Jonathan Stroud was born in Bedford, England and grew up in St Albans. After graduating from York University he embarked on a publishing and writing career in the game book and non-fiction department at Walker Books. He moved to Kingfisher Publications to edit children's non-fiction, and for a time juggled working with writing; but Stroud is now a full-time writer.
In May 1999, Stroud burst onto the childrens book scene with his first novel, Buried Fire. His second fantasy adventure, The Leap, was published in January 2001 as part of the new Definitions list. 2003 saw the publication of a brand new novel, the first title of The Bartimeus Trilogy called The Amulet of Samarkand, an enthralling new fantasy trilogy about a wickedly witty and thoroughly irresistible "djinni." The Last Siege, published in October 2006, tells the tale of a chance encounter on the snowy slopes of a castle moat which throws together three lonely teenagers whose playful dares turn into a frenzy of nightmarish action when a re-enactment of a castle siege becomes very real.
This biography was last updated on 07/03/2011.
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Jonathan Stroud, author of the Bartimaeus Trilogy, discusses his life and his books
Please tell us about background
I was born in Bedford, England, on 27th October 1970. When I was six my family moved to St Albans, near London, which is where I grew up. From very early on I enjoyed scribbling stories and drawing, and for a long time the two sides were equally balanced: pictures interested me as much as words. Between the ages of seven and nine I was quite often ill, and spent long periods in hospital and at home in bed. During this time I escaped from boredom and frustration by reading furiously: books littered my bedroom floor like bones in a lion's cave. I tended to enjoy stories of magical adventure more than ones about real life I think this was because they provided a more complete escape and around this time I fell in love with fantasy.
Throughout my school years I experimented with different kinds of writing, often illustrated. (See Early Stuff for some examples.) I tried comics, gamebooks, board games, and later poems and plays. Without being entirely aware of it, I was searching for the kind of writing that suited me best. Meanwhile, I was getting more and more ...
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