Related to: 'The Paper & Hearts Society'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Emmy Laybourne

Emmy Laybourne is, in her own words, ‘a writer, teacher and a recovering character actress’ who lives in upstate New York with her husband ‘and two surprisingly well-mannered children’. Here she talks to Graham Marks, on Skype, about how she became a writer, the highs and lows of starting out on a writing career, and her novel, Monument 14.

Michelle Lovric

Michelle Lovric divides her time between a flat on the Thames and Venice. She has published three novels for adults, of which THE REMEDY was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. She combines her fiction work with editing, designing and producing literary anthologies including her own translations of Latin and Italian poetry. Her book 'Love Letters' was a New York Times best-seller. She maintains large databases of text and visual material on memoirs, love poems and letters, female and male wit, slang/cursing/archaic words and esoteric medical matters.Her children's books can be found at http://www.michellelovric.com/children/chindex.htm

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.

Moira Butterfield

I have been writing for many years in a number of different genres, from books for babies up to books for 11 year-olds plus. I like to try new things and tackle new subjects, so I don't limit myself to one type of book. One month I might be writing about history, and the next month I might be creating an imaginary story. Examples of my work have been selected for national Key Stage study in the UK, and in the USA I was commended by the Library of Congress for my work in non-fiction, which they felt encouraged reluctant readers. I work with visuals always in mind, and love the challenge of getting across information or an exciting story with good graphics to back it up. Lately I have been blogging about the craft of writing, and I've also appeared at National Book Festivals, which I think of as the most challenging thing of all to do! I get a lot of emails from children around the world, inspired by one of my books they have read, and that gives me great pleasure.

Nick East

Nick East is the illustrator of the bestselling Toto the Ninja Cat as well as the Goodnight Digger and Knock Knock series. He has been working as a museum designer for the past 16 years but has always been a storyteller, whether as a child, filling sketchbooks with quirky characters, or as a designer displaying a collection of ancient artefacts. Nick lives near York with his wife and two children and, when he isn't drawing, he is out riding bikes and spending time with his family.Find Nick at nickeastillustration.com

Nicola Morgan

Nicola Morgan is an international speaker and award-winning author for and about teenagers. She has written nearly 100 books, including novels such as Fleshmarket (currently being adapted for the London stage) and Mondays are Red, but in the last twelve years she has become increasingly well known for her passionate factual work on adolescence, with Blame My Brain - The Amazing Teenage Brain Revealed and The Teenage Guide to Stress being seminal titles for teenagers and the adults who work with and care about them. A former teacher and dyslexia specialist, Nicola now writes and speaks around the world on a range of subjects relating to adolescence and wellbeing, as well as the reading brain, reading for pleasure and the effects of life online. Her positive, respectful and empathetic attitude towards young people naturally led her to write Positively Teenage.

Nikesh Shukla

Nikesh Shukla is the editor of British Book Award-shortlisted anthology The Good Immigrant, a collection of essays by British writers of colour about race and immigration in the UK. His debut novel, Coconut Unlimited, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award. Nikesh has written for The Guardian, Observer, Independent, Esquire, Buzzfeed, Vice and BBC2, LitHub, Guernica and BBC Radio 4. Nikesh was one of Foreign Policy magazine's 100 Global Thinkers and The Bookseller's 100 most influential people in publishing in 2016 and in 2017. He is the co-founder of the literary journal, The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency.

Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. Patrice lives in east London and shares a cat called Stormageddon. She has been writing for as long as she has been reading. She loves crime fiction, sci-fi and trying to grow things. Her ideal mixtape includes drum 'n' bass, Bruce Springsteen and Studio Ghibli soundtracks. Music can't help creeping into her books. Her debut novel, Orangeboy, won the Waterstone's Book Prize for Older Readers and the YA Book Prize, and her second novel, Indigo Donut, won the Crime Fest Best Crime Fiction for Young Adults and was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize. @LawrencePatrice

Paul Mason

Paul's books cover a wide range of subjects, from whether the Romans ate crisps to how to build the world's best skatepark, but he writes mostly about sport. Whether you are interested in swimming, cycling, snowboarding, surfing or another sport, Paul has probably written something that will inspire you to get out and give it a try. Paul writes in a shack by the beach, which he shares with his one-eyed surf dog, Daisy.

Peter Bently

Peter studied languages at Oxford and has two young children. He is the author of the bestselling Lark in the Ark (shortlisted for Red House Book Award) and the hilarious The Great Bottom Swap (rated 5 stars on Mumsnet). He recently won the American Library Association Notable Book of the year with King Jack and the Dragon and in 2011 he won the Roald Dahl Funny Prize with Cats Ahoy!

Rebecca Sky

After graduating from high school, Rebecca Sky set out on a five-year, twenty-four-country exploration to find herself. She returned home captivated by the world and ready for another adventure: writing!

Robert Muchamore

ROBERT MUCHAMORE was born in Islington in 1972. As a teenager he dreamt of either becoming an architect, a photographer or a writer. On discovering that architects have to train for seven years and after quitting his Saturday job in a camera shop, he saved up enough money to buy a word processor and set his heart on writing. The only problem was, he didn't know what to write. So, he found a regular job and spent thirteen years as a private investigator. He was inspired to start writing again by his nephew's complaints about the lack of anything decent to read. Robert's CHERUB and Henderson's Boys series are bestsellers around the world. Robert grew up listening to mix tapes sent to him by his older brother, developing tastes for indie bands like Joy Division, The Pogues and The Smiths. The idea for Rock War came from seeing that many of Robert's fans turned up at book signings wearing the logos of long dead rock bands, and a realisation that his online fan forum had more kids talking about the X-Factor than about his books. For more information, go to www.muchamore.com.

Ronne Randall

Ronne Randall, originally from New York, has worked in children's publishing since 1980 and has been a freelance editor and author since 1993. She has written more than 150 children's books, published on both sides of the Atlantic. She has a special interest in folklore and fairy tales, and she has an MA in Folklore from Sheffield University. She is married, with one son, and lives in Nottinghamshire, England.

Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is the author of brilliant series Secret Princesses and Secret Kingdom. You can find out all about Secret Princesses and much more at the series website: http://www.secretprincessesbooks.co.uk

Roy Apps

Roy Apps is the author of more than fifty children's books, including The Twitches, Fang Gang and How To Handle. He is the author of the highly successful Dream to Win series for Franklin Watts.His novel The Secret Summer of Daniel Lyons won The Writers' Guild Children's Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Awards. It is now a successful musical.Roy writes extensively for radio, theatre and TV. In 2001 he was awarded a BAFTA for his children's TV work, which includes Byker Grove, The Ghost Hunter and Barmy Aunt Boomerang.Roy visits schools, libraries and bookshops to read from his books and to share the secrets of The Shed in Your Head . He runs Writing Projects for all ages and over the last few years has helped young and new writers make books, stage plays, films, performance poetry and most recently, an opera.

Ruth Nason

Ruth Nason has been involved in Religious Education publishing since the early 1980s when the major World Religions became increasingly part of the school curriculum. She has edited and written many books on world religions, including for Batsford Educational (in the 1980s), Oxford University Press Educational Division, Wayland and Evans Brothers. She therefore has close contacts with RE advisers and with educational representatives of the world faiths in Britain. Her work in this area of publishing has led to a lively interest in 'interfaith relations'.

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist from London. Her books have been translated into 22 languages and have sold more than one million copies in the UK. Her historical novel for older readers, I, Coriander, won the Smarties Children's Book Prize in 2005. Two thrillers both set at the time of the French Revolution, The Red Necklace and The Silver Blade, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in 2009, followed. Actor Dominic West (The Wire) has bought the film rights to both titles. Her YA novel, The Double Shadow, was published in 2011 to critical acclaim. Sally Gardner's stories for middle readers include Lucy Willow and the popular Magical Children series of six titles: The Strongest Girl in the World, The Invisible Boy, The Boy with Magic Numbers, The Smallest Girl in the World, The Boy with the Lightning Feet, and The Boy who could Fly, which are also available as audio books. She has also written and illustrated picture books including The Fairy Catalogue, The Glass Heart, The Book of Princesses and Playtime Rhymes. Sally Gardner continues to be an avid spokesperson for dyslexia, working to change the way it is perceived by society. She is dyslexic and argues that it is not a disability, but a gift.Her website is www.sallygardner.net and you can follow her on Twitter @TheSallyGardner

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York in 1965 but grew up in Co. Dublin. She's a professor and associate vice president at the University of Limerick in Ireland, specialising in psychology and effective pedagogy in higher education, and has published several non-fiction books on teaching, learning and academic writing. She runs regular writers' retreats for academics and students in Ireland and internationally.Follow her on Twitter @SMooreFitz

Sarah Nayler

Sarah was born in Scotland and grew up in Norfolk. After attending Great Yarmouth College of Art and Design, Sarah moved to London with her boyfriend and her pet goldfish. Some years later, she found herself married to the boyfriend, still in possession of one of the original goldfish and the new owner of a cat and an accident-prone dog! And to complete the family there is Arthur, Sarah's young son. Sarah thinks her dyslexia spurred her on to become an illustrator. Believing herself to be no good at writing she compensated by concentrating on her drawing.Sarah's lively illustrations accompany award-winning Pat Moon's, Do Not Read Any Further, a Jacqueline Wilson style story of Finch and her friends and their school website, 'What's Your Problem?'. Set up to help kids share their problems, they get emails ranging from how to deal with the embarrassment of snorting pink milkshake all over the boy you fancy, to how to deal with bullying.Sarah now lives in Walthamstow with her husband and son and a variety of humorously named pets (Captain Scarlet, the goldfish!). Despite her fear of flying, Sarah has recently discovered a liking for travelling. This comes in handy when adding to her collection of snowstorms! When her feet are firmly on the ground back home she likes nothing better than taking the accident-prone dog for a long walk or just looking after her son and the rest of her pets.

Sarah Warburton

Sarah has many books, working for a large variety of publishers. With author Hiawyn Oram, she created the Orchard Books' character of Rumblewick - the witch's familiar - employed by a very unwilling witch. Both in picture book and fiction this character has sold worldwide and is under movie option with DreamWorks. Sarah also illustrated the 'Happy Ever After' series, written by Tony Bradman, as well as the picture book 'Sir Laughalot', written by Tony Mitton for Orchard. Sarah works using a wide combination of pencil sketches, digital colour and traditional pen and ink and watercolour. She lives in Bristol, with her husband and two children.