Welcome to my website, where you can find information about my books, view my illustrations, check out what people asked in my Q&A section. I hope you enjoy your visit.
The 1,000 causes of Brexit
This catastrophe has had a thousand causes. Here are some.There is our country’s post-imperial reluctance to let go of the idea that we are a great nation, combined with our post-second-world-war delusion that we were still a great power.
A moment of peace
In 1915 pocket broadsheets of inspiring literature were distributed to the troops. One hundred years on The Guardian asked poets and writers to select the pieces they would send today. Here is one of my choices.
The Phoenix Rises
I’m overjoyed to see a new comic, The Phoenix, arise with promises of great new stories and wonderful artwork and cause a new generation of children to tremble with excitement.
The Big Draw 2015
I was delighted to take part in the launch of this year’s The Big Draw festival in Oxford. The children’s laureate, Chris Riddell, and other distinguished advocates of drawing all helped to open the 15th annual series of events that encourages drawing by people of all ages.
As a passionate believer in the democracy of reading, I don't think it's the task of the author of a book to tell the reader what it means.
The meaning of a story emerges in the meeting between the words on the page and the thoughts in the reader's mind. So when people ask me what I meant by this story, or what was the message I was trying to convey in that one, I have to explain that I'm not going to explain.
Anyway, I'm not in the message business; I'm in the "Once upon a time" business.
His Dark Materials to be dramatised by BBC
It's been a constant source of pleasure to me to see my Dark Materials trilogy adapted to different forms. It's been a radio play, a stage play, a film, an audiobook, a graphic novel - and now comes this version for television.
In recent years we've seen how long stories on television, whether adaptations [Game of Thrones] or original [The Sopranos, The Wire], can reach depths of characterisation and heights of suspense by taking the time for events to make their proper impact and for consequences to unravel. The sheer talent now working in the world of long-form television is formidable. For all those reasons I'm delighted at the prospect of a television version of His Dark Materials.
William Blake and me
Sometimes we find a poet, or a painter, or a musician who functions like a key that unlocks a part of ourselves we never knew was there. The experience is not like learning to appreciate something that we once found difficult or rebarbative, as we might conscientiously try to appreciate the worth of The Faerie Queene and decide that yes, on balance, it is full of interesting and admirable things.
Loosen the chains of imagination
Fairy stories loosen the chains of the imagination. They give you things to think with – images to think with – and the sense that all kinds of things are possible. While at the same time being ridiculous or terrifying or consolatory. Or something else altogether, as well.
Good Man Jesus & The Scoundrel Christ
People were surprised when a hardened atheist wrote a book about Jesus Christ. Some of my correspondents are sure that my intention is evil, and that I will meet my judgment before the Great White Throne. Be that as it may, and I think it won’t, I know from my experience with previous books that many readers do have an honest curiosity about the author’s point of view. So they sometimes ask me: ‘What do you really believe? What does your book mean? How should we understand it?’