Related to: 'Bullies and Cyberbullies and Frenemies'

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.

Beatriz Castro

Beatriz Castro was born in La Rioja, Spain in 1985. When she was a little girl, she was always drawing and writing stories. She studied illustration at the school of arts in her home town, Logroño. After graduating, she embarked on a career as a professional illustrator and has since been published by many international publishing houses. She especially enjoys creating funny characters. Beatriz likes animals, classic stories and fairy tales and listens to rock and punk music.

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.

Cat Clarke

Cat Clarke is the bestselling, award-winning author of six YA novels. She was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people. She lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two ninja cats and two decidedly non-ninja cocker spaniels.

Chris Higgins

Before writing her first novel, Chris taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. She also worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Land's End, but now writes full-time.Chris has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen.She lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband.

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

Dashka Slater

Dashka Slater is an award-winning journalist, who has written for Newsweek and The New York Times, among other publications. This is her first YA non-fiction book, but she also writes fiction for adults and picture books for younger children.

David Almond

David Almond is twice winner of the Whitbread Children's Book Award. His first novel, SKELLIG, won the Whitbread Children's Award and the Carnegie Medal and was made into a feature-length film on Sky1. His second, KIT'S WILDERNESS, won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was Highly Commended for the Carnegie Medal, and shortlisted for the Guardian Award. THE FIRE-EATERS won the Whitbread, the Smarties Gold Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal, and CLAY was shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award, and the Carnegie Medal. A SONG FOR ELLA GRAY won the Guardian Children's Book Prize.David has also won the 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award for his lasting contribution to children's literature and is widely regarded as one of the most exciting and innovative children's authors writing today. His books are bestsellers all over the world. He lives with his family in Northumberland. www.davidalmond.com

Deborah Chancellor

Deborah Chancellor is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books for children. She has written nearly 100 books and worked with many leading publishers. Deborah is a prolific writer of children's non-fiction on a wide range of subjects. She is a versatile author who has written biographies for teenagers, adapted Bible stories for pre-school children, and written teenage fiction for older children with reading difficulties. Her books have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Deborah appears at Literary Festivals and runs writing workshops for young people.

Elisa Paganelli

Elisa Paganelli was born in Modena (Italy), and since childhood cannot resist the smell of paper and pencils. She attended the Institute of Art and subsequently graduated from the European Institute of Design (IED) in Turin with a degree in illustration. As a post-grad, Elisa worked as a graphic designer for a communication agency. However she realized that this wasn't the life for her, so she decided to set up her own art and design studio. (She also ran a successful design shop for 6 years, but this is another story.)Elisa devotes most of her time to her passion for images and words. She thinks of herself as a kind of hermit, immersed in her quiet world of nature and books, accompanied by a cup of tea and her beloved pet-assistants. She now collaborates with publishers and advertising agencies all over the world, and also writes for a newspaper's lifestyle column.

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean, and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

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.

Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu was born on the East Coast of America, to a mom from Cuba and a dad from Chile. Jennifer teaches English to middle and high schoolers in Texas, where she now lives with her husband, son and rescue dog. She used to make her own zine, and is writing about all her favourite things in Moxie - punk rock, lady rights, the 90s, zines, Texas, and an interesting female protagonists. She writes contemporary YA fiction that treats teens like real people. www.jennifermathieu.comtwitter: @jenmathieu Instagram: @authorjenmathieu Facebook: writerjennifermathieu

Jessica Townsend

Jessica Townsend lives on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, but has dipped in and out of London life over the past decade, tucking the best and strangest parts of the city into the corners of her brain for future fictional use. She was previously a copywriter and the editor of a children's wildlife magazine for Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. Her pet fascinations include public transport, ancient cities, hotels, Christmas, opera singers, Halloween, secret societies and gigantic cats - all of which have weaselled their way into Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, her first novel and a city that feels like it belongs entirely to her. (Except now it belongs to you, too.)

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.

Joy Lin

Joy Lin was a high school science teacher in Austin, Texas until recently. She has a BA in Biology, a BS in Chemistry and another BS in Biochemistry from UT Austin. In 2013, TED and Kohl's Cares teamed up to look for 18 most inspiring lessons to animate, and her Hollywood vs. Science lessons were selected. She wrote a series of 6 videos: If Superpowers Were Real. She is now in the process of becoming an entertainer. She is a stand-up comedian who's been featured in 4 comedy festivals and competitions, most recently in NYC. And she is also acting in a TV show that will premiere in the US in 2017.

Julian Gough

Julian Gough is the author of several novels, a children's book, some BBC radio plays, and the narrative at the end of the wonderful computer game, Minecraft (TIME magazine's computer game of the year). His first children's book, Rabbit's Bad Habits, published in 2016, has been widely critically-acclaimed; Neil Gaiman called 'a laugh-out-loud story', and Eoin Colfer called 'an instant modern classic'. Julian has won the BBC National Short Story Award and has been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction. He also, in his youth, wrote the words (and sang) on four albums by the cult Galway group, Toasted Heretic, and had a top-ten hit in Ireland with 'Galway and Los Angeles', a song about not kissing Sinead O'Connor. He was born in London, raised in Tipperary, educated in Galway and now lives in Berlin.

Kate Ling

Kate Ling was born and brought up in London but over the last ten years she has worked in school libraries on three continents. Like her characters, she knows how it feels to leave everything behind and journey into the unknown.Kate currently lives in Spain with her husband and two daughters. She loves eating seafood on the beach and running while listening to podcasts about space.kateling.co.uk@katelingauthor

Kita Mitchell

Kita wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was swiftly and cruelly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Moudilocks were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff and luckily they did degrees in that. After getting one she went on to produce films for Channel 4 - but the feeling that she should write funny books for children never went away.Kita graduated from the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People last year and the opening of Grandma Dangerous appeared in their recent anthology.She lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters, sixteen chickens and a hamster.

Leo Hunt

Leo Hunt was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1991. He grew up around books, and his mother's job at Seven Stories in Newcastle left a strong impression on his choice of career. He realised he wanted to either be an author or an archeologist - but when he learned that archaeologists didn't unearth piles of perfectly preserved dinosaur bones every time they put a spade in the ground, he decided on the former. Leo started writing his debut novel, Thirteen Days of Midnight when he was 19, in his first year at the University of East Anglia. It went on to be shortlisted for the 2016 Waterstones Children's Book Prize. He currently lives in London.

Lucy Courtenay

Lucy Courtenay has officially been writing children's fiction since 1999, and unofficially for a lot longer than that. Her desk drawers are full of half-finished stories waiting for the right moment to emerge and dance around her study in a shower of exuberant paperclips. Her latest books indulge her love of teenage romance: The Kiss is published by Hodder, with Movie Night and Girl at Sea coming in 2018.