Related to: 'How to Build a Dragon Fort'

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…

Abie Longstaff

Abie Longstaff is the eldest of six children and grew up in Australia, Hong Kong and France. She knows all about squabbling and bossing younger sisters around so she began her career as a barrister. She started writing when her children were born. Her books include The Fairytale Hairdresser series and The Magic Potions Shop books. She has a life-long love of fairy tales and mythology and her work is greatly influenced by these themes. Abie got the idea for the Trapdoor Mysteries from her parents' house in France. The house is big and old, with lots of rooms and outbuildings. In one of the bedrooms, there is a secret entrance hidden in a fireplace. It leads to a room that was used by the French Resistance during the war. It was the perfect idea for a book! Abie lives with her family by the seaside in Hove.

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 - it launched in Summer 2017. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: seaquestbooks.co.uk and teamherobooks.co.uk

Albert Uderzo

Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. Asterix the Gaul, their first album, was published in 1961 and there have now been 34 Asterix albums.

Alex T. Smith

Alex graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Illustration and won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Illustration. Claude won the 5-9 young fiction Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, was selected for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, the Richard and Judy Book Club and is soon to be a TV star on Disney Junior with 52 episodes airing in 2018. Alex T. Smith is a World Book Day Illustrator.

Andy Stanton

Andy Stanton has written eight books about Mr Gum, along with further successful fiction and picture book titles. He was overall winner of the Red House Children's Book Award for You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum! and won the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize for Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear. He has twice won the Blue Peter Book Award for Best Book With Pictures, and been shortlisted for a host of other awards.

Chris Higgins

Before writing her first novel, Chris taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. She also worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Land's End, but now writes full-time.Chris has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen.She lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband.

Claire Powell

Claire is an illustrator, writer and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC and BBC One. Claire has a tendency towards humour and bright, bold use of colour and she loves creating strong typographical layouts to help tell a story.

Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive's official website can be found at www.clivegifford.co.uk

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 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 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 , 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: www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk and www.magicanimalfriends.co.uk

Dawn Hewitt

Dawn Hewitt is CEO of CHUMS, a Child Bereavement Trauma and Emotional Wellbeing Service based in Bedfordshire. They are an independent social enterprise with over 45 staff and over 70 volunteers and they provide much needed help and support to children and young people who are dealing with grief and bereavement, amongst other issues. This book is a collaboration between Dawn and her colleagues at CHUMS.

Deborah Chancellor

Deborah Chancellor is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books for children. She has written nearly 100 books and worked with many leading publishers. Deborah is a prolific writer of children's non-fiction on a wide range of subjects. She is a versatile author who has written biographies for teenagers, adapted Bible stories for pre-school children, and written teenage fiction for older children with reading difficulties. Her books have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Deborah appears at Literary Festivals and runs writing workshops for young people.

Didier Conrad

Rene Goscinny was born in Paris in 1926, and spent most of his childhood in Argentina, before eventually moving to Paris in 1951. He died in 1977. Albert Uderzo was born in 1927 in a small village in Marne, France. He met Rene Goscinny in 1951 and on 29 October 1959 their most famous creation, Asterix, made his first appearance on page 20 of Pilote. ASTERIX THE GAUL, their first album, was published in 1961. Jean-Yves Ferri and Didier Conrad began writing and illustrating Asterix in 2013 with ASTERIX AND THE PICTS. There have now been 37 albums.

Elif Balta Parks

Elif Balta Parks is a business graduate who's love of drawing lead her to change her life and become an illustrator. She studied independently for several years, developing her style and then attended Central Saint Martins college before beginning her career as an illustrator. Since 2012 Elif has illustrated over 30 children's books and is passionate about engaging young readers' imaginations with her work. She lives in more than one place but always has her sketchbook at her side.

Elisa Paganelli

Elisa Paganelli was born in Modena (Italy), and since childhood cannot resist the smell of paper and pencils. She attended the Institute of Art and subsequently graduated from the European Institute of Design (IED) in Turin with a degree in illustration. As a post-grad, Elisa worked as a graphic designer for a communication agency. However she realized that this wasn't the life for her, so she decided to set up her own art and design studio. (She also ran a successful design shop for 6 years, but this is another story.)Elisa devotes most of her time to her passion for images and words. She thinks of herself as a kind of hermit, immersed in her quiet world of nature and books, accompanied by a cup of tea and her beloved pet-assistants. She now collaborates with publishers and advertising agencies all over the world, and also writes for a newspaper's lifestyle column.

Elizabeth Dale

Elizabeth Dale always dreamed of being a writer but somehow got side-tracked into studying for a physics degree, followed by health service management. When her children were born she finally returned to her dream, writing thousands of short stories for magazines all over the world. Re-discovering a love of children's books while reading to her daughters, she decided to turn her hand to writing them - and has now published over twenty books for children, including picture books and junior fiction. Writing is her full-time job, but also her favourite activity. She also enjoys reading, gardening, walking, and being in the country. Her favourite children's books include Walk Two Moons, The Selfish Giant, Cosmic, and Someone Else's Life. She loves watching cosy sentimental films, such as You've Got Mail, Return to Me, and While You Were Sleeping, as well as classic old films starring Cary Grant, Fred Astaire and Doris Day. Elizabeth is married, with three daughters, and lives in a village in West Sussex. Her daughters, Katie and Jenny, are also children's authors with Hachette.

Emily Bolam

Born in Amersham Buckinghamshire into a family of artists and other creative types, Emily has always flourished in art classes and decided she would like to be an artist when she was 5. She attended Brighton school of Art 1987-1990 and continues to live in the town working from a converted warehouse studio close to the beach. Despite spending all day drawing both, Emily has no children or animals. When not thinking of the next book she likes to watch the world perambulate along Brighton seafront whilst eating icecream. Emily has been widely published by Orchard, Macmillian, Orion and DK.Emily Bolam trained at Brighton Art College and is a very successful illustrator of children's books, among them Francesca Simon's MIAOW MIAOW, BOW WOW and MOO BAA BAA QUACK, and Georgie Adams's THE THREE LITTLE WITCHES. She lives and works in Brighton.Her website can be found at http://www.emilybolam.com/

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.

Georgie Adams

Georgie Adams was born in Tunbridge Wells, and grew up in Kent and Sussex. She was an editor for many years in the UK and Australia, was co-director of a small publishing company in London, before becoming a successful writer of children's books. She has written over 70 books, mostly for young children. Georgie is married to artist and printmaker, Tom Adams, has two daughters and three stepchildren, and lives in a rural part of North Cornwall, overlooking the Kensey Valley. Her website is http://www.georgieadams.com/

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.