Related to: 'Happy Bethday!'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees is the award-winning author of whole shelf of bestselling picture books, including the international hit Giraffes Can’t Dance. He writes his own stories, as well as working with other authors, such as Giles Andreae and Tony Mitton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his world of colour, line and characters, and his latest Tom & Millie books.

Orchard Books

The Show Must Go On!

Knife & Packer, Duncan McCoshan, Jem Packer
Authors:
Knife & Packer, Duncan McCoshan, Jem Packer

SO I'm stood on a stage in front of the whole school, I've got soggy noodles on my head AND MY MUM IS SINGING IN A TUTU...Beth is back for another hilarious adventure. And with her school talent show, Dad's karaoke superstardom, Mum teaching at her school AND a potentially evil childminder, life is messier than ever!

Orchard Books

Badly Drawn Beth

Jem Packer, Duncan McCoshan
Authors:
Jem Packer, Duncan McCoshan

Winner of the Laugh Out Loud book awards!Badly Drawn Beth is officially the funniest book for 6-8 year olds in 2016! Beth is a hilarious new heroine who just can't help getting in trouble ...So, I'm surrounded by crocodiles, holding a briefcase full of fish fingers, I'm wearing a swamp monster mask AND MISS PRIMULA IS ABOUT TO CALL MY PARENTS!Meet Beth - and all of her fantastically crazy family and friends - and be prepared to laugh your socks off!A hilarious new diary series from the creators of Fleabag Monkeyface.

Adrienne Kennaway

Adrienne Kennaway spent most of her formative life in Kenya, East Africa, where she developed her interest in wildlife. Interest soon turned to art and even as a child Adrienne painted animals. A spell at Ealing Tech in London and L'Academie Bella Arte in Rome polished Adrienne's skills. Adrienne has illustrated over 30 children's books and her illustrations for Crafty Chameleon won the Kate Greenaway Prize. A world-wide traveller, Adrienne now enjoys spending time in the countryside, capturing the local wildlife on canvas. She lives in the Republic of Ireland.

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.

Chris Colfer

Chris Colfer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and a Golden Globe-winning actor. He was honored as a member of the TIME 100, Time magazine's annual list of the one hundred most influential people in the world, and his books include Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal, the books of the Land of Stories series: The Wishing Spell, The Enchantress Returns, A Grimm Warning and Beyond the Kingdoms, and the companion books The Mother Goose Diaries, Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty, The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales and The Curvy Tree.

Eden Maguire

Eden Maguire lives part of the time in the US, where she enjoys the big skies and ice-capped mountains of Colorado.An abandoned farmstead two hours south west of Denver gave her the perfect setting for The Beautiful Dead. "It was as if time had stood still," she says of her first chance visit to the ranch. "The kitchen still had the old rocking-chair and iron stove, the ancient barn door really did blow open and shut in the wind."It was here that the seed for a series of paranormal romance mysteries was sown. Eden Maguire's lifelong admiration for Emily Bronte's timeless classic, Wuthering Heights, ties in with her fascination for the dark side of life and informs her portrayal of the restless, romantic souls in The Beautiful Dead.Away from her interest in the supernatural and the solitary pursuit of writing fiction, Eden's life is lived as much as possible in the outdoors, thanks to ranch-owning friends in Colorado. She says, "Put me on a horse and point me towards a mountain - that's where I find my own personal paradise."Find Eden Maguire at www.beautifuldead.com

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.

Fiona Roberton

Fiona Roberton was born in Oxford and studied art and design in London and New York.She has kept the wolf from the door for a number of years by working as a designer, but has since befriended the wolf, and has it to tea on Tuesdays. Sometimes, they go out.

Hilary Mckay

Hilary McKay won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize with her first novel, The Exiles. Her subsequent work has achieved recognition: The Exiles at Home won the Smarties Prize, whilst Saffy's Angel, the first in the Casson Family series, won the Whitbread Award, for which the third book, Permanent Rose, was also shortlisted.

Honor Head

After a few false starts with a model agency and an accountant's, Honor Head's career as a children's writer and editor began when she joined a small publisher producing comics featuring children's television characters. The light bulb clicked on - Honor discovered she loved editing and writing for children - and has been burning brightly ever since. She has now published over 100 books for children on subjects as diverse as kitten care, famous outlaws, ghastly ghosts and totally awesome trucks as well as creating pop-ups, pull-outs and sticker books, and has edited many, many more. Honor now lives beside the seaside in Devon where she has fun helping out at the local museums organising family and school activities - a great way to meet her readers! On sunny days she heads for her favourite seaside café to eat cheese toasties and watch the dogs playing on the beach

Ian Whybrow

Ian Whybrow has lived in Kent, various places in London and as far afield as Hong Kong and New York. The most important thing to him in his writing is that it reads aloud brilliantly and that there is something in it for everyone.

Jane Elson

After performing as an actress and comedy improviser for many years, Jane fell into writing stories and plays. A Room Full of Chocolate was her first book for children and won Peters' Book of the Year and the Leeds Book Award as well as being longlisted for the Branford Boase and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. When she is not writing Jane spends her time running creative writing and comedy improvisation workshops for children with special educational needs. She is also a guest practitioner at Soho Theatre's Writer's Lab. Selected as a New Voice in the Guardian's guide to The Best New Children's Books 2014, Jane is described as 'A new author to watch.'

Jenny Oldfield

Born and brought up in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Jenny Oldfield went on to study English at Birmingham University, where she did research on the Brontë Novels and on Children's Literature. She then worked as a teacher, before deciding to concentrate on writing. She writes novels for both children and adults and, when she can escape from her desk, likes to spend time outdoors. She loves the countryside and enjoys walking, gardening, playing tennis, riding and travelling with her two daughters, Kate and Eve.

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels was born and brought up in the Yorkshire countryside, where she still lives. She has always loved animals. She is a full time writer who gained experience of writing working on SWEET VALLEY HIGH, LITTLE SISTER, and MYSTERY CLUB.

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.

Mij Kelly

Mij Kelly had an extremely colourful and varied childhood house-hopping around the UK, not to mention skipping across to India as well. Mij has worked as a newspaper editor, an oral historian and now, a specialist journalist in artificial intelligence. Mij has two children. She won the Kathleen Fidler Award for her first book in 1993 and One More Sheep won the English Association 4-11 years Award for Best Illustrated Book in 2004.

Mwenye Hadithi

Mwenye Hadithi was born in Nairobi in a rambling brick and wood house surrounded by ten acres. His early life was full of animals. He attended London University, studying languages and foreign literature. When his first attempts at short stories and radio plays were sold immediately, he decided to be the next great African Writer.

Paul Van Loon

Paul van Loon is one of Holland's most popular writers. A favourite with the Dutch Children's Jury, he wins the prize almost every year and has sold over 1 million copies of his titles in the Netherlands alone.

Piers Torday

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. The third book in the trilogy, The Wild Beyond, was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. His next book for children, There May Be A Castle, will be published in October 2016. The son of the late Paul Torday (author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Piers recently completed his father's final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl.In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a reading helper with Beanstalk, a former judge on the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a Patron of Reading at Heathmere School and a trustee of the Pleasance Theatre.Born in Northumberland, Piers now lives in London with his husband and hopefully a cat.

Robert Muchamore

ROBERT MUCHAMORE was born in Islington in 1972. As a teenager he dreamt of either becoming an architect, a photographer or a writer. On discovering that architects have to train for seven years and after quitting his Saturday job in a camera shop, he saved up enough money to buy a word processor and set his heart on writing. The only problem was, he didn't know what to write. So, he found a regular job and spent thirteen years as a private investigator. He was inspired to start writing again by his nephew's complaints about the lack of anything decent to read. Robert's CHERUB and Henderson's Boys series are bestsellers around the world. Robert grew up listening to mix tapes sent to him by his older brother, developing tastes for indie bands like Joy Division, The Pogues and The Smiths. The idea for Rock War came from seeing that many of Robert's fans turned up at book signings wearing the logos of long dead rock bands, and a realisation that his online fan forum had more kids talking about the X-Factor than about his books. For more information, go to www.muchamore.com.