In England & France for the Summer

Doing a bit of traipsing about England and France, visiting with publishers and discussing various new series in the YA fantasy and thriller genres. Of course, sometimes there’s no way to avoid getting in the occasional theatre play . . .

Here’s a fun fact: Britain and France have been to war against each other 23 separate times.


Recent Comments

  • Jeffery
    November 26, 2019 - 6:29 pm · Reply

    I would like to say I enjoy books so much they are probably the only ones I have bothered to buy instead of borrowing it from the library.
    Though this is unrelated to this blog post, I would like ask how you come up with ideas for a series and how you write the first paragraph and first scene in each series. The first few lines of Spellslinger pretty much conveyed the atmosphere of the entire series, and gave me enough information to want to read more. How do think of a suitable way to start such a big series?

    • decastell
      November 27, 2019 - 6:38 am · Reply

      Glad you’re enjoying the books!

      Your question is rather a big one, but in a way the answer is already embedded within it. You write that first page by asking yourself what the reader needs to know in order to come into the story (since they’re always coming into a story partway through your character’s life). I tend to focus more on tone in my openings than a lot of writers, who focus more on plot. That’s because I need the reader to understand what it feels like to be this character and I need them to understand how the character sees the world around them. So with Kellen, he’s obsessed with what’s missing about him and how that affects his life.

      As far as opening action is concerned, I usually look for something that–whether fantastical or not–is something we can all relate to in some way. Most of us can remember the feeling of being terrified after school because someone challenged us to a fight, and that horrible walk from class to wherever the fight was to take place. That’s basically what happens to Kellen at the beginning of the series, and grounds his concerns in ones many of us can relate to.

      Hope that helps!

    • Jack Humphrey
      December 21, 2019 - 7:42 pm · Reply

      A massive fan of the spellslinger series here in London! I’ve reread all of them several times and they are always my first choice when I go on trips! Kellen’s adventures ALWAYS keep me on my toes and the last book left me utterly speechless! This is pretty off topic for this article but I’m a budding DM for a dungeons and dragons campaign and would love to pick your brain in an attempt to create a Hextracker playable class for my players! Let me know!

      • decastell
        December 22, 2019 - 4:43 pm · Reply

        I’m thrilled to hear you’ve enjoyed Spellslinger so much, Jack!

        As to D&D and such, alas, I’m not an expert on class creation. More importantly, author contracts are pretty specific about us not doing anything that could be interpreted as violating anything we licence to our publishers (which includes things like gaming rights). So I’m not much help on that score, I’m afraid.

  • Maria
    December 7, 2019 - 9:59 pm · Reply

    I have truly enjoyed reading your books, in fact you are on a very short list of writers that I will buy any book written before I have had a chance to preview it. I have recommended you to anyone who loves fantasy.

    • decastell
      December 8, 2019 - 11:51 am · Reply

      Thanks so much, Maria! That means a lot to me. I’ve got two books scheduled to come out next year, so lots more to come!

  • Natael
    February 3, 2020 - 10:15 am · Reply

    Hello mister decastell I am really happy to be able to speak to you because I love your anti magician series. These are the best books I have ever read. I am French and I am lucky because it has been translated into my language. It was to find out if I could make animated films from your “anti magician” books. (even if I am only 13 years old like Shalla Kelen’s sister and even if my computer is not yet installed) thank you in advance for your answer.

    • decastell
      February 3, 2020 - 3:48 pm · Reply


      Thanks for writing. I’m very happy to hear you’re enjoying the Spellslinger books (or “L’Anti-Magicien” as I know they’re called in French). I’ve been very happy with the French versions of the books—they have wonderful covers and the translator is excellent.

      You asked about permission to make animated films from the series. Alas, when an author sells a book to a publisher, often the rights they sell include what we call in English “dramatic rights”—these are the rights to make films or animations from the books. So I don’t actually have the ability to give anyone permission to make films or animations or other stories from the series. My experience has been that if you’re making something small for yourself and your family or friends, publishers don’t usually mind. They only get concerned when those projects get put out on the Internet or when they’re used to make money, as that could make it harder for the publishers to sell the rights later to a film or animation studio.

      Hope that helps!



  • Monique
    July 12, 2020 - 8:37 am · Reply

    Bonjour Sebastien,
    Juste ce petit mot pour vous dire que je suis devenue complètement FAN de l’Anti-magicien. Je l’ai découvert il y a une semaine et j’en suis au tome 4! Félicitations pour cet univers original (ce qui est difficile tant il y a de livres Jeunesse) ,vos personnages profonds et tellement attachants ET l’esprit de vos livres. Cet esprit Argosi qui est une pure merveille. Bravo!!! Et merci, il y a bien longtemps que je n’avais éprouvé un tel plaisir en lisant un roman jeunesse. Un seul souhait s’il vous plaît ne faites pas mourir Rakis!!!!!!! Best regards. Le Chemin de la sardine paresseuse.

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