Some interesting facts about UBG contributors

TERRY PRATCHETT published his first story when he was thirteen and first got paid for a story four years later.

DARREN SHAN’s interests include watching films; he also reads lots of comics and books. Other interests include long walks, outdoor swimming, watching and discussing football, listening to pop and rock music, worldwide travel, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers.

PENELOPE LIVELY most enjoyed writing The Ghost of Thomas Kempe.

NEIL ARKSEY has written scripts for the children's TV series Teddybears and Kipper. He is also a storyliner for the Secret Lives - a daily soap on Finnish TV. Secret Lives is watched by a quarter of Finland's population, making it the most successful daily soap in the world!

EVA IBBOTSON wanted to be an opera singer when she was a child.

SHERRY ASHWORTH Nowadays she lives in Manchester with her husband, two daughters and two cats and still doesn’t support any football team. Instead she reads loads, writes a newspaper column and still teaches occasionally. She loves travelling, going out at night, and anything to do with computers. Including the games. And she writes a little every day …

HELEN CRESSWELL’s favourite hero of fiction is William Brown.

MALORIE BLACKMAN Although she has travelled throughout Europe and the United States working as a database manager, her ideal position would be captaining the Starship Enterprise - being a real Star Trek fan - or accompanying agents Mulder and Scully on one of their action-packed X-Files adventures.

About the editors

DANIEL HAHN is a writer, translator, editor and researcher (but he sometimes does other stuff too, like teaching or organising charity events). He has written a history of the first English zoo, translated an Angolan novel, edited a couple of reference books, researched an exhibition about Shakespeare's theatre, and now finds himself - rather to his own surprise - putting together a guide to children's books (which you're reading now). The children's books one is probably the most fun.

LEONIE FLYNN has worked with books for most of her life - from working at a small independent bookshop every Saturday when she was a teenager, to the heady delights of editing this book while also being librarian at a boys' prep school. The twin roles have shown that her true skills lie in being very strict, with both authors and boys, and in having serial nervous-breakdowns. She has also contributed essays on popular culture to various publications and reads voraciously, everything including the cornflakes packet.

SUSAN REUBEN never stopped reading children's books after she grew up, so decided she might as well produce them for a living. She spent five years editing picture books at Frances Lincoln, and is now a commissioning editor for Egmont Books, where she spends too much time in the company of Thomas the Tank Engine. Susan enjoys cooking large meals for lots of people, and reading a good book while eating chocolate.

A&C Black

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Cover artwork Nick Sharratt