Related to: 'Secret Agent Elephant'

Charlie Fletcher talks to Graham Marks (again!)

Author Spotlight

Charlie Fletcher is the bestselling author of the Stoneheart series and the classic adventure tale Far Rockaway; he has recently had his first adult novel published and here he talks to Graham Marks about his latest project, Dragon Shield.

Adam Blade

Adam Blade is the name for a small collective of authors who have been writing the bestselling series Beast Quest and Sea Quest for ten years! Beast Quest has now sold over 10 million copies. The newest series from the Adam Blade team is called Team Hero. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: beastquest.co.uk and teamherobooks.co.uk

Caryl Hart

Caryl Hart is the author of many bestselling books for children, including the hugely successful How to Grow A Dinosaur and The Princess and the Peas. She is the winner of the Stockport Children's Book Award, the Sheffield Children's Book Award and the Lancashire Share a Story Award. Caryl lives on the top of a windy hill in the Peak District with her guitar-playing husband, two cheeky daughters, one extremely fluffy black cat, a goldfish, four hens and an invisible dog called Paddy.Follow Caryl at carylhart.com and @carylhart1

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once 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 38 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, The Wizards of Once (also signed by DreamWorks), is a number one bestseller. Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, the Hay Festival Medal for Fiction, 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.

Daisy Meadows

The Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends books are written by a small collective of authors under the name Daisy Meadows. Rainbow Magic is the no.1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up with over 30 million copies sold worldwide!Learn more about the books at www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk (where you can download the Rainbow Magic Reading Challenge poster) and www.magicanimalfriends.com (where you'll find fun animal activity sheets)

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 Book Trust 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 likes 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 700 books and about 2,000 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 lived and worked all over the world and is currently based in London. Fiona's debut picture book Cuckoo won the International Reading Association's Children's Book Award. She is the creator of the bestselling A Tale of Two Beasts, which has sold over 220,000 copies around the world.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California and started writing stories at the age of eight. She wrote her first Horrid Henry book in 1994. Horrid Henry has gone on to conquer the globe; his adventures are published in 27 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Francesca has won the Children's Book of the Year Award and been a judge for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2009, in one of the proudest moments of her career, Francesca was awarded a Gold Blue Peter badge.Francesca is also a passionate ambassador for children's literacy and is a trustee of the World Book Day charity. She lives in North London with her family.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

Georgie Ripper

Georgie Ripper was born in London and is a children's book illustrator known for her work on the Rainbow Magic series of fairy books. She won the Macmillan Prize for Picture Book Illustration in 2000 with My Best Friend Bob and Little Brown Bushrat which she authored and illustrated.

Giles Andreae

Giles Andreae is the author of many top-selling, award-winning picture books. These include Rumble in the Jungle, Commotion in the Ocean and I Love My Mummy. However, it is for the international bestseller Giraffes Can't Dance that he is best known. Giles is also the creator of Purple Ronnie, Britain's favourite stickman, and of the artist/philosopher, Edward Monkton. These two ranges of greetings cards, books and merchandise have made Giles the country's top-selling living poet. Giles lives with his wife, Victoria, a children's clothes designer, and their four young children by the river in Oxfordshire.

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.

James Bishop

James was born in Oxfordshire - he is proud that after 32 years, he has moved one town over from where he was raised (although he does still feel homesick).Previous work includes writing credits on Diddy TV and Gigglebiz, as well as "successfully" convincing 90's pop act Hanson to play at his wedding. Well, they didn't actually play, but they sent him on a honeymoon to Jamaica which James thinks is even better.James spends his spare time thinking of inventive ways to engineer more spare time for himself ... so far unsuccessfully.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear. Jim is the 5th bestselling illustrator in the UK.

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson, the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate, is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world's most-loved picture books including The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard.The Gruffalo, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is now a children's classic and publishing phenomenon; celebrating 15 years in 2014, selling over 3 million copies worldwide, was voted Great Britain's favourite bedtime story on BBC Radio 2 and was adapted and broadcast as an animation on BBC 1 on Christmas Day 2009. The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom are now also films, with Room on the Broom shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2014. Julia Donaldson's most recent books with Axel Scheffler include Superworm (2012), Highway Rat (2011), Tabby McTat (2010), Stick Man (2009) and Tiddler (2008).

Katie Woolley

Katie Woolley is a creative and versatile editor and writer who has worked on children's books for all age levels, from board books, novelty books and picture books to non-fiction, licensed publishing and educational books and apps. With more than 10 years' publishing experience working for companies such as Ladybird Books and Hachette Children's Books, she has written, commissioned, edited and project-managed a wide variety of titles for some of the biggest children's publishers.

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate. She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

Kes Gray

Kes Gray is a bestselling, multi award-winning author of more than 70 books for children. He eats Ideaflakes for breakfast, spreads silliness on his toast and lives in a place called Different. Kes was the second bestselling picture book author in 2018.Oi Frog!, Oi Dog!, Oi Cat! and Oi Duck-billed Platypus! are a top ten bestselling series. Oi Dog! won the Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the British Book Award, amongst others. It also won the Teach Primary New Children's Fiction Award, MadeForMums Award, Bishop's Stortford Picture Book Award and Portsmouth Picture Book Award. Oi Cat! was the Independent Booksellers Children's Book of the Season and Oi Goat! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018. Oi Frog! received a Silver Award at the Nielsen Bookscan Awards 2019, and Oi Duck-billed Platypus! is shortlisted for the Children's Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2019.

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.'

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.

Matt Robertson

Matt Robertson grew up in Suffolk, and spent most of his childhood drawing and creating characters. He completed his MA in Children's Book Illustration at Cambridge School of Art in 2014, receiving a Distinction for his work. Matt is the winner of a Lara Jones Award and a Macmillan Children's Book Prize, and he was a finalist in the Waterstone's 'Picture This' competition. His first book, Super Stan, has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Picture Book Prize and is the winner of the 2017 Dundee Picture Book Award. Matt lives with his wife in Norwich.