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.

Creative Industries Face Disaster

The internet has given us, along with many wonderful things, the ability to steal great quantities of material that used to have to be paid for.


Scrap baseline tests for four and five-year-olds

I have joined leading educationalists, early years specialists and psychologists in calling for plans to introduce tests for four- and five-year-olds in their first weeks at primary schools to be scrapped.

Listen to an extract from The Collectors

Listen to an exclusive extract from my new Northern Lights story read by Bill Nighy. 


Books for prisoners

Leading authors have hit out at Chris Grayling's claim that prisoners have "full access to the same public library service in prisons as every other citizen", saying that statutory requirements for library facilities in prison are not being met.


My Books

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.

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. 


Pay authors properly for eBook loans

New media and new forms of buying and lending are all very interesting, for all kinds of reasons, but one principle remains unchanged: authors must be paid fairly for their work. Any arrangement that doesn't acknowledge that principle is a bad one, and needs to be changed. That is our whole argument.

Society of Authors

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?’


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His Dark Materials