Joseph had always loved drawing and making music as a child, but with his new love of books, he began writing too, first short stories, then longer beginnings of novels. By the time he was sixteen, he had over a hundred pages written of a novel named The Unwanted Continent, but hadn’t planned the story beforehand, and became completely stuck (never mind being slightly distracted by his GCSEs).
At the end of sixth form college he began work on a second novel, Setasha, which he continued writing while at university studying Interactive Media. Ultimately his studies overshadowed the book (probably for the best, as he ended up with a 1st class!) and it suffered, once more, from a lack of planning.
On leaving university, Joseph got a job working part time in a bookshop alongside doing freelance CGI and visual effects for television shows and other projects. It was here amongst the books that he met the love of his life, Charlotte.
When the recession hit, and visual effects work dried up, Joseph grabbed an empty notebook and said to himself ‘This is it. This is the time to write my novel.’
It took him six months, between bookselling days, to plan the novel that would become City of the Falling Sky, and a further year and a half to write it.
Joseph still works as a bookseller today, and over the years he has had countless parents and teenagers approach him to ask, ‘what can you recommend?’ And although he has enjoyed books since, there are only a very small selection of books that he can truly recommend in terms of sheer reading pleasure, and the top of that selection is, unashamedly, Harry Potter.
Harry Potter was Joseph’s biggest inspiration when writing the first book in the Seckry Sequence (readers will undoubtedly see the similarities in regards to the structure of the book spanning one year of Seckry’s school life, and Friction being as important to Seckry as Quidditch is to Harry.) He wanted to write a book about characters that you would want to be friends with, a book in who’s world you would love to live.
Joseph’s love of all things electronic and the video game culture he grew up in also had a massive impact on City of the Falling Sky and writing about Seckry’s adventures in such a city felt like the most natural thing in the world. Seckry was always there, waiting for his story to be told.
Joseph loves writing The Seckry Sequence because it is the series he has always wanted to read.
He hopes you will love it too.