Related to: 'The Astonishing Colour of After'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher has written numerous screenplays, and is the author of the critically acclaimed Stoneheart trilogy. Here he talks to Graham Marks about the story so far, the differences between writing for screen and page, America, literary mash-ups, and of course his latest novel, Far Rockaway.

Clive Gifford

Clive Gifford is the author of more than 150 children's books including Eye Benders, winner of the Royal Society Young People's Book Prize, Royal Society-nominated Out of This World and Cool Technology which won the School Library Association Information Book Award. He has travelled through 70 countries, run a computer games company and taken part in all manner of sports from parachuting and gliding to Ultimate Frisbee. Clive's official website can be found at www.clivegifford.co.uk

Cressida Cowell

Cressida Cowell is the author and the illustrator of the bestselling How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once 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), is a number one bestseller.Cressida is an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, a Trustee of World Book Day and a founder patron of the Children's Media Foundation. She has won numerous prizes, including the Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize,the 2017 Ruth Rendell Award for Championing Literacy, 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.

Daisy Meadows

The Rainbow Magic and Magic Animal Friends books are written by a small collective of authors under the name Daisy Meadows. Rainbow Magic is the no.1 bestselling series for girls aged 5 and up with over 30 million copies sold worldwide!Learn more about the books at www.rainbowmagicbooks.co.uk (where you can download the Rainbow Magic Reading Challenge poster) and www.magicanimalfriends.com (where you'll find fun animal activity sheets)

Damian Harvey

Damian Harvey lives in North Wales with his lovely wife, Vicky. He has three wonderful daughters, one brilliant boy and a cat called Polly. He has written more than 60 books for children and is busy writing more. Although Damian loves sitting at home writing stories, he also loves visiting schools and libraries where he shares stories, talks about writing and generally gets people excited about books and reading. You can find out more about Damian by visiting www.damianharvey.co.uk.

David Milgrim

David Milgrim lives in Rhode Island with his wife, Kyra, and four-year-old son, Wyatt. He has illustrated fifteen children's books.

Deborah Chancellor

Deborah Chancellor is a writer of fiction and non-fiction books for children. She has written nearly 100 books and worked with many leading publishers. Deborah is a prolific writer of children's non-fiction on a wide range of subjects. She is a versatile author who has written biographies for teenagers, adapted Bible stories for pre-school children, and written teenage fiction for older children with reading difficulties. Her books have been translated into many languages and sold all over the world. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund, Deborah appears at Literary Festivals and runs writing workshops for young people.

Elif Balta Parks

Elif Balta Parks is a business graduate who's love of drawing lead her to change her life and become an illustrator. She studied independently for several years, developing her style and then attended Central Saint Martins college before beginning her career as an illustrator. Since 2012 Elif has illustrated over 30 children's books and is passionate about engaging young readers' imaginations with her work. She lives in more than one place but always has her sketchbook at her side.

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.

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.

Enid Richemont

Although I've lived for most of my life in north London, I was born and grew up in South Wales. My mum read to me a great deal,and I think it was from her that I developed my love of language. I also enjoyed drawing and painting, and eventually won a scholarship to study at Dublin College of Art.When I came back from Eire, I first worked as a teacher in a Rudolf Steiner school. Then I came to London and took a number of strange jobs, including reading aloud to a blind writer and typing out his manuscript. The typewriter I'd hired to do this had some paid-for time left, so I used it to write a short story which I sold to a women's magazine. It became the first of many, and the beginning of a successful career. While my children were growing up, I stopped writing, and started a small design business, making screen-printed puppet theatres, flying saucers and playhouses that looked like medieval battle tents.Work took us to Paris, where we lived for two years, and where, incidentally, I first encountered the Romanian gipsy girl who features in my novel, FOR MARITSA WITH LOVE (Simon&Schuster).My first children's book, THE TIME TREE (Walker Books) grew out of a story I told my daughter and her best friend to pass the time on a very long walk (the original idea came from a TV programme I'd watched about teaching children with hearing problems). The girls begged me to write it down so that they could read it for themselves - so I did. This book is currently being marketed as a film series by Wild Thyme Productions.TO SUMMON A SPIRIT (Walker Books), was one of the Pick of the Year titles listed in the Children's Book Award. I'm now published in the USA and Australia as well as the UK, and my work has been translated into Danish, German and Japanese.My first book for Franklin Watts was PLOP CITY, a book about bird poo which continues to be loved, especially by small boys. I have two copies of the Arabic version

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

Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is a footballer, father and author of the 'Frankie's Magic Football' series!To date, Frank remains Chelsea Football Club's all-time leading goal scorer, where he was awarded three times Chelsea Player of the Year. In 2014 Frank was the vice captain on the England football squad at the World Cup in Brazil, and then went on to play for Manchester City in 2014 in the UK before signing with New York City FC to play as part of the Major League Soccer side, starting July 2015. Frank was awarded an OBE in the 2015 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to football.Frank enjoys reading with his two daughters, and when they requested stories about football Frank decided to create his own characters and adventures to entertain them. These tales provided the inspiration for 'Frankie's Magic Football'. Frank is passionate about promoting child literacy and is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust; he hopes to inspire both young girls and boys to read with the 'Frankie's Magic Football' series. "The idea for 'Frankie's Magic Football' came from reading bedtime stories to my daughters. Adventure stories are their favourite and I wanted to combine my love for football with something that I could read to them, and that they would love too. 'Frankie's Magic Football' reminds me of the stories that I used to like to read. Frankie's friends also remind me of the mates that I used to kick a football about with when I was young, as well as some of the players I've met during my career." - FRANK LAMPARD

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/

Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 140 books and plays for both adults and children, including Peter Pan in Scarlet, the official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, which was one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006. Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever award. Geraldine is the first author to have been short listed, by librarians, for the Carnegie Medal six times, on at least one occasion in each of the past four decades, thus once again recognising the quality of her writing over the years.Geraldine McCaughrean's novels and retellings for children have won her the CARNEGIE MEDAL, GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, WHITBREAD AWARD and THE BEEFEATER AWARD. A prolific author who writes for all ages, she lives in Berkshire with her family.Visit her website at www.geraldinemccaughrean.co.uk

Hilli Kushnir

Hilli Kushnir (aka silly Hilli) is a children's illustrator living in NYC with one husband, two kids, four plants and a few house flies that are harder to keep track of. She loves pets (that belong to other people) almost as much as she loves coffee (that she drinks too much of) and riding the NYC subway. Hilli painted a lot as a child but as an adult majored in graphic design which is a bit like drawing but with shapes and letters. After graduating she designed a bunch of stuff for the internet, but when given the chance continued drawing, mainly characters. Today Hilli's focus is children's books which allow her to be a bit silly and less of a grown up. She loves using happy colours and her favourite subjects are cute animals or little kids with missing teeth and messy hair.

Honor Head

After a few false starts with a model agency and an accountant's, Honor Head's career as a children's writer and editor began when she joined a small publisher producing comics featuring children's television characters. The light bulb clicked on - Honor discovered she loved editing and writing for children - and has been burning brightly ever since. She has now published over 100 books for children on subjects as diverse as kitten care, famous outlaws, ghastly ghosts and totally awesome trucks as well as creating pop-ups, pull-outs and sticker books, and has edited many, many more. Honor now lives beside the seaside in Devon where she has fun helping out at the local museums organising family and school activities - a great way to meet her readers! On sunny days she heads for her favourite seaside café to eat cheese toasties and watch the dogs playing on the beach

Jackie Walter

Jackie Walter has written and edited many books for children. She never gets tired of listening to and telling a good story. Jackie lives in Cornwall with her husband and young daughters.

Jane Lacey

Jane Lacey was a primary school teacher for ten years before she became a full-time writer of non-fiction books for children between the ages of three and eleven.

John McLay

John McLay is extremely well connected in the children's publishing world. He and his wife Gill are both currently Directors of Bath Literary Festival. John also works as an international scout, literary agent and reviewer. Follow him on twitter @DragonsDentist. Martin Brown is the illustrator of Horrible Histories (http://horrible-histories.co.uk), which, in addition to the hugely successful book series, has also been made into an award-winning BBC TV programme, exhibitions, games and stage shows. Martin has also illustrated for Philip Pullman and is currently working on his own non-fiction animal book for children. He lives with his family in Dorset.