now lives in Central London with his wife Jill Green, whom he married in Hong Kong on 15 April 1988. Green produces Foyle's War, the series Horowitz writes for ITV. They have two sons, Nicholas Mark Horowitz (born 1989) and Cassian James Horowitz (born 1991). He credits his family with much of his success in writing, as he says they help him with ideas and research. Horowitz is a patron of child protection charity Kidscape.[7] Anthony Horowitz's first book, The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower, was a humorous adventure for children, published in 1979[8] and later reissued as Enter Frederick K Bower. In 1981 his second novel, Misha, the Magician and the Mysterious Amulet was published and he moved to Paris to write his third book.[9] In 1983 the first of the Pentagram series, The Devil's Door-Bell, was released. This story saw Martin Hopkins battling an ancient evil that threatened the whole world. Only three of four remaining stories in the series were ever written: The Night of the Scorpion (1984), The Silver Citadel (1986) and Day of the Dragon (1986). In 1985 he released Myths and Legends, a collection of retold tales from around the world. In between writing these novels, Horowitz turned his attention to legendary characters, working with Richard Carpenter on the Robin of Sherwood television series, writing five episodes of the third season. He also novelized three of Carpenter's episodes as a children's book under the title Robin Sherwood: The Hooded Man (1986). In addition, he created Crossbow (1987), a half-hour action adventure series loosely based on William Tell. In 1988, Groosham Grange was published. This book went on to win the 1989 Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award.[10] It was partially based on the years Horowitz spent at boarding school. Its central character is a thirteen-year-old "witch", David Eliot, gifted as the seventh son of a seventh son. Like Horowitz's, Eliot's childhood is unhappy. The Groosham Grange books are aimed at a slightly younger audience than Horowitz's previous books. This era in Horowitz's career also saw Adventurer (1987) and Starting Out (1990) published. However, the most major release of Horowitz's early career was The Falcon's Malteser (1986). This book was the first in the successful Diamond Brothers series, and was filmed for television in 1989 as Just Ask for Diamond, with an all star cast that included Bill Paterson, Jimmy Nail, Roy Kinnear, Susannah York, Michael Robbins and Patricia Hodge, and featured Colin Dale and Dursley McLinden as Nick and Tim Diamond. It was followed in 1987 with Public Enemy Number Two, and by South by South East in 1991 followed by The French Confection, I Know What You Did Last Wednesday, The Blurred Man and most recently The Greek Who Stole Christmas. Horowitz wrote many stand-alone novels in the 1990s. 1994's Granny, a comedy thriller about an evil grandmother, was Horowitz's first book in three years, and it was the first of three books for an audience similar to that of Groosham Grange. The second of these was The Switch, a body swap story, first published in 1996. The third was 1997's The Devil and His Boy, which is set in the Elizabethan era and explores the rumour of Elizabeth I's secret son. In 1999, The Unholy Grail was published as a sequel to Groosham Grange. The Unholy Grail was renamed as Return to Groosham Grange in 2003, possibly to help readers understand the connection between the books. Horowitz Horror (1999) and More Horowitz Horror (2000) saw Horowitz exploring a darker side of his writing. Each book contains several short horror stories. Many of these stories were repackaged in twos or threes as the Pocket Horowitz series. Horowitz began his most famous and successful series in the new millennium with the Alex Rider novels. These books are about a 14-year-old boy becoming a spy, a member of the British Secret Service branch MI6. Currently, there are nine Alex Rider books: Stormbreaker (2000), Point Blanc (2001), Skeleton Key (2002), Eagle Strike (2003), Scorpia (2004) Ark Angel (2005), Snakehead (2007), Crocodile Tears (2009) and Scorpia Rising (2011). The seventh Alex Rider novel, Snakehead, was released on 31 October 2007,[11] and the eighth, Crocodile Tears, was released in the UK on 12 November 2009. The final Alex Rider book, Scorpia Rising, was released on 31 March 2011. Horowitz stated that Scorpia Rising was the last book in the Alex Rider series. He will however, write another novel about the life of Yassen Gregorovich entitled Yassen, which he will start writing in 2012. It will not be a part of the Alex Rider series.[12] In 2003, Horowitz also wrote three novels featuring the Diamond Brothers: The Blurred Man, The French Confection and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday, which were republished together as Three of Diamonds in 2004. The author information page in early editions of Scorpia and the introduction to Three of Diamonds claimed that Horowitz had travelled to Australia to research a new Diamond Brothers book, entitled Radius of the Lost Shark. However, this book has not been mentioned since, so it is doubtful it is still planned. A new Diamond Brothers "short" book entitled The Greek who Stole Christmas was later released. It is hinted at the end of The Greek who Stole Christmas that Radius of the Lost Shark may turn out to be the eighth book in the series.[13] In 2004, Horowitz branched out to an adult audience with The Killing Joke, a comedy about a man who tries to track a joke to its source with disastrous consequences. Horowitz's second adult novel, The Magpie Murders, was due out on 18 October 2006. However, that date passed with no further news on the book; all that is known about it is that it will be about "a whodunit writer who is murdered while he's writing his latest whodunit" and "it has an ending which I hope will come as a very nasty surprise".[14] As the initial release date was not met, it is not currently known if or when The Magpie Murders will be released. In August 2005, Horowitz released a book called Raven's Gate which began another series entitled The Power of Five (The Gatekeepers in the United States). He describes it as "Alex Rider with witches and devils".[15] The second book in the series, Evil Star, was released in April 2006. The third in the series is called Nightrise, and was released on 2 April 2007. The fourth book Necropolis was released in October 2008. The Power of Five is a rewritten, modern version of the Pentagram series from the 1980s.[citation needed] Although Pentagram required five books for story development, Horowitz completed only four: The Devil's Door-bell (Raven's Gate), The Night of the Scorpion (Evil Star), The Silver Citadel (Nightrise) and Day of the Dragon (Necropolis). Horowitz was clearly aiming for the same audience that read the Alex Rider novels with these rewrites, and The Power of Five has gained more public recognition than his earlier works, earning number 1 in the top 10 book chart.[2] In October 2008, Anthony Horowitz's play Mindgame opened Off Broadway at the Soho Playhouse in New York City.[16]Mindgame starred Keith Carradine, Lee Godart, and Kathleen McNenny. The production was the New York stage directorial debut for Ken Russell. Recently he got into a joke dispute with Darren Shan over the author using a character that had a similar name and a description that fitted his. Although Horowitz considered suing, he decided not to.[17] In March 2009 he was a guest on Private Passions, the biographical music discussion programme on BBC Radio 3.[18] On 19 January 2011, the estate of Arthur Conan Doyle announced Horowitz was to be the writer of a new Sherlock Holmes novel, the first such effort to receive an official endorsement from them and to be entitled The House of Silk. It was both published[19][20][21] in November 2011 and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.[22] In August 2012 Horowitz was interviewed by BAFTA Kids' Vote and he gave his top 5 tips for young and aspiring writers. They were to read more, write more, go out and have adventures, believe in yourself and to enjoy your writing.[23] Horowitz began writing for television in the 1980s, contributing to the children's anthology series Dramarama, and also writing for the popular fantasy series Robin of Sherwood. His association with murder mysteries began with the adaptation of several Hercule Poirot stories for ITV's popular Agatha Christie's Poirot series during the 1990s. Often his work has a comic edge, such as with the comic murder anthology Murder Most Horrid (BBC Two, 1991) and the comedy-drama The Last Englishman (1995), starring Jim Broadbent. From 1997, he wrote the majority of the episodes in the early series of Midsomer Murders. In 2001, he created a drama anthology series of his own for the BBC, Murder in Mind, an occasional series which deals with a different set of characters and a different murder every one-hour episode. He is also less-favourably known for the creation of two short-lived and sometimes derided science-fiction shows, Crime Traveller (1997) for BBC One and The Vanishing Man (pilot 1996, series 1998) for ITV. While Crime Traveller received favourable viewing figures it was not renewed for a second season, which Horowitz accounts to temporary personnel transitioning within the BBC. It has, however, attracted somewhat of a cult following.[citation needed] The successful 2002 launch of the detective series Foyle's War, set during the Second World War, helped to restore his reputation as one of Britain's foremost writers of popular drama.[citation needed] He devised the 2009 ITV crime drama Collision and co-wrote the screenplay with Michael A. Walker. Horowitz is the writer of a feature film screenplay, The Gathering, which was released in 2002 and starred Christina Ricci. He wrote the screenplay for Alex Rider's first major motion picture, Stormbreaker. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 on 6 April 2011, Horowitz announced that he was writing the sequel to Steven Spielberg's Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn. The sequel is rumoured to be based on the Tintin comic Prisoners of the Sun and directed by Peter Jackson, who produced the first film.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Teri Terry

Teri Terry arrived on the children’s book radar last year with her debut novel Slated, which was immediately shortlisted for a number of prizes, and has recently won the 14-16 category of the Leeds Book Awards. Here she talks to Graham Marks about the extraordinary journey she has taken to become an author – a story almost worthy of a book itself.

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

James Campbell

James Campbell is a playwright, a comedian, a storyteller and he does comedy workshops. He has been described as ‘the only stand-up comedian for children in the known universe’. Last but not least, he’s also an author, of books. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his latest book Boyface and the Tartan Badger.