Related to: 'Words in Deep Blue'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell’s Hiccup books, which she also illustrates, are now published in over 30 countries around the world and the first book in the series, How to Train Your Dragon, has been made into an animated movie by DreamWorks; Cressida also writes and illustrates picture books. The eleventh title in the Hiccup Saga, How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel, is published in September, and here she talks to Graham Marks about pretty much everything to do with writing a hit series…

Hodder Children's Books

Graffiti Moon

Cath Crowley
Cath Crowley

'We've got at least seven hours to get what we want before the sun comes up.'School is over, and Lucy has the perfect way to celebrate: tonight she's going to find Shadow, the mysterious graffiti artist whose work appears all over the city. Somewhere in the glassy darkness, he's out there, spraying colour, birds and blue sky on the night. And Lucy knows that a guy who paints like Shadow is someone she could fall for - really fall for.The last person Lucy wants to spend this night with is Ed, the guy she's managed to avoid since punching him in the nose on the most awkward date of her life. But when Ed tells Lucy he knows where to find Shadow, the two of them are suddenly on an all-night search to places where Shadow's pieces of heartbreak and escape echo off the city walls. And what Lucy can't see is the one thing that's right before her eyes.

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

Daisy Meadows is the author of the bestselling series Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends. Her books have sold over 30 million copies worldwide.You can find out all about her magical stories and much more at the series websites: and

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 and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

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.)

John Malam

John Malam studied Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham, after which he worked as an archaeologist at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum in Shropshire. He is now an author specialising in information books for children and is a National Literacy Trust Reading Champion. He lives in Cheshire with his wife, a teacher, and has two grown-up children.

Jon Richards

Jon Richards is an award-winning author of non-fiction books for children. He specialises in visual literacy, infographics and data visualisation.

Kes Gray

Kes 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.Oi Frog!, Oi Dog! and Oi Cat! are a top ten bestselling series. Oi Dog! was shortlisted for the Sainsbury's Children's Book Award and the British Book Awards in 2016, 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! is a World Book Day book in 2018.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child MBE is a multi-award-winning author and current Children's Laureate, whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over six million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

Lee Wildish

Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick

Max Wainewright

Max has written over 20 educational software titles for children. His programs and websites have won a number of awards including BETT, ERA and Practical Pre-School Gold Awards. Max also used to be a primary school teacher. He lives in London with his wife and two children.

Mick Inkpen

Mick Inkpen has been a bestselling children's author for over 25 years. He is one of today's most popular picture book author/illustrators and the famous creator of both Kipper and Wibbly Pig. Mick has won the Children's Book Award for Threadbear and the British Book Award twice, for Penguin Small and Lullabyhullaballoo. Kipper won a BAFTA for Best Animated Film.

Mick Manning

Mick Manning (born in Yorkshire, England, 1959) and Brita Granström (born in Eskilstuna, Sweden, 1969) work together as a team sharing the illustration and text. They have been producing award-winning non-fiction picture books for almost twenty years. They show that the best non-fiction for children can be scholarly, albeit with a light touch, and can have some of the imagination-stretching qualities of fiction. They are well known for their exciting performances involving readings and live drawing using overhead camera projection (often involving participation from members of the audience) all mixed with an audio-visual presentation. They appear on a regular basis at major UK book festival venues such as Bath, Cheltenham and Edinburgh International Book Festival. They have appeared at The Royal Society Science Festival and have celebrated The Big Draw at various venues including The Imperial War Museum. They have worked closely to support libraries and schools, performing voluntarily to school classes in the UK and Sweden and have also attended the American Library Conference and visited US schools.Many of Manning & Granström's books are translated into a number of languages, including Chinese, German, Greek, Danish, Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish and Slovakian. For the last 12 years Mick & Brita have created, written and illustrated a monthly 5-page gentle pre-school series called 'Max and Kate' for the critically acclaimed US children's magazine Ladybug. Selection of Franklin Watts books:The World Is Full of Babies! (Smarties Silver Award Winner); What's under the Bed? (TES Award Winner); Wash, Scrub, and Brush (English Association Award KS1 Winner); Stone Age, Bone Age and many other Wonderwise titles; How Did I Begin? (Rhone Poulenc Science prize winner); How Should I Behave?; Seaside Scientist; My Body Book; My Uncle's Dunkirk; Charlie's War Illustrated (English Association Award KS2 Winner); The Story of Britain; The Brontës - Children of the Moors.

Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson has appeared in films such as THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME, EMPIRE OF THE SUN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. TV work includes A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, JACKANORY, Queen Elizabeth in BLACKADDER and Queen Mary in THE LOST PRINCE. She has won two Spoken Word awards for her inspired readings of HORRID HENRY AND THE SECRET CLUB and HORRID HENRY'S STINKBOMB audiobooks for Orion.

Moira Butterfield

I have been writing for many years in a number of different genres, from books for babies up to books for 11 year-olds plus. I like to try new things and tackle new subjects, so I don't limit myself to one type of book. One month I might be writing about history, and the next month I might be creating an imaginary story. Examples of my work have been selected for national Key Stage study in the UK, and in the USA I was commended by the Library of Congress for my work in non-fiction, which they felt encouraged reluctant readers. I work with visuals always in mind, and love the challenge of getting across information or an exciting story with good graphics to back it up. Lately I have been blogging about the craft of writing, and I've also appeared at National Book Festivals, which I think of as the most challenging thing of all to do! I get a lot of emails from children around the world, inspired by one of my books they have read, and that gives me great pleasure.

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. His most recent book for children, There May Be A Castle, was published in October 2016 to critical acclaim and was a Children's Book of the Year for The Times. 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. He also adapted John Masefield's classic The Box of Delights for stage in 2017. 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 their dog Huxley.

Polly Peters

Polly Peters is a former English and drama teacher and community theatre writer and director. With Andrew Fusek Peters she has produced over 40 books. POEMS WITH ATTITUDE and POEMS WITH ATTITUDE UNCENSORED were both Education Guardian book of the week. She and Andrew live with their two children in rural Shropshire.

Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is the author of brilliant series Secret Princesses and Secret Kingdom. You can find out all about Secret Princesses and much more at the series website: