Related to: 'How to Pick Your Dragon'

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…

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

Alex Woolf

Alex Woolf studied history at Essex University, and has written and edited many 20th century history titles for young people.

Andy Riley

Andy Riley is a highly successful cartoonist and comedy scriptwriter. TV writing credits include HBO's Veep, Gangsta Granny, Robbie the Reindeer, Little Britain and Black Books. Film credits include The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and Gnomeo and Juliet. His bestselling books include The Bunny Suicides series.

Anne Digby

Anne Digby is the author of the Trebizon school series, the Me, Jill Robinson series and several film tie-in novels. She lives in East Sussex with her writer husband.

Arthur Robins

Arthur Robins is known and loved the world over for his witty and lively picture books and cartoons. He has illustrated numerous favourite books for Orchard, including the ever-popular 'Seriously Silly' series, written by Laurence Anholt, the 'Small Knight' series, written by Ronda Armitage, and the bestselling picture book 'My Granny is a Pirate', written by multi-award-winning, internationally bestselling author Val McDermid. Arthur lives in Surrey, near his two grown-up daughters.

Barrie Wade

Barrie has had a long and successful career in education, first as an English teacher, then as Professor of Education in English at the University of Birmingham, where he is now Emeritus Professor. He is also a published author of over 150 books and a tireless fundraiser and supporter of the charity Mencap and governor of the Mencap College in the UK.Barrie encourages young writers around the country in his numerous author visits and writing workshops. He has published a huge variety of poems, stories and non-fiction.

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.

Caryn Jenner

Caryn Jenner was born and raised in the USA, but has lived all her adult life in the UK. The very best thing she's ever done in her life is adopting her fabulous and fascinating daughter. The next best thing is working with children as a school volunteer. She also enjoys writing and editing books for children. She lives in London with her husband, daughter and cats.

Chris d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey is the author of the The Last Dragon Chronicles and the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series. He likes dragons. He was born in Malta, but now lives in Devon with his wife, Jay, and about three hundred teddy bears. He likes teddy bears, too. After graduating from York University with a Biology degree, he went to Leicester University where he worked for twenty-eight years as a research scientist, mainly looking down microscopes. He now writes full time.In his spare moments, he likes to watch TV and walk by the sea - though not necessarily at the same time. His passion is writing and recording songs. His ultimate ambition is to write a song that will feature on the soundtrack of a movie of the dragon books, always assuming a movie is made.Presently, he is working on two new projects, both of which feature dragons to some extent.

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

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.

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 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

Geraldo Valerio

Geraldo Valerio was born in Brazil and is now a Canadian citizen living in Toronto. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, and in 2000 received a Master of Arts degree from New York University. He has illustrated more than 20 picture books for publishers in the UK, Canada, the United States, Portugal and Brazil.

Izzi Howell

Izzi Howell is the author and editor of over fifty children's books. She lives in East Sussex and enjoys learning languages, cooking and travelling around Europe.

James Mayhew

James Mayhew studied at Maidstone College of Art and his first children's book, Katie's Picture Show was published in 1989. It's been firmly in print ever since, recognised universally as the original and best introduction to art for children. Many more titles have followed, and the series sells in museums and galleries all over the world, from the Met in New York, to the Uffizi in Florence, the Louvre in Paris and beyond. He is also the creator of the much-loved Ella Bella Ballerina series, and many other titles. Alongside his work in publishing, James has devised and performed in a hugely successful series of concerts for children, combining live classical music, storytelling and live art. From Peter and the Wolf, to Scheherazade, James has worked internationally with many different orchestras and musicians, creating illustrations in time to music. James grew up in Suffolk but now lives in Hertfordshire.

Jim Field

A lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second, Led Zeppelin fan, Jim Field is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. The bestselling Oi Frog! books, written by Kes Gray, have been shortlisted for numerous prizes, as has The Lion Inside with Rachel Bright. His vibrant, energetic style and witty detail delight children and adults alike.

Katharine McEwen

Katharine McEwen has been illustrating since graduating from Kingston University in 1996. To date she has illustrated around 40 titles and is fortunate to have worked with some fantastic authors, such as Allan Ahlberg, Michael Rosen and Giles Andreae. She is currently embarking on becoming an authorstrator (or should that be illustrauthor?!), but finds the writing part enjoyable, but very tricky!When not illustrating books, Katharine attempts to throw pots (in a making them way, not an angry way) and is endeavouring to get better at it. She also loves a good movie, rummaging in a junk shops, chin-wagging with her chums and taking photographs.

Katie Dale

Katie Dale had her first poem 'The Fate of The School Hamster' published in The Cadbury's Book of Children's Poetry, aged 8 and hasn't stopped writing since. On graduating, she went travelling through South-East Asia - only to discover whilst in a Vietnam internet cafe that she was a winner of the SCBWI 2008 Undiscovered Voices competition.

Liz Kessler

Liz Kessler studied English at Loughborough University, has worked as a teacher and a journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. After taking a year off to travel around Europe in a camper van, Liz now lives in Cornwall.Find out more at www.lizkessler.co.uk, follow her on Twitter @lizkesslerbooks and like her on Facebook at facebook.com/lizkesslerchildrensauthor.