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Marcus Sedgwick Book and Novel

Marcus Sedgwick - Author


Marcus Sedgwick began to write seriously in 1994, and his first book, Floodland, was published by Orion in 2000, and won the Branford-Boase award for best debut children's novel. Witch Hill followed in 2001, and was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

The Kiss of Death is published in paperback in April 2009, and picks up a thread from his highly acclaimed My Swordhand is Singing (winner of the 2007 Booktrust Teenage Book Award). In between came what Marcus calls “my big one - a project I've been working on for so long my head hurts.” – Blood Red Snow White, which was first published to considerable acclaim in 2007.

2009 saw Marcus turn his attention to books for younger readers with the launch of a humorous new series: The Raven Mysteries, narrated by a grumpy raven, Edgar. Titles are Flood and Fang, Ghosts and Gadgets and Lunatics and Luck.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! Marcus lives in Sussex with his wife and his daughter, Alice. Finally Marcus is also a drummer, and at the moment he plays in two bands: visit www.garrett-music.tv, and www.internationalbandofmystery.com to find out more.

Q&A with Marcus Sedgwick

Many of your novels are inspired by history and by myth and legend - have these areas always been a fascination of yours since childhood and if so how did this passion come about?
Yes, I always loved myths and legends - I used to read and re-read two books from the library - one a big illustrated edition of Greek Myths and the other Old Peter's Russian Tales. I don't know why I was fascinated by these stories, but maybe simply because I find them to be more glamorous than contemporary stories...

Apart from writing what are your passions?
I love music, both listening to it and playing it (I'm a drummer). A day without music is not a proper day... I also love travel and try to travel as much as I can manage.

Where did the idea come from for The Raven Mysteries?
It was a single line, the first line in the book in fact. I'd had it for ages but didn't know where I was going to use it until the character of Edgar came along: "I suspect I may have fleas again".

The Raven Mysteries are full of humour and mad-cap action, which is quite different from your novels for older readers. Was this a conscious decision of yours when setting out to write this series?
Absolutely, and it was great fun. After writing a few hardcore goth books, it was great to let my hair down with these stories. And it gave me fresh impetus to go back to the next YA novel, Revolver, with renewed determination to be gloomy!

Where and when do you write?
I write at the weekends, and mostly in the study in my loft, but also sometimes I travel to write - eg much of Revolver was written on trips to Sweden.

What age did you first start writing and when did you think that one day you'd write a novel that would actually be published?
I started to write as a teenager a bit, but properly when I was in my mid-twenties. It took a few years to think it might actually happen!

With both your publisher and author hat on, what advice can you give would-be children's authors in getting published?
The most important thing is to know your market! Who do you think your book is going to be read by? What else is out there that's like it? Are you writing something that will sell?

The historical context of most of your novels must mean a huge amount of research prior to writing each book. What does this involve and how long does it take?
It varies from book to book but it's not a chore as I love to do research. It's easier than actually writing the things! For Revolver, the research spanned about 16 months, of little trips here and there and lots and lots of reading!

What was your inspiration for Revolver ? Finding an empty shell casing on the pavement in St Petersburg. It was a long way from there to the finished book but that was the start of it.

What was your favourite book as a teenager? Without question, the Gormenghast trilogy by Mervyn Peake.

If you got into Doctor Who’s tardis, where (or when) would you go?
Great question, impossible to answer. So many amazing things to go and see – the building of the pyramids, a Viking boat putting out to sea, Man Utd winning the European Championship in 1968…

Who would you choose to be if you could be a celebrity for the day? Matt Bellamy on any day with a gig.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do? I’m invisible most days, so nothing much would change.

10 things you didn't know about Marcus Sedgwick

1 - I have an embarrassing middle name, but I'm not going to tell you what it is
2 - I am learning Swedish
3 - As well as playing the drums, I play bass guitar
4 - My grandfather invented the hydraulic tipper truck
5 - I have a pet raven called Edgar, though he doesn’t say much, eat much, or indeed, move much. There’s a possibility that he’s stuffed, I guess.
6 - I’m extraordinarily sleepy right now.
7 - I represented England (Juniors) at Fencing.
8 - I totally love football.
9 - I'm allergic to red peppers
10 - I believe there is only one radio or TV station worth listening to: Radio 3.

Author photo © Kate Christer

Featured Books, with extracts, by Marcus Sedgwick

Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick
Mister Memory
Marcus Sedgwick
In Paris, at the end of the nineteenth century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife. But that is only the start of the story... A dazzling literary mystery from prizewinning author Marcus Sedgwick. For fans of Scarlett...
Format: Paperback - Released: 26/01/2017
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick
Saint Death
Marcus Sedgwick
In a Nutshell: Gangs dice with death under the gaze of Mexican folk saint. A thought-fuelling thriller set in a gang-run neighbourhood near the border of Mexico and El Norte (America). The writing is poetically punchy. Exquisitely formed sentences are...
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/10/2016
Mister Memory by Marcus Sedgwick
Mister Memory
Marcus Sedgwick
In Paris, at the end of the nineteenth century, a man with a perfect memory murders his wife. But that is only the start of the story... For fans of Scarlett Thomas, Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Patrick Suskind, this is...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/07/2016
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
The Ghosts of Heaven
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the Bookseller Young Adult Book Prize 2015. One of our Books of the Year 2014 - Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2014 This is a remarkable and surprising book, just when you...
Format: Paperback - Released: 05/03/2015
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick
The Ghosts of Heaven
Marcus Sedgwick
One of our Books of the Year 2014 - Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2014. This is a remarkable and surprising book, just when you think you understand it, whoosh, the unexpected taps you...
Format: Hardback - Released: 02/10/2014
A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
A Love Like Blood
Marcus Sedgwick
At the end of the Second World War Charles Jackson caught a glimpse of deeper horror, a man bent over a woman’s throat, drinking her blood. This image gives birth to an obsession that leads him across the years and...
Format: Paperback - Released: 28/08/2014
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Reader Reviewed She is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
When sixteen-year-old Laureth’s father vanishes she is determined to track him down. So determined that she flies to New York to find him. But Laureth doesn’t go alone; she takes her seven year old brother with her because she needs...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/07/2014
A Love Like Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
A Love Like Blood
Marcus Sedgwick
At the end of the Second World War Charles Jackson caught a glimpse of deeper horror, a man bent over a woman’s throat, drinking her blood. This image gives birth to an obsession that leads him across the years and...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/01/1970
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick
Prize-winning Marcus Sedgwick's gift for powerful storytelling is at its very best in this emotionally charged, no holds barred novel. When journalist Eric Seven arrives on Blessed Island with a mission to uncover a mystery he is immediately captivated by...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/10/2013
She is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
Reader Reviewed She is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
When sixteen-year-old Laureth’s father vanishes she is determined to track him down. So determined that she flies to New York to find him. But Laureth doesn’t go alone; she takes her seven year old brother with her because she needs...
Format: Hardback - Released: 03/10/2013
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick
May 2012 New Gen Book of the Month. Prize-winning Marcus Sedgwick's gift for powerful storytelling is at its very best in this emotionally charged, no holds barred novel. When journalist Eric Seven...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/05/2012
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick
A Piece of Passion from the publisher: "A story of devastating loss and a love that never falters. Midwinterblood is skillfully delivered, finely plotted and written with the assurance that comes from penning twelve acclaimed novels. From gothic to gruesome,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 06/10/2011
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
White Crow
Marcus Sedgwick
Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts at the Hay Festival on 31 May 2011. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011.Packed full of suspense, this is a tingling and chilling Gothic thriller in which nothing can...
Format: Paperback - Released: 07/04/2011
White Crow by Marcus Sedgwick
White Crow
Marcus Sedgwick
July 2010 Book of the Month. Packed full of suspense, this is a tingling and chilling Gothic thriller in which nothing can quite be taken for granted. Rebecca is forced...
Format: Hardback - Released: 01/07/2010
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick
Revolver
Marcus Sedgwick
May 2010 'new gen' Book of the Month title. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010. Shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2009.A tense, psychological drama...
Format: Paperback - Released: 22/04/2010
Blood Red, Snow White by Marcus Sedgwick
Blood Red, Snow White
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2007.The true story of master storyteller Arthur Ransome provides the background for this large scale and absorbing story. As a young man, Ransome was a journalist and, some thought, a spy,...
Format: Hardback - Released: 26/07/2007
My Swordhand Is Singing by Marcus Sedgwick
My Swordhand Is Singing
Marcus Sedgwick
Winner of the Book Trust Teenage book award 2007 and shortlisted for the 2007 Carnegie Award and our favourite to win the award. Highly readable yet thought-provoking, mysterious yet chilling, and so perfectly paced that it is totally unputdownable. The quality of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 03/05/2007
Floodland by Marcus Sedgwick
Floodland
Marcus Sedgwick
This was hailed as one of the most extraordinary debuts when it was first published in 2000. Set in the near future on the east coast of England that has been reclaimed by the sea it tells the story of...
Format: Paperback - Released: 02/03/2000

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