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Showing posts from March, 2022


Back in the Lockdowns my long-time collaborator and current lodger/studio mate Sarah McIntyre started painting pictures of nautical mice heading off aboard sailing ships and seaplanes for adventures on the High Seas. She turned them into prints and cards, but we always knew they’d have to have some stories of their own some day, and we’re happy to announce our new ADVENTUREMICE series, which we’re working on with editor Liz Cross and designer Ness Wood for David Fickling Books (who also publish my Utterly Dark novels). The first two books will be launched next spring, and you can read more details (and see more pictures) over on Sarah’s blog .


There are two sorts of fantasy story: the sort that feels fake and the sort that feels real. It’s hard to explain the difference, but you know the real ones when you read them, and Skye McKenna’s debut novel  Hedgewitch  is one of them. Young Cassandra Morgan, daughter of missing mother, escapes her grim boarding school and ends up living with her aunt in the visit of Hedgely, which is mapped in exquisite detail by illustrator Tomislav Tomic.* (I think he’s done some illustrations to the text too, but they don’t feature in my proof copy. I wish he’d been allowed to do the cover, too.) Cassandra’s family, it turns out, are witches, whose job it is to keep everyone safe from the fae who dwell on the far side of a weird stretch of forest called the Hedge.  We seem to be in a Jonathan Strange-ish alternate Britain, where a cold war between faeries and humans is starting to hot up as the mysterious Erl King gathers his power beyond the Hedge. With its very English shops and customs, and its

New Book Announcement: Utterly Dark 2

When I wrote Utterly Dark and the Face of the Deep , I thought it would be a one off, like Mortal Engines and Railhead . But, as with Mortal Engines and Railhead , I had to create a whole world for Utterly to have her adventures in, and I found I didn’t want to abandon it when the book was finished. Wildsea , the island where Utterly lives, is part of a whole archipelago, the Autumn Isles, and it seemed a good idea to send her off to visit one of the other islands. The new one is called Summertide, and where Wildsea is a granitic Cornwall/Dartmoor sort of island, Summertide is all chalk downland and much more Wiltshire/Sussex-y. It’s also big enough that the part where Utterly is staying is out of sight of the sea, and the magic she’ll encounter is land magic rather than sea magic. There are standing stones, chalk hill carvings, burial mounds, a mysterious black stag, and a sinister vicar (which is the best sort of - fictional - vicar). And there’s also a lot more about Utterly’s fri

Tiny Traction Towns 2

I tried adding these to the previous post, but Blogger wasn’t having it… Here’s a town based on a Hong Kong corner house, the bookshop-ridden Traction City of Hay-on-Wye hunting down a luckless mobile library, and the little suburb of Trundle, trundling around.