Related to: 'The Normans and the Battle of Hastings'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Wayland

Weapons & Armour Through Ages

Philip Parker
Authors:
Philip Parker

Adam Sutherland

Adam Sutherland is an award-winning journalist and non-fiction writer with over 20 years' experience in the industry. He has written for publications including The Observer, Wired and Esquire magazines, and has won the PPA Specialist Writer of the Year Award for his coverage of sport, and a BSME award for Young Writer of the Year. He started his writing career covering bands and music for style magazines The Face, i-D and Arena, but more recently has expanded to cover film, new media and business. He has written a series of business titles for young adults on companies such as Nike, Google and Facebook, and biographies of rapper Jay-Z and Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. Asterix the Gaul, their first album, was published in 1961 and there have now been 34 Asterix albums.

Andy Glynne

Andy Glynne is a double BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker, producer, clinical psychologist and author. He is the Founding Director of DFG - the Documentary Filmmakers Group - the UK's national organisation to promote innovation and talent in documentary filmmaking. Andy is also Managing Director of the production company Mosaic Films. He has directed and produced numerous award-winning documentaries both in the UK and across the world, and has spent much of his career working with, and mentoring, new and emerging filmmakers.

Anita Naik

Anita Naik is a freelance writer and the author of 50 books, as well as being a mum of two. She is currently the agony aunt on Woman's Own magazine, and a contributor to a number of parenting sites, including the Huffington Post, writing about education, bullying, sex education and teenagers. She can be found tweeting @AnitaNaik or at www.anitanaik.co.uk.

Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne has written over 150 children's books on all kinds of subjects, from sharks, black holes and splitting the atom to how to draw, Shakespeare's life, and Greek myths and legends. She knows a lot about conservation in the rain forests of Costa Rica as she once volunteered there for threw months. She likes space, sewing and music, plays the trombone and loves going camping.

Anne Rooney

I write short books for short children and longer books for longer people. I've been writing fiction and non-fiction for young people, and non-fiction since the last millennium - luckily, the end of the last millennium and I'm not even nearly 1000 years old. I particularly enjoy reading and writing stories with a bit of a twist and, for older readers, an element of horror. I definitely have a Gothic streak. Writers I really admire include Minnie Gray, Oliver Jeffers, Shaun Tan, Edward Gorey, Tove Jansson, Marcus Sedgwick, Siobhan Dowd and Melvin Burgess. I love being a writer because (a) it gives me the chance to be enthusiastic about things and share my enthusiasm with other people (b) I get paid for telling lies and (c) I don't have to do as I'm told, unlike people with a real job. I like to listen to music when I'm writing, and usually pick a few pieces of music that go with each book and listen to them again and again - most of them are opera.Although I spend most of my time writing, I also spend some helping other people with their own writing - mostly young people, who are doing a degree at university. This is great fun as I get to read lots of stories by writers who are just starting. I live in Cambridge, which is a very ancient city in the east of England with lots of ornate and pointy buildings. It's very flat in Cambridge, so it's easy to go everywhere by bicycle, but it's also rather wet. If I could live anywhere at all, it would probably be in Venice, which is also flat, ancient and full of pointy buildings. It's even wetter than Cambridge, and people go everywhere by boat.

Brita Granström

Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug.http://www.mickandbrita.com Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.

Claire O'Brien

Claire is the author of the Cordelia Codd stories. These follow Cordelia's comic and touching misadventures as she struggles to deal with the difficult issues faced by many pre-teen children. Claire is a former teacher who has worked in the UK, USA and Colombia. Her favourite books at the moment arePrivate Peaceful by Michael MorpurgoKrindlekrax by Philip RidleyCoram Boy by Jamila GavinArtichoke Hearts by Sita BrahmachariHer favourite films are currentlyPandora and the Flying Dutchman, 1951Billy Elliot, 2000The Belles of St.Trinian's, 1954The Artist, 2011Claire has been writing since Miss Fox, her year four teacher, sat her in a corner for talking too much and told her to get on with some handwriting. She realised that she was happiest sitting alone with a pencil and her thoughts, but her own stories came much later.

Claudia Martin

Claudia Martin has worked in book publishing for 17 years. She is the author of several books and websites for children and young people. Her favourite subjects are history, current affairs and technology.

Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive's official website can be found at www.clivegifford.co.uk

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 38 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), publishes in September 2017. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize , the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, and Philosophy Now'magazine's 2015 Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

Daisy Meadows

Daisy Meadows is the author of the bestselling series Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends. Her books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.You can find out all about her magical stories and much more at the series websites: www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk and www.magicanimalfriends.co.uk

David Tennant

David Tennant is a respected classical actor who has performed numerous starring roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company.He was nominated for a 2003 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best Actor.He also has numerous TV credits, including Mr Gibson in 'He Knew he was Right', DI Carlisle in 2004's 'Blackpool', and his film roles include Barty Crouch Jnr in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' (2005). From the end of 2005, he will be appearing as Dr Who in the series of that name.His audiobook readings for Hodder include How To Train Your Dragon, How to be a Pirate.

Emma Dodd

Emma was brought up in Guildford, Surrey, in a family of artists. As a child she loved the work of Peter Firmin, John Burningham and Gerald Rose and from as far back as she can remember she wanted to be an illustrator. Emma studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and has worked in advertising, editorial and book illustration. The I Love You range has sold over 750,000 copies and I Love My Mummy won the Bookstart Early Years Award. Emma lives in Surrey with her husband and two children and their terrier cross, Buzz, who keeps her fit and provides inspiration. The family like to spend any spare time in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers.

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.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon worked for 12 years as a freelance arts journalist, writing for the Sunday times, and The Guardian amongst others. Francesca wrote her first children's book in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She lives in London with her husband and son.Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family. She has written over 50 books and won THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Galaxy British Book Awards for HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. Visit Francesca's website at www.francescasimon.com and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at www.horridhenry.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw

Georgia Amson-Bradshaw is a children's writer and editor who lives in Brighton, East Sussex. She has worked on a number of high-profile and award-winning science books for kids, including the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize winner Eye Benders, and the London Science Museum activity book This Book Thinks You're a Scientist. She remembers the eye-opening and inspiring effect her favourite books had on her as a child, and so takes her responsibility to pass that interest and excitement on very seriously!

Hettie Bingham

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.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.