John Newman is a Dubliner who now lives in Wicklow. He studied English and Philosophy in UCD and after college tried his hand at being a Folklore collector (fun!), a civil servant (boring!) and an accountant (terrifying when you can’t add!), and finally became a primary school teacher (exhausting!).
John has always written - short stories and poems mostly. Occasionally he won a prize or got a story or poem published and that encouraged him to keep plugging away until he hit lucky again. Then he started writing schoolbooks with another teacher, Jim Halligan. This has turned out to be a productive partnership and to date they have written over 60 schoolbooks. They also wrote four children's novels starting with Fowl Play (Merlin Publishing, 1998); each one wackier than the last. It was a big thrill when Fowl Deeds was shortlisted for the Bisto Awards.
Mimi (Walker Books, 2010) was John's first 'solo' effort at children's fiction; it deals with a family recovering from the death of their mother, but it's not as heavy a read as that sounds! Mimi was published in The US (Candlewick) and in Germany and John was very chuffed when it was the winner of a Lancashire Fabulous Book Prize in 2012, which is awarded by school-children. Tao (Walker Books, 2011) is a follow-up to Mimi, but it can be read independently. In both books John brings a warm, humorous touch to serious themes without trivialising them.