Related to: 'Proud to be Deaf'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

David Melling

David Melling is the international bestselling author and illustrator who first came to our attention with the critically acclaimed The Kiss That Missed, and whose The Tale of Jack Frost went from page to animated TV feature, voiced by Hugh Laurie. Here he talks to Graham Marks about how he became a children’s book illustrator, his influences, his passions and why he loves Twitter…

Britta Teckentrup

Britta Teckentrup is an illustrator, fine artist and writer. She was born in Hamburg, Germany, and went on to study at St. Martin's College and the Royal College of Art in London. Britta has created over 40 books, translated in 20 languages worldwide, and her artwork has been shown at exhibitions all over the world. She lives and works in Berlin with her artist husband and their young son.

Chris Mould

Chris Mould went to art school at the age of sixteen. During this time, he did various jobs, from delivering papers to washing-up. Chris loves his work and writes and draws the kind of books that he would have liked to have on his shelf as a boy. He has won the Nottingham Children's Book Award, has been shortlisted for the Greenaway Award and commended for the Sheffield Book Award. Chris has also worked for the RSC, the BBC, the FT and many other famous initials, as well as for Aardman Animations, where he did character and environment development work on the film Flushed Away. Chris is married with two children and lives in Yorkshire.

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)

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

Gillian Johnson

Gillian Johnson studied science and English at university. She's had lots of different jobs - working with Indian children in northern Canada, accompanying Inuit babies on small planes to their homes in remote communities, doing editorial cartoons for the university paper, teaching English to high school students. Eventually, she published a children's book and has been doing it ever since. She lives with her family and divides her time between Oxford and Tasmania.

Hilary Mckay

Born in Boston, Lincolnshire, Hilary McKay grew up in a household of readers and read voraciously from an early age. After studying Botany and Zoology at St Andrews University, she went on to work as a biochemist, but always wanted to write. Hilary's novels have won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Award and the Whitbread Children's Book Award. She lives in a small village in Derbyshire with her family.

Jenny Alexander

Jenny Alexander is the author of many fiction and non fiction reading books for educational publishers, including Mouse and the Bullies (Longman), which has been approved by ChildLine. She is also the author of Your Child: Bullying (Element), which appears on the DfEE Bullying Pack recommended reading list and has been endorsed by Susan Jeffers (author of Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway). Her interest in this subject began when her son was bullied at school.

Jenny Oldfield

Born and brought up in Harrogate, Yorkshire, Jenny Oldfield went on to study English at Birmingham University, where she did research on the Brontë Novels and on Children's Literature. She then worked as a teacher, before deciding to concentrate on writing. She writes novels for both children and adults and, when she can escape from her desk, likes to spend time outdoors. She loves the countryside and enjoys walking, gardening, playing tennis, riding and travelling with her two daughters, Kate and Eve.

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! won the 2017 Laugh Out Loud Picture Book Award and 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! was the number one bestselling World Book Day book in 2018.

Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger is the author of several books for young adult and middle grade readers, including the New York Times bestseller The DUFF, which was adapted as a major motion picture in 2015. She currently lives in New York City with her German Shepherd and two black cats. Kody teaches writing classes at the Gotham Writers' Workshop. You can find out more at her website, kodykeplinger.com, or on Twitter, @Kody_Keplinger.

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!

Mary Mcquillan

Mary McQuillan has been shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award twice - the first time for her very first picture book 'Who's Poorly, Too' written by FCBG winner Kes Gray and the second for Cluck O'Clock, again with Kes. This year she was shortlised for the Portsmouth Book Awards for Bare Bear with Miriam Moss. Mary is a highly successful illustrator with a knack for character and humour and her drawing are much beloved by children.She has also illustrates children's wallpaper and textile designs which have been reproduced and sold around the world.

Neal Layton

Neal is an award-winning illustrator and author of children's books. He has worked on more than 80 titles to date, working with authors such Cressida Cowell and Michael Rosen, and won several prizes including a Gold Award in the Nestle Children's Book Prize for 'That Rabbit belongs to Emily Brown'. His books have also been shortlisted for the Red House Book Awards, the Blue Peter Book Awards, the Booktrust Early Years Award, Funfzig Jahre Deutcher Jugendliteraturpreis and New York Public Library's annual list of best Children's Books.He also writes his own books, 'The Invincible Tony Spears' and the bestselling 'Mammoth Academy' Series. His books are currently in print in more than 16 languages worldwide. He lives in Portsmouth with his wife and two daughters.

Sarah Horne

Sarah grew up in Derbyshire, mainly under a snow drift. She spent much of her childhood scampering in the nearby fields with a few goats. Then she decided to be sensible and studied Illustration at Falmouth College of Arts, graduating in 2001. She has illustrated for many different projects including an ad campaign for Kew Gardens entitled 'Plantastic Play'. She has also undertaken commission from The Guardian and The Independent newspapers. Sarah now specialises in funny, inky illustration and words for children's fiction and picture books. Sarah likes to paint on very big canvas. She loves funny detail, colour, music, dreams and big open spaces. Sarah now works from a studio on a hill in Forest Hill, London.

Sarah Ridley

Born in Suffolk, Sarah Ridley lives on the Suffolk/Essex border and is a writer and editor of educational books for children and young people. Recently, a life-long interest in history has led her to write books about the First World War, inspired by reading letters written by soldiers who served in the conflict. Brothers at War tells the story of uncovering the material held in her own family's archives. Dear Jelly sets letters written by soldier brothers to their younger sisters at its core. Teenage children keep Sarah busy when she isn't tied to her computer, and she relaxes by walking along river estuaries close to her home.

Smriti Prasadam-Halls

Smriti Prasadam-Halls is the author of over 25 books for children. Her I Love You Night and Day was read on CBeebies Bedtime Hour and her Black and White Sparklers series has sold more than 250,000 copies worldwide. She lives in Richmond with her husband and three sons.

Sue Graves

Sue Graves has been a freelance children's author for more than 17 years. She has written over two hundred books for children from pre-school up to 15+ years. She writes fiction and non fiction, plays and poetry across the age ranges. Sue loves reading all sorts of books and is at her happiest when she has a book in her hand. She also loves painting in watercolours, playing tennis and badminton and going for long walks in the country with her husband and children.

Tim Healey

Tim Healey is a freelance writer and broadcaster, and author of over 40 children's titles. Following a brief spell working in publishing in London he has lived for more than 30 years in Oxford where he brought up his family. He is a frequent broadcaster on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4, often contributing to the late John Peel's Home Truths.

Vivian French

Vivian is a writer of both books and plays; she has written more than 250 children's books, including the very successful Tiara Club series, and is consistently one of the top 30 most borrowed authors from UK libraries. She has had plays performed both in London and throughout Scotland; her audiences include young adults as well as children. She has won many awards for her books, and is regularly invited to festivals including Cheltenham and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. (2012 Guest selector for the children's programme.) Vivian teaches part time at Edinburgh College of Art, and is one of the two founding members of the PictureHooks programme supporting Scottish illustrators. She is married with four grown up daughters and three grandchildren, and lives in Edinburgh. She'd like a cat, but lives up 66 steps and has no garden ... maybe one day. Her favourite book is an empty notebook.Since 1990, Vivian French has published more than 100 books for children of all ages. She has been a reviewer and has worked in the theatre - she is also well-known as a playwright. Among her most popular books are the Tiara Club titles for Hachette. Married with four grown-up daughters, she now lives in Edinburgh.Visit her website at www.vivianfrench.com.