MaleUnited KingdomMember since 31 Oct 14Last online 6 years ago

Bali Rai was born in Leicester in 1971 and grew up in a multicultural, multi-racial community close to the city centre. As a child he dreamt about three things - playing football for Liverpool FC, being Bob Marley and becoming a writer. At the age of eleven he read the book that would inspire him to write. It was The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend.

Bali did a degree in Politics at Southbank University and has now written several young adult novels for Random House Children's Books. His first, (Un)arranged Marriage, created a huge amount of interest and won many awards including the Angus Book Award and the Leicester Book of the Year.

It was also shortlisted for the prestigious Brandford Boase first novel award. Rani and Sukh and The Whisper were both shortlisted for the Booktrust Teenage Prize and in 2010 Rani & Sukh became a set-text for GCSE. Bali also writes the hugely popular Soccer Squad series for younger readers and shorter books for Barrington Stoke.

His aim has always been to write the sort of books him and his friends (many of whom didn't read) would have loved at school. Bali is also a massive fan of reggae music and Liverpool FC. He reads every day (his favourite genre is crime fiction) although not always fiction.

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