Questions I Frequently Ask
Hi, how are you? What are you reading?
When will there be another season of Sherlock?
Do we actually want another season of Sherlock?
Will this draft ever be done?
Are there any chips?
Questions I Am Frequently Asked
When is your book coming out?
THE UNLIKELY ESCAPE OF URIAH HEEP, The Shadow Histories duology (A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAGICIANS and A RADICAL ACT OF FREE MAGIC), and THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER, are all out now.
Apart from that… there will hopefully be more news coming soon!
Is there a sequel to A DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAGICIANS?
Yes! A RADICAL ACT OF FREE MAGIC, the second and final volume of The Shadow Histories, is out now. I would never leave everyone like that.
Is there a sequel to THE UNLIKELY ESCAPE OF URIAH HEEP or THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER?
No, not at present. But thank you, sincerely, for asking.
What does the H.G. stand for?
What are some things you like?
It’s too obvious, but honestly: books, and everything associated with them. Writing them, reading them outdoors, studying them, watching BBC adaptations of them, visiting them in libraries and old bookshops and new bookshops, tripping over piles of them in the dark (well maybe not that last but it happens a lot).
I also love history, travelling, rabbits, mice, windy days, theatre, sketching, potatoes (but not sketching potatoes), trees, and magicians. Wellington and London are the cities of my heart and soul.
How many pets do you have and what are their names?
The current occupants of The Menagerie are as follows:
Miss Irene Adler and Mr Jeremy Brett (the cats); O’Connell and Fleischman (the bunnies); Mr Norrell and Thistledown (the guinea pigs); Danger, Hood, and Huntingdon (merry band of outlaw mice).
What is your favourite book?
This is such a reasonable question to ask, and so impossible to answer.
I grew up on The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury), The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams), and Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series. Somehow, these worked together in my head.
I’ve studied or tutored just about every literary time period there is, from Old English to Modernism to the present day, and I honestly love so many writers from all of them with all of my heart. I love Beowulf and Chaucer, Shakespeare and Keats, Jane Austen and the Brontës and Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens and Dostoyevsky and Katherine Mansfield and Ford Madox Ford and oh no I forgot Mary Shelley we have to go back. I’ve done a lot of work on classical epic, so Homer and Virgil are very close friends of mine.
My PhD was in children’s fantasy, so I love C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, T.H. White, Rosemary Sutcliff, Beatrix Potter, Sherryl Jordan, Margaret Mahy, and Richard Adams (I still don’t know if Watership Down is actually a children’s book, but it’s a book about rabbits who are also epic heroes and that’s all you can ask for from a book). I also talk about Paddington Bear a lot.
Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn is a perfect book. So is P.D. James’s The Children of Men, and Dodi Smith’s I Capture the Castle. I love Laini Taylor and V.E. Schwab and Neil Gaiman and Hilary Mantel and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. Jude Morgan writes sentences so gorgeous I cry. Daphne du Maurier was a genius. I am incredibly lucky to be published alongside many brilliant authors at Orbit whose work I love and respect (including but not limited to Alix E. Harrow, Tasha Suri, Rowenna Miller, Melissa Caruso, Vivian Shaw, and Andrea Stewart).
But deep down, it’s still The Lord of the Rings, and that probably won’t ever change.
[Please note that I wrote the above answer in 2019–I have read and am still reading many new books since then. If you follow my social media accounts, I try to give recommendations of new favourites!)
Who would you bring out of a book, if you could?
I’ve thought about this a lot, obviously. And the more I thought about, the more obvious it became.
I’m not joking.