A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
Welcome back to Author Allsorts! This week we’ll be introducing you to our group of UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children’s and YA fiction. AND we’ll be ending the week with a giveaway. To kick off the introductions, meet…
ISABEL ATHERTON is an author, literary agent, and director of Creative Authors Ltd. When she is not helping her authors she likes to write illustrated books herself. She is the author of ZOMBIE CAT, an illustrated adult humor book (for Skyhorse Publishing), SMELLY GHOST, THE BAD EASTER BUNNY, SPRINGY CHICKEN and RUBY MOO’S DEEP SEA ADVENTURE, all children’s picture books (Sky Pony titles). She splits her time between London and Whitstable—a seaside town in Kent, England.
• ZOMBIE CAT: THE TALE OF A DECOMPOSING KITTY with illustrator Bethany Straker (Skyhorse Publishing, Fall 2012).
• THE BAD EASTER BUNNY with illustrator Stephanie Rohr (Sky Pony Press, Feb. 2013).
• SMELLY GHOST with illustrator Bethany Straker (Sky Pony Press, Fall 2013).
• SPRINGY CHICKEN with illustrator Bethany Straker (Sky Pony Press, Spring. 2014).
• RUBY MOO’S DEEP SEA ADVENTURE with illustrator Bethany Straker (Sky Pony Press, Summer 2014).
Ian Beck was Born in Hove, Sussex in 1947. He failed his Eleven Plus exam and so he was went to the local ‘salon des refusees’, the secondary modern school. He was there from 1958- 1963. He showed a strong interest in drawing and painting and he was encouraged by both the art teacher and the headmaster to attend the local Brighton College of Art Saturday morning art classes for children. He eventually went to the same art school as a full time student in 1963. He studied illustration and graphic design and was taught by among others, John Vernon Lord, Raymond Briggs and John Lawrence.
He graduated in 1968, and shortly afterwards moved to London with his portfolio of drawings to try his luck as a freelance illustrator. He worked part time at Harrods in the toy dept for a year, to pay the rent, and in the meantime gradually built up a client list, mainly working for mainstream consumer magazines like Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, and Homes and Gardens. He also began making drawings for the recording industry. At first these were just trade advertisements for performers like Ry Cooder and Richie Havens. Later in the early seventies he designed and illustrated album covers as well, for example the triple gatefold album ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, for Sir Elton John. He continued to work in this field until the early 1980’s, also producing work for most of the leading design groups, advertising agencies, newspapers, and magazines.
He was approached by the Oxford University Press, who had seen some drawings he had made for the Radio Times. The designer at the OUP felt that the style of the drawings would suit a project which they wanted to publish. This became his first book for children, Round and Round the Garden, an illustrated collection of finger rhymes and games. It was through working on this first book that he began his (continuing) relationship with the editor and publisher David Fickling. After the success of the first book others followed, until 1989, when he was encouraged to write his own first story to illustrate, this became The Teddy Robber, (Doubleday 1989) from this point on the books took over completely from the editorial work. Most of his time is now spent writing and illustrating his own books for children and young adults of which he has published over seventy five.
He has illustrated private press books including editions of stories notably William Boyd’s, Cork, and Jeanette Winterson’s, The Dreaming House. He contributed graphic illustrated endpapers and additional visual material to the tenth anniversary editions of the His Dark Materials trilogy for Philip Pullman, for whom he has also illustrated Puss In Boots and Aladdin.
He has been president of the Double Crown Club, and was Master of the Art Workers Guild in 1999. He is married to Emma, youngest daughter of the distinguished Wood engraver and letter cutter Reynolds Stone and they have three children and one grandchild.
His Book Home Before Dark won the gold award in the best toy awards, and was also awarded the Ownagata prize in Japan. Alone in the Woods, won the gold award in the best toy awards 2000 as did The Happy Bee. Lost In The Snow was made into an animated film for ITV in 1999.
He published his first novel for children, The Secret history of Tom Trueheart, in 2006. This book has been translated into twenty languages to date. The third in the series, Tom Trueheart & The Land of Myths & Legends, has just been translated into Japanese.
Pastworld his novel for teenagers was published by Bloomsbury in October 2009 and is currently under option as a feature film.
In 2011 he published The Hidden Kingdom (Oxford) and The Haunting of Charity Delafield (Bodley Head RHCB). He has just completed early drafts of two further novels, as well as two collections of poetry, both of which he will illustrate. He has also contributed short stories to anthologies for teen readers. His story The Summer House (Previous Parrot Press 2006) was made into a short film in 2007 featuring Talulah Riley and Robert Pattinson.
He tours schools and libraries all over the country and abroad talking about his own work and often lectures on the work of other authors and illustrators.
Abi Burlingham lives in Derbyshire. She has had six children’s books published, including the Ruby and Grub series and Buttercup Magic: A Mystery for Megan. She likes to walk through fields with her rescue greyhound, paint and eat cheesecake. She would quite like to do all three at once and is still trying to work out how.
Liz de Jager
Liz grew up in South Africa and is the youngest of six kids. In the year 2000 (AD) she moved to the UK with her husband and they now live in Kent with their Jack Russell, Sparrow. Liz ran My Favourite Books book blog for several years and wrote articles and reviews for other online sites about comics, movies and best writerly coffee shops in London. During the day Liz is an executive assistant in London, but her mind is always busy with writerly thoughts and how to get her characters into deep(er) trouble. Her debut in the Blackhart Legacy trilogy will be out in Spring 2014.
Helen was born and raised in a small beach town in Cornwall, much like the fictional town of Perran that appears in After Eden. As a child her favourite thing to do was hang out at the beach. When it rained, which it did a lot, she read acres of books and wrote stories of her own.
After leaving school, Helen lived in London, California, Long Island, and New Jersey before coming full circle and ending up back where she started. When she’s not working on her next book, she spends her time reading, stargazing, watching science-fiction and hanging out at the beach.
Janet Edwards lives in England. As a child, she read everything she could get her hands on, including a huge amount of science fiction and fantasy. She studied Maths at Oxford, and went on to suffer years of writing unbearably complicated technical documents before deciding to write something that was fun for a change. She has a husband, a son, a lot of books, and an aversion to housework.
C. J. Flood graduated from an MA in Creative Writing at UEA in 2010. Her dissertation, a section of Infinite Sky, won the Curtis Brown Award for best student as judged by a panel of agents. She was a mentee on the Jerwood/Arvon Mentoring Scheme under Bernardine Evaristo, and a recipient of an Arts Council grant. Infinite Sky, her first novel, came out in February. The Telegraph called it “a powerful and impressive debut,” The Guardian said it was “brilliantly visual and full of feeling” and The Times selected it as their Children’s Book of the Week. C. J. lives in Bristol where she is currently working on her next novel, which will come out next February.
Roy was born in Edinburgh and went to school in Kirkintilloch and Kirkcaldy. He is now living in Edinburgh again.
In 2008, having completed Glasgow University’s Creative Writing MLitt, he was shortlisted for the Sceptre Prize. In 2009/10 he was the winner of a New Writer’s Award from the Scottish Book Trust.
The manuscript of his first novel made the shortlist for 2011 Kelpies Prize. It was published by Floris in 2012, under its new title – The Daemon Parallel. It has been very well reviewed, including this from Paul Magrs: “I adored The Daemon Parallel. I really, really want it to be the first in a sequence. I want it to be a boxed set of novels that are just about falling apart with repeated rereadings. That’s how much I enjoyed this first one.”
Roy is currently working on a number of projects, including a radio play, and his second novel.
Find out more at www.roygill.com
CJ Harper grew up in a tiny house with a big family. She is the fourth of five sisters, which means she still eats with her arm shielding her plate. There are enough Children’s and YA books in CJ’s house to build a fort with. But she absolutely hasn’t ever skived off work to do that.
Come back on Wednesday for Meet the Allsorts part 2!