John Flanagan (author)

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John Flanagan
Flanagan in 2012
Born John Anthony Flanagan
(1944-05-22) 22 May 1944 (age 72)
Sydney, Australia
Occupation Novelist
Language English
Nationality Australian
Genre Fantasy, Adventure
Notable works Ranger's Apprentice
Spouse Leonie Flanagan[1]
Children Michael Flanagan[2]
Kitty Flanagan
Penny Flanagan

John Anthony Flanagan (born 22 May 1944) is an Australian fantasy author best known for his children's books. His best-known work is the Ranger's Apprentice novel series, which is about a boy named Will who is taken as an apprentice Ranger to the grim and mysterious Halt. They meet up with many new people, friends and foes, along their path. Together they set out on mysterious, mind-boggling adventures of a lifetime. He also writes novels for adults.


John Flanagan grew up in Sydney suburb of Clovelly and attended Waverley College,[4] Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn’t until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency where he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It turned out one of the company directors agreed with John’s assessment of the executive, and happily agreed to train John in copywriting.[5][5] After writing advertising copy for the next two decades, John teamed with Gary Reilly, he co-created the television series Hey Dad..! and wrote 293 of its episodes, which went on to air for eight years. He also wrote for Hampton Court and My Two Wives.[4]

He started working on what would become Ranger's Apprentice in the 1990s, originally comprised twenty short stories for his son Michael, who at the time was twelve. Flanagan wanted to encourage his son to read, as well as show him that heroes, like the main character Will, don't have to be big and strong. Michael was a small boy, and all his friends were bigger and stronger than he was. John wanted to show him that reading was fun, now in his mid-twenties, Michael is six feet tall, broad-shouldered and powerful – but he still loves The Ranger’s Apprentice. In the early 2000s, he decided to make the stories into the first novel The Ruins of Gorlan.[6] This was published in 2004, when he was 60.[4] There are currently fourteen books published, and all of them have been released in the USA.

In 2008, he won the Australian Publishers Association's Book of the Year for "Older Children and the International Success Award" for Erak's Ransom.[7]

The series has come a long way since then. Now sold to eighteen countries, the series has appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List and is regularly shortlisted in children’s book awards in Australia and overseas.


Ranger's Apprentice[edit]

  1. The Ruins of Gorlan (2004)
  2. The Burning Bridge (2005)
  3. The Icebound Land (2005)
  4. Oakleaf Bearers (2006) (The Battle for Skandia in the US)
  5. The Sorcerer in the North (2006) (The Sorcerer of the North in the US)
  6. The Siege of Macindaw (2007)
  7. Erak's Ransom (2007)
  8. The Kings of Clonmel (2008)
  9. Halt's Peril (2009)
  10. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (2010)
  11. The Lost Stories (2011)
  12. The Royal Ranger (2013)

Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years[edit]

This is a prequel series before the time of Will about Morgarath's coup and Halt and Crowly's Counter plot to save Araluen.

  1. The Tournament at Gorlan (2015)
  2. The Battle of Hackham Heath (2016)


  1. The Outcasts (2011)
  2. The Invaders (2012)
  3. The Hunters (2012)
  4. Slaves of Socorro (2014)
  5. Scorpion Mountain (2014)
  6. The Ghostfaces (2016)

Jesse Parker[edit]

  1. Storm Peak (2009)
  2. Avalanche Pass (2010)

Adult novels[edit]

  1. The Grey Raider (2015)
  2. Michael Devlin and the Cheyenne (2015)

Personal life[edit]

John lives with his wife, Leonie, in the Sydney beachside suburb of Manly, New South Wales. He is currently writing further titles in the Ranger’s Apprentice series. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.


  1. ^ Random House Australia – John Flanagan, retrieved 29 December 2009 
  2. ^ "John Flanagan at IMDb". Retrieved 3 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e John Flanagan interview – Penguin Group (USA), retrieved 29 December 2009 
  4. ^ a b c Mark McEvoy, "Sea adventures a new tack for children's author", Sunday Age, 5 July 2015, m16
  5. ^ a b Charles, Ron (23 July 2006). "We Interview: John Flanagan". Washington Post. p. BW9. 
  6. ^ "Random House UK – John Flanagan". Retrieved 31 December 2009. 
  7. ^ "Brooks wins Book of the Year award", The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2008

External links[edit]