Related to: 'Wishing for a Dragon'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

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

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.

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), publishes in September 2017. 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.

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/

Heather Chivers

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Hiawyn Oram

Hiawyn Oram grew up in South Africa. After graduating in English and Drama from the University of Kwa Zulu Natal, she worked as an advertising copywriter before becoming a full-time writer. She's written more than a 100 children's books starting with the old classic ANGRY ARTHUR Illustrated by Satoshi Kitamura, now an ebook by MEBOOKS. Her work has been published in more than 30 languages including Russian and Chinese, Turkish, Slovak and Polish and won or been short-listed for several awards. She also writes poetry, script and lyrics for musicals and has developed and written for animated TV. Dreamworks in the US have optioned her series starring Rumblewick, an overworked cat to a reluctant witch, as the inspiration for an animated movie. THE VACKEES, a musical for which she wrote the words, is regularly performed across the country and LAST TRAIN TO TOMORROW, about the rescue of 10,000 Jewish children from the holocaust, was performed by the Halle Orchestra, junior choir and actors to standing ovation. Her favourite children's book ever is THE SECRET GARDEN by F.H. Burnett and her vote for best children's movie goes to Disney's JUNGLE BOOK, narrowly pipping KUNG FU PANDA to the post. Hiawyn lives in London where, when not writing, she can be found inventing games for grandchildren and getting messy covering canvasses in paint.

Jan Burchett

Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website www.burchettandvogler.co.uk and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BurchettVogler. Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at http://samsilverundercoverpirate.blogspot.co.uk.

Jane Ray

Jane Ray's exquisite artwork has gained acclaim both in the UK and internationally, and she regularly shows her work at galleries and exhibitions. Jane won the Smarties Prize with The Story of Creation; The Story of Christmas was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award; and A Balloon for Grandad was shortlisted for the Mother Goose Award. Jane's books for Orchard include the contemporary fairy tale The Apple-Pip Princess, the heartwarming The Dolls' House Fairy and the fabulously festive The Twelve Days of Christmas. She is also the illustrator of Heartsong, written by Kevin Crossley-Holland. Jane lives in London.

Jenny Colgan

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels for adults, including Meet Me at the Cupcake Café and Little Beach Street Bakery. When Neil the puffin from Little Beach Street Bakery caught her readers' attention, Jenny knew she needed a story of his own - and so the idea for Polly and the Puffin was born.Jenny is married with three children and lives in Scotland. For more about Jenny, visit her website and her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jennycolgan.

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.

John Parke Davis

Husband and wife Carrie Ryan & John Parke Davis have been in love with each other's writing (and with each other) since meeting in law school a decade ago. Carrie is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed and multi-award winning Forest of Hands and Teeth series. J.P. is an Assistant Federal Defender in the Western District of North Carolina as well as a published author of short fiction. Though they've been important parts of each other's writing for years, The Pirate Stream is their first full collaboration. J.P. and Carrie currently live in Charlotte, North Carolina, with their two ornery cats and one gullible dog.

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.

Katz Cowley

British-born Katz Cowley has a degree in Illustration from the University of Northumbria. She spent a year and a half travelling around SE Asia and living in Australia before arriving in New Zealand in 2000, where she has been ever since.

Kevin Crossley-Holland

Kevin Crossley-Holland won the Carnegie Medal in 1985 for Storm. His many notable books for adults and children include poetry, classic retellings and anthologies. He has written and presented many BBC radio programmes and is a frequent speaker at schools and libraries. For some years he held a university post in Minnesota and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. The Seeing Stone won the prestigious Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, At The Crossing-Places won a Silver award at the SWPA Spoken Word Awards and Gatty's Tale was shortlisted for the 2008 Carnegie Medal.

Kita Mitchell

Kita wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was swiftly and cruelly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Moudilocks were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff and luckily they did degrees in that. After getting one she went on to produce films for Channel 4 - but the feeling that she should write funny books for children never went away.Kita graduated from the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People last year and the opening of Grandma Dangerous appeared in their recent anthology.She lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters, sixteen chickens and a hamster.

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 Prize 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 in 2013, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize in 2013, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.