Martin Waddell was brought up in London and in Newcastle, Co.Down, Northern Ireland, where he now lives.
His first ambition was to be a professional footballer and he played for the Fulham junior team.
His breakthrough as a writer came with the publication of Otley which was turned into a film starring Tom Courtney. This gave him the financial independence to give all his time to writing. He became one of the most prolific and successful of children’s writers with well over a hundred books to his name.
He enjoys writing for babies and for teenagers, and for the ages in between. His books include football stories (the Napper series), award-winning picture books, and novels which look at the impact of the Northern Ireland situation on the lives of young people. He has also written many books for educational publishers.
Martin has won scores of awards and prizes, among them the Smarties Prize for Can’t You Sleep Little Bear? and Farmer Duck. He has been shortlisted for the Guardian Young Fiction Award for Starry Night and Along a Lonely Road, and for the Carnegie Award with Frankie’s Story. Park in the Dark won the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and Rosie’s Babies won the Best Book for Babies Award.