Born 10th April 1941 during a bombing raid on Belfast, children's author Martin Waddell is a prolific children's writer both under his own name and the pseudonym 'Catherine Sefton' which her uses for books with a more serious subject matter for older children. He now publishes all his books under his own moniker. A resident for most of his life in Newcastle, Co. Down, Martin has never shied from writing about difficult situations that children have to sometimes deal with, this was never more so reflected in his books 'Starry Night', 'Frankie's Story' and 'The Beat of the Drum' which addressed the difficulties, anger and grief attributed to the political troubles in Northern Ireland but from a teenager's perspective.
His books for younger children, which he said are written for pure enjoyment and amusement, have won some prestigus awards such as the Smarties Book Prize for on not one but two occasions. He has also won the British Book Award's Children's illustrated Book of the Year, Best Babies Book of the Year, the Kurt Maschler Award and the Hans Christian Anderson Award in recognition of his contribution to children's literature, to name but a few. His hugely successful Big Bear, Little Bear series are loved by children around the world, as are many other titles, and his experience as a footballer in his youth have been translated into books such as the Napper series. Waddell also enjoys writing about ghosts, as he says not only are they fun they can also show how the past can affect the future. Father to grown-up children, Martin lives with his wife in their home by the sea where he writes and describes himself as 'a happy man'.