John Flanagan is the Australian author who writes primarily for teenagers. He is the author of two wonderful fantasy series of books: the Ranger's Apprentice series and the Brotherband Chronicles.
John Flanagan lives with his wife Leonie in Manly, a suburb on the northern beaches of Sydney, in Australia. He worked in advertising for 20 years before turning his hand to television script-writing, co-writing a comedy series called Hey Dad! with a friend. The show aired in Australia from 1987 to 1994 and was very popular.
In the 1990s, John's son Michael was a not-very-big twelve-year- old who wasn't all that keen on reading. In an effort to encourage Michael John wrote a series of twenty short stories about a boy called Will who is taken as an apprentice Ranger to the grim and mysterious Halt. As well as encouraging him to read, John also wanted to show his son that heroes didn't have to always be big and strong.
The stories eventually became the first book in the Ranger's Apprentice series - The Ruins of Gorlan.
Michael (and his two sisters) are now, of course, all grown up and Michael is six-foot tall, broad-shouldered and strong.
How great would it be to have a dad who wrote a series of wonderful stories just for you? And I imagine it would be even more amazing to know that those stories are now so loved by so many kids all around the world.
John now writes full-time and still lives in Sydney with his wife. He is working on more books in the Brotherband series and now has four grandchildren.
John Flanagan has written two series of books: the Ranger's Apprentice series and the Brotherband Chronicles.
Ranger's Apprentice: The Early Years
These books are prequels to the Ranger's Apprentice series. They are set before Will's time and deal with Morgarath's coup and Halt and Crowley's counter-plot to save Araluen.
I was lucky enough to meet John when I went to a book signing in 2007 at The Children's Bookshop in Beecroft in Sydney. Paul, the owner of the bookshop is a friend and our sons were at school together so the three boys went to the shop together after school to meet their favourite author. By the time I arrived to pick my two up, only the three boys, Paul and John himself were still there.
John's a lovely man, interested in everyone and very friendly and generous with his time.My boys were heavily into the Ranger's Apprentice books at the time so I brought our collection along for John to sign and we chatted about boys and books and reading as he waited for his taxi. It was a brief meeting and John wouldn't remember it but I'm a huge admirer of his work and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to tell him how much his books meant to my sons.