… author of Escape From Furnace, The Fury, The Inventors, and the brand new Devil's Engine series

The King of Kingston!

I had another couple of great events yesterday, as part of the awesome Kingston Readers’ Festival. But I nearly didn’t make it. Believe it or not I managed to make the same mistake as Saturday, and got off at the wrong station! It’s because of this edit I’m working on, I’m sure of it. I was sitting on the train thinking about Cal and Brick and Daisy, wondering what might happen to them and how they are going to cope with it, and the next thing I knew I’d gotten off at Richmond, even though I was supposed to be going to Kingston. It was only because the ticket machine didn’t let me out of the station that I even noticed at all, otherwise I’d probably still be roaming around Richmond trying to find my event.

Luckily I managed to catch the next train, and Vanessa, one of the festival coordinators and an absolutely lovely person, met me and took me to the Tiffin Boys School. Everybody there was fantastic, and I did my show to a couple of hundred students. Then it was another mad dash to Southborough Boys School and another fantastic audience! I just want to say a huge thanks to Vanessa, and to everybody at both schools, for making me feel so welcome!

I’ve been down to London quite a bit the last week or so, and it’s been great as it’s given me a chance to finish reading Game of Thrones. I just have to say wow. I mean, WOW! It’s an incredible book. I started reading it because I was watching the new HBO adaptation (which is also brilliant), and I couldn’t stand to wait a week before finding out what happened. So I bought the book and just devoured it. I really couldn’t put it down. I’m going to post a proper review soon, but I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed it, and how much I wish I was living in George R. R. Martin’s world. With a broadsword. I think I might change my name to Ser Gordon of the House of Smith. Or maybe just King Gordy.

Anyway, back to the edit!

Rambling in Redbridge!

I’m still suffering from an accidental four mile hike yesterday. I was doing a Chainsaw Gang event in Gants Hill as part of the Redbridge Festival, and my edit-addled head (I’m half way through the edit for The Fury and my brain doesn’t seem to be working any more) managed to get off the train at Stratford – instead of Ilford. (Don’t blame me, they both end in -ford!) I thought it was only a short walk from there to the Library, but it took an hour and forty minutes of power-strolling down the Romford Road before I finally arrived (late and very sweaty)!

It was a lovely event, and the audience almost didn’t fit in the room. Okay, it was a small room. Okay, there were eight people there, but they were a fantastic bunch! It was me, Sarwat Chadda and Stephen Deas, and we all chatted a bit (I chatted a LOT because I thought the event finished later than it did) about books and writing and inspiration. Afterwards Sarwat, Stephen and I popped to the local for a drink, then went for a fantastic curry. It was great to see Sarwat, and to finally meet Stephen – his books look amazing, they have dragons – and all in all it was an awesome day!

My legs are still aching from that walk, though…

Today I took a break from the edit to work on the script – we’re shooting in a couple of weeks. I was trying to make up a shot list – a list of every single different camera shot in the film. I never realised how many shots there were in a film before. This one is only about fifteen minutes long and there are nearly 250 of them! Next time you’re watching a movie count how many times the camera cuts to a different shot, it’s incredible! I’ve been ordering in gallons of fake blood and other gruesome props, which is all very exciting!

And this afternoon Lyns and I got stuck in to Gray Matter, the game we’re playing. It kind of reminds me of the mystery rooms you used to see in the Crystal Maze, with loads of puzzles. It’s great fun!

Anyway, I’m off to London tomorrow to do a couple of events for the Kingston Festival, which will be great! I hope you all had a brilliant weekend!!


A Death Sentence for Kirkus!


We’ve just got the first official review for Death Sentence, from Kirkus, and it’s a killer!

Alex Sawyer has just received his third strike, attempting to escape from the underground penitentiary known as Furnace (Solitary: Escape from Furnace 2, 2010), and is about to learn the secret origins of the prison staff.

After being surgically implanted with muscles and pumped full of the mysterious substance known as “nectar,” Alex struggles to retain his humanity as his body is challenged with endurance tests and his mind is twisted by the warden’s whispering. He resists but ultimately succumbs to his new interior darkness and accidentally kills an old friend before being rescued by Simon and Zee for a final daring escape from the horrific prison. With this third installment in the Escape from Furnace series, Smith strikes the ideal balance between action and introspection. Readers will feel flashes of genuine sympathy for antihero Alex, especially as he struggles against becoming the monster he has always feared lurks inside. With survival challenges, a battle and a prison uprising, the novel keeps the adrenaline level high and the pages turning. A World War II plot twist may strike readers as coming from left field, but the series has always been more about action and suspense than anything else.

One thing’s for sure: There’s still plenty of action still to come out of Furnace. (Thriller. 12 & up)

Thanks Kirkus!!


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