Welcome

Welcome to my website, where you can find information about my books, view my illustrations, check out what people asked in my Q&A section. I hope you enjoy your visit.

Bookselling in the UK

I recently commented on bookselling in the UK, and part of my statement was extracted in Richard Brooks' article in the Sunday Times on 30th July 2017. You can read my full statement here. 

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BBC interview on Book of Dust

I recently gave an interview to BBC Radio 4's Today Programme about the Book of Dust. Here is a link to it.

Listen to interview

The 1,000 causes of Brexit

This catastrophe has had a thousand causes. Here are some.There is our country’s post-imperial reluctance to let go of the idea that we are a great nation, combined with our post-second-world-war delusion that we were still a great power.

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A moment of peace

In 1915 pocket broadsheets of inspiring literature were distributed to the troops. One hundred years on The Guardian asked poets and writers to select the pieces they would send today. Here is one of my choices.

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My Books

As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.

The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going to explain.

Anyway, I'm not in the message business; I'm in the "Once upon a time" business.

The Adventures of John Blake

Today sees the publication of my latest book The Adventures of John Blake: The Mystery of the Ghost Ship. Beautifully illustrated by Fred Fordham, the story first appeared in The Phoenix, the weekly comic published by David Fickling Books. Thanks to the artwork, as well as the fact, perhaps, that I grew up on the adventures of Dan Dare, it has a wonderfully nostalgic feel.

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Extract from chapter ten of La Belle Sauvage

Eleven-year-old Malcolm lives with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford, across the river Thames from Godstow Priory, where the nuns are looking after a special guest. One night his father comes to Malcolm’s bedroom.

Now read on

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Book of Dust title is La Belle Sauvage

The title of the The Book of Dust is La Belle Sauvage. It will be published simultaneously on 19 October 2017 by Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books in the UK, and Random House Children’s Books in the US.

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The Book of Dust

I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for The Book of Dust for a long time. I’ve been writing it for several years, and I’ve been very parsimonious with information about it. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book. 

What can I tell you about it? The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story. Events involving her open the first chapter, and will close the last. I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College and, in thinking about it, I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her 20 years later.

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