Matt Haig was born in Sheffield in 1975. He is the author of novels for both adults and children. His adult novels include the bestsellers The Last Family in England, the film rights of which were sold to Brad Pitt, and The Radleys, which was a TV Book Club 'Best Read'. His novels for children include Shadow Forest which was a Blue Peter Book of the Year, won a Nestle Gold Medal, and picked up eight regional book awards. His latest children's novel To Be A Cat, is about a boy who wakes up one morning in feline form. His works have been translated into over 20 languages. He is currently working on the screenplay for his next adult novel, The Humans. The Guardian summed up his writing as 'delightfully weird' and the New York Times called him 'a writer of considerable talent'. In 2011 he was named Yorkshire's Young Achiever in the Arts. He lives in a house in York and a boat in London with his wife and children.
Matt said of his residency:
'It's an honour to have been asked to be writer-in-residence by Booktrust, and I plan to make the most of this gleaming opportunity. My aim will be to spread my passion for stories, give my ideas on how to get more kids and adults reading, give an insight into my own writing process and declare my belief that books - whether in paper or electronic format - are more important to our society now than ever before. As a writer who refuses to draw a line in my own work between "literary" and "genre" fiction I will, no doubt, also be talking a bit about how I feel the old hierarchical boundaries of fiction are breaking down and how this will lead to better books and happier readers.'
Matt on books and reading:
'Books are the most important art-form we have in the 21st century. Reality is often a confusing state in a celebrity-driven multi-media age, and so books are the antidote - our refuge, our escape, our defence. Written stories remain the best way of finding ourselves, developing our imaginations, making sense of it all. A good book is a friend, a comfort for the bullied schoolkid and the cynical adult alike.'