Welcome to our Author page. It is our pleasure to work with these wonderful authors, helping them bring their creativity to life.
As a mother of two boys, Lisa enjoys bedtime stories that are considered a treasured ritual. Particularly rhyming, catchy picture books where her boys marvel at the illustrations, get engrossed in the characters and enjoy the rhythm of the poetry.
Lisa has always enjoyed writing poems and has written many for family and friends over the years to summarise a person, memory or experience, and she toyed with the idea of writing a children’s book.
Born and raised in Worcestershire, Lisa and her family moved from the town in which they grew up to the neighbouring countryside. Nestled within farmland, the love for farming soon took hold and so she began her own hobby farm. This new adventure has seen many big characters arise in the form of a small flock of sassy sheep, cheeky chickens, two charismatic cats (one of whom thinks he is a sheepdog), three mischievous dogs and some incredibly hysterical pet lambs (that are really dogs in disguise).
And one of the four dogs in disguise is Twig! The sweetest, smallest orphan lamb that required hand rearing last year and against all odds has thrived to this day. The sweet, strong, determined nature of this little lamb who consistently found ways to find Lisa and her sheepdog was remarkable. His strength of character is inspiring as well as endearing, providing the perfect character and almost writing her first children’s story for her. He really is an incredible little lamb who has been a joy to watch develop and build his relationship with the other lambs and natural surroundings. This story encapsulates that and can bring some heart-warming inspiration to the bedtime read. Lisa is currently working on more characters to capture in a book for you!
Jo is a mother of two young men and two Labradors (Mango & Murphy) and lives with her husband in a sleepy Norfolk village surrounded by beautiful countryside including a ruined castle.
Early in her career, Jo worked as a children’s nanny, a role she loved, and eventually became a private nanny supporting a family with an autistic child with severe epilepsy.
After starting her own family and taking a career break, Jo studied for a social sciences degree with the Open University, focusing on child development and psychology, and went on to gain a diploma in cognitive behaviour therapy. Today she continues her studies in counselling and psychotherapies.
As her own family grew up, Jo returned to work within local children’s services. She now has almost 10 years’ experience working with children and families as a senior family practitioner and private consultant, focusing on attachment-based support practices. She is a qualified facilitator in Circle of Security™ and the Solihull Approach™ which include play-based therapies and workshops.
Jo’s approach to work is to ensure that nurture is at the heart of what she does, and she believes that all behaviour is communication.
“I have always enjoyed illustrating and creating characters that children can relate to, mirroring their own struggles while trying to support children to have a voice, be empowered and build resilience.”
Jo currently works full-time in children’s services while also enjoying writing and illustrating her own books. These are based on social and emotional mental health, aimed at both children and parents/caregivers for them to read and share together.
“This will be my first published book, and I hope you enjoy it as I’ve got many more characters to bring to life!”
Julia grew up in Enfield, London and is now living in Bishop’s Stortford with her husband, Andy, and two beautiful daughters, Jazz and Jess.
She has always enjoyed writing stories, particularly those written in verse. Having two daughters has allowed her imagination to run wild and she now enjoys writing children’s books and trying them out on her girls.
Julia is keen to help children understand complex social and mental health issues from a young age and uses her stories to address this with the use of rhythm, rhyme and captivating illustrations.
For every book she publishes, she will donate a proportion of the book sales to a mental health charity.
Justin grew up and lived in a lovely rural village in East Yorkshire before moving to Northamptonshire, where he lives with his wife, Nina, and his three beautiful children.
Justin’s desire to write is very much rooted in his love of reading and writing a book is something that had been on ‘life’s list’ for many years!
Wanting to pass this love of books onto his children, Justin started to play with the idea of writing a children’s story. After completing a writing course, and after much coffee drinking and many screwed up pieces of A4, Escape from Nettle Farm (in its first incarnation) was complete! It then went through many painful rewrites and edits to get to the stage where Justin was ready to say, ‘Finished!’
Justin wanted to write something that would be fun and exciting for parents to read to children, or for children to read independently. Escape from Nettle Farm was a finalist in the 2017 People’s Book Prize and received the Red Ribbon Award in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Book Awards. He has since published 3 more children’s books and is currently hard at work on the fourth. My Bunny, a beautiful rhyming picture book, was also a finalist in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
Escape from Nettle Farm, an illustrated children’s chapter book was published on 16th November 2016 for ages 6 to 10.
My Bunny, a rhyming picture book, was published on 20th November 2017 for children aged 6 and under.
Spy Danger, an illustrated children’s chapter book and the sequel to Escape from Nettle Farm, was published on 20th November 2018.
A Pirate’s Song, a pirate rhyming picture book, was published 13th June 2019.
Katy was born in Charlton, South East London. ‘Family first’ was instilled into the core of her childhood values and she grew up with the best support team she could have ever wished for. Her parents taught her that she could be whatever she wanted to be in life, so long as she was always willing to work hard and make the necessary sacrifices along the way.
Katy started Judo age 9, following in her sister’s footsteps. She achieved her black belt and at 16 became National Champion for her weight and age category. “That moment in my life will always hold a special place in my heart, mainly due to timing, as my hard work and sacrifices that I had made up to that point had finally paid off, and at the perfect time.”
The next couple of years saw Katy travel the world competing for her country, making lots of friends and memories along the way. She met Aaron, her now husband, when she was 19 and they had their first daughter Lanais when she was 21. Two and half years later they welcomed their son Noah. During this time, Katy also attended university to gain a degree in midwifery and later another degree in health visiting. She is very passionate about her work in supporting pregnant women, children and their families and proud to play a small part in their precious parenting journey.
It wasn’t until much later (12 years later) when Katy and Aaron paused for breath that they booked their wedding and tried for their 3rd and final baby. When those two lines appeared on the test 2 months before the wedding, it felt like a dream come true. A dream that quickly came to an abrupt end, when two weeks before the wedding Katy was rushed into surgery with an ectopic pregnancy resulting in the removal of her fallopian tube.
It was during the period of time that followed that Katy used her creative side to help make sense of what had happened, scribbling thoughts and feelings down whenever she needed to offload. July 2018, she was pregnant again. Over the moon but also incredibly anxious, she continued to write her thoughts down, determined to enjoy her last pregnancy. She set herself two goals during this time; she wanted to own a business that could help support pregnant women and their families, and she wanted to write a book using her experience as a midwife, health visitor and a mum to help others bond with their growing baby during pregnancy.
In March 2019, a little earlier than planned, Katy and Aaron met their beautiful baby boy Parker, the final piece of their family puzzle. A year later, with much determination and hard work, Katy launched ‘AroMama: The Hip Health Visitor’ providing a range of award winning natural products to support pregnant women and their families, from pregnancy to newborn right through to teens and adults.
This brings us to the release of Katy’s first book, ‘Growing Bean’, pulled together from those many months scribbling her thoughts down, using her experiences both professionally and personally in the hope to promote bonding and baby brain development during pregnancy. Katy told us, “I hope this book helps and supports you as much as it has helped me.”
James Garner was born in Farnborough, Kent in 1977 and lived in the village of Eynsford, Dartford where he showed signs of creativity from an early age. Aged seven, James moved with his family to Maidstone, Kent where they lived in a run-down water mill which his father converted in the coming years. The setting played a huge part in the inspiration of James’s first book, “Bob and the River of Time”.
During his time in Maidstone, he exhibited and sold much of his portrait work in local galleries and took a keen interest in the nature of reality which served as a great influence in honing different creative styles.
Now living in Suffolk, James has a young daughter who also carries the passion for creativity. James spends most of his days writing and illustrating more books as well as working on private illustration contracts. His second book, ‘Denzel’s Grey Day’, is a spin-off from his first book. The protagonist is a bumble bee who seeks to restore balance to his mind and the land of Grumbledown.
Nicky Gilbody is a qualified speech and language therapist with a background in modern foreign languages and linguistics. She grew up in North London, and after residing in various locations from Wales to Europe, she has settled in St Albans where she lives with her husband and two children.
Nicky has always enjoyed rhyming and wordplay. After spending a lot of time reading children’s books with her own young family, she decided it was time to put pen to paper herself. Atch…oops! was her first book, composed in the wee small hours and providing a welcome distraction on her commute into work. Not one to rest on her laurels, Nicky is already working on her second children’s book, Dig!
As a speech therapist, Nicky understands the importance of shared reading, and she is passionate about promoting reading with children as a way of supporting language development. In the future, she hopes to use her expertise to produce entertaining children’s books which can help to promote specific aspects of child language development.
Vyridian E. Green
Vyridian E. Green has written her second book, a charming tale in the Ruby Red series. She was inspired to put pen to paper and share some of the highlights of her mother’s fascinating childhood. Vyridian lives in Herefordshire and when she is not writing and caring for her mother, she looks after their menagerie of animals consisting of four dogs, a cockatoo, a parrot and about a dozen chickens!
Marian started writing verses for celebratory events such as birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and even funerals. She would produce many personal verses for friends and family members and customers who would request personal details and memories be incorporated into a personal verse.
Marian’s idea for Treeture Creatures and Flowerbuds came to her whilst walking her two dogs. She was fondly remembering her days at Brownies, where they would have to name trees that began with the letters of the word Brownies. Once the list was compiled, they would head out to local parks and churchyards to try and find the leaves. Marian felt that not many children can identify trees or realise their importance. She saw an opportunity to develop some characters that could help children to remember and identify trees and leaves.
Marian was born in Hackney, London in March 1965. Her parents Anne and Sean, originally from Ireland, moved to the town of Dunstable along with her two older sisters when Marian was six months old.
Russell Hurn (Pyschologist and Broadcaster)
After a long career in local radio and television as a reporter, DJ, producer and later a children’s presenter for British Forces Personnel overseas, Russell turned to a new career in psychology. After training, he worked for 11 years in the NHS working with children and adolescents. He specialised in treating trauma in young people and became the clinical director for a local bereavement charity before joining the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families where he is a programme director training new clinical staff for NHS teams. He has successfully run a private practice for 16 years.
Nick spent his childhood in Poole, Dorset, but now lives in Chelmsford, Essex with his wife Cheryl and two young sons. A huge sports fan, Nick has managed his eldest son’s football team, Galleywood Eagles, for the past 7 years.
Nick has always had an interest in writing as a hobby. In his younger years, he dabbled in comedy writing, creating sitcoms and comedy sketches. He regularly blogs on Baldyman.co.uk, which is a light-hearted look at middle-age life experiences. After becoming a father, Nick fell in love with the magic of sharing stories with his children. He was particularly fascinated at how certain books above others could retain their magic and remain firm favourites despite being read repeatedly.
After being made redundant in December 2018, Nick seized the opportunity for a change of direction. With the full support of his family, he took time off to pursue his dream of getting his first book published. Sammy the Speedy Snail tells the story of a snail who gives in to his yearning for speed despite facing judgement from others for daring to be different. His subject matter was inspired by his youngest son, who has been strong enough to follow his passion for dancing despite the realisation that other boys his age might not understand his choice.
Keen as mustard, Nick has already completed the first draft of his second book. His ambition is to write a series of books that provide positive messages and can be enjoyed by children and their parents together.
Sammy the Speedy Snail, an inspiring rhyming picture book, is due for publication late 2019.
S.L. Kins (Stephanie Jayne)
Stephanie grew up in the Sheffield countryside and describes herself as being a child who was ‘a bit different’ with a very vivid imagination. In an effort to fit in with her peers she would share spooky tales at the back of the school bus, and when they went down a storm and her popularity soared she realised the power of storytelling.
Stephanie is multi-talented within the creative arts. Her main passions in life are writing, books, music, and art – she is one of our featured illustrators. Until recently, she has concentrated her literary efforts on screenwriting and Eleanor Hurl the Peculiar Girl was her first foray into children’s fiction. And what a reception it had – shortlisted as a finalist in the 2018 Wishing Shelf Book Awards!
Feeling like a misfit in her early years has been a big source of inspiration for Stephanie. The characters she writes about will often be children or young adults who are a little bit out of the ordinary. She told us, “As well as entertaining, my mission with these books is to show kids that it’s completely fine to be different. You are who you are, you like what you like and it’s all for a reason, so embrace your uniqueness.”
Stephanie is currently working on her second publication, Morty and the Monster.
Stephanie’s first children’s book, titled Eleanor Hurl the Peculiar Girl, was released in October 2018 under the pen name SL Kins.
Morty and the Monster is due for release in 2019.
Raised in Epsom, Surrey, Cheryl now lives in Taunton with her partner and three beautiful girls aged 10, 8, and 6. A love of reading, inspired by travel books and non-fiction biographies, led to a desire to write – more specifically, to write for her children. Cheryl blogs about her life with her girls and often includes self-penned rhymes for her readers, so a rhyming children’s book seemed the obvious choice!
Cheryl also has a love of photography, and although she currently works as an administrator her ambition is to achieve her dream of being a professional writer, blogger and photographer.
Pete the Cheeky Parakeet was published in October 2018. A light-hearted and fun story about a bird with a bad attitude, it carries a message for young readers about the importance of friendship and compassion. Cheryl is currently working on her second publication, The Book of Silly Rhymes.
Lottie is an artist who grew up in the beautiful county of Wiltshire, where she still lives with her husband Paul, two cats, one dog and some garden chickens. Lottie has always had a passion for books, still keeping her favourite childhood books on her bookshelf.
Lottie’s animals have always been the focus of her art, but when she became grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren, she started to write and illustrate a colourful fun story about Archie their Bengal cat and his adventures with the other animals.
Not realising how much she would enjoy writing about Archie, she has ended up writing a book for each grandchild.
Archie and the chickens is the first in a trilogy of books about Archie and his adventures.
It probably takes a teacher of Psychology to do it, but Jane, a Worcester teacher, started to write short stories aimed at helping young children overcome their fear of spiders. Before she started writing her spider stories, Jane wrote a textbook for the Extended Project qualification, which has sold well over 20,000 copies.
She had the idea after taking a group of sixth form students to a spider phobia workshop at Dudley Zoo. Jane was well aware of the psychological explanations for spider phobia. Spiders have a pretty bad reputation because they look so different from humans and just about any other animal we know! So she decided to do something about this and put pen to paper to write short stories for children aged five to eight. By featuring spiders as the central characters, it is hoped familiarity will lead to liking.
The ‘Cobweb Capers’ stories show these little guys are full of personality, much like the cats and dogs we share our homes with! They include AJ, the athletic spider, who can run faster than most of the male spiders in the area; Clay, the naughty spider; Marley, the sensible spider; Mirabelle, the creative spider; and Orson, the poetic spider who only speaks in rhyme.
Spiders are a vital part of the ecosystem, but unfortunately they are often killed for no reason except irrational fear. Jane is concerned that many harmless spider species may be extinct because of the way humans react to them. Jane believes it is time to give spiders a more positive spin!
Sarah lives in Holmfirth, which she fell in love with after graduating from University where she studied Criminology. She is married with two small boys and a little girl, and thrives off the fun and chaos of her home life!
Sarah has always loved to write, but her desire to publish a children’s book began when she had her first child. She loves to create stories that will capture a child’s imagination and make them want to keep turning the pages. Sarah told us, “If I could inspire kids to read and writers to write, that would be an amazing place to be.”
Sarah’s first book, The King and The Cockerel, is a lively rhyming picture book aimed at young readers aged 5 and under. It incorporates wonderful humour and counting practice with an important message of fairness and appreciation. Sarah was almost as excited as us to discover that The King and the Cockerel had been shortlisted as a finalist in the 2018 Wishing Shelf Book Awards! Sarah is now hard at work on her second children’s book, Molly’s Magic Brolly.
As well as writing children’s books, Sarah is also working on her first book club novel. She is also a regular columnist for Mumbles Magazine, West Yorkshire.
The King and the Cockerel, a beautifully illustrated rhyming picture book, was published in August 2018.
Molly’s Magic Brolly, a beautifully illustrated rhyming picture book, was published on 22 September 2019.
Matthew Pearce has lived in Northamptonshire all his life. After completing his A-levels and turning down a place at university at the last minute, Matt has worked hard within every job he has undertaken, striving to excel, but also hoping to find a spark along the way. It took thirteen years, shifting between numerous career paths, but Matt finally found what he was truly passionate about.
“I love to write. Pen on paper, turning my thoughts and dreams into words on a page. Seeing the reaction, the impact that those words have on others. There is nothing quite like it”.
Matt has now finished his first book; ADAM – FEAR, the first in a series of epic thriller novels, and is tirelessly working on the second.
Husband, father and step-father, Matt holds an array of interests including (but not limited to) spending time with his family, running, losing himself in a good television series, film or book, gardening, games nights with his friends and of course, writing.
Matt has published with us under our Red Falcon Publishing imprint and is active on social media, including Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Hannah’s early relationship with reading and writing got off to a rather bumpy start, being the first person in her school to be diagnosed with severe dyslexia at the age of five. While her friends were enjoying playtime, she could often be found in extra English lessons, studying with gritty determination but needless to say it was a union of love /hate.
Fast forward some years to her career as a voice over artist that started in 2007 where she took to the airwaves voicing TV and radio adverts along with documentaries and narration.
In 2014 she was given the exciting opportunity to write scripts and voice the continuity on a much-loved Sky TV channel – gone were the days where reading aloud in class would fill her with shame and dread, she was now reading live to the nation! To this day her tones can be heard in many a living room across the UK.
In complete contrast, in 2012 after over three years of study, Hannah graduated from Thames Valley University as a person-centred counsellor and has since worked in schools and youth advice centres counselling young people.
Whilst throwing herself with enthusiasm and determination into both careers, she has come to wonder why there is such a stigma attached to talking about mental health. We teach our children about physical health, we assist them with learning the colours of the rainbow but encouraging children to identify and talk about feelings is often an afterthought, for if or when a problem arises. Why not give children this vocabulary so it is second nature, and identifying their own feelings is as normal as answering the question, “What noise does a sheep make?”?
This passion to get children to develop emotional literacy at an early age was further ignited by the birth of her beloved son. In her spare time Hannah enjoys… haha… SPARE TIME! … who are we kidding? Juggling her toddler, two dogs and two jobs at her home in the Sussex countryside, she has put pen to paper to realise another dream, to write a book for pre-school children that promotes the importance of talking, told in a charming story about the adventure of a determined little chameleon called Conker.
Sonia hails from Irish origins and has grown up with a passion for storytelling. She holds a degree in linguistics and a postgraduate diploma in TEFL from the University of Brighton, and until now has written purely for pleasure and for her own children.
Archie Wood-Knot’s Wonder Web is Sonia’s first published work; a contemporary rhyming story for children aged three and up following the adventures of Archie & Evie, two little garden spiders with very big ideas! Sonia feels strongly about the importance of illustrations in children’s literature and has chosen the incredibly talented Leah Rowe to illustrate her first story. A former graphic designer, Leah has recently turned her talents to illustration and started taking commissions for children’s stories earlier this year.
Sonia works as a personal assistant and lives in Berkshire with her husband and three young children.
Archie Wood-Knot’s Wonder Web, a contemporary rhyming picture book, is planned for publication on 5th March 2020.
Salma Zaman is a dance, drama and SEN teacher and the founder and creative director of Salma’s Bollywood Academy in Yorkshire. She is also a freelance lecturer and an ambassador for several charities. As if that wasn’t enough, she has written two children’s books and is about to publish her third with us at Blue Falcon. Quite an impressive CV!
Salma’s books are aimed at children from all cultural backgrounds and encourage community cohesion and integration of all faiths. She is hugely passionate about encouraging understanding of culture, equality, diversity, inclusivity and disability awareness. Her next publication will be Greedy Gertie, an uplifting tale about a cow in a wheelchair who doesn’t feel that she can join in with a group of dancing animals. Salma invests a lot of time working with children in schools, libraries and museums, using books and story-telling narratives to bring story writing and dance alive.
In 2018, Salma won the ‘Yorkshire Women of Achievement’ award for her contribution to the arts.
Greedy Gertie, an inspirational children’s picture book, was published on 9th March 2019.