SF Said was born in Lebanon but has lived in London since he was two years old. He wrote his first novel Varjak Paw when he was working as a speechwriter for the Crown Prince of Jordan, and then as a film journalist. Varjak Paw won the Smarties Prize for Children's Literature in 2003, has been translated into twelve languages and made into a play, a musical, and even an opera. The sequel, The Outlaw Varjak Paw, won the Blue Peter Book Award in 2007. Both are taught in classrooms across the country.
SF's next book Phoenix, like Varjak illustrated by Dave McKean, is the UK's IBBY Honour Book for 2014-16, was nominated for both the Carnegie and Greenaway Medals, and was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Award in 2014. Also like Varjak, it has been optioned for screen dramatisation.