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Mortal Engines Q&A

Robert Sheehan in The Misfits

The actor Robert Sheehan is playing the part of Tom Natsworthy in the Mortal Engines movie at this moment (well, it’s happening in New Zealand so I hope he’s tucked up in bed while I write this, but you know what I’m driving at). Anyway, the lovely people who run his online fan community The Sheehab got in touch with some questions which I’ve answered here. (I don’t know much about the film, and couldnt discuss it even if I did, so we mainly concentrated on the books.) They’re good questions! I hope I’ll be able to do more with the Sheehab as the movie’s 2018 release date draws nearer…

Railhead Resources

Now that Railhead is on the shortlist for the Carnegie Medal pupils in schools all over the country will be reading it as part of the Carnegie Shadowing scheme (and probably going ‘this is SO BORING’, but hopefully it’s winning a few new fans). Anyway, here’s an interview which I recorded for the Carnegie/Kate Greenaway website. It was shot outside my house a few weeks ago, and the curious creatures in the background are Alfie and Iggy, the alpacas.

Here’s a companion video in which I put my glasses on and read an excerpt from early on in the book…

You can find another version of that reading, complete with music and visuals, here.

And if you’re reading Railhead and would like to know more, don’t forget the Railhead A-Z; twenty-six short entries about the world of the book and some of the things which inspired it.  Here’s Part One (A-E), Part Two (F-L), Part Three (M-R) and Part Four (S-Z).

And here’s the official soundtrack!

And here’s the unofficial soundtrack (put together by Jake Hayes for his Tygertales blog)!

Glittering Prizes

I’m very pleased to learn that Railhead has made it onto the shortlist for this year’s Carnegie Medal!

The Carnegie is one of the most prestigious UK prizes for children’s books, awarded by CILIP (the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals). It’s a great honour, and a very strong shortlist. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on xx June, but whatever happens it’s lovely to be on the shortlist again, (I was previously shortlisted for Fever Crumb, and foe Here Lies Arthur, which went on to win). Congratulations to all the other shortlists! I’m very grateful to all the librarians who have supported Railhead.

Meanwhile, the UKLA (United Kingdom Literacy Association) has also shortlisted Railhead for its 2017 award – and Pugs of the Frozen North, the third of my collaborations with Sarah McIntyre, is also shortlisted in the younger category!

As with the Carnegie, the UKLA shortlist is very strong (it’s been a good year for children’s books) and you can see it here.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Science Fiction Writers of America have been drawing up the shortlists for their famous Nebula Awards, and they’ve nominated Railhead for an André Norton Award (a prize for books aimed at children or young adults, and named after an author whose space stories I used to read when I was at school – very good they were too). The shortlist also includes Frances Hardinge’s superb The Lie Tree, and you can find it here.

Needless to say, I don’t hold out high hopes of winning all (or any) of these awards in the face of such stiff competition, but fingers crossed. And it’s nice to know that Railhead is good enough to get on shortlists. I hope this will draw it to the attention of some new readers, and that some of them will go on to read the sequel, Black Light Express.

Now I’m off to do some more work on Railhead 3

Photo: Sarah McIntyre

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