David Almond - Author Picture

David Almond - Author

David Almond was our Guest Editor in September 2011 CLICK HERE to see his choices.

As a child

I grew up in a large Catholic family in Felling-on-Tyne: four sisters and one brother. I always knew I'd be a writer – I wrote stories and stitched them into little books. I had an uncle who was a printer, and in his printing shop I learned my love of black words on white pages. I loved our local library and dreamed of seeing books with my name on the cover on its shelves. I also dreamed of playing for Newcastle United (and I still wait for the call!). There was much joy in my childhood, but also much sadness: a baby sister died when I was 7; my dad died when we were all still young; my mum was always seriously ill with arthritis. But it was a childhood, like all childhoods, that provided everything a writer needs, and it illuminates and informs everything I write.

As an adult

After school, I read English and American Literature. When I graduated I became a teacher – long holidays, short days, just perfect for a writer. After 5 years, I gave up the job and lived in a commune in rural Norfolk where I wrote and met my partner Sara Jane. I wrote a long adult novel that was rejected by every UK publisher. I had two collections of short stories published by the tiny IRON Press. I started another adult novel, put it aside, and suddenly, out of the blue, I found myself writing Skellig. It was as if the story had been waiting for me, and once I began, it seemed to write itself. I hadn't expected to write a children's novel, but in some way it was the natural outcome of everything I'd done before, and was the stepping-stone to everything I've done since. I now live in Northumberland with Sara Jane and our daughter Freya. I'm a full-time writer. Sara Jane makes ceramics, Freya goes to school.

As an artist

For years, I was hardly published and hardly anyone knew about me apart from a handful of keen fans. And I made just about no money at all from writing. That didn't really matter to me. I'd keep on writing, no matter what. Then I wrote Skellig and everything changed. I began to sell lots of books, to be translated into many languages, to travel, to win lots of prizes. I've written a number of novels after Skellig, including Kit's Wilderness, The Fire-Eaters and Clay. There have been stage versions of the novels, and films and an opera are on their way. I used to write in the attic at home, but there were lots of distractions – especially from email and telephone. So last year, I had a cabin built at the bottom of the garden. It's very nice, blue-grey and surrounded by trees. I have a radiator to keep me warm and I have a tap and a kettle for making tea. Every morning – when I'm at home and not travelling or making school visits or talking to people on the phone or answering emails – I carry my laptop down to the cabin and I set to work.

Things you didn't know about David Almond

I once held the school high-jump record – 5 ft 2.5 inches. I have a pet rabbit called Bill who can grunt. I dream about football – and kick in my sleep! I love Japanese food – except for the thing I was given once that looked like an alien's brain. I've taken part in three Great North Runs (half-marathons). My favourite place is Upper Swaledale in Yorkshire. I love bikes, camping and fires. My first TV appearance was as an altar boy in a televised mass when I was eleven. My grandfather was a bookie (he took bets on horse races). His advice? "Never bet." He also told me, "Never read novels. They're all just lies." My nickname at school was Dai, and several old friends still call me that.

Julia Eccleshare on David Almond:

One of the best-loved and finest writers of today, David Almond made an immediate impact with Skellig, his first book. The moving story of a boy’s discovery of a strange creature in the shed which can be interpreted in many ways introduced some to the recurrent themes of David Almond’s writing. Infused with a touch of magic or the supernatural or ‘belief’, David Almond writes sensitively about the inner complexities of growing up. Much influenced by the landscape of Tyneside where he was brought up and still lives, David Almond’s books have a strong sense of place especially in titles such as Heaven’s Eyes, The Fire-Eater and Kit’s Wilderness. Although often clearly set in some particular time, there is a timeless quality to David Almond’s stories which give them enduring appeal.

Featured Books, with extracts, by David Almond

My Dad's a Birdman
David Almond
Join a father and daughter as they find their wings together and take to the skies in this funny, tender tale from the master of contemporary storytelling.
Lovereading Price: £4.49 - Saving £1.50 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 02/04/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

A Song for Ella Grey
David Almond
One of our Books of the Year 2014 and Winner of the 2015 Peters Book of the Year 'Teen Fiction' Award Award-winning David Almond is at his lyrical best in this eloquent, tender and ultimately devastating contemporary teenage love story...
Lovereading Price: £9.74 - Saving £3.25 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 02/03/2015 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Reader ReviewedHalf a Creature from the Sea
David Almond
September 2014 Book of the Month An anthology of dark, powerful and moving short stories from master storyteller and author of the internationally award-winning Skellig, David Almond, inspired by his childhood in the North-East of England. It features coming of...
Lovereading Price: £8.24 - Saving £2.75 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 04/09/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon
David Almond
With his typical brilliance, award-winning David Almond weaves magic and reality together in this touching and inventive story about how Paul, a lonely boy living in a basement flat in a huge tower block, plans his great adventure. Paul believes...
Lovereading Price: £6.74 - Saving £2.25 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 03/04/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf
David Almond
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2014 Award-winning David Almond is at his most lyrical and imaginative in this story of how three children fill up the gaps the gods have left when creating their world. First they create a...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £2.00 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 02/01/2014 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Skellig
David Almond
Special hardback gift edition celebrating 15 years of Skellig - one of the best-known, most-awarded debut children's novels of the past 20 years. This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in something extra special and why it...
Lovereading Price: £9.74 - Saving £3.25 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 05/09/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas
David Almond
Longlisted for the Carnegie Medal 2014 - Shortlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize & Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2013 - Best Story Award-winning David Almond tells a deliciously funny and refreshingly original story of...
Lovereading Price: £5.24 - Saving £1.75 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 05/09/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Mouse Bird Snake Wolf
David Almond
May 2013 Book of the Month Award-winning David Almond is at his most lyrical and imaginative in this story of how three children fill up the gaps the gods have left when creating their world. First they create a mouse, a...
Lovereading Price: £7.49 - Saving £2.50 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 02/05/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Klaus Vogel and the Bad Lads
David Almond
June 2014 Book of the Month - Interest Age Teen Reading Age 7+ Award-winning David Almond briefly tells a story which packs a big punch. Locally, known as the Bad Lads the boys from Felling are not really...
Lovereading Price: £5.24 - Saving £1.75 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 15/04/2013 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas
David Almond
Shortlisted for the 2013 Guardian Children's Fiction Prize & Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Awards 2013 - Best Story Award-winning David Almond tells a deliciously funny and refreshingly original story of Stanley, a boy who takes off on...
Lovereading Price: £7.49 - Saving £2.50 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 06/09/2012 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Slog's Dad
David Almond
Shortlisted for the 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal. The Judges said: The different illustrative styles expand the text and the book's message; they amplify the emotions, producing a powerful impact on the reader. McKean uses different media so skilfully, and in...
Lovereading Price: £5.24 - Saving £1.75 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 02/02/2012 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean
David Almond
Award-winning David Almond breaks new boundaries in his storytelling of this remarkable tale. Billy Dean is an innocent child surrounded by decay and threatened with an undefined violence. In his unique voice, he tells his own story of survival, and...
Lovereading Price: £9.74 - Saving £3.25 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2011 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

My Name is Mina
David Almond
Shortlisted for the 2012 Carnegie Medal. The Judges said: A wonderful celebration of words, language and creativity which completely nails the voice of Mina, its central character, and demonstrates a true stream of consciousness. Mina has much to teach us...
Lovereading Price: £5.24 - Saving £1.75 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 01/09/2011 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Slog's Dad
David Almond
Award-winning author/ illustrator team David Almond and Dave McKean have followed up The Savage with an equally stunning new book told partly as a graphic novel and partly as a story. Full of the kind of mystery David Almond created...
Lovereading Price: £6.74 - Saving £2.25 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 06/09/2010 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

My Name is Mina
David Almond
One of the 8 titles longlisted for the Guardian Children's Book Prize 2011. Shortlisted for the prestigious Sheffield Children's Book Award 2011. Mina was Michael's thoughtful, resourceful and spiky neighbour in David Almond's prizewinning Skellig. This is the story...
Lovereading Price: £9.74 - Saving £3.25 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 02/09/2010 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Boy who climbed into the moon
David Almond
Author of the classic Skellig, and winner of the incredibly prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award, David Almond is a wholly original writer of magical and unusual stories that make anything and everything seem possible. Packed full of wonder and...
Lovereading Price: £7.49 - Saving £2.50 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 05/04/2010 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Savage
David Almond
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award 2009. Visually stunning, this is also a spellbinding read, as the story a young boy writes develops a life of its own and begins to play a powerful role on reality. Encouraged to write...
Lovereading Price: £4.49 - Saving £1.50 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 07/09/2009 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Jackdaw Summer
David Almond
In his exceptional, delicate writing, prize-winning author David Almond weaves together many strands which together give an intimate insight into the thinking of two boys growing up in his familiar Northumberland countryside. Against a background of fighter planes swooping overhead,...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £1.00 (14%) Format: Paperback | Released 07/05/2009 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Skellig - TV tie in edition
David Almond
This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in something extra special and why it may make a difference. It's full of happiness and sadness but ultimately it's incredibly fulfilling. 'Touched with a visionary intensity, this strange life-affirming...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £1.00 (14%) Format: Paperback | Released 19/03/2009 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Jackdaw Summer
David Almond
In his exceptional, delicate writing, prize-winning author David Almond weaves together many strands which together give an intimate insight into the thinking of two boys growing up in his familiar Northumberland countryside. Against a background of fighter planes swooping overhead,...
Lovereading Price: £8.24 - Saving £2.75 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 06/11/2008 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Savage
David Almond
Shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Award 2009. Visually stunning this is also a spellbinding read, as the story a young boy writes develops a life of its own and begins to play a powerful role on reality. Encouraged to write...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £2.00 (25%) Format: Hardback | Released 07/04/2008 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Kit's Wilderness
David Almond
An absolutely delightful read. Full of originality and lyrical writing that will take your breath away, and a brilliant evocation of time and place. Almost faultless. Kit's Wilderness won the Smarties Award Silver Medal, was highly commended for the Carnegie...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £1.00 (14%) Format: Paperback | Released 17/01/2008 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Secret Heart
David Almond
Wonderfully magical and yet totally believable, Secret Heart will take you on an emotional journey that is both gripping and very enjoyable. David Almond novels in order of publication: Skellig, Kit's Wilderness, Heaven Eyes, Counting Stars,
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Format: Paperback | Released 20/11/2007 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Counting Stars
David Almond
A superb collection of stories about family, growing up, love and loss, and the resilience of the human heart, inspired by the author's own life. He tackles the themes common to his work - joy, darkness, love, death and identity...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £1.00 (14%) Format: Paperback | Released 20/11/2007 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Heaven Eyes
David Almond
Heaven Eyes is yet another outstanding novel from an outstanding author. The characters are beautifully drawn. Full of passion, at times very sad but always pulling you to turn the page, it will bring tears to your eyes unless you're...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £1.00 (14%) Format: Paperback | Released 01/11/2007 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Skellig
David Almond
A favourite of Michael Rosen: "Brings magical realism to working-class North-east England." This is a wonderfully eerie and magical story about believing in something extra special and why it may make a difference. It's full of happiness and sadness but...
Lovereading Price: £5.99 - Saving £2.00 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 19/04/2007 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Clay
David Almond
Clay is a gripping, powerful, moving and unusual story which works on every level. It is beautifully and plainly yet lyrically written, and comes straight from the heart of a multi-award winning novelist. Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book...
Lovereading Price: £4.49 - Saving £1.50 (25%) Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 01/06/2006 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

Kate, the Cat and the Moon
David Almond
A magical, dreamy night-time adventure for a little girl and the cat she befriends in the moonlight. Together they take off into the sky, exploring the world of dreams, all of which is revealed in a wonderful, open-out double page...
Lovereading Price: £4.49 - Saving £1.50 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 15/09/2005 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

The Fire Eaters
David Almond
Fire-eaters is a compelling and utterly absorbing read that will remind you of elements of Lord of the Flies - human cruelty and its exploitation. As the story unfolds it will really pull at the strings. David Almond novels...
Lovereading Price: £5.24 - Saving £1.75 (25%) Format: Paperback | Released 15/04/2004 Info Extract Wishlist Compare price Buy

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www.davidalmond.com/

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Author's Tweets

  • Mon, 27 Jul 2015 @ 21:01
    RT @PWKidsBookshelf: David Almonds A SONG FOR ELLA GREY will sweep readers on a journey to unearthly, mysterious realms and back. http:/
  • Sun, 26 Jul 2015 @ 12:46
    RT @uealive: Our last hon grad of 2015 is author and alumnus @davidjalmond #ueagrad15 http://t.co/1jhQJoHXSO
  • Fri, 24 Jul 2015 @ 09:33
    I'm in Norwich to receive my Honorary Doctor of Letters from UEA. So thrilled, so moved.
  • Sun, 19 Jul 2015 @ 09:07
    RT @7Stories: We are officially OPEN! Come down and explore our new exhibitions and spaces and tell us what you think. #sevenstories #Newca
  • Fri, 17 Jul 2015 @ 06:23
    Children's March for libraries. Brilliant. https://t.co/RMhCWxoNgP

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