RAILHEAD Unveiled!

Here it is! The cover for my new novel RAILHEAD, created by Holly Fulbrook, Jo Cameron and the design team at OUP.

I’m very pleased with the the way it’s turned out. Usually I like a nice picture on a book cover, but RAILHEAD is set on a dozen different planets, and features thieves and androids, exiles and emperors, insects and intelligent trains. That’s a lot to sum up in a single image, so I think this approach makes much more sense.

‘RAILHEAD’ is a word which jumped out of the text at me while I was writing and demanded to be the title, so it’s great to finally see it written in large, friendly letters on the cover. After four or five years of work, it’s starting to feel like a Real Book.


If you have a Twitter account and you’d like to help spread the word about RAILHEAD,  all you need to do is:

1.Tweet an image of the cover and also change your avatar to the cover.
2. Tag your tweet #RAILHEAD
3. Tag @OUPChildrens

Everyone taking part will be in with a chance of becoming a ‘Railhead Ambassador,’ (!) and winning an invitation to an exclusive London event where I’ll be giving the first public reading from the new book.

To download the cover on PC, right click the image and select ‘Save Image As’.

On a Mac, hold ‘ctrl’ and click the image, and select ‘Save Image As’.

RAILHEAD will be published in the UK in October 2015. 

Reeve & McIntyre 3: Pugs of the Frozen North

Just back from the Oxford University Press sales conference, where I was talking about Railhead, and also about the new Reeve and McIntyre book, which will be called…

Sarah McIntyre
It’s an everyday story of two children and a team of sixty-son a race to the North Pole, and I think it’s going to be pug-tastic. The basic idea was Sarah’s, and we came up with the story together, as usual. Here’s the back cover…
Sarah McIntyre

If you pop over to McIntyre’s blog you can see some of the lovely interior artwork, which she’s busy working on as we speak. The pugs will be arriving at a bookshop near you this September.

As for Railhead, the cover is still a SECRET, but I read a bit, and it seemed to go down well…

There’s lots of other good stuff on the OUP list for this autumn. I particularly liked the look of SUPER HAPPY MAGIC FOREST, by Matty Long. It’s a sort of picture-book fantasy quest parody, a full of elaborate, joke-packed pictures like this…

Matty Long

And I also found that Matty Long has drawn a Mortal Engines picture!

Matty Long

The Badness of Badgers

Sam has been really enjoying the latest book from John Dougherty.  I haven’t read it yet myself, so I got him to write a few words about it. He says:

“This book is called Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face and the Badness of Badgers. It is about two kids called Stinkbomb and Ketchup Face who live on the island of Great Kerfuffle near the village of Loose Chippings. The island’s king is called King Toothbrush Weasel. The story is about what happens when Stinkbomb thinks badgers have stolen his £10 note. They get into lots of trouble involving sports cars, dustbins, and a frightened chicken.
I thought the book was really enjoyable to read. It had great pictures and the characters were very nicely thought up. My favourite character was Stinkbomb he was very witty and funny. The illustrations were really inspiring. The illustrator was David Tazzyman. I laughed like a kid who’s just seen a grown man fall off his bicycle.”
The Badness of Badgers is published by OUP, and a sequel, The Quest for the Magic Porcupine will be coming out in August.
Meanwhile, Sarah McIntyre were at the Cambridge Literary Festival this weekend. It turned into a bit of a trip down memory lane, as I found myself outside No. 5 Ainsworth Street, which was the first place I lived when I left home to go to college, and also met writer Helen Dennis, who went to the same Brighton schools as I did (St Lukes and Stanley Deason). Photos and a full report here, along with an excellent Easter Bonnet wheeze.
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