Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England in 1946 and grew up in Zimbabwe and Wales. He worked as a teacher for many years and his first children’s novel, Count Karlstein, came out in 1982. The Ruby in the Smoke, the first of the Sally Lockhart quartet of Victorian thrillers, was published in 1985. He has won many awards for his children’s books, including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children's Book Award, the Smarties Prize, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and a CBE. His acclaimed fantasy trilogy, His Dark Materials, comprising Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, has been published in 39 languages, and the first volume is now a major motion picture, released in cinemas in December 2007. Philip Pullman lives in Oxford with his wife, and has two sons.