Related to: 'Beauty and the Beast'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

Kristina Stephenson

Kristina Stephenson studied costume and set design, and had a successful career in theatre and children's television, before turning her hand to writing and illustrating picture books when she had her children. She was inspired to create the much-loved Sir Charlie Stinkysocks by her own son Charlie (who doesn't have stinky socks!).

Laura Barrett

Laura Barrett is a London artist specialising in intricate and decorative silhouette illustrations as well as traditional papercut artwork. She has worked for clients as varied as the BBC, John Lewis, Ted Baker, Taschen, and Toni and Guy. The Snow Queen is her first title for Orchard Books.

Lauren St John

Lauren St John grew up surrounded by horses, cats, dogs, horses and a pet giraffe on a farm and game reserve in Zimbabwe, the inspiration for her bestselling White Giraffe and One Dollar Horse series. At 17, she spent a year in the UK working as a veterinary nurse before becoming a sports and music journalist. Dead Man's Cove, the first in her Laura Marlin Mystery series, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. The Glory, her YA novel about a long-distance horse race across the American West, has been optioned for film. Her latest books are The Snow Angel, set in Kenya and Scotland, and Kat Wolfe Investigates, the first in a new mystery series about a pet-sitter who lives in idyllic Bluebell Bay on the Jurassic Coast. A passionate conservationist, Lauren is an Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation and the founder of Authors4Oceans. When not rescuing leopards and dolphins, she is a full-time valet to her rescued, and not in the least demanding, Bengal cat, Max.

Laurence Anholt

Laurence and Catherine Anholt live and work in a house and studios on top of a hill above the sea in Devon. They started making picture books in 1984 when their first daughter was born. Since then they have made more than 200 classic picture books, which are published all over the world in more than 30 languages. Their titles range from their Orchard picture book series which include Babies Love Books and Billy and the Big New School; to Laurence's self-illustrated Anholt's Artists series, an introduction to great artists for young children, which include Camille and the Sunflowers. Laurence also collaborates with his friend, the illustrator, Arthur Robins on the bestselling Seriously Silly Stories, which include the Nestlé Smarties Gold Award winner Snow White and the Seven Aliens.The Anholts' books have won many awards and are frequently featured on television and radio. Babies, Babies, Babies is listed in The Sunday Times 100 Modern Classics. Laurence was included in the Independent on Sunday's Top 10 Children's Authors in the UK and was described as 'one of the most versatile authors writing for children today'. Laurence was brought up mainly in Holland where he developed a lasting passion for art. He then went on to study Fine Art for eight years, finishing with a Master's Degree from the Royal Academy of Art in London.The Anholts have been closely involved with a number of literacy schemes such as the UK Government funded Bookstart scheme, which encourages parents to share books with babies from the earliest possible age. Their work has taken them inside Buckingham Palace and Downing Street on many occasions. Recent projects include a full-scale stage musical in Korea. Laurence and Catherine have three grown up children: Claire works for the UN in New York, Tom Anholt is a painter living in Berlin and Maddy is an actor based in London. Laurence's favourite things include, 'my lovely family, travelling to wild places and anything to do with art'. The best way to relax? 'A long soak in a warm book.'

Lee Wildish

Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.

Leigh Hodgkinson

Leigh is an award-winning animator and worked as art director on the BAFTA-award winning animated series, Charlie and Lola. She is also an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, who is absolutely passionate about writing, making things up and daydreaming. Among her many brilliant picture books is Don't Dip Your Chips in Your Drink, Kate, written by Caryl Hart, which won Highly Commended in the 2010 Sheffield Children's Book Award, Picture Book Category. Leigh lives and works in Lewes, near Brighton and is married with a young family.

Lil Chase

Lil Chase has a first class degree in Creative Writing and works as an editor in London. Having been a pub cook and even suffered a brief stint in Disneyland Paris, she settled on a career in her first love - telling stories. BOYS FOR BEGINNERS started its life as a novel, written in pencil, complete with drawings, when Lil was just 11. Lil lives with Stella - a fox crossed with a rat, who masquerades as a dog. Visit her online at www.lilchase.com.

Linda Chapman

Linda Chapman is the million-copy selling author of such series as My Secret Unicorn, Stardust, Skating School, Not Quite a Mermaid and Loving Spirit. She has also written for the Animal Ark series, Rainbow Magic and many more Working Partners' series. Linda lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two daughters and their three dogs. Her website is http://www.lindachapmanauthor.co.uk/

Liz Kessler

Liz Kessler studied English at Loughborough University, has worked as a teacher and a journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. After taking a year off to travel around Europe in a camper van, Liz now lives in Cornwall.Find out more at www.lizkessler.co.uk, follow her on Twitter @lizkesslerbooks and like her on Facebook at facebook.com/lizkesslerchildrensauthor.

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Lucy Coats

Lucy Coates worked as a children's book editor before becoming a full-time writer, poet and journalist. She has two children and lives in Northamptonshire.Lucy lives with her husband and two children deep in the Northamptonshire countryside, surrounded by cows, sheep, horses, owls, foxes, four lunatic dogs and a large and demanding garden. She has been fascinated by childrenOs books ever since she can remember, and cannot imagine a better job than making up stories and poems for a living. When she is not writing she grows organic vegetables, cooks huge meals for her family, and sits in her stone circle, studying the moon and stars.Lucy Coats read English and Ancient History at Edinburgh University, then worked in children's publishing and now writes full-time. She is a gifted children¿s poet and has also written picture books and novels. She is widely respected for her lively retellings of myths. Lucy's website is at www.lucycoats.com. You can also follow her on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/lucycoatsfacebook and Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lucycoats

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is the creator of the bestselling Animal Ark series, which has sold more than 2 1/2 million copies in the UK alone. Animal Ark is being relaunched for a new generation of animal lovers, with exciting brand-new adventures!

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick

Martin Waddell

Martin Waddell is known and respected the world over for his incredible storytelling. Martin has won the Smarties Prize twice and was presented with the Hans Christian Andersen Award for children's literature. For Orchard, Martin has written the fun, action-packed bestseller 'The Dirty Great Dinosaur' and its sequel 'The Super Swooper Dinosaur' (both illustrated by Leonie Lord), and two wonderful story collections 'The Orchard Book of Goblins, Ghouls and Ghosts' (illustrated by Tony Ross) and 'The Orchard Book of Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales' (illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark). Martin lives in Northern Ireland.

Mary Mcquillan

Mary McQuillan has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award twice - the first time for her very first picture book 'Who's Poorly, Too' written by FCBG winner Kes Gray and the second for Cluck O'Clock, again with Kes. This year she was shortlised for the Portsmouth Book Awards for Bare Bear with Miriam Moss. Mary is a highly successful illustrator with a knack for character and humour and her drawing are much beloved by children.She has also illustrates children's wallpaper and textile designs which have been reproduced and sold around the world.

Maudie Smith

Maudie Smith began her career as an actor. She spent years perching on scenery in the back of a van, while touring with a small-scale theatre company. In children's theatre, she played well-known characters such as Piglet and the Snow Queen. She co-devised many of the plays in which she performed and has written lyrics for musicals, cabaret and a libretto. She recently graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People. Maudie lives in a village near Bath with her screenwriter husband, two daughters, two cats, two chickens and far too many stick insects.Visit her website http://www.maudiesmith.co.uk/ and follow her on Twitter @MaudieSmith

Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson has appeared in films such as THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME, EMPIRE OF THE SUN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. TV work includes A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, JACKANORY, Queen Elizabeth in BLACKADDER and Queen Mary in THE LOST PRINCE. She has won two Spoken Word awards for her inspired readings of HORRID HENRY AND THE SECRET CLUB and HORRID HENRY'S STINKBOMB audiobooks for Orion.

Nick East

Nick East is the illustrator of the bestselling Toto the Ninja Cat as well as the Goodnight Digger and Knock Knock series. He worked for many years as a museum designer but has always been a storyteller, whether as a child, filling sketchbooks with quirky characters, or as a designer displaying a collection of ancient artefacts. Nick lives near York with his wife and two children and, when not writing or drawing, he is out roaming the countryside with a rucksack on his back.Find Nick at nickeastillustration.com

Nicola Smee

Nicola has written and illustrated many books for children, including the delightful George books. She lives in Essex, with her family.

Pete Williamson

Pete Williamson is an artist, illustrator and animation designer. His highly-acclaimed work includes the award-winning DINKIN DINGS AND THE FRIGHTENING THINGS and the wonderful gothic pottiness of Marcus Sedgwick's THE RAVEN MYSTERIES.Find his website at http://www.petewilliamson.co.uk/