Marcus Sedgwick - Author Picture

Marcus Sedgwick - Author

One of the World Book Day 2015 Authors Marcus was our Guest Editor in July 2010. Click here to see all his selections.

Marcus 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 was published in paperback in April 2009, and picked 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. The sixth book in the series, Creepy Caves, will be published in paperback in February 2015.

Marcus Sedgwick won the Branford Boase Award in 2001 with his debut novel, FLOODLAND. In 2007 MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING won the Booktrust Teenage Prize, and in 2011 LUNATICS AND LUCK won a Blue Peter Book Award. Marcus has been shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal six times. Marcus lives in Taninges, France.

In his spare time, he is also a stone carver and wood engraver and illustrates all his novels! 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?

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.

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".

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!

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.

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!

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?

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.

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

If you like Marcus Sedgwick you might also like to read books by David Almond and Darren Shan.

Featured Books, with extracts, 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...
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Format: Hardback | Released 06/10/2016
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Reader ReviewedThe Ghosts of Heaven
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 12 - 16 year old category. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016. This is a remarkable and surprising book, just when you think...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/03/2015
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Reader ReviewedThe 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 on the...
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Format: Hardback | Released 02/10/2014
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Reader ReviewedShe is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
Longlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Book Award 2014 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...
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Format: Paperback | Released 03/07/2014
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The Foreshadowing
Marcus Sedgwick
No child who reads this will ever sanction a war if they can help it. Marcus brings the horrors of World War One to life in fiction in the most dramatic of ways. It really is completely compelling,...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/06/2014
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Reader ReviewedShe is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick
October 2013 Book of the Month 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...
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Format: Hardback | Released 03/10/2013
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Cudweed's Time Machine
Marcus Sedgwick
Meet Cudweed and his slightly – well, unusual family. One day, feeling bored and anxious for teatime to arrive, Cudweed decides to ‘borrow' his dad's time machine. Oh, his dad just happens to be an inventor by the way. However,...
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Format: Paperback | Released 04/07/2013
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Cudweed in Outer Space (Early Reader)
Marcus Sedgwick
Hilarious and madcap space adventures happen to Cudweed after he builds a spaceship from a kit and sets off into the unknown with only his pet monkey Fellah for company. What happens when he hurtles off into the unknown and...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/07/2012
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Elf Girl and Raven Boy : Fright Forest
Marcus Sedgwick - illustrated by Pete Williamson
Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - July 2012 Book of the Month. Humour, magic and the altogether unexpected are woven together engagingly to create a delightfully original adventure. Elf Girl and Raven Boy meet by chance and soon...
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Format: Paperback | Released 05/07/2012
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Midwinterblood
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2013 May 2012 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 arrives...
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Format: Paperback | Released 03/05/2012
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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...
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Format: Hardback | Released 06/10/2011
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Raven Mysteries 6 : Diamonds and Doom
Marcus Sedgwick
Prize-winning Marcus Sedgwick returns his readers to Castle Otherhand and the hilarious and unlikely topsy turvy goings on there. Things have gone from bad to worse at the Castle and now it is up for sale. As Solstice records in...
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Format: Hardback | Released 06/10/2011
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Cudweed's Birthday (Early Reader)
Marcus Sedgwick - illustrated by Pete Williamson
Goth Froth for Early Readers. Cudweed wants a monkey for his birthday in this brand new story featuring some of the characters that have proved such a hit in the Raven Mysteries series for slightly older kids but Cudweed's is...
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Format: Paperback | Released 01/07/2011
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White Crow
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011 Packed full of suspense, this is a tingling and chilling Gothic thriller in which nothing can quite be taken for granted. Rebecca is forced to abandon her bustling life in London for the...
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Format: Paperback | Released 07/04/2011
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Raven Mysteries 3: Lunatics and Luck
Marcus Sedgwick
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2011: Most Fun Story with Pictures*. As told by a raven, this Gothic horror richly laced in humour is a delicious read – especially when the moon is full! Castle Otherhand is beset...
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Format: Paperback | Released 03/03/2011
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Magic and Mayhem
Marcus Sedgwick
Chaos strikes after a trip to the circus, and the castle is suddenly filled with thieves, bunnies, and lethal cabbages, in the fifth of Marcus Sedgwick's quirky mysteries.
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Format: Hardback | Released 03/03/2011
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The Raven Mysteries 2: Ghosts and Gadgets
Marcus Sedgwick
There is hilarious fun to be had in these mystery stories about the original, not to say odd, family who live in Otherhand Castle. Told by Edgar the Raven whose views are sharp even if his perspective is unusual, the...
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Format: Paperback | Released 06/01/2011
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Raven Mysteries 4: Vampires and Volts
Marcus Sedgwick
This is the fourth title in a brilliant series of quirky tales for 7+ year olds featuring Edgar the faithful raven and the strange Otherhand family who live in Otherhand Castle. Meet Minty who is all in a fluster about...
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Format: Hardback | Released 07/10/2010
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The Raven Mysteries: Flood and Fang (Book One)
Marcus Sedgwick
A Richard and Judy Children's Book Club selection 2011 - Read by Yourself category 7+. Told from the bird's eye view of a resident raven, this is a deliciously topsy-turvy comedy full of unusual details. The Otherhand family are far...
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Format: Paperback | Released 07/10/2010
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White Crow
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011 Packed full of suspense, this is a tingling and chilling Gothic thriller in which nothing can quite be taken for granted. Rebecca is forced to abandon her bustling life in London for the...
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/07/2010
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Revolver
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the prestigious Teenage Book Prize 2010. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010, the Independent Booksellers' Book Prize 2010 and for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2009. A tense, psychological drama set in the snowy wilderness of the Arctic...
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Format: Paperback | Released 23/04/2010
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Raven Mysteries 3: Lunatics and Luck
Marcus Sedgwick
Winner of the Blue Peter Book Award 2011: Most Fun Story with Pictures*. As told by a raven, this Gothic horror richly laced in humour is a delicious read – especially when the moon is full! Castle Otherhand is beset...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 7+ readers | 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 04/03/2010
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The Raven Mysteries 2: Ghosts and Gadgets Audio CD
Marcus Sedgwick
There is hilarious fun to be had in these mystery stories about the original, not to say odd, family who live in Otherhand Castle. Told by Edgar the Raven whose views are sharp even if his perspective is unusual, the...
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Format: CD-Audio | Released 04/03/2010
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The Raven Mysteries 2: Ghosts and Gadgets
Marcus Sedgwick
There is hilarious fun to be had in these mystery stories about the original, not to say odd, family who live in Otherhand Castle. Told by Edgar the Raven whose views are sharp even if his perspective is unusual, the...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/10/2009
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Revolver
Marcus Sedgwick
Shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2009 A tense, psychological drama set in the snowy wilderness of the Arctic Circle, where a boy confronts a stranger who has come to take revenge on his dead father. Gripping from the...
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Format: Hardback | Released 16/07/2009
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Flood And Fang (The Raven Mysteries - Book One) - Audio
Marcus Sedgwick
CD - Audio. Read by Martin Jarvis. Told from the bird's eye view of a resident raven, this is a deliciously topsy-turvy comedy full of unusual details. The Otherhand family are far from normal and life in Otherhand Castle is...
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Format: Cd-audio | Released 02/04/2009
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The Kiss of Death
Marcus Sedgwick
Marcus Sedgwick returns with a heart-stopping, beautifully crafted novel featuring Peter from My Swordhand is Singing, set many years later but still on the trail of the Shadow Queen. Venice, the fabled city with its lapping waterways, crumbling magnificence, and...
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Format: Paperback | Released 02/04/2009
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The Raven Mysteries: Flood and Fang (Book One)
Marcus Sedgwick
A Richard and Judy Children's Book Club selection 2011 - Read by Yourself category Told from the bird's eye view of a resident raven, this is a deliciously topsy-turvy comedy full of unusual details. The Otherhand family are far...
Lovereading Price: £6.39 - Saving £1.60 (20%) Featured in: 9+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 12/03/2009
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The Kiss Of Death
Marcus Sedgwick
Marcus Sedgwick returns with a heart-stopping, beautifully crafted novel featuring Peter from My Swordhand is Singing, set many years later but still on the trail of the Shadow Queen. Venice, the fabled city with its lapping waterways, crumbling magnificence, and...
Lovereading Price: £7.99 - Saving £2.00 (20%) Featured in: 11+ readers
Format: Hardback | Released 01/09/2008
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Blood Red, Snow White
Marcus Sedgwick
Revolution! Arthur Ransome, an English journalist and writer, sets off for Russia and soon finds himself at the heart of a network of spies and so swept up in extreme danger as Trotsky and Lenin bring down the Tsars and...
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Format: Paperback | Released 29/05/2008
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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, in...
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Format: Hardback | Released 05/07/2007
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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...
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Format: Paperback | Released 03/05/2007
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My Swordhand is Singing
Marcus Sedgwick
Winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2007. Hugh (12) - I loved it! I loved it even more than I loved The Book of Dead Days (another of Marcus Sedgwick’s thrilling novels). Normally I don’t like horror books but this...
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Format: Hardback | Released 26/07/2006
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The Foreshadowing
Marcus Sedgwick
No child who reads this will ever sanction a war if they can help it. Marcus brings the horrors of World War One to life in fiction in the most dramatic of ways. It really is completely compelling,...
Lovereading Price: £5.59 - Saving £1.40 (20%) Featured in: 13+ readers | 11+ readers
Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 04/05/2006
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Witch Hill
Marcus Sedgwick
A brilliant, dark and compelling read that cleverly interweaves the story of a 17th century witch into the life of a boy whose world is forever haunted by fire, for his family home was destroyed by it as was his...
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Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 01/07/2005
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Dark Flight Down
Marcus Sedgwick
This is the stunning conclusion to The Book of Dead Days, a sweeping gothic fantasy that is packed with mystery and intrigue and the loose ends from the earlier book are brought together brilliantly into a story that is both...
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Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 28/04/2005
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Book of Dead Days
Marcus Sedgwick
An intriguing, action-packed, highly readable story that has a twist in it that you'll never guess. The characters are beautifully drawn and the storyline very original. If you're not into fantasy this is the author to get you into it...
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Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 03/05/2004
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Dark Horse
Marcus Sedgwick
Compelling and gripping, beautifully crafted with a narrative that will stick in your mind long after you've finished. It's a powerful story of magic and betrayal in a distant past whilst at the same time has a timeless ingredient to...
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Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 15/05/2003
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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...
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Format: Paperback (b Format) | Released 02/03/2000
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