Alexander Gordon Smith

More About Moi!

If you can bear to hear it!

Here is my full bio to date, in the third person of course…

The Early Years

Alexander Gordon Smith was born on the 27th February, 1979, in the now demolished Norwich and Norfolk Hospital (the demolition had nothing to do with him, although he was a big baby). He moved houses several times while he was a kid, although never straying more than twenty miles from where he was born. As an adult, he still hasn’t gone far, and now lives a ten minute walk from where he was born. Although comfortable living in Norwich, he fears this fact may not help his dreams of being known as the Ernest Hemingway of children’s fiction.

In a cliche beloved of all authors, Gordon has always wanted to be a writer. He wrote stories all the time when he was young, dreaming up characters as complex and emotionally engaging as Super Carrot. He also created a book suspiciously like Flanimals when he was six (which he will scan in eventually and add to this site), although he isn’t pointing any fingers (unless Ricky Gervais has been crawling around under his bed where all his old stories and pictures are kept, which he probably hasn’t).

After experimenting in the service and retail trades for a few years (McDonalds and Spoils Kitchen Reject Shops), Gordon decided to go to university. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia which, as you may have guessed, is in Norwich. The course nurtured his love of reading, of stories and of books, and he emerged three years later with a mortar board hat, a First Class Honours Degree and a head like Phil Mitchell’s. Boo Yah.

The Egg Box Years

More importantly, however, it was at the UEA that Gordon explored his love of publishing. Along with Luke Wright, a poet who was in the midst of setting up now-legendary performance group Aisle16, he founded the Egg Box Magazine, a groundbreaking new magazine for fiction and poetry. Funded by his student loan, the magazine was a huge success, and profits from the first three issues helped pay for the newly created Egg Box Publishing’s first poetry collection, The Zoo Keeper by Richard Evans. The following year Egg Box published Come What You Wished For by Ramona Herdman. Both of these first collections were Highly Commended by the Forward Prize and firmly secured the company’s reputation for publishing bold and talented newcomers. Several years later Egg Box had published titles including Live From the Hellfire Club by Aisle16, Mixer by Andre Mangeot and Ahem by Martin Figura.

By this time Gordon was broke after funding so many collections (he was trying to be a gentleman publisher without the gentleman’s bankroll), and stepped aside to let long-time friend, poet and publisher Nathan Hamilton into the captain’s chair. Since then Egg Box has gone from strength to strength, publishing work by authors as diverse as Arthur C. Clark, Rose Tremain and George Szirtes. Most recently it has published the genre-busting verse novel Donjong Heights by Ben Borek, as well as collections by Agnes Lehoczky Daniel Kane and more.

The Writing Years

Parallel to running Egg Box, Gordon also set up an editorial company called Box of Words. Under this banner, usually while pretending to clients to be a huge company stuffed full of writers (when there was just him frantically trying to meet deadlines), Gordon wrote literally hundreds of articles, short stories and books ranging from Scooby Doo comic strips to world atlases, Midsomer Murders to X-Files. It was a tough few years of silly hours and constant writer’s cramp, but he loved it. Most importantly, the endless research led to countless book ideas germinating in his head.

It was a dream, however, which led to his big break. In the summer of 2005 he woke one morning with the striking image of two young inventors running away from an evil genius. He started writing the story that very morning, with the help of his nine-year-old brother Jamie, and some weeks later they had finished their first novel, called The Inventors. The manuscript came second in the Wow Factor competition, run by Faber and Waterstones, and Faber published it in April 2007.

The sequel, The Inventors and the City of Stolen Souls, was published in June 2008, and Gordon decided to fold up Box of Words and spend the rest of his life writing books. With the first three books of the Furnace series out in 2009, and lots more planned for 2010, it really is a dream come true!

Gordon is extremely passionate about writing, and has written two bestselling creative writing handbooks for Infinite Ideas, Inspired Creative Writing and Writing Bestselling Books for Children as well as organised countless workshops and courses for writers. He is just as passionate about publishing, and alongside his work with Egg Box also sat as Chairman for Inpress, an Arts Council-funded collection of independent publishers, for two years.

The Now Years

In March 2009 Faber published the first book in the Furnace series, which was quickly sold to the US – as Escape From Furnace – and several countries around the world. All five books in the series have now been published in the UK, with three more to come in the US. There is also tantalising talk of a movie… His new series, called The Fury, is due to be published in the UK in March 2012.

Gordon also set up Fear Driven Films in 2009, alongside his sister Kate Edwards and her husband Simon P. Edwards. They wrote a script together, a horror comedy called Stagnant, about a mutant bride who kills stag parties on the Norfolk Broads, and Fear Driven Films is currently co-producing the feature. The company has also made a number of short films, including Sola Gratia, which is based on a script by Gordon.

Gordon’s most recent project is Inkling Studios, which he set up alongside his partner Lynsey and daughter Lucy. Inkling will (eventually!) publish children’s books and produce children’s projects for film and television. But that probably won’t be for a while yet… In the meantime, Gordon hopes to make lots of lovely new books!

So that’s my… er, I mean Gordon’s life so far. I’d better stop typing now or my ego is going to explode out of my ears!




14 Responses to “More About Moi!”

  1. Gravatar of Mark Gordon Mark Gordon 7. May 2012 at 15:04

    Just checking to see if you were alive. I am a teacher at Jefferson West Middle School in Meriden, Ks near Topeka. One of my studets is to send you a letter about the book Lockdown. Thank you

  2. Gravatar of Molly Konkle Molly Konkle 6. September 2012 at 02:31

    Hey there! We met at Ida B. Wells High School in San Francisco last school year. I wondered if you had the time to come back this year! All of the kids really liked you and thought you were funny, and so did I! I liked hearing all of your stories and stuff, and I’d really like the chance to talk with you again. If you can fin the time, you should definitely come back to our school and enlighten us one more time! -Molly

  3. Gravatar of Makayla Scott Makayla Scott 13. September 2012 at 20:20

    Hello, My name is Makayla Scott and I’m a seventh grade student at Berkshire Middle School. I am currently reading your 3rd book called Death Sentence, I just really wanted you to know that these boobs I have read; Lock down, Solitary, and now Death Sentence are the best books I have EVER read, any boons compared to these suck! Me and my friend are obsessed with them, I am waiting for the next book to come Out!!! I deffinetly will read it, but I really wante you to know that I absolutey love your books, there are not words to describe how much I love and enjoy reading them, please email me thank you so much and I really want to talk to you!

  4. Gravatar of Jeremy Peterson Jeremy Peterson 21. November 2012 at 05:41

    I for one just want to say you have completely changed my reading experience. I am a 15 year old in a suburb in Minnesota, if you ever plan to go to Minnesota I would hope you would come to my school, people there just don’t read. When I got Execution I didn’t put it down for 5 hrs. straight! Keep doing what your are doing and bring me a zombie apocalypse book! And if you were to plan to come to my school (Though I don’t see that happening) It is Park High school, cottage grove Minnesota. Like Alex said hold on to hope, and never forget your name! I AM Jeremy Peterson. “All for one….”

  5. Gravatar of Brittney Bookout Brittney Bookout 12. February 2013 at 15:17

    Hi! I’m a 15 year old in colorado.I just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your books! I’m currently reading your 2nd escape from furance book: Solitary. I read the first one in about a week, which just so you know isn’t normal for me! I can’t wait to read the rest of your series. Just know you are an amazing writer! Keep on doing what your doing. You have a wild imagination!

  6. Gravatar of Ellie Ellie 27. February 2013 at 13:05

    Hi :)

    Ive read all your books i think think they are amazing. :)

  7. Gravatar of Jovan Jovan 4. May 2013 at 16:00

    I love your books. I’m 13 and all your books are very exciting. I sure wish Devon and Simon stayed alive. But other than that Alex is becoming himself instead of “them”, he was filled with nectar and manage to remember his own name which help him get his sanity back. The books connected to my mind and because of your skills my reading teacher is amazed how well I’m writing my stories and everybody else wants to read more of stories I had written before in class.

  8. Gravatar of Jovan maldonado Jovan maldonado 4. May 2013 at 16:01

    I love your books. I’m 13 and all your books are very exciting. I sure wish Devon and Simon stayed alive. But other than that Alex is becoming himself instead of “them”, he was filled with nectar and manage to remember his own name which help him get his sanity back. The books connected to my mind and because of your skills my reading teacher is amazed how well I’m writing my stories and everybody else wants to read more of stories I had written before in class. 😀

  9. Gravatar of Jovan maldonado Jovan maldonado 4. May 2013 at 16:33

    I meant Donovan. sorry it’s so hard to remember when you get to the last part and you just want to remember the ending and how great it was.

  10. Gravatar of Benjamin Sara Benjamin Sara 2. June 2013 at 22:46

    Hey I just wanted to say that I love your books and I am doing a school project on your first book in the Lockdown series, Lockdown. Also I am wondering if you are going to make a movie out of these books, which would be awesomely epic. I am excited to start on you new Fury series of books.

    Your Fan,

    Benjamin Sara

  11. Gravatar of travis rohrbaugh travis rohrbaugh 18. September 2013 at 14:52

    hey, your books are the best books i have ever read in my life! i don’t know how to come up with these idea of books. i’m really excited to read your new series of the fury

    -Travis rohrbaugh

  12. Gravatar of Usman Usman 29. December 2013 at 01:03

    why do you write books like the series of Furnace?

  13. Gravatar of Adrasteia Adrasteia 3. January 2014 at 23:53

    Well done with all this. I’m relieved your parents didn’t stick you with the GAS initials. That would’ve been rather unfortunate. I applaud your creation of a convincing world and sympathetic antihero. The mark of an excellent story: the reader begins questioning her allegiances near the end of the book. I wish you the best with your tantalizing movie rumors.

  14. Gravatar of Max Max 19. January 2014 at 01:11

    Wow it was cool reading your bio! I’m a huge fan of the escape from furnace series and i am now reading The Fury. I’m also a big contributor to the wiki about the escape from furnace series. I wrote pages like Lockdown, dogs, Moleface, and Toby Merchant. Go ahead and check it out if you want. You have inspired me to pursue my dream as a writer and I’m currently working on a book called ALONE. Feel free to e-mail me back.I love your work!
    Your Fan,

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