Frank Cottrell Boyce was born in Rainhill, Merseyside, England in 1959. He studied English at Oxford and completed his doctorate there. Today Cottrell Boyce teaches as Professor for Reading and Communication at Liverpool Hope University. He is also co-owner of the Northern Soul Film Productions company in Merseyside. Since 1987, he has written scripts for films (including for renowned directors like Michael Winterbottom and Danny Boyle), for television series, and in 2012 for the opening ceremony for the Olympic Summer Games in London. Although the film critic Roger Ebert once praised him as the most original and versatile scriptwriter in Britain, Cottrell Boyce himself wants to write primarily for children and tries to concentrate on that, despite all his other activities.
His literary debut »Millions« (2004), originally conceived as a screenplay (and later realized both as a film and as a theater play), tells the story of nine-year-old Damian, who has been interested in spirituality since his mother died. Then it won the Lynx for 2004, awarded by the newspaper »Die Zeit« and Radio Bremen, the jury explained its choice by describing the novel as a literary rollercoaster ride, »cushioned by philosophical considerations about […] blessings and temptations that everyone who has to deal with life is exposed to«. In the same year, »Millions« was awarded the Carnegie Medal. »Framed« (2005), a story about the world-changing power of art, was praised by the »Süddeutsche Zeitung« as a rare example of a young people’s book that combined literary depth, oddball humor, furious suspense, and original characters. In 2011, Cottrell Boyce’s novel »The Unforgotten Coat« appeared. It is about a childhood friendship that overcomes cultural divides. As the jury of the German Children’s Literature Award for 2013 noted in its encomium, the narrative situation is unusual: »An adult first-person narrator recalls long-past events of her childhood whose drama lies in the fact that they eluded her understanding for so long.« But she doesn’t reveal her knowledge, which goes beyond the situation. In 2012, the novel also won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. In 2011, »Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again« paid homage to Ian Fleming’s humorous story of a family’s adventure in a gussied-up camping van. Frank Cottrell Boyce most recently published the children’s book »The Astounding Broccoli Boy«, about children with green skin who found a group of superheroes.
In 2015, Frank Cottrell Boyce was awarded the James Krüss Prize for International Children’s and Young People’s Literature for his complete works. He lives in Blundellsands, near Liverpool.