Harriet Castor is a writer who specialises in books for children and young people. Her first book Fat Puss and Friends (Viking Kestrel, 1984) was accepted for publication when she was 12. In the 30 years since then, she has written more than 40 books, ranging from simple texts for early readers to novels for both teenagers and adults. Harriet has a particular interest in history (the subject of her university degree) and her publications include 19 historical biographies for junior- and senior-school readers plus a novel for teenagers about the psychological decline of Henry VIII entitled VIII (Templar, 2011), which was nominated for the Carnegie medal.
A second area of special interest for Harriet is dance: she trained for six years at a full-time dance school and later qualified as a Benesh notator, going on to work in that capacity with the Royal Ballet. She has written a number of books — both fiction and non-fiction — about dance, as well as articles that have appeared online and in Royal Opera House publications.
Besides her work as a writer and dance notator, Harriet has spent time as an English teacher in Prague (several months) and an editor in children’s publishing (several years). More recently, she has worked extensively in schools, giving talks and workshops to pupils across a wide age-range. She has also given talks to teachers, librarians and book clubs, as well as taking part in numerous literary festivals. Harriet lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.