James Albert "Jan" Needle (born 1943 in Portsmouth) is an English author and was an episode writer for Thomas and Friends.
He started writing stories and novels after he left full-time journalism.
He has also written for "Sooty", "Brookeside", "Count Duckula", "Behind the Bike Sheds" and "The Bill" as well as quite a few novels for both children and adults.
He has also written a "young person's" range of books which simplifies classic novels like "Moby Dick" for children. Needle also wrote a sequel to "The Wind in the Willows" titled "Wild Wood" (the illustrations were done by Willie Rushton).