Liz Kessler

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Liz Kessler (Born 15 October 1966) is an English writer of children's books, most notably a series about a half-mermaid named Emily Windsnap.


Kessler grew up in Southport in the North West of England, and has lived in Manchester and Cheshire. She lives in St Ives, Cornwall.[when?]

Kessler studied English at Loughborough University, then did a teaching qualification at Keele University, and more recently did a Masters in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.

She has worked as a teacher, teaching English and Media Studies, and has also run Creative Writing courses. Liz was also a journalist working on local and regional newspapers in both York and Manchester.

She did a brief interview with the BBC about creative writing.[1] She is represented by the Felicity Bryan Literary Agency, and her books are published by Orion Children's Books.

Her books are written at a level suitable for schoolchildren in grades 4 to 7.

Emily Windsnap series[edit]

The Emily Windsnap series of children's novels features a 12-year-old girl who lives alone with her mother on a boat by the seaside. When Emily takes swimming lessons, she finds out something she did not know about herself: when fully immersed in water she has a mermaid's tail. However, her mother appears to remember nothing about mermaids or even Emily's own father. Now Emily embarks on a trip through the mermaid realm to find out the truth about her, her father and mother, and the unusual Mr. Beeston, the lighthouse keeper.

The Emily Windsnap series was #10 on the New York Times Best Seller list for a new release in a children's series on 20 May 2007.

After third novel was published in 2006, Kessler said she was finished with Emily Windsnap but she was convinced by her readers to continue and further instalments were published in 2009, 2012, and 2015. (The Emily Windsnap Friendship Book was released in July 2008; in the US, April 2009 as Emily Windsnap's Fin-tastic Friendship Book.)[clarification needed]


A Year Without Autumn was the first of three planned "stand alone" novels that "all deal in some way with time travel"; North of Nowhere was the second.[2]

  • A Year Without Autumn (2011)[3]
  • North of Nowhere (2013)
  • Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins? (2015)
  • Read Me Like a Book (2015)
  • Haunt Me (2017)

Emily Windsnap[edit]

The Emily Windsnap books are published by Orion Children's Books in the U.K., by Candlewick Press in the U.S. The first two are illustrated by Sarah Gibb, who continues to provide the cover art.[citation needed] The third to fifth books are illustrated by Natacha Ledwidge.

  • The Tail of Emily Windsnap (2003)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep (2004)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist (2006)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Siren's Secret (2010)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun (2012)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls (2015), illustrated by Gibb and Ledwidge[4][5]
  • Emily Windsnap and the Falls of the Forgotten Island

Philippa Fisher[edit]

The Philippa Fisher books are illustrated by Katie May.

Poppy the Pirate Dog[edit]

Illustrated by Mike Phillips and published by Orion.

  • Poppy the Pirate Dog (2012) OCLC 778327224
  • Poppy the Pirate Dog's New Shipmate (2013)
  • Poppy the Pirate Dog and the Missing Treasure (2015)


  1. ^ BBC. "Writing for young adults". Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  2. ^ Select cover images from Kessler's homepage, "Welcome to my website!" ( Retrieved 22 April 2015.
      Date 2013? North of Nowhere is called "New Book" at the homepage (on mouseover) and at its pop-up message (on click).
  3. ^ Norfolk, Pam (21 April 2011). "Book review: A Year without Autumn by Liz Kessler". Longridge Today. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  4. ^ "In Which I Totally Indulge Myself, My Publisher, My Favourite Mermaid and a Ghost Ship". Liz Kessler. 24 February 2015. An Awfully Big Blog Adventure ( Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  5. ^ According to the copyright page of the Amazon Kindle edition ("Look Inside!"), the copyrights for interior art are "illustrations", 2015 Sarah Gibb; "text break illustrations", 2012 Natacha Ledwidge. Retrieved 8 March 2016.

External links[edit]