David Almond was born in Newcastle and grew up in a big Catholic family in the coal-mining town of Felling-on-Tyne with his brother and four sisters. His first book for children, Skellig, was published in 1998.
As a child, Almond loved playing football in the hills above the town and messing about with his grandfather in his allotment. He loved too the local library and dreamed of seeing his books on its shelves one day.
Later he took a degree in English and American literature. After working for a while as a postman, a hotel porter and a labourer, he trained to be a teacher. When his first short stories began to be published in magazines, he left his job and began writing full time. He was still not writing for children. When he ran short of money he worked at writing booklets for an adult literacy scheme, and went on to his final teaching job in a school for children with learning difficulties.
"Skellig, my first children's novel, came out of the blue, as if it had been waiting a long time to be told. It seemed to write itself. It took six months, was rapidly taken by Hodder Children's Books and has changed my life. By the time Skellig came out, I'd written my next children's novel, Kit's Wilderness. These books are suffused with the landscape and spirit of my own childhood. By looking back into the past, by re-imagining it and blending it with what I see around me now, I found a way to move forward and to become something that I am intensely happy to be: a writer for children."
Other children's books by David Almond include Heaven Eyes, Counting Stars, Secret Heart, The Fire Eaters, Kate, the Cat and the Moon, and Clay.
David Almond lives with his family in Northumberland.