Related to: 'Mary's Monster'

Giles Andreae speaks to Graham Marks

Author Spotlight

Giles Andreae is not only the bestselling author of such award-winning picture books as Giraffes Can’t Dance, Rumble in the Jungle and The Lion Who Wanted to Love, he’s also the man behind the entertaining world of Purple Ronnie, as well as The Interesting Thoughts of Edward Monkton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about all the many and varied bits of his very creative life, including toilet brush poetry.

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a high-profile, nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship and to reevaluate government commitment to educational spending. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children. Alan is an honorary CILIP member.Visit Alan's website at www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter @mygibbo, Facebook www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.

Alex T. Smith

Alex graduated from Coventry University with a degree in Illustration and won second place in the Macmillan Prize for Children's Illustration. Claude won the 5-9 young fiction Sainsbury's Children's Book Award, was selected for the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, the Richard and Judy Book Club and is soon to be a TV star on Disney Junior with 52 episodes airing in June 2018. Alex T. Smith was a World Book Day Illustrator.

Bob Fowke

Bob has written/co-written fifteen of the eighteen 'What They Don't Tell You About' series and always produces interesting text and lively, humorous illustrations. He is the author of 'Who's Who in British History' and 'Who's Who in Science and Technology', as well as the four 'Who? What? When?' books; 'Tudors', 'Victorians', 'World War I' and 'World War II'.

Catherine Fisher

Catherine Fisher is an award-winning fantasy writer and author of the New York Times bestseller Incarceron. The Oracle was shortlisted for the Whitbread Award 2003, The Conjuror's Game for the Smarties Award, The Snow-Walker's Son for the WH Smith Mind Boggling Award, The Candle Man won the Tir-Na-n'Og Award, and Corbenic was shortlisted. Author of many books for children and two volumes of award-winning poetry, she is particularly well-known in Wales and has been named as the first Welsh Young People's Laureate.

Chris d'Lacey

Chris d'Lacey is the author of the The Last Dragon Chronicles and the Dragons of Wayward Crescent series. He likes dragons. He was born in Malta, but now lives in Devon with his wife, Jay, and about three hundred teddy bears. He likes teddy bears, too. After graduating from York University with a Biology degree, he went to Leicester University where he worked for twenty-eight years as a research scientist, mainly looking down microscopes. He now writes full time.In his spare moments, he likes to watch TV and walk by the sea - though not necessarily at the same time. His passion is writing and recording songs. His ultimate ambition is to write a song that will feature on the soundtrack of a movie of the dragon books, always assuming a movie is made.Presently, he is working on two new projects, both of which feature dragons to some extent.

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.

Chris Russell

At the age of thirteen, Chris Russell formed pop/rock band The Lightyears with his best friends from school. Since then, The Lightyears have toured all over the world, performing everywhere from Wembley Stadium to Glastonbury, and trashing a grand total of zero hotel rooms. In 2013, after a three-month stint ghostwriting for a One Direction fan club, Chris developed an obsession with boy bands and came up with the idea for Songs About a Girl. He is currently busy writing the next book in the series, gigging with The Lightyears and fanboying in the general direction of Harry Styles.

David Almond

David Almond is the author of Skellig, My Name is Mina, Counting Stars, The Savage, Island, A Song for Ella Grey, The Colour of the Sun and many other novels, stories, picture books, opera librettos, songs and plays. His work is translated into 40 languages, and is widely adapted for stage and screen. His major awards include the Carnegie Medal, two Whitbread Awards, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, the Michael L Printz Award (USA), Le Prix Sorcières (France) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. In 2010 he won the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world's most prestigious prize for children's authors. David speaks at festivals and conferences around the world. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He is widely regarded as one of the most exciting, inspirational and innovative children's authors writing today. He has one amazing daughter. He lives in Bath and in Newcastle, the city in which he was born.www.davidalmond.com

David Jay

After reading English Language and Literature at Oxford University, David Jay began his writing career as a reviewer of books and films. He is now a part-time author of children's information titles.

Francesca Simon

Francesca Simon worked for 12 years as a freelance arts journalist, writing for the Sunday times, and The Guardian amongst others. Francesca wrote her first children's book in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since. She lives in London with her husband and son.Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family. She has written over 50 books and won THE CHILDREN'S BOOK OF THE YEAR at the Galaxy British Book Awards for HORRID HENRY AND THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN. 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

Jeanne Willis

Jeanne Willis is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author, whose titles include I Hate School, I Want to Be a Cowgirl and Don't Let Go. Jeanne lives in London.

Joanna Nadin

Joanna Nadin is a winner of the Fantastic Book Award, the Surrey Book Award, Blue Peter 'Book of the Month' and Radio 4 Open Book 'Book of the Year'. She has been shortlisted for the Booktrust Best Book Award and Queen of Teen, and Spies, Dad, Big Lauren and Me was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club. In 2011, Penny Dreadful is a Magnet for Disaster was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Joe All Alone was nominated for the 2016 CILIP Carnegie Medal. She writes the Flying Fergus series with Sir Chris Hoy. Joanna previously worked as a policy writer for the Labour Party and a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She continues to freelance as a speechwriter and editor, and lectures in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

John C. Miles

John. C Miles began his fascinating journey of discovery in Toronto, Canada where he trained as a classical musician. Moving to the UK, he spent many years as a parasite on the broad back of London whilst working as a children's non-fiction editor. Like Anthony à Wood, he is a snapper up of unconsidered historical trifles and has spent many years studying the past and wondering how and why. He now lives near Bath, growing parsnips, taking photographs with his collection of vintage film cameras and dressing as an 18th-century pirate.

Julia Donaldson

Julia Donaldson, the 2011-2013 Children's Laureate, is the outrageously talented, prize-winning author of the world's most-loved picture books including The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard.The Gruffalo, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is now a children's classic and publishing phenomenon; celebrating 15 years in 2014, selling over 3 million copies worldwide, was voted Great Britain's favourite bedtime story on BBC Radio 2 and was adapted and broadcast as an animation on BBC 1 on Christmas Day 2009. The Gruffalo's Child and Room on the Broom are now also films, with Room on the Broom shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2014. Julia Donaldson's most recent books with Axel Scheffler include Superworm (2012), Highway Rat (2011), Tabby McTat (2010), Stick Man (2009) and Tiddler (2008).Julia Donaldson has also published work with David Roberts, Nick Sharratt, Emily Gravett, Rebecca Cobb, and Lydia Monks. Her collaboration with Lydia Monks began in 2003, with the first collection of Princess Mirror-Belle stories. The fabulously glittery Sugarlump and the Unicorn is their sixth, and most recent, picture book collaboration. She also writes poems, plays, songs and fiction for older children and, together with her husband Malcolm, has performed her wonderful stage shows all over the world.

Julie Plec

Julie Plec juggles work in film and television as both a producer and a writer. She is the co-creator and executive producer of The Vampire Diaries. She created The Vampire Diaries spin-off, The Originals, which tells the story of history's first vampire family, and collaborated with Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer on The Tomorrow People, the story of a small group of people gifted with extraordinary paranormal abilities, making them the next evolutionary leap of mankind.Plec got her start as a television writer on the ABC Family series Kyle XY, which she also produced for its three-year run.

Kay Barnham

Kay Barnham was born in Barrow-in-Furness, grew up in Carlisle, went to college in Brighton, and lived in Hove for a while, before sailing for Kinsale, Co Cork, popping back to Hove and then moving to the New Forest with her husband and daughter. And never at any point has she lived more than ten miles from the sea. She began working in children's publishing in 1992. She was an editor first of all, working on illustrated non-fiction and learning fun facts like how long it would take to walk to the moon - nine years - and how to spell palaeontology. Next, she commissioned fiction titles, editing picture books, storybooks and novels. And then she got the chance to write her own books, which she thinks is quite the best job ever. Except possibly being a chocolatier. She writes non-fiction as Kay Barnham. Her specialist subjects include ice-skating, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, lightning, fairies, Roald Dahl, Sir Isaac Newton, Christmas, dolphins, Florence Nightingale and very bad cracker jokes. And chocolate.She also writes fiction as Kay Woodward, including the Skate School series for Usborne and the novels Jane Airhead and Wuthering Hearts for Andersen Press. Altogether, she's written about a hundred books. Her favourite colour is navy blue. Her favourite chocolate is 85% cocoa solids.

Lee Wildish

Lee Wildish is an acclaimed illustrator. His Spooky, Spooky House won the Overall Red House Children's Book Award, his Spaghetti with the Yeti was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award and the Sheffield Children's Book Award.

Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay is the international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed adult crime thrillers, including NO SAFE HOUSE, A TAP ON THE WINDOW, TRUST YOUR EYES and the Richard & Judy 2008 Summer Read winner and number one bestseller, NO TIME FOR GOODBYE. CHASE is his first book for children. He lives near Toronto with his wife. Visit his website at www.linwoodbarclay.com, or follow him on Twitter @linwood_barclay

Liz Kessler

Liz Kessler studied English at Loughborough University, has worked as a teacher and a journalist and has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. After taking a year off to travel around Europe in a camper van, Liz now lives in Cornwall.Find out more at www.lizkessler.co.uk, follow her on Twitter @lizkesslerbooks and like her on Facebook at facebook.com/lizkesslerchildrensauthor.

Michelle Paver

Born in Malawi to a Belgian mother and a father who ran the tiny 'NYASALAND TIMES', Michelle Paver moved to the UK when she was three. She was brought up in Wimbledon and, following a Biochemistry Degree from Oxford, she became a partner in a big City law firm. She gave up the City to follow her long-held dream of becoming a writer. She is the author of the brilliantly successful children's series, THE CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS.Born in Malawi to a Belgian mother and a father who ran the tiny 'NYASALAND TIMES', Michelle Paver moved to the UK when she was three. She was brought up in Wimbledon and, following a Biochemistry Degree from Oxford, she became a partner in a big City law firm. She gave up the City to follow her long-held dream of becoming a writer. She is the author of the brilliantly successful children's series, THE CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS. DARK MATTER is her first adult ghost story. It arises from her lifelong love of the Arctic, which has taken her to northern Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia and Spitsbergen.