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Last edited by Hemanth Kumar
July 6, 2015 | History

Lucy Daniels

Lucy Daniels is a nobody. She doesn't exist. She is a brand, not a person.

The Lucy Daniels story begins with two men: Ben Baglio, an American children's book packager, and Rod Ritchie, managing director of Hodder prior to its merger with Headline. Baglio moved to the UK in the early 90s and had moderate successes with Mystery Club, a kid's crime series, and Mystery Kids, a Grange Hill-type series, both of which have since been dumped by Hodder. But with Lucy Daniels he struck gold.

The list of Animal Ark authors reads like a Who's Who of children's fiction. Sue Welford, a Whitbread prize nominee, Jenny Oldfield and Helen Magee, all of whom are names in their own right, have done a turn as Lucy Daniels. In Jenny Oldfield's case, she has done dozens of turns, and the reason is simple: money. A three-to-four-week spell spent writing a 25,000-word Animal Ark manuscript can net the author over £20,000 in royalties and foreign rights.

The name Lucy Daniels was chosen extremely carefully. In addition to Animal Ark, there are now Animal Ark Pets, the stories of some of the original animals when they were small, Animal Ark Hauntings, ghost stories with positive messages, Little Animal Ark, for younger readers, Perfect Ponies and Nine Lives. The possibilities are literally endless because for every new idea there will always be an author out there somewhere.

Enid Blyton tends to be sneered at by almost everyone these days, but in more honest moments every publisher would sell his or her soul to have a non-stop production line of best-selling titles. The only difference between Daniels and Blyton is that one is real and one is not.


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July 6, 2015 Edited by Hemanth Kumar Bio
August 31, 2008 Edited by RenameBot fix author name
April 1, 2008 Created by an anonymous user initial import