Talbot Heath

Spellbound 2

Festival Passes are £5 and can be purchased HERE


This page contains more information about the SpellBound festival's participating authors and illustrators. For more details and timetable, click here 

Professor Kate Williams - Author, Historian and TV Broadcaster

As well as historian, TV presenter and author, Kate Williams is a Professor of Modern History at Reading University. 
She was guest expert on  BBC 2’s ‘Restoration Home’, ‘The Royal Wedding’ and ‘Hidden Killers of the Victorian Home’ and has presented and contributed to many historical shows on TV.
She co-presented two series of 'Inside Versailles', delving into the history of the French court. She is currently filming a new series - 'The Stuarts' for UKTV and Netflix. 
Kate is a best selling author of several historical books including Becoming Queen, Young Elizabeth: The Making of Our Queen and The Edge of the Fall. Her biography of Josephine Bonaparte is being made into a major TV series and her biography of Emma Hamilton is being made into a film.

Emma Carroll - Author

Formerly a secondary school English teacher, Emma is now a successful prize winning author of books aimed mainly towards 9-12 year olds. Last year, her book In Darkling Wood was her first to be published in the US.

Her book Letters from the Lighthouse, a WW2 mystery, was Waterstone’s Children’s Book of the Month in May 2017.

Lou Kuenzler - Author

Lou Kuenzler worked as a theatre director, drama lecturer and workshop leader. As a dyslexic, she always found reading and writing difficult. She discovered that by talking her ideas and stories out loud, they came to life. Little by little she shaped them, improved them, remembered them and finally, wrote them down.
Her books include the Bella Broomstick series and her picture book for younger readers Eat Your People is out now!

Gillian Cross - Author

Gillian Cross is the author of several children’s books, including the popular Demon Headmaster series which was made into a successful BBC television series and musical, which first went on tour in 1998. 
She won the 1990 Carnegie Medal for her book Wolf and the 1992 Whitbread Children’s Book Award for The Great Elephant Chase.
Her recent books The Dark Ground, The Black Room, and The Nightmare Game, form The Lost Trilogy - a fantasy adventure series. She has also published a picture book for younger children; Brother Aelred’s Feet. Her latest books are Where I Belong and After Tomorrow.

David Lichfield - Illustrator

David first started to draw when he was very young, creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones ‘mash up’ comics for his older brother and sister. Since then, David’s work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, books and on T-shirts. He has also exhibited his illustrations in both solo and group shows in the U.K, Europe and America. David’s award winning first author/illustrator picture book The Bear & The Piano and it’s follow up  Grandad’s Secret Giant are out now.

Shoo Rayner - Author Illustrator

Shoo battled dyslexia on his own to become a leading, international children’s author and illustrator. He is highly committed to the cause of struggling and newly-independent readers, writing series books that they devour. Children love to read his pacey, highly-illustrated, funny, thoughtful stories which are based on unforgettable characters such as The Ginger Ninja, Monster Boy, Axel Storm and Viking Vik. Shoo believes that drawing is just as important as writing and loves to encourage children and adults to pick up a pencil and draw. His acclaimed online drawing school is encouraging thousands to have a go at drawing both at home and in classrooms worldwide.

Ali Sparkes - Author

Ali Sparkes is the author of The Shapeshifter series of adventure books about Dax Jones and his friends. Her debut book - The Shapeshifter: Finding the Fox was nominated for the 2007 Bolton Children’s Book Award. 
Ali’s book, Frozen in Time was winner of Blue Peter’s ‘Book of the Year’ in 2010. Her other books include Dark Summer, Wishful Thinking, Destination Earth, The Monster Makers series, and S.W.I.T.C.H. 

Louisa Reid - Author

When she isn’t writing, Louisa works as a part-time English teacher and is passionate about reading. She is currently teaching the AS Creative Writing course to KS4 students and loves inspiring and being inspired by young adults.

Her book Black Heart Blue was the Sunday Times Book of the week. She was also short listed for the North East teen book award. Her novels, published by Penguin, are dark psychological explorations of family issues affecting teenagers.

Sarah Govett - Author

The first instalment of her award-winning debut trilogy, The Territory, launched in May 2015 and was followed by the second book, The Territory: Escape, in October 2016. The final book, The Territory: Truth is out at the end of March 2018. 
Sarah has also written for children’s television. 

James Cole - Head of Creative Writing at Arts University Bournemouth

James is a Bournemouth based creative writer enthusiastic about fostering a love for reading and writing amongst children of all ages. During his talks, he aims to inspire others to unlock their imaginations and put pen to paper. 
James has a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing and is currently head of Creative Writing at the Arts
 University Bournemouth. His debut novel was shortlisted for the Dundee International Book Prize 2016

David Roberts - Illustrator

David Roberts has worked with well known authors such as Philip Ardagh (on the Eddie Dickens and Unlikely Exploits series) and G.P. Taylor (on the Mariah Mundi series).
Roberts also creates picture books for younger readers, some in collaboration with other writers. The best known maybe Tyrannosaurus Drip, The Troll and most recently Jack and the Flum Flum Tree by Julia Donaldson.

David Solomons

David Solomans spent most of his time playing with his Star Wars figures and trying to make toy lightsabers jump into his hand using only the power of 'The Force' and a rubber-band. He lives in Dorset with his wife, novelist Natasha Solomons. 
His first children’s novel; My Brother is a Superhero, won the Waterstones Children’s Prize 2016 and the British Book Industry Award’s Children’s Book of the Year 2016. My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord is the second book in the series. 

Susan Price - Author

Susan always wanted to be a writer - as a teenager, she won a prize for a children’s writing competition which spurred her on to write her first book, The Devil’s Piper.
She has now written over 63 books. 
Her ‘cross-over’ novel The Sterkarm Handshake, won her the Guardian Fiction Prize. 

Kate Rhodes - Crime Writer

Kate’s love of crime started years ago, when she read Brighton Rock for the first time. Her first books were two collections of poetry: Reversal and The Alice Trap. Crossbones Yard was her first novel and the first in the Alice Quentin series, followed by A Killing of Angels. 
Hell Bay, released in January 2018 is the first book in a new series of thrillers featuring Ben Kito, 34, an ex-Met DI who has returned to his native Scilly Isles. She is already receiving excellent reviews for this.

Dr Richard Chasemore

Dr Richard Chasemore is an award winning technical illustrator. His clients include Dorling Kindersley, Ladybird, Readers’ Digest and NASA.
He is best known for his stunning artwork for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Aladdin and Batman. 

Marcus Gipps

After almost ten years as a bookseller, Marcus joined the UK's leading Science Fiction & Fantasy publisher, Gollancz, in 2011. Since then he has worked on all sorts of books with all sorts of authors - some personal highlights include working with the people I grew up reading.

I am now Editorial Director of the SF Masterworks series and the SFGateway, Gollancz’s massive publishing programme of old and forgotten SF titles, as well as Commissioning Editor at Gollancz.

​He has run two successful Kickstarters to reprint some of his favourite children's books - the UNCLE series, by J.P. Martin, illustrated by Quentin Blake. ​

Lucy Edbrook

Talbot Heath sixth former Lucy Edbrooke has published her first children’s book entitled ‘Brave Blue’ which celebrates her love of stock car racing. After creating a children’s book for my A-Level Graphics, I was inspired to develop the idea and formally publish my own book. Brave Blue is the story of a timid little car who was inspired to become a super stock car racer. Every challenge that Brave Blue experiences mirrors my own racing journey and successes.’

The book is currently for sale on Amazon and Lucy will be talking about writing her book.