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.

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. You can find out more about all these amazing adventures at the series websites: beastquest.co.uk and teamherobooks.co.uk

Alexandra Bracken

Alexandra Bracken is the No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of Passenger, Wayfarer and The Darkest Minds series, which is available throughout the world in over fifteen languages. After selling her debut novel in college, Alex worked in children's publishing for several years before leaving to write full time. She now lives in Arizona, where she was born and raised. Visit her online at www.alexandrabracken.com and on Twitter and Instagram as @alexbracken

Ben Hubbard

Ben Hubbard began his writing career at a what's-on newspaper in the 1990s, interviewing bands, actors and artists in his native Wellington, New Zealand. He later joined the fast-paced world of daily newspaper journalism before packing up shop and moving to England. Here, Ben tied a number of new strings to his bow: magazine editor, book editor, and finally, author. Today, Ben writes a mix of non-fiction for all ages - preschoolers through to adults. He has penned titles on an eclectic subject range: from space exploration, samurai warriors and medieval castles; to pop music, pets, tornadoes and rugby skills.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Lucy Courtenay

Lucy Courtenay has officially been writing children's fiction since 1999, and unofficially for a lot longer than that. Her desk drawers are full of half-finished stories waiting for the right moment to emerge and dance around her study in a shower of exuberant paperclips. Her latest books indulge her love of teenage romance: The Kiss is published by Hodder, with Movie Night and Girl at Sea coming in 2018.

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is the creator of the bestselling Animal Ark series, which has sold more than 2 1/2 million copies in the UK alone. Animal Ark is being relaunched for a new generation of animal lovers, with exciting brand-new adventures!

Lydia Ruffles

Lydia Ruffles is the acclaimed author of The Taste of Blue Light and Colour Me In. She also writes and talks about creativity and mental health for media ranging from Buzzfeed to Woman's Hour. Lydia is a graduate of the Faber Academy and is based in London. Find her on Twitter and Instagram @lydiaruffles and on Tumblr at lydiaryffles.tumbler.com

Mary Norton

Mary Norton spent much of her childhood in a late Georgian house which later became the model for Firbank Hall in 'The Borrowers'. For a year she acted at the Old Vic before getting married and going to live in Portugal. During the Second World War she was evacuated to New York and struggled to support herself and her four children while her husband was in the Navy. It was then that she began to write, and in 1945 her first children's books, 'The Magic Bedknob' and 'Bonfires and Broomsticks' later combined in a single volume, 'Bedknob and Broomstick' was published. These were followed in 1952 by 'The Borrowers', which was awarded the Carnegie Medal, and three other titles 'The Borrowers Afield', 'The Borrowers Afloat' and 'The Borrowers Aloft'.

Mick Inkpen

Mick Inkpen has been a bestselling children's author for over 25 years. He is one of today's most popular picture book author/illustrators and the famous creator of both Kipper and Wibbly Pig. Mick has won the Children's Book Award for Threadbear and the British Book Award twice, for Penguin Small and Lullabyhullaballoo. Kipper won a BAFTA for Best Animated Film.

Nicky Singer

Nicky Singer is an author and playwright. She has written a number of books for children and adults, across fiction and non-fiction. Her first children's novel Feather Boy won the Blue Peter 'Book of the Year' Award, was adapted for TV (winning a BAFTA for Best Children's Drama) and commissioned by the National Theatre as a musical.

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 . . .

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 or 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.

Penny Dolan

Penny Dolan is a children's writer and storyteller living in North Yorkshire. She is a popular speaker with both infant and junior children, and has visited many School Book Weeks and literacy events across the UK, with her enjoyable 'Author Talks' and lively story-telling sessions. She has also spoken and performed in libraries, bookshops, museums, art galleries, historic sites and outdoor locations, and has appeared on the children's programme of several literature festivals. She has a wide interest in children's books and has been Chair of the Federation of Children's Book Groups. Penny has a wide experience of schools. She was a primary advisory teacher for English and Drama but has been a freelance language arts worker for several years. She has also taught on residential writing courses for children, tutored both storytelling and writing courses for adults, and spoken at conferences. Penny has a degree in Education, specialising in Language and Literacy and an Advanced Diploma in Educational Drama. As well as working on her writing, Penny enjoys drawing, painting, reading, chatting and daydreaming. Her favourite colour is yellow. Her favourite food is strawberries-and-cream, and she is probably the world's slowest swimmer. She has three untidy desks, two grown-up children and one rather bad cat.

Piers Torday

Piers Torday began his career in theatre and then television as a producer and writer. His bestselling first book for children, The Last Wild, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Award and nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal as well as numerous other awards. His second book, The Dark Wild, won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. His most recent book for children, There May Be A Castle, was published in October 2016 to critical acclaim and was a Children's Book of the Year for The Times. The son of the late Paul Torday (author of Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) Piers recently completed his father's final unfinished novel, The Death of an Owl. He also adapted John Masefield's classic The Box of Delights for stage in 2017. In regular demand as a speaker at schools and festivals, Piers is also a reading helper with Beanstalk, a former judge on the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, a Patron of Reading at Heathmere School and a trustee of the Pleasance Theatre. Born in Northumberland, Piers now lives in London with his husband and their dog Huxley.