The Firefly Team

Penny Thomas


Penny has always been a compulsive reader and was never out of the library at school or in Harpenden, Herts, where she grew up. She took a degree in English Language and Literature at Keble 
College, Oxford, and worked as an editorial assistant in London before moving to Cardiff to train as a journalist in 1988.
 After fourteen years in regional journalism, and two kids, she took a proofreading course and realised publishing was for her.
 She has since freelanced for many great presses and was fiction editor for literary publisher Seren Books for 11 years. She never got over that early love of books, so Firefly is a long-cherished ambition. Books for children and
 teenagers have moved on since those dark ages of course, although classics remain, but she is determined that Firefly
 books will inspire readers in just the same way.

Favourite children’s books:

Way way too many to mention, but one favourite was A Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. There was a copy in the local library, with colour plates, that I had out on almost permanent loan, so nobody else nearby could have read it much. I thought I was alone in this until someone called JK something announced it had been her favourite book as a child too – making the rights that much harder to come by! It fed a love of countryside and magic, seahorses, turret rooms and salmon-pink geraniums…

Robin Bennett

Commercial Director | Author 

Robin Bennett is an author and entrepreneur who has written several books for children. He has also written books on the swashbuckling world of business. His documentary Fantastic Britain, about the British obsession with magic and folklore, won best foreign feature at the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards.

Aged 21 he was all set to become a cavalry officer and aged 21 and a half, he found himself working as an assistant grave digger in South London wondering where it had all gone wrong.

He went on and founded The Bennett Group, aged 23, and since then has gone on to start and run over a dozen successful businesses in a variety of areas from dog-sitting to cigars, translation to home tuition. The list is a bit exhausting. In 2003 Robin was recognised in Who’s Who as one of the UK’s most successful business initiators.

Favourite children’s books:

I pretty much lived outside until the age of 11 and was illiterate to all intents. My own reading career started with leafing through my mum’s old copies of Country Life and the romance stories in the back of The Lady. Armed with a thorough knowledge of the upper-end housing market and flawed, yet terribly attractive men, I moved on to fiction and have never looked back. Danny the Champion of the World spoke to me on virtually every level.

Megan Rees

Business Manager

Megan has always had her nose stuck in a book yet she was working in a different industry until 2021, when she realised that she simply had to work with books. This career jump led her to work at Book-ish in Crickhowell and becoming the Bookshop Manager. After two years of being immersed in the book industry, Megan is thrilled to make the move into publishing and join the Firefly team. In her spare time, Megan is also completing a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

Favourite children’s books:

I read and re-read books when I was little; I still have battered copies of many of my childhood favourites! A few that have stuck with me are Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, the Chrestomanci series by Dianna Wynne Jones, Witch Child by Celia Rees, Girls in Love by Jacqueline Wilson and then the Malory Towers and St. Clare’s series by Enid Blyton (I was desperate to have a midnight feast!). I still lean towards stories of friendship, magic and adventure – more recently, I’ve enjoyed Like A Charm by Elle McNicoll, Fireborn by Aisling Fowler and Seed by Caryl Lewis.

Hayley Fairhead


Hayley began work in the publishing industry at Oxford University Press, over 20 years ago. Since then, she has worked in-house for Hachette Children’s Books and Pearson Education, before working as a freelance editor for a variety of different publishers. During that time, she worked as a key member of the Golden Egg Academy team, helping writers of children’s fiction hone and develop their writing skills. She joined Firefly Press as Editor in April 2023.

Favourite children’s books:

Anne of Green Gables is one of the first books I remember falling in love with as a child. The feisty character of Anne together with the stunning setting have always stuck with me. But it wasn’t just the classics I was interested in, Judy Blume was a definite favourite – her stories really spoke to 12- year-old me, and dare I say that Sweet Valley High was a series I loved as a teen.

More recently, I loved Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Barron (what a great concept!) and Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon really made the tears fall. While the friendship between Bear and April in The Last Bear isn’t one I can easily forget.

Rebecca Lloyd

Assistant Editor

Originally from Bridgend, Rebecca read English at Pembroke College, Cambridge, before moving to London to work in publishing. She edited adult non-fiction and literary fiction for HarperCollins for several years, before moving back to Wales to bring up her three daughters. After running a small bookshop, she went back into publishing with Accent Press, setting up their young adult list, and is now Publisher at The Dome Press. She loves children’s and young adult books and is thrilled to be part of the Firefly team.

Favourite children’s books:

I lived in books – they seemed more real than reality. Sometimes they still do. Special favourites growing up were The Silver Sword, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Tom’s Midnight Garden and all the Anne books. As a teenager, I loved Rumer Godden’s The Greengage Summer and everything by Daphne du Maurier. With my children, I’ve discovered books like Roald Dahl’s The Minpins, Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum series. I’m also a big Harry Potter fan.

Lucy Mohan

Editorial Assistant

Lucy Mohan grew up in the South Wales valleys and took an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University and, more recently, the Curtis Brown Writing YA and Children’s Fiction Course. She also co-created the digital magazine, PaperBound, with two other Bath Spa alumni, aimed at young people, and those who enjoy writing and reading stories for middle grade, teen and young adult audiences. In addition, she runs creative writing courses for young people and previously worked as a bookseller for Storyville Books in Pontypridd, and as a secondary school teacher. Her novel Wick Wood, was also winner of the YA section of the Firefly new Welsh fiction prize 2022.

Favourite children’s books:

I’ve always had a book glued to my hand. When I was younger, it was usually a Malory Towers, Nancy Drew or Point Horror book. Now, I love to read a wide range of genres, but still have a soft spot for stories with a hint of magic or mystery. Recently I’ve loved Pony by R.J. Palacio, Wolfstongue by Sam Thompson, Wranglestone by Darren Charlton, The Scarlet Veil by Shelby Mahurin, Blood to Poison by Mary Watson, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, and literally anything written by Maggie Stiefvater. 


Becka Moor

Becka Moor

Senior Designer 

Becka has been illustrating children’s books since 2012 and has over 70 books published. She has a real passion for design and reading as many books as she can get her greedy hands on. She lived in Wales for a time studying Illustration for Children’s Publishing at Glyndwr University, before returning to Manchester where she currently lives with her partner and two cats. She joined Firefly Press as designer in March 2021. 

Favourite children’s books:

 I was a BIG fan of The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin and anything by Jacqueline Wilson. Some standout favourites were Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem (I loved the idea of little field mice living in tree trunks and creating magical stories of their own), Muddle Earth by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell, and The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

More recently, I’ve really enjoyed The Chimeseekers by Ross Montgomery, the Hilda Graphic novels, and the Mooney Mason books. Some YA standouts are Lore, All the Murmuring Bones, and House of Hollow.

Siân Jones

Sales, Marketing and Rights Officer

Siân grew up in Gloucestershire and was an avid reader as a child.  She has a degree in Cultural Studies from University of Birmingham.  Siân was a bookseller then buyer at Waterstones for 12 years and then worked at English Heritage Retail before making a move into publishing working at Watkins, Quarto and most recently as UK Sales Manager at Priddy.  She is excited to be joining the team at Firefly in 2023. 

Favourite children’s books:

 I read widely as a child, but my absolute favourite was the Famous Five series which I would read on rotation, enjoying their endless summers and adventures.  As a teen I really loved Adrian Mole and Judy Blume, but also enjoyed spooky stories and Stephen King. As an adult and a parent, I’ve caught up with books that have become favourites – The Northern Lights trilogy, The Dark is Rising, The House with Chicken Legs and I do love Harry Potter (House Ravenclaw).

Amy Low

Sales and Marketing Officer

Amy grew up in the South Wales valleys before moving to Hereford to study Illustration in 2014. After graduating, they went on to spend three and half years working as a bookseller at independent bookshop Book-ish in Crickhowell, meeting many inspiring book-y people and falling completely in love with the book industry. Amy is now thrilled to be using this creative background and these experiences to work in publishing, and in 2021 gained an MA in Children’s Publishing with Distinction, from Bath Spa University.

Favourite children’s books:

When I was younger, my mam started working in the local library and my obsession with books began – I would take my library book and a pocket dictionary to bed and become completely engrossed in new worlds and experiences. A few memorable favourites include Cornelia Funke’s Dragon Rider, Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle series and James Patterson’s Maximum Ride series. Now, I love anything with atmosphere, interesting characters, and maybe a bit of mystery. Current favourites include the Adventures on Trains series from MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, the Eerie-on-Sea series by Thomas Taylor, and YA novel Pet by Akwaeke Emezi.

Grace Samuel

Marketing and Publicity Officer

Grace grew up in rural Mid-Wales before moving to Bristol to study English Literature in 2016. During her undergrad, Grace studied Children’s Literature and discovered her love of reading children’s books. After graduating, Grace went on to achieve an MA in Children’s Publishing from Bath Spa University all while undertaking an internship at Book Island Books. Grace was thrilled to join the Firefly Team in 2023.

Favourite children’s books:

Throughout my childhood, I could often be found with my nose in a book or writing stories of my own. My favourites were the Clarice Bean books by Lauren Child and The Famous Five books by Enid Blyton. I also absolutely adored Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

More recently, I loved The Bird Within Me by Sara Lundberg, translated by B.J. Woofstein and I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

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