MY SWORDHAND IS SINGING
‘A heart-stopping read.’
– The Times
Winner of the Booktrust Teenage Book Award
Winner of the Renfrewshire Book Award
The Carnegie Children’s Book Medal
The Brilliant Book Award, Nottingham
The Southern Schools Book Award
The Manchester Book Award
The South Lanarkshire Book Award
The Calderdale Book of the Year Award
The Salford Children’s Book Award
The Surrey Book Award
In the bitterly cold Transylvanian forest Tomas and his son, Peter, arrive in Chust and despite the hostility of the villagers, settle there as woodcutters. Tomas digs a channel of fast-flowing waters around their hut so they have their own little island kingdom.
Peter doesn’t understand why his father has done this, nor why his father carries a long battered box everywhere they go, and why he is forbidden to know its mysterious contents. But when a band of gypsies comes to the village Peter’s hard existence is turned upside down.
Drawing on extensive research of the vampire legend which permeates traditions throughout the world and set in the forbidding and remote landscapes of the 17th century, this is the story of a father and his son, of loss, redemption, salvation, and the acceptance of death.
Marcus is the winner of many book prizes, most notably the Printz Award (Midwinterblood), the Booktrust Teenage Prize (My Swordhand Is Singing), and the Blue Peter Book Award. His books have been shortlisted for over thirty other awards, including the Carnegie Medal (five times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize (four times). In 2011 Revolver was awarded a Printz Honor.
Marcus was Writer in Residence at Bath Spa University for three years, and has taught creative writing at Arvon and Ty Newydd.
He is currently working on film projects and graphic novels with his brother, Julian. He has judged numerous books awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Costa Book Awards.
His latest title in the UK is A Love Like Blood. US publication to follow in early 2015.
Eamonn trained at the Royal Academy of Music and has worked as a musician in theatres all over the world. As a composer he has written original music for The Glass Menagerie (Chipping Norton Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing (Stockholm English Speaking Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Barakura Festival Theatre, Japan); The Massacre (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds); Liquorice & Smokerings (New Wolsey, Ipswich); and Frankenstein (Dorset Corset Theatre Company). He is a frequent musical collaborator at Sir Peter Hall’s Rose Theatre in Kingston, where he has written scores for Our Town, A Christmas Carol, Hamlet, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Arabian Nights and Alice in Wonderland. His original musical The House of Mirrors & Hearts won the Musical Theatre Matters Award for Best New Musical Score at the Edinburgh Festival in 2010. The show later transferred to the Arcola Theatre and was recently recorded for Perfect Pitch, featuring Charlotte Wakefield, Helen Hobson & Lauren Samuels. His most recent appearance in the West End was in the National Theatre’s multi- award-winning production of War Horse, in which Eamonn played the role of the Song Man from 2009-2011.
Alex trained at the VGIK institute of cinematography (Moscow), with Elen Bowman, Irina Brown, Lab Ky Mo and at The Video College. Alex is currently the Children’s assistant on Sam Mendes Charlie and the Chocolate factory in the West End, where he is also creating and leading the CHARLIE school. Recent productions include The Crocodile (riverside studios), OUTED (Park Theatre) and Merri England (Finborough Thetare). He has assisted Melly Still, Tom Morris, Braham Murray, Mike Longurst and most recently Simon McBurney and Complicite for a new work at the National Thetare.
Alex also was the curator of the Grimborn New Opera and Music Theatre festival at the Arcola theatre in 2009, which was nominated for the ensemble ‘Peter Brook Empty Space Award’. Alex’s production of The House and Mirrors and Hearts won an MTM fringe first award in 2010. Alex was an associate producer on the Olivier award winning production of La Boheme 2011.