The Two Steves

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For "The Two Steves" of Apple, founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, see History of Apple Inc..

Steve Barlow (real name Steven Lowe)[1] and Steve Skidmore[2]- collectively known as The Two Steves – are British collaborative writers who mostly work in the field of children's literature. They have written over 70 books together.[3]


The Two Steves began collaborating in 1987 after meeting while working at Fairham Comprehensive School in Nottingham, and have produced a large body of work together. They operate on a freelance basis, and have produced work for several publishers including Scholastic (Outernet series),[4] and Collins (The Dark Forest series).[5] Their first published work was a book of three short plays, "Paper Tigers" (1991) in the Oxford Playscripts series,[6] while their first novel was "I fell in Love with a Leather Jacket" (1993).[7] They have also written a large body of work for educational publishers, and have been series editors for Impact and High Impact (materials for struggling readers) for Heinemann, as well as series editors for Heinemann Plays and Oxford Playscripts. They have also written parody books such as "Star Bores" (2000),[8] to coincide with the releases of popular and anticipated films. However, the bulk of their work still remains in the field of children's and teenage literature. A number of their books have been translated into other languages, and The Mad Myths, Vernon Bright, The Dark Forest and Erik Bloodaxe books have been released as spoken word tapes. They have recently made some of their older books available on the iPhone and iPod touch via Sleepydog.[3][7][9]

School visits[edit]

As former teachers, the Two Steves have toured schools both around Britain, and in other countries including Brazil,[10] China, Qatar, Venezuela, Oman.[11] Malaysia. They have also been involved with the library services in Britain, and events such as the Northern Children's Book Festival.[12]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Young Adult Books[edit]

The Vernon Bright series[edit]

A series of books about a boy genius and his adventures, first published by Puffin, and later made available on the iPhone and iPod.[7] Titles in this series:Vernon Bright and the Magnetic Banana (2001), Vernon Bright and Frankenstein’s Hamster (2001), Vernon Bright and The Faster-Than-Light Show (2004), Vernon Bright and the End of the World (2004).

The Outernet series[edit]

A web/book crossover project about a group of friends defending the universe from the FOES.[13] Titles in the series: Book 1: Friend or Foe? (2002), Book 2: Control (2002), Book 3: Odyssey (2003), Book 4: Time Out (2003), Book 5: The Hunt (2003), Book 6: The Weaver (2003).

The Lost Diaries series[edit]

A series of books centring on the supposed diaries of historical or semi-historical characters.[14] Titles in this series: The Lost Diary of Erik Bloodaxe, Viking Warrior, The Lost Diary of Henry VIII’s Executioner (1997), The Lost Diary of Shakespeare’s Ghostwriter (1999), The Lost Diary of Julius Caesar's Slave (1997), The Lost Diary of Hercules' Personal Trainer (1998), The Lost Diary of Robin Hood's Money Man (1999).

The Dark Forest series[edit]

A fantasy series set in the eponymous Dark Forest.[15] Titles in this series: Goodknyght! (2001), Whizzard! (2002), Trollogy! (2003), Knyghtmare! (2004), "Boggartsh!" (2005).

The Mad Myths series[edit]

A series of fantasy adventure books focusing on mythological characters transplanted to the modern age. (Puffin, reissued by Barn Owl, now available on iPhone and iPod touch).[9] Titles in this series: Stone Me! (1999), Mind the Door! (1999), A Touch of Wind! (1999), Must Fly! (1999), Don't Look Back (2004).

The Dragonsdale series[edit]

A series for girls, written under the pen name "Salamanda Drake", centring on the equestrian-style adventures of a young girl and the dragons raised in her father's stables. Titles in this series: Dragonsdale (2007), Riding the Storm (2008).


The 2 Steves are currently working on new books for various publishers, including Usborne and Hachette.[7]


  1. ^ Steve Barlow biography[dead link]
  2. ^ Steve Skidmore biography[dead link]
  3. ^ a b "The 2 Steves". Sleepydog. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Barlow, Steve (7 January 2002). "9780439343510 – Friend or Foe? (Outernet #1) By Steve; Skidmore, Steve Barlow – Used book – 0439343518". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  5. ^ cool-reads, (22 September 2007). "books for 10–15 year old readers by 10–15 year old reviewers". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Paper Tigers (Oxford Playscripts): Steve Barlow, Steve Skidmore, Bill Lucas: Books". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d Author A-Z. "The 2 Steves: Steve Skidmore and Steve Barlow interview (November 2009)". Fantasy Book Review. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Star Bores: The Novel (9781902618760): Steve Barlow, Steve Skidmore, Paddy Mounter: Books". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "App Store – Mad Myths – Don’t Look Back! FREE". 9 January 2010. Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2] and Malaysia,
  12. ^ "The 2011 Northern Children's Book Festival". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  13. ^ "Friend or Foe (Outernet, book 1) by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 
  14. ^ [3]
  15. ^ "Goodknyght! (Tales of the Dark Forest, book 1) by Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore". Retrieved 30 November 2011. 

External links[edit]