Related to: 'Max Helsing and the Beast of Bone Creek'

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.

Orchard Books

Max Helsing, Monster Hunter

Curtis Jobling
Authors:
Curtis Jobling

Percy Jackson meets Dracula in this action-packed monster hunting series! With the perfect combination of humour and heroism, Max Helsing will keep readers aged nine and up on the edge of their seats. Descended from a long line of monster hunters, Max Helsing does a pretty good job of being an ordinary kid by day and keeping his town safe from demons, ghouls and the occasional mummy by night. That is, until he turns thriteen and discovers he's been cursed by an ancient vampire who wants him dead at any cost. To save the world - and his life - Max must rely on his wise-cracking best friend, cantankerous mentor, computer genius neighbour, and brand-new puppy. He'll need all their help and more to break the Thirteenth Curse!

Chris Mould

Chris Mould went to art school at the age of sixteen. During this time, he did various jobs, from delivering papers to washing-up. Chris loves his work and writes and draws the kind of books that he would have liked to have on his shelf as a boy. He has won the Nottingham Children's Book Award, has been shortlisted for the Greenaway Award and commended for the Sheffield Book Award. Chris has also worked for the RSC, the BBC, the FT and many other famous initials, as well as for Aardman Animations, where he did character and environment development work on the film Flushed Away. Chris is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.

Daisy Meadows

Daisy Meadows is the author of over 200 Rainbow Magic books.

David Roberts

David Roberts is a hugely successful illustrator who has illustrated books by Philip Ardagh, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Chris Priestley. He's also the creator of Dirty Bertie and the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling artist of picture books IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT and ROSIE REVERE, ENGINEER. David lives in London.

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

Emma Chichester Clark

Emma Chichester Clark trained at the Chelsea College of Art and The Royal College of Art before becoming a full-time illustrator. She was awarded the Mother Goose Award in 1988 as the most promising newcomer to children's book illustration. She has since illustrated a number of picture books and collections for Orchard Books, Andersen Press, Pavilion and Methuen.For Orchard Emma illustrated The Orchard Book of Greek Myths in 1992 and in 1997 The Orchard Book of Greek Gods and Goddesses. Both books have been retold by award-winning writer Geraldine McCaughrean, who has retold a number of the Orchard Collections. Emma's lively illustrations perfectly match the magic of the stories which bring characters of Ancient Greece strikingly to life. Emma was also chosen to be one of eight artists to illustrate The Orchard Book of Opera Stories retold by Adèle Geras which was published last Autumn to much acclaim.In 1998 Emma has joined forces with major poet and playwright, Adrian Mitchell, to illustrate his retelling of Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood and Maid Marian published in June.Emma has also written and illustrated a number of her own books, including Tea with Aunt Augusta, Miss Bilberry's New House and Little Miss Muppet Counts to Ten. She also illustrated some collections written by Laura Cecil including A Thousand Yards of Sea (Methuen), and has recently illustrated Thumbelina (Pavilion) and Little Red Riding Hood (Macdonald Young Books). Emma lives in Fulham in South West London, and has featured in the Illustrators Hall of Fame in The Mail on Sunday with other illustrators including Quentin Blake, Michael Foreman, Shirley Hughes, Anthony Browne and Raymond Briggs.

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

Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 140 books and plays for both adults and children, including Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, which was one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever award. Geraldine is the first author to have been short listed, by librarians, for the Carnegie Medal six times, on at least one occasion in each of the past four decades, thus once again recognising the quality of her writing over the years.Geraldine McCaughrean's novels and retellings for children have won her the CARNEGIE MEDAL, GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, WHITBREAD AWARD and THE BEEFEATER AWARD. A prolific author who writes for all ages, she lives in Berkshire with her family.Visit her website at www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk

Geraldo Valerio

Geraldo Valerio was born in Brazil and is now a Canadian citizen living in Toronto. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and in 2000 received a Master of Arts degree from New York University. He has illustrated more than 20 picture books for publishers in the UK, Canada, the United States, Portugal and Brazil.

Gitty Daneshvari

As a child Gitty Daneshvari talked and talked and talked. Whether yammering at her sister through a closed door or bombarding her parents with questions while they attempted to sleep, she absolutely refused to stop chattering until finally there was no one left to listen. In need of an outlet for her thoughts, Gitty began writing and she hasn't stopped since.Gitty is the author of the middle grade series SCHOOL OF FEAR, SCHOOL OF FEAR 2: CLASS IS NOT DISMISSED and SCHOOL OF FEAR 3: THE FINAL EXAM. She currently lives in New York City with her highly literate English bulldog Harriet. And yes she still talks too much.

James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.

Jamie Thomson

Jamie Thomson is the minion and slave of the Dark Lord, Dirk Lloyd. He's an author and games developer who has written numerous choose-your-own-adventure style gamebooks and worked on many computer games from the Tower of Despair (1984) to Warrior Kings: Battles (2003) Jamie Thomson lives in the dungeons below his Master's Iron Tower in East Sussex, where he spends every day writing for his overlord.His book, Dark Lord: The Teenage Years, was the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner.

Jason Chapman

Jason Chapman's great passion is writing and illustrating picture books - several of which have been published worldwide. He has also illustrated for museums and charities including the Natural History Museum, the NSPCC, the National Trust and the National Portrait Gallery and has worked with leading children's TV company Ragdoll Productions developing new characters. A promotional postcard posted to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in 1990 featuring dogs and cats relaxing in a pub, sparked a working relationship between Jason and the Home that is still strong today. Jason's charming and humorous dogs and cats have appeared on murals, magazines, books, factsheets, education packs, websites, animations, advertising and much more.

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has been shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Award and Queen of Teen, and Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. In 2011, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joe All Alone was nominated for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal. She writes the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy. Joanna previously worked as a policy writer for the Labour Party and a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She continues to freelance as a speechwriter and editor, and lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Jonathan Woodward

Jonathan Woodward specialises in creating wildlife illustrations using a cut paper collage style both with recycled magazines and digitally. Previous clients include the Bronx Zoo, NYC Aquarium, the National Trust, CBeebies and Penguin.

Kes Gray

Voted by the Independent as one of the TOP TEN children's authors only a year after publishing his first book, Kes Gray is a major talent and the author of the bestselling and award-winning Eat Your Peas and many more. He lives in Witham, Essex, with his wife, family and assortment of animals.

Kevin Wood

Kevin has written technical computer manuals and user-guides for grown-ups, and is expert at breaking down the complicated to the manageable. He is part of a husband and wife publishing team producing children's books on many different subjects. His hobbies include programming, writing computer games and renovating houses. Kevin is currently renovating a barn in Cornwall in his spare time, to house his family and four chickens!

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 Thirteen Days of Midnight when he was 19, in his first year at the University of East Anglia. He graduated in 2014 with a First Class Honours degree in American Literature and Creative Writing. He currently lives in London.