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Y6 - English - Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve: The Author

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Philip was born in Brighton in 1966. He wrote his first story – about a spaceman called Spike and his dog Spook – at the tender age of five.

Three years as an art student having rendered him basically unemployable, he spent the late 1980s and early ’90s working in a small independent bookshop while pursuing various non-paying sidelines as writer/producer/director of low budget film and comedy projects. Towards the end of this time he co-wrote a musical, The Ministry of Biscuits, with writer and composer Brian Mitchell, but was eventually forced by lack of funds to track down some cartooning work and finally entered the wonderful world of the freelance illustrator in the early 1990s. There he was to remain for several years, providing the pictures for several Horrible Histories, lots of Murderous Maths and sundry other hilarious and improving books.

Since his spare time was no longer big enough to accommodate film and comedy projects he turned to writing novels, the first of which, Mortal Engines, was published in 2001. Four sequels followed. The movie adaptation, directed by Christian Rivers and produced by Peter Jackson, will be released in December 2018.

Philip went on to write a trilogy of Victorian space adventures, LarklightStarcross and Mothstorm, illustrated by David Wyatt, and a standalone novel set in 5th Century Britain called Here Lies Arthur, which won the Carnegie Medal 2008. His 2009 novel, Fever Crumb returned to the world of Mortal Engines. Along with its sequels A Web of Air and Scrivener’s Moon, it tells the story of how the Traction Era began.  Goblins, and its sequels, Goblins vs Dwarves and Goblin Quest introduced a new world, the Westlands, a land of magic and adventure dominated by the ruined fortress of Clovenstone.

In 2013 Philip joined forces with writer and 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 book together is Roly Poly Flying Pony: The Legend of Kevin, the first in a four-book seriesPhilip and Sarah enjoy doing book events together, and their colourful outfits and very old jokes have amazed and astonished audiences from Sardinia to Walthamstow.

Philip 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).

Philip and his wife Sarah Reeve moved from Brighton to Devon in 1998, and now live on Dartmoor, where their son Sam was born in 2002.


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