Who I am
I was born in Brighton in 1966. After leaving school I trained as an illustrator, and worked for many years providing cartoons and illustrations for the Horrible Histories and Murderous Maths books. My first novel, the epic Mortal Engines, was published in 2001. It went on to win the Smarties and Blue Peter prizes, and a movie, directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, was released in 2018.
Mortal Engines was followed by three sequels - Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain - and three prequels; Fever Crumb, A Web of Air, and Scrivener’s Moon. A collection of related short stories, Night Flights, with illustrations by Ian McQue, was published in 2018, along with The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines, co-written with Jeremy Levett and featuring artwork by an array of illustrators.
Here Lies Arthur, my take on the Arthurian legends, won the Carnegie Medal, and I’m also the author of the Goblins trilogy of comic fantasy stories and the space fantasy Larklight (illustrated by David Wyatt).
In 2013 I joined forces with illustrator Sarah McIntyre to create Oliver and the Seawigs, the first in a series of funny, highly-illustrated adventure stories which continued with Cakes in Space, Pugs of the Frozen North, Jinks and O’Hare Funfair Repair, and the activity book Pug-A-Doodle-Do. Their latest books together are the Roly Poly Flying Pony series: The Legend of Kevin, Kevin’s Great Escape, and Kevin and the Biscuit Bandit.
I returned to older fiction in 2015 with Railhead, a critically acclaimed adventure set in a future populated by thieves and androids, exiles and emperors, insects and intelligent trains. The sequel, Black Light Express, was published in 2016, and the story concludes in Station Zero (2018).
Just before Mortal Engines was published I collaborated with Brian Mitchell on a musical comedy, The Ministry of Biscuits, which has been revived several times over the years and proved very popular with audiences. Now, nearly a quarter of a century later, we’ve written a new show, Lord God. The music and most of the best gags are by Brian again, and we hope to see it performed in 2021.
I live with my wife and son on Dartmoor, where I am currently at work on a new novel.