Steven Butler and Francesca Simon
are The Hatter and The Queen of Hearts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, (1865), by Lewis Carroll
Steven Butler grew up in a tiny village in Kent, where his primary school headmaster was children’s book author Jeremy Strong. At first Steven wanted to be an inventor, but when he left school he became an actor, dancer and circus performer, spending two years working on a Disney cruise liner. He went on to star in Peter Pan, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Horrid Henry: Live and Horrid, which is how he met Francesca Simon. It was while joking with Francesca that he must have been swapped at birth by trolls that his Wrong Pong series was born.
Francesca Simon was born in Missouri and grew up in California, where her father worked as a screenwriter. She attended Yale and Oxford universities, where she specialised in medieval studies, then spent several years working as a journalist in London. After her son was born she started writing children’s stories full time. She has published over 50 books, including her prize-winning Horrid Henry series, which has sold over 20 million copies in 27 countries. Her books for older children include The Sleeping Army and The Lost Gods.
Q&A with Cambridge Jones