Related to: 'The Ethan I Was Before'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.

Orchard Books

Untitled Ali Standish

Ali Standish
Authors:
Ali Standish

The next wonderful middle-grade novel from the author of The Ethan I Was Before

Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne has written over 150 children's books on all kinds of subjects, from sharks, black holes and splitting the atom to how to draw, Shakespeare's life, and Greek myths and legends. She knows a lot about conservation in the rain forests of Costa Rica as she once volunteered there for threw months. She likes space, sewing and music, plays the trombone and loves going camping.

Annabel Pitcher

Annabel graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and an ambition to be a children's author. She had a variety of jobs before deciding to travel the world and focus on writing. Annabel now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two young sons.Her first book, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE, won the Branford Boase and a Betty Trask Award in 2012 and KETCHUP CLOUDS won the 2014 Waterstones Children's Prize. Annabel's work has been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Galaxy British Book Award and the Red House Children's Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.Visit Annabel's website at www.annabelpitcher.com and follow her on Twitter @APitcherAuthor.

Caroline Lawrence

Caroline Lawrence is American. She lives with her husband by the river in London and is active as a speaker in schools and at book festivals. She took part in the British Museum's POMPEII LIVE event, giving talks that were streamed to schools all over the UK, and she is the winner of the 2009 CLASSICS ASSOCIATION PRIZE for 'a significant contribution to the public understanding of Classics'. In addition to the 17 novels in the ROMAN MYSTERIES sequence, Caroline Lawrence has written five spin-off titles, all of which have contributed to total UK sales in excess of 1 million copies. Visit Caroline's website at www.carolinelawrence.com and follow her on Twitter @CarolineLawrenc.

Christopher William Hill

Christopher William Hill was born in Truro, in Cornwall - a little jaundiced, but that was to be expected in the grim days of the 1970s. His mother was a former nurse, so Christopher grew up with a copy of Black's Medical Dictionary to hand, which was ideal reading matter for an enthusiastic hypochondriac. He liked acting and putting on silly voices, and collecting ancient relics which he gathered in a large walk-in wardrobe that called his 'museum'. Christopher loves walking, ocean liners, airships, Victoriana and cake shops.

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon book series, and the author of the Emily Brown picture books, illustrated by Neal Layton. How to Train Your Dragon has sold over 8 million books worldwide in 37 languages. It is also an award-winning DreamWorks film series, and a TV series shown on Netflix and CBBC. The first book in Cressida's new series, Wizards of Once, publishes in September 2017. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes for her books, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize and 'Philosophy Now' magazine's 2015 'Award for Contributions in the Fight Against Stupidity'. She grew up in London and on a small, uninhabited island off the west coast of Scotland and she now lives in Hammersmith with her husband, three children and a dog called Pigeon.

Diana Hendry

Diana Hendry lives in Edinburgh, and is well-connected on the literary scene. Her picture book, The Very Noisy Night, was adapted into a show by Blunderbus Theatre Company. She has given readings, poetry readings, workshops and talks to children and adults at numerous festivals throughout the UK including Cheltenham, Edinburgh, Dead Good Poets, Liverpool and Wigtown Book Festival and she has visited schools all around the country from Devon to the Shetlands. She relates to children and teenagers (and adults) with just the right mix of seriousness and fun and they appreciate her dry, mischievous sense of humour.

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.

Eve Lloyd Knight

Eve Lloyd Knight is an illustrator, designer and art director based in London, whose work has been featured in Grazia Magazine, Stylist Magazine, New York TImes, The Pool and Vue Cinemas. Eve produces bold and topical illustrations, with a specific focus on feminist issues.

Helen Moss

Helen Moss was born in 1964 and grew up in Worcestershire and Saudi Arabia. After a degree in psychology and philosophy at Oxford University, Helen went on to do PhD research at Cambridge University. She recently spent a year in Portland, Oregon, with her family, and on returning decided to switch direction and devote herself full-time to writing books for young readers. Helen lives in a small village outside Cambridge with her husband, two teenage sons, two border collies, two gerbils, several hens and a bearded dragon called Frankie.Visit her website at http://www.helenmoss.org.uk and the Adventure Island website at http://www.adventureislandbooks.com, and follow her on Twitter @hmadventure.

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.

Jan Burchett

Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website www.burchettandvogler.co.uk and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BurchettVogler. Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at http://samsilverundercoverpirate.blogspot.co.uk.

Janine Beacham

A former journalist, Janine Beacham has written all her life. She has always loved fairy tales and fantasy, and as a child would make up games for her friends to play at school. Janine once entered a competition where the prize was a real-life butler - which partly inspired the secret society of butlers in the Rose Raventhorpe Investigates series. Janine lives in Western Australia with her family.

John Agard

John Agard was born in Guyana and emigrated to Britain in 1977. He has worked as an actor and a performer with a jazz group and spent several years with the Commonwealth Institute, travelling all over Britain giving talks, performances and workshops. He has visited literally thousands of schools. His poem 'Half-caste' is on the AQA Englsih GCSE syllabus, and every year he tours the country performing with other top poets for GCSE students. His children's poetry includes WE ANIMALS WOULD LIKE A WORD WITH YOU, POINTS OF VIEW WITH PROFESSOR PEEKABOO, and most recently EINSTEIN, THE GIRL WHO HATED MATHS and HELLO H2O, poems about maths and science respectively. All these titles have been in collaboration with the illustrator Satoshi Kitamura He lives in Sussex and is married to Grace Nichols, herself a respected Caribbean poet. They have a daughter.

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the #1 New York Times- and USA Today-bestselling author of Crooked Kingdom, Six of Crows and the Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, and Ruin and Rising. 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.

Louise K Stewart

Louise K Stewart studied women's writing atuniversity and did a Masters degree in Women andLiterature. She co-founded Aurora, a magazinefeaturing creative writing and illustrations bywomen, based in Liverpool. She then became anauthor, and has written more than 200 books foryoung people on a wide range of subjects.

Lucy Courtenay

Lucy Courtenay was born in Northern Ireland, went to school in Dorset and studied history at Bristol. Her chequered career included stints as a tea lady, a press officer, a singer, a porcelain dealer, a teacher and an editor, before she finally saw sense and started writing children's books. She began her writing career in 1999 on THE SLEEPOVER CLUB, and hasn't looked back. Lucy has a very small study with a leaking roof and view of the garden where she spends far too much time laughing at her own jokes. She sings, wears bright colours, watches lots of TV, reads incessantly, loves her children and forages for wild mushrooms which her husband wisely refuses to touch. She has a cat called Crumble, two fish called Timothy and Sonic, and an imaginary hamster called Rhubarb.

Nigel Quinlan

Nigel Quinlan is an Irish writer born in Limerick in 1970. He has worked in libraries and bookshops all over Ireland before washing up in the midlands village of Cloughjordan with his wife and his two children. He writes stories for local festivals and acts with the local drama group. His first novel, THE MALONEYS' MAGICAL WEATHERBOX is a middle grade fantasy based on a short story he wrote as a teenager while minding his parents' petrol pumps.Find Nigel's website at http://uglychicken.livejournal.com/

Paul Rockett

Since landing on planet Earth, Paul Rockett has spent much of his time reading up on the adventures of human life, while also experiencing a few of his own. In his quest to find out more about his chosen home planet, Paul has travelled, doodled, eaten a lot of food, plundered dusty libraries and gazed out of windows. Having gathered together a vast amount of fascinating data, it is now his mission to present as much as he can in interesting ways, so that any passing Martian can see how brilliant life is on Earth.

Ronne Randall

Ronne Randall, originally from New York, has worked in children's publishing since 1980 and has been a freelance editor and author since 1993. She has written more than 150 children's books, published on both sides of the Atlantic. She has a special interest in folklore and fairy tales, and she has an MA in Folklore from Sheffield University. She is married, with one son, and lives in Nottinghamshire, England.