Related to: 'The 57 Bus'

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.

Akala

BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer, poet and historian Akala is a label owner and social entrepreneur who fuses unique rap/rock/electro-punk sound with fierce storytelling. Jay-Z, M.I.A. and Christina Aguilera are just a few of the musicians Akala's toured with, his own stellar live show headlined eight UK tours and he regularly appears at festivals such as Glastonbury and Wireless.More recently known for his compelling lectures and journalism, Akala has written for the The Guardian, Huffington Post UK and The Independent, and also taken part in British Council arts education and music projects all over the world.In 2009, with Sir Ian McKellen's support, Akala launched the 'The Hip-hop Shakespeare Company', a music theatre production company which sparked worldwide media interest. Previous clients and collaborators include the BBC, Premier League, Mastercard, The Barbican and Ed Sheeran.Akala has also featured on numerous TV programmes across Channel 4, ITV2, MTV, Sky Arts and the BBC promoting his projects as well as speaking on wide ranging subjects from music and poetry to youth engagement and British/African-Caribbean culture.

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

Anna Claybourne

Anna Claybourne has written over 150 children's books on all kinds of subjects, from sharks, black holes and splitting the atom to how to draw, Shakespeare's life, and Greek myths and legends. She knows a lot about conservation in the rain forests of Costa Rica as she once volunteered there for three months. She likes space, sewing and music, plays the trombone and loves going camping.

Annabel Pitcher

Annabel graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and an ambition to be a children's author. She had a variety of jobs before deciding to travel the world and focus on writing. Annabel now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two young sons.Her first book, MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE, won the Branford Boase and a Betty Trask Award in 2012 and KETCHUP CLOUDS won the 2014 Waterstones Children's Prize. Annabel's work has been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Galaxy British Book Award and the Red House Children's Book Award and longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.Visit Annabel's website at www.annabelpitcher.com and follow her on Twitter @APitcherAuthor.

Belinda Hollyer

Belinda grew up in a small harbour town in New Zealand: a glorious place to be a child. She shared a pony with her sisters, and spent most of her time reading, riding, and playing on the beach at the bottom of their road. (Even now, tidal water still tugs at her imagination.) Career-wise, Belinda has enjoyed different combinations of children and books - as a teacher, a librarian, a book publisher, and now as an almost-full-time writer. She has lived in Beirut, and Melbourne, and on the south coast in England, and now she mostly divides her time between London and Key West (in Florida). Belinda lives in Primrose Hill, North London, with her partner, Bruce.

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.

Brian Keaney

Brian was born in London. His parents were Irish and he grew up listening to his mother's tales of the life she had left behind in Ireland. That was how he learned to love stories. He was sent to a very strict school where boys were beaten if they stepped out of line. He hated the place but he enjoyed English lessons because they gave him a chance to write down the stories that filled his head. He went to Liverpool University where he studied English and fell in love with a girl called Rosie. After leaving university he married Rosie and they had two children. By day he worked as a teacher, in the evenings he read stories to his children, and in the night he carried on writing his stories. When he had enough stories to make a book he sent them off to a publisher who offered to publish them. He immediately gave up his job to concentrate on writing. That was one of the silliest things he has ever done since he was totally broke for a very long time afterwards. But it was also one of the smartest things he has ever done because somehow he succeeded in making a career for himself as a writer. His favourite pastime is reading (though his favourite book changes all the time). His favourite city is Rome and he adores Italian food. His favourite journey is any one that finishes at home and his favourite sound is his grandson's voice on the telephoneBrian has won the Havering Best of the Best Award, a Lancashire Fabulous Book Award and he has been shortlisted for a the NASEN Book Award, the South Lanarkshire Children's Book Award, the North East Book Award and the Bedfordshire Children's Book Award. His novels have been translated into twelve languages.

C. G. Drews

C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at paperfury.com, never sleeps, and believes in cake for breakfast.

Chris Higgins

Before writing her first novel, Chris taught English and Drama for many years in secondary schools. She also worked at the Minack, the open-air theatre on the cliffs near Land's End, but now writes full-time.Chris has won a number of awards including Young Minds, the Lancashire Book Award, the Lincolnshire Young People's Book Award, the KYBA, and she has been shortlisted twice for Queen of Teen.She lives in the far west of Cornwall with her husband.

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

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

Eliza Wass

Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She comes from Southern California, where she was one of nine perfect children with two perfect parents. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either arrive inside dust jackets or post obsessively on Twitter.Eliza spent 7 years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband, Alan Wass of Alan Wass and The Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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 Thomas

Pat Thomas is a trained psychotherapist, trainee Naturopath, journalist and mother. After working as a journalist and broadcaster in the USA, she now works in the field of women's health and child development and writes for publications such as The Guardian Company Magazine and Practical Parenting as well as contributing editor to Natural Parent Magazine. Her book 'MY Bees: My Family's Changing' was the winner of The English 4-11 Awards.