Chris Priestley decided at the age of nine that the thing he most wanted was to write and illustrate his own book. After leaving art college at Manchester he worked at first as an editorial illustrator, caricaturist, and cartoonist for a number of newspapers and magazines including The Times and the Observer. Then in 2000, Dog Magic! the first book he had both written and illustrated, was nominated for the Children’s Book Award. He has since written many more titles for children, including more recently the wonderfully eerie Tales of Terror series and his love of ghost stories and the supernatural have led to his writing and illustrating a number of titles in the genre for Barrington Stoke including Still Water and Seven Ghosts. His Maudlin Towers series (Bloomsbury) takes a more comic line and tone.
He also illustrated the acclaimed YA novel by Jason Reynolds Long Way Down (Faber). Throughout his career he has also continued to exhibit as a painter and provided illustrations for theatre posters, books and TV. Chris says: "I’ve been lucky enough to illustrate three YA novels - two of my own (Superpowerless and Anything That Isn't This for Hot Key) and Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down (for Faber). I like the idea of illustration helping to establish the mood of a book - almost like music in a film - and I would like to illustrate for adults. I have a particular interest in Gothic and uncanny literature. I have worked in most areas of illustration, from political cartoons to theatre posters, but I’d still like to do some picture books and, as a lifelong fan of comics, a graphic novel. As a walker, nature-lover and painter, often of landscapes, I’d also like to do an illustration project related to the British countryside.
Chris lives and works in Cambridge.
Agent: Philippa Milnes-Smith