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.


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.

Alex Bertie

Alex Bertie is a 21-year-old transgender YouTuber from rural Dorset. While attending school aged 14, he started making videos on sexuality and gender identity, continuing to do so with weekly uploads. His YouTube channel, TheRealAlexBertie, now has almost 300,000 subscribers, he has 72,000 Instagram followers and 47,000 Twitter followers.Alex has worked with organisations such as Childline and Stonewall, and has been recognised by the Independent, YouTube magazine TenEighty and trans publication FTM Magazine.

Ally Carter

Ally Carter writes books about spies, thieves, and teenagers. She is the New York Times Best-selling author of Heist Society, Uncommon Criminals, and the popular Gallagher Girls series, including I'd Tell You I Love You but Then I'd Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Only the Good Spy Young.She lives in the Midwest where her life is either very ordinary or the best deep-cover legend ever. She'd tell you more, know...

Angela Royston

Angela Royston is an extremely well known writer of children's educational books. Her library of titles includes books about space, science, geography, history, social sciences and literacy, just to name a few! Angela regularly visits schools to find out what children are learning and exploring in the classroom, and discusses many of her book titles with children during these visits. Angela is married with children, and lives and works in London.

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.

Cath Senker

Cath Senker is a children's non-fiction writer who specialises in writing about modern history, global issues and world religions. Her latest history titles include Living Through the Vietnam War (Raintree, 2011), Our World Divided: Israel and the Middle East (Wayland, 2011) and A Cultural History of Women in America: Women Claim the Vote (Bailey Publishing, 2011). She has a particular interest in the topics of migration, refugees and racism and recently wrote Mapping Global Issues: Immigrants and Refugees (Arcturus, 2011). In her work, Cath aims to highlight individuals' experiences and to present different viewpoints in a non-judgemental way as a basis for discussion.Cath also works as a project manager and editor on non-fiction titles for both children and adults. Before embarking on a freelance career, she worked as a commissioning editor for a children's educational publishing company for eight years. She is also an experienced ESOL teacher. Cath volunteers with City Reads, a project that aims to widen the enjoyment of books and reading among people of all ages, especially people from disadvantaged communities. She is a also a keen amateur cyclist, cook and gardener.

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.

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

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.

Juno Dawson

Juno Dawson grew up in West Yorkshire, writing imaginary episodes of DOCTOR WHO. She later turned her talent to journalism, interviewing bands before writing for a Brighton newspaper. Until recently, Juno worked as a teacher, specialising in PSHE. She is most proud of her work surrounding anti-bullying and family diversity. In 2014 she became a School Role Model for the charity STONEWALL. In 2015, Juno announced her intention to undergo gender transition and live as a woman.Visit Juno's website at

Kate Ling

Kate Ling was born and brought up in London but over the last ten years she has worked in school libraries on three continents. Like her characters, she knows how it feels to leave everything behind and journey into the unknown.Kate currently lives in Spain with her husband and two daughters. She loves eating seafood on the beach and running while listening to podcasts about

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, follow her on Twitter @lizkesslerbooks and like her on Facebook at

Louise Spilsbury

Louise Spilsbury is a prolific children's book author. She has written titles on almost every subject, from science and geography through to world affairs, social issues, art, history, and literacy. Louise is married to the author Richard Spilsbury and has two children. She lives and works in Devon.

Moira Butterfield

I have been writing for many years in a number of different genres, from books for babies up to books for 11 year-olds plus. I like to try new things and tackle new subjects, so I don't limit myself to one type of book. One month I might be writing about history, and the next month I might be creating an imaginary story. Examples of my work have been selected for national Key Stage study in the UK, and in the USA I was commended by the Library of Congress for my work in non-fiction, which they felt encouraged reluctant readers. I work with visuals always in mind, and love the challenge of getting across information or an exciting story with good graphics to back it up. Lately I have been blogging about the craft of writing, and I've also appeared at National Book Festivals, which I think of as the most challenging thing of all to do! I get a lot of emails from children around the world, inspired by one of my books they have read, and that gives me great pleasure.

Nick Lake

Nick Lake was born in Britain but grew up in Luxembourg, where his father worked for the European Parliament. Nick works in publishing by day and writes in every spare moment he can find. He has won the prestigious Printz Award for his novel In Darkness, and has been twice-shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal.Nick lives in a picture-postcard village in Oxfordshire with his wife and family. His long commute to work gives his imagination time to explore places he's never visited.

Polly Peters

Polly Peters is a former English and drama teacher and community theatre writer and director. With Andrew Fusek Peters she has produced over 40 books. POEMS WITH ATTITUDE and POEMS WITH ATTITUDE UNCENSORED were both Education Guardian book of the week. She and Andrew live with their two children in rural Shropshire.

Rob Colson

Rob Colson is an author and editor of a wide range of books for children and adults, including many natural history, maths and science titles. Previous titles as author: Wayland: Ultimate Cars, Ultimate Machines (Wayland); Super Science (Franklin Watts). Other titles: Bone Collection: Animals (published by Scholastic), Puzzles, Conundrums and Enigmas (published by Parragon). Contributing author to Battle (DK).

Ryan Graudin

Ryan Graudin was born in Charleston, South Carolina with a severe case of wanderlust. When she's not travelling, she's busy photographing weddings, writing and spending time with her husband and wolf-dog. You can visit her website at, follow her on Twitter @ryangraudin and find out more about the world of THE WALLED CITY at