Joe Craig

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Joe Craig
Born (1981-12-31) 31 December 1981 (age 37)
London, England
OccupationWriter, Musician
GenreSpy, Adventure, Thriller, Children's Books
Notable worksJimmy Coates series

Joe Craig (born 31 December 1981 in London) is an English children's novelist and musician. He is best known for the Jimmy Coates series of books.

Early life and education[edit]

Craig was born and grew up in the Finchley neighborhood of London. His mother is a poet and his two sisters are also writers.[1]

He studied philosophy at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he wrote and composed music for the Cambridge Footlights.[2]


In 2002, he provided the score for the musical theatre production Told You So: A Musical Hijacking of Aesop's Fables (book and lyrics by John Finnemore).[3]

His first children's book, Jimmy Coates: Killer, was published in 2005. He described the plot as being about “a boy on the run from the secret service, battling Britain’s dictatorship, while resisting his own genetic programming that gives him the instincts and abilities of an assassin.”[1] He followed it with six more Jimmy Coates books, and as of 2017, the series had sold over 250,000 copies and been translated into twelve languages.[2]

He regularly performs school visits to encourage reading and promote his books. In 2015, he told The Bookseller that schools were becoming more reluctant to pay authors for visits, but he maintained that authors should never do them for free. He said that author visits show children that the world of books is “full of life, passion and thrills...My aim with every school event I do is to make my visit the single most memorable event in the school life of every student in the room.”[4]

In 2010, Craig released an album of songs which he wrote and performed himself: The Songman & Me, Vol. 1.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Craig is Jewish.[1]

He met anthropologist and television presenter Mary-Ann Ochota when they attended Cambridge University together; they began dating in 2000 and eventually married.[6] They live in Highgate, London.[1]

Craig plays cricket for the Authors XI team of British writers.[7]


  • Jimmy Coates: Killer, HarperCollins Children's Books, March 2005, ISBN 0-00-719685-7

(Released in the United States under the title Jimmy Coates: Assassin.)

Short e-books:

  • Save the Human, CB Creative Books, December 2014
  • Head Strong, CB Creative Books, December 2014
  • The Mendack Affair, CB Creative Books, December 2014


The Songman & Me, Vol. 1

  • Released: 2011
  • Format: LP
  • Label: Jamasama
  • Writer: Joe Craig
  • Tracks: "The Travelling Songman", "Underneath the Snow", "Solo Street", "I've Been Holding On", "Romantic Song", "More Than I Do", "Jealousy", "Full Circle", "Faithful Friend", "The Songman Speaks", "Monkey Tree"


  1. ^ a b c d Perry, Neil (11 July 2013). "Harry Potter's No Match for Jimmy Coates!". Jewish News. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b Krieger, Candice (10 February 2011). "Joe Craig is boosting children's passion for reading". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  3. ^ Nelson, Paul (December 2002). "World premiere for musical hijacking of Aesop's Fables". Indie London. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. ^ Eyre, Charlotte (6 July 2015). "Free school visits 'one of the worst things an author can do'". The Bookseller. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  5. ^ "The Songman & Me, Vol. 1". Amazon. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  6. ^ Parker, Olivia (11 June 2014). "Mary-Ann Ochota: 'Sitting at a desk is the opposite of what drives me'". Telegraph. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  7. ^ Authors Cricket Club (2013). The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4088-4045-0.

External links[edit]