Related to: 'Dragons: Sticker Activity Book'

Cressida Cowell speaks to Graham Marks

Author Spotlight

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…

Emma Dodd

Emma was brought up in Guildford, Surrey, in a family of artists. As a child she loved the work of Peter Firmin, John Burningham and Gerald Rose, and from as far back as she can remember she wanted to be an illustrator. Emma studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Central Saint Martin's School of Art and has worked in advertising, editorial and book illustration. The I Love You range has sold over 750,000 copies and I Love My Mummy won the Book Trust Early Years Award. Emma lives in Surrey with her husband and two children and their terrier cross, Buzz, who keeps her fit and provides inspiration. The family likes to spend any spare time in North Cornwall, surfing and walking in all weathers.

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.

Fabi Santiago

Fabi Santiago is the author of Tiger in a Tutu, shortlisted for the Waterstones Picture Books Prize. Fabi was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has been making pictures ever since she could hold her first crayon. After studying art and design, Fabi went travelling and came across the MA in Children's Book Illustration at the Cambridge School of Art, from where she graduated in 2014. Fabi's illustrations are full of movement and bold limited colours, and her media of choice is screen-printing. She likes the outdoors, cycling, dance and theatre, all of which are inspiration for her stories. Fabi lives in London with her ginger fellow and her cat, Porridge.

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

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.

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.

James Weston Lewis

Born in Bath, James moved to Oxfordshire when he was 5 where he grew up in a small village. He did an Art Foundation degree at Oxford Brookes University and then moved to Bristol to study Illustration at the University of the West of England, where he specialised in Print. James now lives in Lewisham in South London, and works as an Illustrator and Printmaker.

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.

Jessica Courtney Tickle

Jessica Courtney-Tickle graduated from Kingston University in July 2014 where she studied illustration and animation and found a specialism in children's picture books. She loves working with colour, texture and lots and lots of characters. Jessica lives in Cambridgeshire. She was longlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017 (The Story Orchestra, Four Seasons in One Day), and shortlisted for the 2014 Prize for Illustration with the AOI and the London Transport Museum.

Jim Field

Jim Field is a lead-driven, pencil-pushing, 25-frames-per-second Led Zeppelin fan. He is also a hugely talented illustrator and animation director. His first picture book Cats Ahoy! won the Booktrust Roald Dahl Funny Prize and was nominated for the Kate Greenaway award. He has since illustrated a string of bestselling, multi-award-winning children's books, including Oi Frog! and The Lion Inside, as well as young fiction series Rabbit and Bear.

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has been shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Award and Queen of Teen, and Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. In 2011, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joe All Alone was nominated for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal. She writes the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy. Joanna previously worked as a policy writer for the Labour Party and a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She continues to freelance as a speechwriter and editor, and lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

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.

Marta Kissi

Marta Kissi is a London based illustrator originally from Warsaw. She studied BA Illustration & Animation at Kingston University and MA Communication Art & Design at the Royal College of Art. Her favourite part of being an illustrator is bringing stories to life by designing charming characters and the wonderful worlds they live in. She shares a studio in London with her boyfriend and their pet plant Trevor.

Mike Brownlow

Mike Brownlow is the creator of many books for children. He wrote and illustrated the picture book Little Robots, which was turned into a major animated TV show for CBeebies and aired in over 70 countries worldwide. His other books include Mickey Moonbeam, Dog Did It! and The Big White Book. Mike lives in Somerset and has three grown-up daughters.

Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon is an ever-popular and award-winning cartoonist. He has produced over 500 cards for Hallmark and over 300 picture books for various publishers. His talent has been rewarded with numerous awards inlcuding Berol cartoonist of the year (1988) and runner up for the Trento Fra realto e Follia (1990). He was also nominated for the Silver Quill Award (Germany, 1991) and for the Book and Magazine Illustrator of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society (1995).

Mo Farah

Sir Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1983. As a young child he spent time in Djibouti before moving to England at the age of eight. Mo initially struggled with the language barrier, but his PE teacher at Feltham Community College, Alan Watkinson, quickly spotted his potential as a runner and encouraged him to join Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club. After attending St Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre in Twickenham, Mo became a professional athlete. At the 2012 London Olympic Games he won gold in the 10,000m - Britain's first gold in this event. He followed this up with a stunning victory in the 5000m to become, in the words of Dave Moorcroft, 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen.' Mo was appointed CBE in the Honours List in 2013 and in December 2016 he was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tania, and their three daughters Rhianna, Aisha and Amani.