Meet the authors:

Chris Callaghan

Chris Callaghan

Chris Callaghan is an award-Winning and Amazon No.1 best-selling children's author. He has a background as a mechanic in the Royal Air Force and as an Environmental Scientist. Growing up in a shipyard town on the banks of the Tyne, he saw this industry decline and the effects it had on the people, town and schools. He struggled with reading as a boy, and preferred writing stories, never dreaming that one day he might become a published author himself. But he did! He has spent the previous few years visiting schools around the UK, often in deprived areas, talking of his love of reading and writing, and encouraging children just like he was that stories are for everyone.

Chris is the author of Shinoy and the Chaos Crew, a brand-new series launching in January 2021 with 24 adventure stories, followed by 12 graphics novels and 12 non-fiction titles. Shinoy is an average ten-year-old kid whose gaming app has a unique upgrade – a button that make his heroes come to life! In every story Shinoy is faced with a mystery in his own world – such as when gravity becomes too strong or rain starts falling upwards – he quickly uses his app to call up a member of the chaos crew and together they save the day. Chris has previously published the Great Chocoplot with Chicken House

“I am so happy to be part of Connecting Stories with the National Literacy Trust and Get Blackpool Reading. A love of reading can be so transformative to a child’s confidence, wellbeing and ultimately their life chances. I hope this project will inspire a love of reading in children and young people across the town to support their literacy and ignite their curiosity about the stories around them.”

Lisa Rajan

Lisa Rajan

Lisa has a background in science, medical writing, advertising and politics. She welcomes a challenge, from running councils to running marathons. Lisa is a parent, an author and an advocate for girls. Lisa created Tara Binns to inspire her own daughter, encourage all children to dream big and realise that anyone can do anything.

Lisa is the author of 20 Tara Binns titles, which are endorsed by WISE (Women and Science in Engineering). Each book tells an exciting story of a gutsy girl who isn’t afraid to take on any job or the challenges that come with it. Fighting fires… crash-landing planes… life-saving rescues… it’s all in a day’s work for Tara Binns and her friends. Every book starts with Tara Binns opening the magic costume box in her attic. She is given an outfit and whisked away on an adventure where she is thrown in at the deep end and has to learn fast to tackle each unpredictable challenge head on.

“I’m really excited to be part of the Connecting Stories initiative from the National Literacy Trust. Books are portals into other worlds and help children explore the limits of their imagination – and lots of us need a bit of escapism at the moment! I hope this project allows us to encourage every child and young person across Blackpool to find a love of reading that will stay with them, and inspire them to dream big, forever.”

Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor

Joelle Taylor is an award-winning spoken word artist who has written poetry and plays. She has performed at hundreds of venues nationally and internationally with the British Council. She was recently awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts and in 2015 The Southbank Centre in London named her as one of the Nelson Mandela 67 Change Makers who have altered the face of Britain.

She is widely anthologised and her poetry is included in the English GCSE syllabus. Her short stories and flash fiction have been published in various literary journals and her forthcoming poetry collection Cunto and Other Poems will be published by Westbourne Press on 15th June 2021.