Moonlocket Animated Cover

Just over a week ago today, Waterstones did an exclusive cover reveal for Moonlocket – the sequel to my debut Cogheart. Just like with Cogheart, the beautiful cover was designed by Kath Millichope and illustrated by Becca Stadtlander – they are geniuses both, and I think they have once again done a fantastic job in bringing my story to life in a single image. I love the theatrical flavour of the rich velvety background with its embroidered stars. The harvest moon, with the book’s characters dotted around, brilliantly recalls the clock face on the Cogheart cover. Plus, I adore the London skyline, with its hints of the dark places Lily, Robert and Malkin visit on their journey.

The cover got a fantastic response on twitter, and has been getting some oohs and ahhs from the audiences on World Book Week when I showed it off to them. I can’t wait now to see the final book in the shops. But in the mean time, it was great fun to have a chance to once again animate the characters and create a moving cover to show of the illustrations…

And if you enjoyed the trailer, here’s a little about the book–

An escaped convict.

A missing locket.

A woman from the past…

When infamous escapologist Jack Door breaks out from Pentonville Prison, he sets out for the town of Brackenbridge, determined to find his missing treasure – the Moonlocket.

But when Lily and Robert unwittingly find themselves caught up in Jack Door’s search, they discover that Robert’s history holds the secret to the Moonlocket’s whereabouts…

Another delicious slice of Victoriana, return to the mysteries locked at the heart of London’s dark and murky streets and a world of adventure and extraordinary invention.


Cogheart Trailer for Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month

Check out the little animated trailer I made for Cogheart as Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month. I re-used all the animation bits from the original book trailer and a created a couple of new animated titles from quotes and blurbs for the book. I think it looks rather spiffing! And Waterstones are now also running it on their youtube channel too…

Memoirs of Robert-Houdin by Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin

Tr. by Sir F.C.L. Wraxall

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I downloaded this from the internet archive, as research for something I’m writing, I think its out of print. It is the story of Robert Houdin a Magician in France in the 19th Century – he is thought to be the father of modern magic and illusion. The story starts in his youth, how he trained as a clockmaker and then met a traveling magician who he befriended, before learning the tricks of the trade. After this opening section, there isn’t really an over aching narrative and the book is largely sequential anecdotes about his stage performances and magic tricks – mostly how they nearly went wrong and how he salvaged them through his quick thinking and skill. Often he reveals how certain illusions were done after discussing them. I found the characters and the world of the 19th Century travelling shows and magicians particularly interesting. The first section in which talks about his youth and the life of his mentors Torrini and Antonio, is very good, and I recognised elements borrowed and reshaped for ‘The Prestige. ( – this seems to have strongly influenced it – I am judging from the movie not the book.) Robert Houdin does tend to blow his own trumpet (there are lots of performances to astounded royalty) and I think you have to take some of the stuff with a pinch of salt, but altogether a very interesting autobiography.

View all my reviews