Gillian Clements

Gillian Clements, author

I was born in Sussex, by some quirk of fate, with blood ties to book and newspaper publishing, though this influence didn’t manifest itself for many years. After school I dipped my toes in academia before taking a more creative path. At Newcastle University I studied Geography, at Brighton Polytechnic, Illustration - much inspired by the humour and great works of my tutor Raymond Briggs. I don’t believe my years of indecision about career paths were actually wasted. Finally I became what I had always suspected I was - a fusion of nerd and illustrator. These traits are very helpful in the world of non-fiction picture books!

Soon after graduating from Brighton I was asked to write and illustrate a children’s book on The History of the World, a major task which I survived with just a few scars. A huge challenge, it set me on an historical course which I’ve followed ever since. I have employed my growing fascination with history, geography, architecture and technological invention in many of my subsequent books. Enthusiastically combining research, writing and illustration - leavened with as much humour as I can sneak in – I hope, can get me to the core of any subject. And, by the way, this is a great training for pub quizzes.