John Townsend was born in Chelmsford, Essex, and discovered his enchantment with books at an early age. As a child, he wrote mini dramas, silly poems and stories to tell the cat. Whether or not the cat wanted to hear them is another matter! His love of hiking and the outdoors led him to become a geography teacher in Gloucestershire, writing pantomimes and plays for the annual drama productions. His first publication was inspired by his rusty old Morris Minor, and nearly 200 books later, he is now a full-time writer. Mainly focusing on non-fiction, he is a National Literacy Trust 'Reading Champion', and runs boys' literacy projects in schools.