Paul Stewart (writer)

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Paul Stewart
Stewart in 2009
Stewart in 2009
London, England
GenreChildren's, young adult, and adult novels
Notable worksThe Edge Chronicles
(with Chris Riddell), Trek
Notable awardsSmarties Prize

Paul Stewart (born June 1955) is a writer of children's books, best known for three series written in collaboration with the illustrator Chris Riddell: The Edge Chronicles, the Free Lance novels, and the Far Flung Adventures series.[1] Paul Stewart lives in the British seaside city of Brighton with his wife and children.


Paul Stewart was born in London in 1955, his family lived first in Muswell Hill, North London and later in Morden, South London, where he went to school.[2] His favourite subject at school was English and he hated Mathematics;[3] when Paul left school, he went travelling, spending several months in Greece, where he took various jobs, including picking oranges and grapes, and whitewashing hotels.[4]

From 1974-1977, Paul studied at the University of Lancaster, majoring in English, (which included a Creative Writing unit) with a minor in Religious Education.[5] On graduation, he went travelling again, before enrolling in 1978 to do an M.A. in Creative Writing with Angela Carter and Malcolm Bradbury at the University of East Anglia.[4][5] He went to Heidelberg, Germany in 1979 for three years, both as a teacher of English and as a student at Heidelberg University, learning German. In 1982, he went to Sri Lanka to teach English as a foreign language returning to the UK a year later where he continued to teach (1983–90) before becoming a full-time writer.[3][6]

Paul Stewart’s first book to be published was The Thought Domain (1988) which was then followed by a number of other children’s and young adult novels, chiefly in the thriller, horror and SF/Fantasy genres.[4] Paul Stewart’s only adult book to date, Trek, was published in 1991.[6]

Literary influences[edit]

Paul Stewart's favourite books when a child were The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, Rupert Bear Annuals, and the works of Alan Garner, especially Elidor, he also read a lot of science fiction.[3]

Paul Stewart started writing at a very young age. At the age of seven he was writing a series about a snail called Oliver and he started a sequel to The Phantom Tollbooth at ten; some of the ideas from this early work were later developed and became the basis of The Thought Domain which was published in 1988.[6]

Collaboration with Chris Riddell[edit]

Chris Riddell, Illustrator, photo.
Riddell in 2010

Paul Stewart first met Chris Riddell in 1993,[3] through having children at the same school.[7] Chris was looking for someone to write texts that he could illustrate. Paul had already had a number of books published, their first collaborative work were the Rabbit and Hedgehog books (published 1998–2003 by Andersen Press).[6] The inspiration for The Edge Chronicles came from a map Chris Riddell drew of an imaginary world in 1994 and then challenged Paul to write about it;[4][5] the first book in the sequence, Beyond the Deepwoods, was commissioned by Transworld Publishers (now part of the Random House Group) on the basis of the map and the first four chapters. The book then took three years to write as Paul and Chris worked out both the plot and how best to work together.[4] Originally commissioned as a single book, Paul and Chris hoped that it might become a trilogy;[3] the series has now extended to fifteen full-length novels, five short stories, a book of maps and a now-defunct blog called Weird New Worlds. The final book, The Descenders, is scheduled for release on 7 March 2019.

When writing together, Paul and Chris work on the development of plots and characters together, sometimes starting from a bit of writing, sometimes from an illustration on one of Chris’s sketchbooks,[1] they have long conversations over many days, during which the novels emerge.[3][7] They don’t always agree and the debates can become quite heated but they have remained good friends.[3] Following these discussions, Paul normally writes a first draft, which Chris will edit or rewrite before Paul produces a final draft.[1]

As well as The Edge Chronicles, Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell have also collaborated on a trilogy of shorter adventures, Freelance; a quartet of younger books, The Far Flung Adventures, the first of which, Fergus Crane, won the Nestle Smarties Gold Prize in 2004;[1] The Blobheads series (2000–2004); Muddle Earth (2003), and a further quartet, Barnaby Grimes (2007–2009), their latest novel, Wyrmweald, was published by Doubleday Children’s Books in April 2010.


These three books constitute the Far Flung Adventures series, written by Stewart and illustrated by Riddell.[clarification needed (see talk)]



  • The Thought Domain, illustrated by Jon Riley. London: Viking, 1988; New York: Puffin, 1989
  • The Weather Witch, illustrated by Jon Riley. London: Viking, 1989; New York: Puffin, 1990
  • Adam's Ark, illustrated by Kevin Jones. London: Viking 1990; New York: Puffin 1992
  • Giant Gutso and the Wacky Gang, illustrated by Colin West. London: Orchard, 1991
  • Rory McCory's Nightmare Machine,illustrated by Paul Finn. London: Viking, 1992; New York: Puffin, 1993
  • The Snowman Who Couldn't Melt, illustrated by Annabel Large. London: Viking, 1993; New York: Puffin 1994
  • Bubble and Shriek, illustrated by Annabel Large. London: Viking, 19993: New York: Puffin, 1995
  • Castle of Intrigue, illustrated by Jane Gedye. London: Usborne, 1994
  • Neighbourhood Witch, illustrated by Annabel Large. London: Viking, 1994; New York: Puffin 1995
  • Stage Fright, illustrated by Alan Marks. London: Usborne, 1995
  • Brown Eyes. London: Penguin, 1996; new edition, Longman 1999
  • The Diary. London: Penguin, 1996
  • The Clock of Doom. London: Usborne, 1996
  • The Wakening. London: Yearling, 1996
  • Football Mad series. London: Hippo
    • Football Mad, 1997
    • Football Mad: Off-Side!, 1998
    • Football Mad: Hat-Trick!, 1999
    • Football Mad: Teamwork!, 2000
  • The Midnight Hand. London: Yearling 1997
  • Lucky Luke and Other very Short Stories. London: Penguin, 1997
  • Dogbird, illustrated by Tony Ross. London: Corgi, 1998
  • The Hanging Tree. London: Scholastic, 1998
  • Millie's Party, illustrated by Bernard Lodge. London: Blue Bananas, 1999
  • Freight Train. London: Scholastic, 2000
  • Sausage, illustrated by Nick Ward. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
  • The Were-Pig, illustrated by Tony Ross. London: Corgi 2002
  • the Watch-Frog, illustrated by Tony Ross. London: Corgi, 2003

For adults[edit]

  • Trek. London: Jonathan Cape, 1991; reissued Corgi, 2007

Picture Books[edit]

  • Rabbit & Hedgehog Books, all illustrated by Chris Riddell.
    • The Birthday Presents London: Andersen Press, 1998; New York: HarperCollins,2000
    • A Little Bit of Winter. London: Andersen Press, 1998; New York: HarperColiins, 1999
    • Rabbit's Wish. London: Andersen Press, 2001; New York: HarperCollins 2001
    • What Do You Remember?. London: Andersen Press, 2002

Fiction co-authored with Chris Riddell[edit]

[clarification needed (see talk)]

  • Muddle Earth. London: Macmillan, 2003; New York: Yearling, 2009

The Edge Chronicles[edit]

  • Beyond the Deepwoods. London: Doubleday, 1998; New York: David Fickling Books, 2004
  • Stormchaser. London: Doubleday, 1999; New York: David Fickling Books, 2004
  • Midnight Over Sanctaphrax. London: Doubleday, 2000; New York: David Fickling Books, 2004
  • The Curse of the Gloamglozer. London: Doubleday, 2001; New York: David Fickling Books, 2005
  • Cloud Wolf. (published for World Book Day 2001). London: Corgi, 2001
  • The Last of the Sky Pirates. London: Doubleday, 2002; New York: David Fickling Books, 2005
  • Vox. London: Doubleday, 2003; New York: David Fickling Books, 2005
  • The Stone Pilot. (published for World Book Day 2006). London: Corgi, 2006
  • Freeglader. London: Doubleday, 2004; New York: David Fickling Books, 2006
  • The Winter Knights. London: Doubleday, 2005; New York: David Fickling Books, 2007
  • Clash of the Skygalleons. London: Doubleday, 2006; New York: David Fickling Books, 2007
  • The Lost Barkscrolls. London: Doubleday, 2007
  • The Immortals. London: Doubleday, 2009; New York:David Fickling Books 2010
  • The Nameless One- Book 1 of the Cade Saga. London: Transworld Publishers, 2015

The Blobheads[edit]

All London: Macmillan

  • Invasion of the Blobs. 2000
  • Talking Toasters. 2000
  • School Stinks. 2000
  • Beware of the Babysitter. 2000
  • Garglejuice. 2000
  • Silly Billy. 2000
  • Naughty Gnomes. 2000
  • Purple Alert!. 2000
  • Blobheads go Boing! 2004

A Knight's Story[edit]

  • Free Lance and the Lake of Skulls. London: Hodder, 2003; New York: New York: (published as Lake of Skulls) Atheneum, 2004
  • Free Lance and the Field of Blood. London: Hodder, 2004; New York: (published as Joust of Honor) Atheneum, 2005
  • Free Lance and the Dragon's Hoard. London: Hodder, 2005; New York: (published as Dragon's Hoard) Atheneum, 2005

Far Flung Adventures[edit]

  • Fergus Crane. London: Doubleday, 2004; New York: David Fickling Books,2006
  • Corby Flood. London: Doubleday, 2005; New York: David Fickling Books, 2006
  • Hugo Pepper. London: Doubleday, 2006; New York: David Fickling Books, 2007

Barnaby Grimes[edit]

  • Barnaby Grimes: The Curse of the Nightwolf. London: Doubleday, 2007; New York: David Fickling Books, 2008
  • Barnaby Grimes: Return of the Emerald Skull. London: Doubleday, 2008; New York: David Fickling Books, 2009
  • Barnaby Grimes: Legion of the Dead. London: Doubleday, 2008; New York: (to be published) David Fickling Books, 2010
  • Barnaby Grimes: Phantom of Blood Alley. London: Doubleday, 2009;New York: (to be published) David Fickling Books, 2010

Wyrmeweald Trilogy[edit]

  • Wyrmeweald: Returner's Wealth. London: Doubleday, 2010
  • Wyrmeweald: Bloodhoney. London: Doubleday, 2012
  • Wyrmeweald: The Bone Trail. London: Doubleday, 2013

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "An Awfully Big Adventure". Book Trust. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2010. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Booktrust" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ "Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell Biography". Fantasy Book Review. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Q&A". Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Paul Stewart". Achuka. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  5. ^ a b c "Paul Stewart", Writing (December 1998-January 1999): 59, December 1998
  6. ^ a b c d "Paul Stewart (1955–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Adaptations, Sidelights". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  7. ^ a b "Postcards from the Edge", Death Ray, 18 (April/May 2009): 34–35, April 2009
  8. ^ [1] Smarties Prize

External links[edit]