Related to: 'Black History Matters'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Jane Simmons

Jane Simmons is a uniquely talented award-winning illustrator and author, and the creator of some of our best-loved children’s books. Here she talks to Graham Marks about boats, motorbikes and making a mess, as well as her words, her art and her latest picture book, Lily Gets Lost.

Bryony Gordon

In the 18 years that she has worked for the Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best-loved writers. She is the author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers plus The Sunday Times Number One bestseller Mad Girl which was nominated for a British Book Award. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 37 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

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

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.

Jane Bingham

Jane Bingham is an experienced children's author and editor. She specializes in history and contemporary issues.

Jen Green

Jen Green received a doctorate from the University of Sussex (Dept of English and American Studies) in 1982. She worked in publishing for 15 years and is now a full-time writer, who has written over 150 books for children. Her book 'Your Feelings: I'm Special' was short-listed for the NASEN Special Needs Award.

Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu was born on the East Coast of America, to a mom from Cuba and a dad from Chile. Jennifer teaches English to middle and high schoolers in Texas, where she now lives with her husband, son and rescue dog. She used to make her own zine, and is writing about all her favourite things in Moxie - punk rock, lady rights, the 90s, zines, Texas, and an interesting female protagonists. She writes contemporary YA fiction that treats teens like real people. www.jennifermathieu.comtwitter: @jenmathieu Instagram: @authorjenmathieu Facebook: writerjennifermathieu

Jon Richards

Jon Richards is an award-winning author of non-fiction books for children. He specialises in visual literacy, infographics and data visualisation.

Kita Mitchell

Kita Mitchell wrote and illustrated her first work, Cindersmella, at the age of six. It was cruelly and swiftly rejected by publishers. The sequels, Repunsmell and Mouldilocks, were equally badly received.Disheartened, she turned her attention to making stuff, and, luckily, they did degrees in that. After getting one, she built sets for TV shows - but the feeling she should write funny books for children never went away.Eventually, she decided to have another go. This time, things turned out a little better. Now, she can tell people she is a proper author, which is great.Kita currently lives in Oxfordshire with four daughters and a hamster.

Lauren St John

Lauren St John is the author of several books on sports and music, as well as the award-winning children's series THE WHITE GIRAFFE, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD-winning LAURA MARLIN series and THE ONE DOLLAR HORSE trilogy. Her first adult novel, THE OBITUARY WRITER, was published in 2013. Lauren St John is one of the lead voices of Authors4 Oceans, a collective of 50 writers calling to ban the use of plastics in the book industry.Visit Lauren's website at www.laurenstjohn.com, like her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Lauren-St-John/120957211278399 and follow her on Twitter @laurenstjohn

Leigh Bardugo

Leigh Bardugo is the number one New York Times bestselling author fantasy novels and the creator of the Grishaverse. With over one million copies sold, her Grishaverse spans the Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology and The Language of Thorns. She was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Los Angeles, graduated from Yale University, and has worked in advertising, journalism, and most recently, makeup and special effects. These days, she lives and writes in Hollywood, where she can occasionally be heard singing with her band.Find her website at www.leighbardugo.com and follow her on Twitter @lbardugo.

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at www.marcussedgwick.com and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick

Narinder Dhami

Narinder Dhami is the author of popular fiction series The Beautiful Game, about a girls' football team, many books in the hugely successful Rainbow Magic series and the bestselling novelisation of the film Bend it Like Beckham. She was a primary teacher before she began writing full time. She lives with her husband in Shropshire.

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.

Pat-a-Cake

Pat-a-Cake takes you and your child on a magical journey. From sharing the very first baby book to watching your little one read all by themselves. The adventure begins here . . .

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.

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!

Rob Colson

Rob Colson is an author and editor of a wide range of books for children and adults, including many natural history, maths and science titles. Previous titles as author: Wayland: Ultimate Cars, Ultimate Machines (Wayland); Super Science (Franklin Watts). Other titles: Bone Collection: Animals (published by Scholastic), Puzzles, Conundrums and Enigmas (published by Parragon). Contributing author to Battle (DK).

Roberta Terracchio

Roberta Terracchio was born and lives in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, where she creates her trademark bright and engaging minimalist digital illustrations.

Rudolf Farkas

Rudolf Farkas is passionate about fine art. He has been a painter for over 35 years and a freelancer illustrator since 2006. He has extensive experience in creating oil paintings and digital illustrations for children's books. Over the past 10 years, he has worked on numerous projects with various well-known publishers, such as Bloomsburry Publishing, Cambridge University Press, Harper Collins Publishers, Igloo Books Ltd., Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House, Weldon Owen Publishing and Ravensburger Company. One of his strengths is realistic representation. His interests vary from historic topics to flora and fauna. As a professional artist, he always welcomes new challenges and he really enjoys coming up with creative ideas.