Born and raised in an isolated village in East Kent in 1966 Julian Sedgwick resolved to become a writer at an early age. He and his brother (Marcus Sedgwick) relied on their imaginations, and each other, to entertain themselves – inspired by their father’s love and promotion of cinema, theatre and storytelling.

Julian took a long detour whilst working out what and how to write – via a degree and a half at Cambridge University reading Oriental Studies and Philosophy, working as a bookseller, painter, therapist and researcher for film and TV – before moving into screenplay development and writing.

His first book for children ‘Mysterium: The Black Dragon’ was published in July 2013 and won the Rotherham Children’s Book Award. The second and third instalments of the trilogy ‘The Palace of Memory’ and ‘The Wheel of Life and Death’ appeared in 2014. The Mysterium is a Mid Grade thriller, age 9+

The first fruit of collaboration with Marcus, a YA graphic novel ‘Dark Satanic Mills’ has recently been published by Walker books, and a second joint project is under way.

The first book in his new supernatural thriller trilogy ‘Ghosts of Shanghai’ will be published by Hodder Children’s in July 2015.

A lifelong interest in the arts and culture of China and Japan has influenced much of his work, as has his fascination with performance, street art and circus.

Julian lives near Ely, Cambridgeshire, with his wife and two sons, waiting impatiently for it to get cold enough to go Fen skating.

Mysterium: The Black Dragon

East meets West; past meets present; criminal minds meet skilled artists – welcome to the Mysterium, a circus with dark and thrilling secrets at its heart.

Twelve-year-old Danny Woo is half-Chinese, half-British. His parents are performers in the Mysterium. Following their death in a mysterious fire, Danny is sent to live with his aunt Laura, an investigative journalist.

When Danny’s school is closed after an explosion, he joins Laura on a trip to Hong Kong. She is researching the Triad gangs; he is trying to understand more about his cultural background.

But Laura disappears, and Danny is plunged into a dangerous quest to find her – which opens the door on the past he could never have imagined, and which leads him to question everything he has ever known about his past.

Mysterium: The Palace of Memory

Danny Woo has escaped from the jaws of death once – but his trials are not yet over. He’s meant to be recovering, but when he discovers the Mysterium – the circus into which he was born, and which cost his parents their lives – is being reformed in Barcelona, he determines to join them. But all is not well – who is the bad seed inside the once-loyal company? And who is the woman in green who can kill, and who seems to be trailing Danny with each move he makes? Everything, he knows, is linked to the death of his parents: he must continue his quest to find his parents’ killers. Once again, the story culminates in Danny’s participation in a well-known and dangerous stunt.

Mysterium: The Wheel of Life and Death

Reeling from events in Barcelona, the reformed Mysterium circus company pack up and head for a new circus in Berlin. For twelve-year-old Danny Woo it is a date with destiny: it was in Berlin (‘the city of escapes’) that the last Mysterium performance took place, and where his parents perished in the mysterious fire for which Danny has been desperate to find an explanation.

Danny is closing in on Centre – the traitor who is either part of the Mysterium, or linked to it. But a vital last clue, left in code by Danny’s father, is missing. And a dark figure is shadowing the convoy as it makes its way across Europe.

As the Mysterium pitches camp in Berlin, the snow begins to fall once more. The truth is within reach – but will Danny discover it in time enough to save not only himself but Sing-Sing – the sister he never knew he had.

Dark Satanic Mills

Set in a near-future Britain, Dark Satanic Mills tracks a young girl’s journey from the flooded landmarks of London to the vast, scorched and abandoned hills of the north. Framed for a murder she did not commit, the innocent and beautiful Christie has no other choice but to run for her life. Both a cautionary tale and a rip-roaring road trip, Dark Satanic Mills is altogether an intelligent, captivating and thrilling ride – The Wizard of Oz for a new generation, told in exhilarating shades of light and dark.

Dark Satanic Mills is by Julian Sedgwick, Marcus Sedgwick and John Higgins.

Ghosts of Shanghai

Obsessed with martial arts and ghost stories, Ruby is part of a gang of Chinese and ex-pat children who hide out in ruined White Cloud Temple. But the world of Shanghai in the late 1920s is driven with danger: disease, crime, espionage and revolution are sweeping the streets. And since the death of her younger brother Thomas, Ruby is stalked by another anxiety and fear.

Faced with a series of local hauntings, and armed with a lucky bookshop find – The Almanac of Distant Realms – Ruby forms the Shanghai Ghost Club to hunt down restless spirits. When best friend Faye is kidnapped by the Green Hand, Ruby must trust a mysterious stranger – and face her worst fears – in order to save her friends, and her own life. And in the ensuing fight she will catch a glimpse of the one spirit she has longed to see …

The secrets that Ruby’s father and friends have kept from her are coming back to haunt them all.

 

The trainers were very good and supportive. Some very helpful advice.

- Julian Sedgwick