Terry Deary - Author

"Deary (is) the most influential historian in Britain today." So says the "Daily Telegraph" newspaper at 10 May 07

Terry Deary is the author of 190 books in the UK (with almost 600 more foreign editions) mainly for children and teenagers. His books are sold in 39 languages from Russia to Brazil, Scandinavia to China.

He was born in Sunderland, England, in 1946 and now lives in County Durham, in the North-east of England. Terry is a former actor, theatre-director and museum manager.

In 32 years as an author his writing has included fiction for juniors and teenagers, and popular non-fiction series (Horrible Histories, being the best-selling with over 20 million worldwide.) He also writes TV, theatre, radio audio and new media scripts and performs his own scripts.

In 1996 he was the best selling British children’s author with 5 of his books in the top ten best-sellers of the year. (Waterstones Bookshop tables) In August 1997 he was still leading the way with thirteen titles in the top forty. (Bookseller listings). In 1999 “The Daily Telegraph” recorded that he outsold Enid Blyton by four to one and annual libraries’ surveys made him the most-borrowed author of children’s non-fiction in Britain – with an astonishing 17 titles in the top 20 in 2001. In November 1999 Books for Keeps magazine readers voted him “The Outstanding Children’s Non-Fiction Author Of The 20th Century”. In 2000 a Schoolsnet survey made him the most borrowed British author in school libraries while a Guardian survey of March 05 made him Britain’s fifth most popular living children’s author.

In the Blue Peter Book Awards 2001 and 2002 Terry won “Best Book of Knowledge of All Time” for his Horrible Histories Rotten Romans and Terrible Tudors.

Terry returned to writing for the theatre with Mad Millennium at Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre in Summer 1999. In November 2002 he returned to his roots and acted in a professional theatre production of his own musical Christmas show, Crackers Christmas at Barrow’s ‘Forum 28’ Theatre. A major series of touring theatre plays, Horrible Histories - Terrible Tudors and Vile Victorians have been created for in collaboration with Birmingham Stage – in 2008 they will expand the franchise to have local plays in permanent residence in 5 British cities.

BBC Worldwide made a series of ten 1-hour audio Horrible Histories CDs based on his books and narrated by Terry. They were launched in October 2002 and became immediate best-sellers. In the summer of 2005 12 million of Terry’s CDs were released as a promotion in partnership with Kellogg’s cereals and these were followed with massively successful CDs for “Daily Telegraph” promotions in 2006 and 2007. The Horrible Histories books also feature as a best-selling international part-work magazines in 2003/5, The Horrible Histories Collection. Terry also cretaes major Horrible Histories exhibitions for museums around Britain, breaking attendance records at every venue.

The Fire Thief” is Terry’s new fiction trilogy for the US and UK market, launched in January 2006. In the hardback edition alone it has sold 100,000 in its first year and put Terry into the top 20 fiction charts. He is working on a film adaptation. Terry has acted and presented many television series, including an entertaining children’s series exploring the lives of Henry VIII’s wives, (broadcast BBC Education in November 05) followed by his own 6-part documentary series for family viewing called “Terry Deary's Twisted Tales” (ITV northern regions June 06) which he wrote and presented.

Terry wrote and presented the BBC Newcastle regional contribution to the “Building Britain” series in March 07, looking at the city of Durham. Terry wrote and recorded a twelve-part Terrible Tales of Wales radio programmes for BBC Wales in 2005/06. He followed it with a 6-part radio series on the Welsh “Mabinogion” legends in late 2006.

He is hoping to create a Horrible Histories visitor attraction in his native north-east and around Britain. He is also working with major museums and tourist attractions to create exciting interactive experiences for family visits. In 2007 his exhibition at the Royal Armouries Leeds increased their visitor figures by 150% and in 2008 he created a new WW1 exhibition for the Imperial War Museum, Manchester.

His charity work includes being patron of SHAID (Single Homeless Action Initiative in Derwentside), Grace House Children’s Hospice appeal and Burnhope Association of Rural Crafts. He works with young offenders in the region and with Beamish Museum where he raises money for disadvantaged children in the region.

Terry was awarded a degree as Doctor of Education at Sunderland University in 2000 and is an ambassador for his home city of Sunderland.

In 2008 he will be cutting back on writing children’s books and giving up personal appearances to concentrate on TV projects including a new CBBC series of “Horrible Histories” which he’ll co-write and act in. The programmes will be shown on British television in 2009.

I do not like reading very much and my Mum is pleased that I have found some books I like so much that I read them without being asked!
10 year old boy



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