Thomas Taylor has always lived near the sea (although that’s not difficult if you live in the British Isles). He comes from a long line of seafarers, but chose a career as an illustrator because that involves less getting wet and more biscuits. His first professional illustration commission, straight out of art school, was the cover art for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. After this he concentrated on picture books, some of which won actual awards.
Although always aspiring to be a writer, a childhood of being told, “No, you’re good at drawing – you should be an illustrator instead,” left Thomas nervous to try. But try he did, initially with picture books but soon with novels. It turns out that turning biscuits into books is even more fun when you get to create the story, too.
Thomas currently lives on the south coast of England, near the historic town of Hastings, which provided some of the inspiration for Eerie-on-Sea. He is a keen beachcomber, and has in real life found many of the things Mrs Fossil finds in this book. He loves nothing more than walking on the beach with his sons Max and Benjy and his enormous hound Alpha, picking up dinosaur bones and sea glass jewels and wondering about the stories behind them.
And in case you are curious about the biscuits, the answer is… custard creams.