Related to: 'Is it Really Nearly Christmas?'

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.

Alison Bartlett

Alison studied illustration at Anglia College of Art in Cambridge and began an M.A. At Kingston University. In 1993 she was shortlisted for the Macmillan Prize for Oliver's Vegetables. She lives in Bristol with her young son..

Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup is an illustrator, fine artist and writer. She was born in Hamburg, Germany, and went on to study at St. Martin's College and the Royal College of Art in London. Britta has created over 40 books, translated in 20 languages worldwide, and her artwork has been shown at exhibitions all over the world. She lives and works in Berlin with her artist husband and their young son.

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

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)

Edward Eaves

Ed Eaves graduated from Kingston University with a first class degree in illustration and since then has worked on a wide range of children's books. He is best known for the Albie series with Caryl Hart, including Supermarket Zoo, How to Grow a Dinosaur and Welcome to Alien School. He lives in Kent with his wife, the illustrator Rebecca Finn.

Elys Dolan

Elys Dolan is an author and illustrator currently living and working in Cambridge. She works predominantly with ink, newfangled digital witchcraft and coloured pencils (of which she is the proud owner of 178, but can never seem to find a sharpener). When not doing pictures and making things up Elys enjoys growing cacti, collecting pocket watches and eating excessive amounts of fondant fancies.In recent times Elys has been awarded 2nd place in the Macmillan Prize, was a finalist in Waterstones Picture This and was shortlisted for the AOI Awards. Elys has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

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.

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

Gillian Johnson

Gillian Johnson studied science and English at university. She's had lots of different jobs - working with Indian children in northern Canada, accompanying Inuit babies on small planes to their homes in remote communities, doing editorial cartoons for the university paper, teaching English to high school students. Eventually, she published a children's book and has been doing it ever since. She lives with her family and divides her time between Oxford and Tasmania.

Helen Bailey

Helen Bailey was born and brought up in Northumberland, a county she always regarded as home.Barely into her teens, Helen invested her pocket money in buying a copy of The Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and spent the next few years sending short stories and poems to anyone she could think of. Much to her surprise, she sometimes found herself in print.After a degree in science, Helen worked in the media, running a successful London-based character licensing agency handling internationally renowned properties such as Snoopy, Felicity Wishes, Dilbert and Zorro.Helen died in 2016, leaving behind a significant body of work. She is best known for her Electra Brown series, of which the first is 'Life in the Shallow End'.

Hilary Mckay

Born in Boston, Lincolnshire, Hilary McKay grew up in a household of readers and read voraciously from an early age. After studying Botany and Zoology at St Andrews University, she went on to work as a biochemist, but always wanted to write. Hilary's novels have won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Award and the Whitbread Children's Book Award. She lives in a small village in Derbyshire with her family.

Jackson Pearce

Jackson Pearce currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of second-hand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn't make it; other jobs she's had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist. Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn't tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since.Sisters Red is Jackson's debut novel in the UK. Her first novel As You Wish has recieved rave reviews in the US.

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.

Julian Sedgwick

Julian Sedgwick was born in Kent in 1966. A lifelong interest in the arts and culture of China and Japan has influenced much of his work - he read Oriental Studies and Philosophy at Cambridge, and between 2001 and 2007, travelled widely in Japan. He has always written but before focusing his energies on children's fiction, he worked as a bookseller and therapist. He lives with his wife Isabel and their sons Joseph and William in Ely, Cambs. Visit his website at www.juliansedgwick.co.uk

Kate O'Hearn

Kate O'Hearn was raised in the heart of New York City. Throughout her life, she has always had an active and vivid imagination. As a child walking down Fifth Avenue, she would envision herself soaring among the city's canyons on the back of a wild dragon. While in Florida, looking over the sea, she could imagine living amongst the whales and breaching in the heavy swells. At night, a star studded sky was yet another playground. These dreams and ideas never faded. Instead they grew until they spilled over into the books she loves to write.Kate's first book, Shadow of the Dragon: Kira, won the 1066 Schools' Book Award.

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! won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and 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! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018.

L J Adlington

L. J. Adlington is a writer, actress and costume historian. She lives in the north of England with a cat the size of a small armchair. She loves climbing volcanoes, watching crime dramas and reading fairy-tales. She is very good at eating chocolate. Her novels for teenagers weave together past, present, future and fantasy. Her latest novel Night Witches is set on a war-torn world, with a darkly complex and powerful heroine.

Lee Monroe

Lee Monroe was born in London, but spent a short time living by the sea with her family when she was a teenager. She moved back to the heart of the city as soon as she could, and now lives in Westminster. Lee was an obsessive reader as a child, and still is. She has worked in publishing and contributed to, and ghost-written books.

Lucy Courtenay

Lucy Courtenay has officially been writing children's fiction since 1999, and unofficially for a lot longer than that. Her desk drawers are full of half-finished stories waiting for the right moment to emerge and dance around her study in a shower of exuberant paperclips. Her latest books indulge her love of teenage romance: The Kiss is published by Hodder, with Movie Night and Girl at Sea coming in 2018.