John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn't until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency 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.

After writing advertising copy for the next two decades, John teamed with an old friend to develop a television sitcom, Hey Dad!, which went on to air for eight years.

John began writing Ranger's Apprentice for his son, Michael, and is still hard at work on the series. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.

Learn more about John Flanagan and the Ranger's Apprentice series at www.rangersapprentice.com

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A Letter From John

Hi everyone,

Nice to be talking to you. The fact that you've accessed this page shows that you're interested in books and reading. As you might possibly guess, so am I!

In fact, I can't imagine what my life would have been like without books. When I was a young boy, I looked forward to the weekly visits of the Mobile Library that used to come to our area. It was a big 18 wheeler truck, with the trailer section converted into a mini library. I'd head up to it every second Friday and pore over the titles on the shelves. I loved reading historical stories — particularly stories about the Roman army. I was also taken by mythology and read a lot of stories about the Greek and Norse gods and their adventures. Maybe those tales of Norse gods triggered my fondness for the Skandians in my own books.

My older brother and I shared a bedroom and I remember the walls were lined with books. We both loved a series written by an English author, a former RAF officer, about a character called Biggles. Biggles (his full name was Major James Bigglesworth) was a pilot and an adventurer. I recall we had more than fifty Biggles books lined around the walls. I also grew to love the stories written by C.S. Forester.

I believe reading fires the imagination as no other form of entertainment can. And I guess the logical next step from a love of reading is to write one's own stories. That's certainly how it worked for me. I hope my books will help kids discover a love for reading for years to come. I try to keep the plots moving along. I make them adventurous. I use a lot of humour. After all, humour is part of life. I know some people have used the device of reading my books to their children to get them interested. I think that's a great idea. It brings families together and creates a love of story telling at the same time.

What could be better?

—John Flanagan

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More From John Flanagan

» John Flanagan Author Video
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Check out these books by John Flanagan:

Click here to learn more about the Ranger's Apprentice series and to see all nine books!