Robin Jarvis (b. 1963) spent most of his school years in art rooms. After a degree course in graphic design, he worked in television, making models and puppets. One evening, while doodling, he began inventing names and stories for his drawings, and thus began his writing career. His first book, The Depford Mice (1989), established Jarvis as a bestselling children’s author. Jarvis came up with the story for Thorn Ogres of Hagwood while on a forest hike, when he heard a racket up in the trees and saw two squirrels chasing each other. He suddenly thought that perhaps only one of them was a real squirrel and the other an imposter, and so the werling creatures were born. Jarvis has been shortlisted for numerous awards, and won the Lancashire Libraries Children’s Book of the Year Award. One of his trilogies, Tales from the Wyrd Museum, was on a list of books recommended by then–British Prime Minister Tony Blair for dads to read with their sons. He lives in Greenwich, London, and still makes model monsters, mostly on the computer.
Robin Jarvis (b. 1963) was born three weeks late on a sofa in Liverpool, England. As a child he always had a pencil in his hand, and was always drawing and making up stories for the characters who appeared in his sketchpads.
Robin’s school years were spent mostly in art rooms, although he greatly enjoyed the creative writing assignments in English classes, where his sole aim was frightening the teacher. After a degree course in graphic design (during which Robin decided he really preferred making monsters out of latex to anything related to graphic design), he worked in television making models and puppets.
One evening, while doodling, he started to draw lots of mouse characters and had so much fun inventing names and stories for them that he decided to put them in a book. Thus began his writing career. The Deptford Mice (1989) quickly established him as a bestselling children’s author.
Robin has been shortlisted for numerous awards, and won the Lancashire Libraries Children’s Book of the Year Award. One of his trilogies, Tales from the Wyrd Museum, was on a list of books recommended by then–British Prime Minister Tony Blair for dads to read with their sons.
Robin still likes to make models, usually monstrous characters from his own stories. These models are good for his book events at schools or bookshops; when the audience is tired of looking at him, he can whisk a creature out of his bag to distract them. One such monster was extremely effective at scaring away the forty-three cats owned by Robin’s next-door neighbor.
Robin gets his inspiration for stories from all sorts of sources. Once, on a hike through the forest, he heard a racket up in the trees and saw two squirrels chasing each other. The thought suddenly occurred to him that perhaps only one of them was a real squirrel and the other only looked like one. And so the werling creatures were born, and by the end of that hike Robin had Thorn Ogres of Hagwood drafted in his head.
Robin usually includes one small, portly character in most of his books. This character is not the hero, but instead a friend or brother of the protagonist—someone a bit clumsy and a bit too fond of supper. The character is, in fact, Robin. In the Hagwood books, Robin decided to include himself as one of the principal characters for a change. And so, Gamaliel Tumpin is based on Robin when he was young, when his older sister would boss him about and make him tidy his room during the school holidays.
Robin lives in Greenwich, London, and has an old, deaf West Highland White Terrier named Sally. He has recently discovered that making monsters on the computer is much faster than using clay, plaster, glue, armature wire, fur, dental acrylic, resin, and latex, and it doesn’t make such a mess on the kitchen table.