Peter Bailey has been illustrating books for more than 35 years and has worked with many of today's best known authors, including Philip Pullman, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo and Joan Aiken. He lives near Liverpool with his wife, Sian, who is also an illustrator.
Clare Balding is one of the BBC's leading sports presenters. She won the coveted Royal Television Society's Sports Presenter of the year Award in 2003. She has been working for the BBC in radio and television for over 15 years across a range of sports, covering three Olympic Games, two Paralympics, two Winter Olympics and a Commonwealth Games. Clare is the face of the BBC's coverage of horseracing, equestrian sports and rugby league. She has written for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Evening Standard and the Racing Post and is currently involved in a web magazine called Eclipse.Clare Balding, a Cambridge graduate, was elected President of the Union in 1992. She was a good all-rounder in sport, and was champion lady rider in 1990 and leading amateur flat jockey in 1989 and 1990. Clare was honoured with the Horse Writers and Photographers Association (HWPA) Racing Journalist of the Year Award in 2003 and in 2004 she won both the HWPA Sir Peter O'Sullevan Broadcaster of the Year award and the prestigious Royal Television Society Sports Presenter of the Year award. In 2009, she was praised for "perfect presentation" by the judges of the Broadcast Awards who named the Grand National 2008 as their sports programme of the year.
Martyn Beardsley has lived in Nottingham all his life. A civil servant for many years, he is now concentrating on his writing career. As well as being a children's author, one of his great passions is history. In 2002 he published a biography of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer. A committed Buddhist, he is interested in reading, sport, keep-fit and yoga. Martyn Beardsley is married with one daughter and a mad dog.
Maeve Binchy was born in County Dublin and educated at the Holy Child convent in Killiney and at University College, Dublin. After a spell as a teacher she joined the Irish Times. Her first novel, Light a Penny Candle, was published in 1982 and she went on to write over twenty books, all of them bestsellers. Several have been adapted for cinema and television, most notably Circle of Friends and Tara Road. Maeve Binchy received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Book Awards in 1999 and the Irish PEN/A.T. Cross award in 2007. In 2010 she was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards by the President of Ireland. She was married to the writer and broadcaster Gordon Snell for 35 years, and died in 2012. Visit her website at www.maevebinchy.com
Quentin Blake was born in 1932. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before studying English at Downing College, Cambridge. After National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl, as well as creating much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books. Described by The Guardian, as 'a national institution', in 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature.
Lawrence Block was awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 2004. He is also a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. He is the author of many novels and short stories and has won numerous awards for his mystery writing. He lives and works in New York City.
Richard Brassey is the author and illustrator of a host of colourful and original non-fiction books for children, among them the bestselling Nessie the Loch Ness Monster and The Story of Scotland, which won the TES/Saltire Society Award. He lives in Essex. Visit his website at http://www.richardbrassey.com.
John Brindley lives with his partner in the southeast of England. He has two children, both of whom have been instrumental in the development of his early stories for young people. John is a keen music fan and enjoys playing squash and socialising in London.
Jan and Sara were already friends when one day they decided they wanted to write children's stories and it would be more fun to write them together. That was 18 years ago. Since then they've written over 160 stories - including some about ghosts, football, ghosts playing football and naughty gargoylz. Jan lives in Essex with her family and Sara lives in London with hers. They both have black cats who completely rule their lives. For more information, please visit Jan and Sara's website www.burchettandvogler.co.uk and follow them on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BurchettVogler. Keep up-to-date with the Sam Silver: Undercover Pirate blog at http://samsilverundercoverpirate.blogspot.co.uk.