Related to: 'The Life and Death Parade'

Author Spotlight with Graham Marks

Guy Parker-Rees

Guy Parker-Rees is the award-winning author of whole shelf of bestselling picture books, including the international hit Giraffes Can’t Dance. He writes his own stories, as well as working with other authors, such as Giles Andreae and Tony Mitton. Here he talks to Graham Marks about his world of colour, line and characters, and his latest Tom & Millie books.

Quercus Children's Books

In the Dark, In the Woods

Eliza Wass
Eliza Wass

'Haunting, unexpected, beautifully written. One of the best books I've read this year' LOUISE O'NEILLAn unforgettable thriller from an incredible new author, for fans of We Were Liars and Half Bad, reminiscent of The Virgin Suicides.Father wants sixteen-year-old Castley and her five siblings to hide from the world. Living in a falling-down house deep in the woods, he wants to bury their secrets where noone will ever find them. Father says they are destined to be together forever. In heaven. Father says the sooner they get there, the better. But Castley wants to be normal. She wants to kiss boys and wear jean shorts. CASTLEY WANTS TO LIVE. 'A breathtaking, gut-wrenching coming-of-age saga from all sides. Readers will be swept into the Cresswells' claustrophobic world and ache for them long after it's set aflame' - Kirkus'A haunting family portrait centered on the power of belief' - Publishers Weekly

Andrew Fusek Peters

Andrew Fusek Peters is an Anglo-Czech poet, storyteller, didgeridoo player, broadcaster, anthologist and author with an international reputation. He is the UK's tallest poet (6'8''!!) and has worked in thousands of schools, libraries, arts centres and literary festivals, giving lively performances and running workshops with all ages and abilities. 'An experienced and accomplished anthologist', according to the TES, Andrew has published more than 70 books and his poems appear in the Poetry Archive, set up by the Poet Laureate to record the best poets. Polly Peters is a former English and Drama teacher. She was previously Head of Drama at a sixth form college and currently works as a youth/community theatre leader, director and playwright.

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

E. J. Clarke

Rowan Oakwing came from an idea that popped into Ed's head and wouldn't leave until he wrote it down. He lives in North London and is married with two young daughters who would like to be fairies. He hopes this book will give them that chance. When he isn't writing books, Ed works as Head of Film and Television at Shoebox Films where his partners include the film director Joe Wright (Pan, Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) and the venerable film producer, Paul Webster (Pan, Atonement, Eastern Promises). Shoebox's most recent film was the critically acclaimed Locke starring Tom Hardy on which Ed was a Development Producer.

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 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 and keep up-to-date with Horrid Henry at You can also follow her on Twitter @simon_francesca

Jean Reagan

Jean Reagan was born in Alabama but spent most of her childhood in Japan. She now lives in Salt Lake City in America with her husband. In the summers, they serve as backcountry volunteers in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. To learn more about Jean and her work, please visit

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! 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! is a World Book Day book in 2018.

Lauren Child

Lauren Child MBE is a multi-award-winning author and current Children's Laureate, whose books are known and loved the world over. She is the creator of many much-loved characters, including Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and Ruby Redfort. Since her first book was published in 1999, Lauren has sold over six million books in 19 languages worldwide. Her many awards include the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal for I Will Not Ever Never Eat a Tomato, the Nestle Gold Book Award for That Pesky Rat and the Nestle Bronze Book Award for Beware of the Storybook Wolves. Lauren loves designing and making things and finds it exciting to see her drawings turned into objects. Other favourite things include the cinema, TV matinees, small Italian cars, handbags, cardigans, travelling and being picked up from the airport.

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.

Marcus Sedgwick

Marcus Sedgwick used to work in children's publishing and before that he was a bookseller. He now happily writes full-time. His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including The GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION AWARD, the BLUE PETER BOOK AWARD, the CARNEGIE MEDAL and the EDGAR ALLAN POE AWARD. Marcus lives in Cambridge and has a teenage daughter, Alice.Find his website at and follow him on Twitter @marcussedgwick

Miranda Richardson

Miranda Richardson has appeared in films such as THE HOURS, SLEEPY HOLLOW, THE CRYING GAME, EMPIRE OF THE SUN and HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE. TV work includes A DANCE TO THE MUSIC OF TIME, JACKANORY, Queen Elizabeth in BLACKADDER and Queen Mary in THE LOST PRINCE. She has won two Spoken Word awards for her inspired readings of HORRID HENRY AND THE SECRET CLUB and HORRID HENRY'S STINKBOMB audiobooks for Orion.

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.

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.

Rosie Banks

Rosie Banks is the author of brilliant series Secret Princesses and Secret Kingdom. You can find out all about Secret Princesses and much more at the series website:

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

Sarah Moore Fitzgerald was born in New York in 1965 but grew up in Co. Dublin. She's a professor and associate vice president at the University of Limerick in Ireland, specialising in psychology and effective pedagogy in higher education, and has published several non-fiction books on teaching, learning and academic writing. She runs regular writers' retreats for academics and students in Ireland and internationally.Follow her on Twitter @SMooreFitz

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.

Tony Ross

Tony Ross is one of the most popular and successful of all children's illustrators, with many picture books to his name. He has also produced line drawings for many fiction titles.

Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland, with a cornfield in her backyard and flying squirrels in her bedroom walls, and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and pretty scenery led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world army-wife style with her husband, son and sundry pets. Follow her adventures on Twitter @tracythewriter.