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.

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.

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.

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 d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey is the author of the The Last Dragon Chronicles and the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series. He likes dragons. He was born in Malta, but now lives in Devon with his wife, Jay, and about three hundred teddy bears. He likes teddy bears, too. After graduating from York University with a Biology degree, he went to Leicester University where he worked for twenty-eight years as a research scientist, mainly looking down microscopes. He now writes full time.In his spare moments, he likes to watch TV and walk by the sea - though not necessarily at the same time. His passion is writing and recording songs. His ultimate ambition is to write a song that will feature on the soundtrack of a movie of the dragon books, always assuming a movie is made.Presently, he is working on two new projects, both of which feature dragons to some extent.

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.

Craig Simpson

Born: In the same year as the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962). Craig figures he's lucky to be alive!Place of Birth: Just a few miles from Beaulieu, the location of the real wartime school for spies.Previous Occupations: Mad scientist.Currently Living: Classified.Additional: Craig does all sorts of events throughout the UK including talks, writing workshops, activities (e.g. coding challenges), literary festivals and quizzes.

Crystal Cestari

Crystal Cestari is a California native who has yet to adjust to Chicago winters after twenty some odd years. Her hobbies include avoiding broccoli, and breaking into song and dance with her daughter. She holds a master's degree in mass communication, and writes all her stories longhand.

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

David Melling

David Melling has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Smarties Book Award and the Independent Booksellers Award. His Hugless Douglas books have sold over 1.4 million copies worldwide, and the loveable brown bear has starred in a World Book Day book as well as his own theatre show. Before becoming an internationally acclaimed author-illustrator, David worked as an animation artist for films including the much-loved Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs. One of his most popular picture books The Tale of Jack Frost was animated and shown on BBC1 on Christmas Day.

Eliza Wass

Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She comes from Southern California, where she was one of nine perfect children with two perfect parents. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either arrive inside dust jackets or post obsessively on Twitter.Eliza spent 7 years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband, Alan Wass of Alan Wass and The Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life.

Franklin Watts

Franklin Watts is well-known for its high-quality and attractive books. We aim to give children of all abilities a life-long love of learning and reading.

Graham Marks

Graham has spent his whole career in children's publishing, firstly as a designer and Creative Director and latterly as a journalist and author. His first published work was a book of poetry, Seeing is Touching (Taurus Press), which came out while he was studying Information Graphics at Harrow School of Art. For some reason, he didn't see this as a sign of things to come and didn't write anything else for years. Graham has worked for Marvel Comics writing scripts (which was his storytelling apprenticeship), done an eight year stint as a copywriter in an advertising agency (where they pay you more for writing less) and was the Children's Editor for Publishing News until it's closure in 2008. He has also written a number of TV and film-related books, including SpiderMan, Wallace and Gromit, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Judge Dredd.Bloomsbury have published his critically acclaimed YA fiction, including Radio Radio, How It Works - South Lanarkshire Book Award winner, 2005 ¬- Zoo, Tokyo - Catalan Young Adult Fiction Award , 2009 - and Omega Place.Usborne publish his thrillers for the 8-12 age range, including Snatched!, Kaï-ro, I Spy: The Constantinople Caper and its sequel Mean Streets: The Chicago Caper. Meanwhile Catnip have republished new and revised editions of the books he wrote in the mid-90s: Strange Hiding Place, Faultline, Takedown (previously titled Skitzo) and Playing with Phyre (previously titled Haden's Quest). He has also written for Barrington Stoke (Bad Day) and has a new Franklin Watts 'Edge' title - Payback - coming in September.A regular on the festival circuit, both as a performer and Chair, Graham also takes his workshops and talks to schools all over the country and is a member of the Author Profile training team. He contributes author interviews to Writeaway and Books for Keeps.

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.)

Josh Martin

Josh Martin writes and draws his way through life and is currently residing in London. He has aspired to novel writing since he was a tadpole and has since graduated from Exeter University before completing Bath Spa's Writing For Young People MA.His particular interest in heroines, fantasy, environment, gender studies and wisdom led him to write his first book Ariadnis.

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

Lauren St John

Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series THE WHITE GIRAFFE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD-winning LAURA MARLIN series and THE ONE DOLLAR HORSE trilogy. Her first adult novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, was published in 2013. Visit Lauren's website at www.laurenstjohn.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-St-John/120957211278399 and follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.

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.

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.

Lydia Ruffles

After graduating with a degree in theatre and a postgraduate diploma in public relations, Lydia Ruffles spent a decade working in corporate communications in between travels. She is a graduate of the acclaimed Faber Academy and lives in London. The Taste of Blue Light is her first novel. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @lydiaruffles