I really wanted to be a bard . . .

Travel, adventure, swordfighting, music . . . who wouldn't want that job?

When I was sixteen, I was off on an island, camping by myself, and ended up having to wait about six hours for a ferry. While sitting on the pier, I read a book titled Bard by Keith Taylor filled with music, adventure, and swordplay. I was hooked. Unfortunately, it turns out there's no such job as "bard" these days, so I've made do with a string of strange vocations, all of which brought me right back to books, only now I get to write them for a living!

Awards And Nominations

Ah, awards . . . What's that saying? "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride"? I've been fortunate to be nominated for some wonderful accolades, but alas, some other more talented person keeps insisting on winning. That said, I did win this lovely award from Booknest, which sits in a prized place on my shelf.

My beloved Booknest Best Fantasy Award. One day I shall smite a burglar with it.

  • 2019 - Finalist - Sunburst (Canada) Best Young Adult
  • 2019 - Finalist - Grand Prix D'Imaginaire (France) Best Foreign YA
  • 2019 - Winner - Centurion Award (UK) Best Novel
  • 2018 - Winner - Elbakin Award (France) Best Foreign YA Novel
  • 2018 - Nominated - Carnegie Medal (UK) Best Young Adult Novel
  • 2016 - Winner - Booknest (EU) Best Fantasy Award
  • 2016 - Finalist - John W. Cambell Award (USA) Best New Writer
  • 2016 - Finalist - Prix Imaginale (France) Best Foreign Novel
  • 2015 - Finalist - Gemmell Morningstar (UK) Best Debut
  • 2014 - Semi-Finalist - Goodreads (USA) Best Fantasy Novel

My deep dark secrets . . .

Secret Origins

I was born Canada, the nation of humble, polite individuals who secretly think we invented rock and roll, space travel, and the English language. I also hold a UK passport, which I received shortly before the British decided to vote for Brexit. Doh!


My first published novel was Traitor's Blade in 2014. Since then I finished the Greatcoats Quartet and the Spellslinger YA fantasy six-book series. As of 2019 I've had ten books published and am under contract for six more. Next up is a massive top-secret fantasy series titled . . .


I really enjoy speaking at conventions, bookstores, and library events. Though putting on a show is always fun for me, it's really the Q&A sessions that are always the most illuminating part of the event.

Rock & Roll

The one job I've kept doing from the age of nineteen until today is performing live music. I play with a number of bands, including a Beatles tribute and a zany 80's show.


Travel is one my favourite pastimes, especially with the love of my life, Christina. Both our jobs involve a fair number of trips each year, so we try to come along on each other's journeys and sneak in a little extra adventure along the way.


I'm an existentialist humanist stoic, which means that while I don't think the universe holds any objective meaning, I choose to believe in the intrinsic value of human beings and I try my best to focus on being accountable for my own actions and not those of others. Also, I flunked philosophy in university.

Upcoming Events

I'd be delighted to speak at your conference or event whether as part of a panel, delivering keynotes, or offering masterclasses. I spent a decade teaching at Vancouver Film School and designing curriculum, so it's always a pleasure to be in front of enthusiastic readers and writers. If you're interested in having me at your event, get in touch!

Contact Sebastien


  • Is Sebastien de Castell your real name?

    Yes, it really is my name. I'm not sure why so many people think it was concocted by a Madison Avenue advertising agency tasked with devising the most-fantasy-author-name-ever, but I'll bet none of those distrusting folks had to get beat up as a kid for having a sissy name.

  • When does your next book come out?

    You can find my upcoming books on the home page.

  • Do you write in other genres?

    I love weird detectives—the ones that are defective to the core but somehow use their flaws to make themselves brilliant investigators. I’m working on a mystery novel with a character I really enjoy and I’m hoping will come to life sometime in the next two years. I wrote a thriller/horror with a friend of mine a couple of years ago and we’re debating whether to give it another draft. Alas, both our writing schedules are pretty full right now.

  • Why do your books come out in the UK before the US?

    The publishing rights are sold separately to each region, so, in effect, it’s a different publisher in every country. Each of those publishers have their own schedules and times they think their books will do best in the market. Alas, I have no control over this process!

  • What's your least favourite author question?

    Same as all other authors: "where do you get your ideas from?"

  • Where do you get your ideas from?

    Glad you asked! They come from my brain.