Brian Jacques was born and bred in Liverpool. At the age of fifteen he went to sea and travelled the world. He worked as a stand-up comedian and playwright and hosted his own programme, Jakestown, on Radio Merseyside. His bestselling Redwall books have captured readers all over the world and won universal praise. He died in 2011.
Brian's writing career began in earnest with playwriting. His three plays, Brown Bitter, Wet Nellies and Scouse have all been performed at Liverpool's Everyman Theatre. Brian wrote his first book, Redwall, for the children at the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind. He first came into contact with the children through delivering milk to the school. He started reading books to them but saw that the stories were not sufficiently firing the kids' imaginations. He decided to try a story of his own. "I didn't have a typewriter and I was skint, so I went and bought dozens of 30p pads and sat up all night. Brian was signed up on the spot for the first five Redwall adventures. The series has proved phenomenally successful throughout the world. There are over seven million copies of the 14 Redwall books in print. They are published in 19 countries and 16 languages. In the year 2000, The Legend of Luke remained on the New York Times bestseller list for six weeks, while Lord Brocktree was there for over 17 weeks. A TV animation of Redwall has been created by Nelvana Productions. There has even been an opera version! Brian's first book for Puffin marks an exciting new direction for this compelling author. Castaways of the Flying Dutchman is every bit as gripping as a Redwall. In 1620, a young mute boy named Neb is "shanghied to sail on The Flying Dutchman". The ship's captain is an evil, godless man with the power of life and death over everyone on board. The Flying Dutchman is not a ship for the faint of heart! Although most of the characters in the novel are human, there are two particularly strong animal heroes; Den, Neb's talking black Labrador; and Horatio, the ship's sardine-obsessed cat.