Related to: 'A Boy Called Ocean'

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.

Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family Down Under

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family Gets Funnier

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family Saves the Day

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family Moves House

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish

It's a tight squeeze as usual in the Butterfield house, and with baby Will's stuff taking up all the room it's getting even worse. Lucinda's house has ten times more room for her family than the squished Butterfields have! Mattie's Worry List gets bigger when Mum seems to be unhappy, and wants to move house. But moving house would mean moving schools - Mattie's worst Worry List come true!

Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family's Got Talent

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Hodder Children's Books

It's a 50/50 Thing

Chris Higgins
Authors:
Chris Higgins

Starting all over again in a new town can be hard enough but with Dad not around anymore, her Mum on the verge of a breakdown and a kid sister to look after - Kally's life is suddenly full of secrets.When the gorgeous Jem skates into Kally's life and sweeps her off her feet, things finally seem to be going right. But as she and Jem grow closer, Kally dicovers there's more than one side to him and that she's not the only one with things to hide. Soon her life is spinning out of control ...Re-jacketed in a beautiful new cover, available from August 2013

Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family Gets Bigger

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Hodder Children's Books

The Day I Met Suzie

Chris Higgins
Authors:
Chris Higgins
Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family On Holiday

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish

It's the summer holidays and the Butterfield family is going away to Cornwall. As usual, Mattie has plenty to worry about. What if she loses the luggage she's been put in charge of? What if someone falls over a cliff? And worst of all ... what if they've forgotten someone?

Hodder Children's Books

My Funny Family

Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish
Contributors:
Chris Higgins, Lee Wildish

Akala

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce storytelling. Jay-Z, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the musicians Akala's toured with, his own stellar live show headlined eight UK tours and he regularly appears at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless.More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism, Akala has written for the The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent, and also taken part in British Council arts education and music projects all over the world.In 2009, with Sir Ian McKellen's support, Akala launched the 'The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company', a music theatre production company which sparked worldwide media interest. Previous clients and collaborators include the BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, The Barbican and Ed Sheeran.Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his projects as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music and poetry to youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture.

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a high-profile, nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship and to reevaluate government commitment to educational spending. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children. Alan is an honorary CILIP member.Visit Alan's website at www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter @mygibbo, Facebook www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.

Alex T. Smith

Author-illustrator Alex T. Smith is the award-winning creator of the bestselling Claude series, which is published in 16 languages worldwide, and is now a TV show on Disney Junior. Alex's newest series, Mr Penguin, launched in 2017, to widespread praise. Alex's quirky, witty writing and illustrations are instantly recognisable, critically acclaimed and as popular with adults as children. Alex is also widely praised for his work illustrating children's classics: he won Children's Book of the World Illustration Award for his illustrations in a new edition of Dodie Smith's The Hundred and One Dalmatians; he has created new art for books by Enid Blyton, Eva Ibbotson and Richmal Crompton. Alex has collaborated with Watership Down author Richard Adams on his last book, Egg Box Dragon, as well as David Almond and Juno Dawson. Alex has won the UKLA Picture Book Award and the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award. He has also been the official World Book Day illustrator.

Anita Loughrey

Anita Loughrey was a primary school teacher for seventeen years before becoming a full-time writer. She writes teacher resources, educational fiction and non-fiction on a wide variety of subjects for a wide range of publishers with over 85 books published in the UK and many more worldwide. She writes for the national writing magazine Writers' Forum and teaches creative writing.Anita's favourite toy as a child was the typewriter she wrote her autobiography with at the age of ten. As nothing exciting ever happened, she made most of it up. Her interests include writing, reading children's books, knitting, jive dancing and camping with her family in their VW campervan. She reckons there is nothing better than sleeping under the stars and cooking in the great outdoors, as long as it isn't raining.

Ben Hubbard

Ben Hubbard began his writing career at a what's-on newspaper in the 1990s, interviewing bands, actors and artists in his native Wellington, New Zealand. He later joined the fast-paced world of daily newspaper journalism before packing up shop and moving to England. Here, Ben tied a number of new strings to his bow: magazine editor, book editor, and finally, author. Today, Ben writes a mix of non-fiction for all ages - preschoolers through to adults. He has penned titles on an eclectic subject range: from space exploration, samurai warriors and medieval castles; to pop music, pets, tornadoes and rugby skills.

Brian Keaney

Brian was born in London. His parents were Irish and he grew up listening to his mother's tales of the life she had left behind in Ireland. That was how he learned to love stories. He was sent to a very strict school where boys were beaten if they stepped out of line. He hated the place but he enjoyed English lessons because they gave him a chance to write down the stories that filled his head. He went to Liverpool University where he studied English and fell in love with a girl called Rosie. After leaving university he married Rosie and they had two children. By day he worked as a teacher, in the evenings he read stories to his children, and in the night he carried on writing his stories. When he had enough stories to make a book he sent them off to a publisher who offered to publish them. He immediately gave up his job to concentrate on writing. That was one of the silliest things he has ever done since he was totally broke for a very long time afterwards. But it was also one of the smartest things he has ever done because somehow he succeeded in making a career for himself as a writer. His favourite pastime is reading (though his favourite book changes all the time). His favourite city is Rome and he adores Italian food. His favourite journey is any one that finishes at home and his favourite sound is his grandson's voice on the telephoneBrian has won the Havering Best of the Best Award, a Lancashire Fabulous Book Award and he has been shortlisted for a the NASEN Book Award, the South Lanarkshire Children's Book Award, the North East Book Award and the Bedfordshire Children's Book Award. His novels have been translated into twelve languages.

C. G. Drews

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at paperfury.com, never sleeps, and believes in cake for breakfast.

David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.www.davidalmond.com

Emily X. R. Pan

EMILY X.R. PAN has an MFA infiction from New York University and is the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine as well as a co-creator of FORESHADOW: A Serial YA Anthology. The Astonishing Colour of After is her first book. Visit Emily online at exrpan.com, and find her on Twitter and Instagram: @exrpan.

Enid Blyton

Enid Blyton's books have sold over 500 million copies and have been translated into other languages more often than any other children's author.She wrote over 600 books and hundreds of short stories, including favourites such as The Famous Five,The Secret Seven, The Magic Faraway Tree, Malory Towers and Noddy. Born in London in 1897, Enid lived much of her life in Buckinghamshire and adored dogs, gardening and the countryside. She died in 1968 but remains one of the world's best-loved storytellers.