Below Zero

A fresh and exciting no-holds-barred thriller by award-winning author Dan Smith.

When Zak’s plane crash-lands on Outpost Zero, a small Antarctic research base in one of the most isolated places on Earth, he discovers a cold, dark nightmare. The power’s out and the people who live there have disappeared. Worse, as he searches for answers, bizarre visions suggest a link to something else – deep beneath the ice – which only he can understand …

NaNoWriMo Nov Day 20: Dan Smith

Posted by Jazz on Sunday November 20th, 2016

Today Dan Smith – author of no less than FOUR Chicken House books, including Big Game and his most recent novel, Boy X – has stopped by the blog to share his top tips for aspiring writers.

What would be your five top tips to budding writers?

1. Read, read, read. If you’re not a reader, it’s a pretty safe bet that you’ll never be a writer.

2. Write, write, write. It sounds obvious, but you’ll never be a writer if you don’t write anything - and, like many other things, writing takes practice.

3. Write with confidence and assurance and let your imagination run wild. Write the kind of book you would want to read.

4. Don’t wait for inspiration. Just write.

5. Be yourself and don’t spend too much time listening to advice from other writers.

For those hoping to take part in NaNoWriMo or enter the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition, what would be your best tip for writing something every day?

Just write. Don’t give up. Writing is hard work and there will be times when you don’t feel like it, but you need to find a time, sit down, and write. The words you put onto the page might be the most awful rubbish you have ever written (or they might be the most excellent) but they will be words on the page and you will be closer to your goal. Words on the page can be reshaped or deleted during the editing process, but no writing is just a blank page. So don’t ever give up.

Enter the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition to be in with a chance of winning a £10,000 publishing contract! 

Dan Smith: writing tips

Posted by Jazz on Friday February 19th, 2016

To celebrate the publication of the thrilling edge-of-your-seat adventure Boy X, author Dan Smith shares his tips for aspiring writers!  (more…)

New February Books!

Posted by Jazz on Friday February 5th, 2016

This month, we have strange islands, invisible animals and tantalising mysteries abound! Our February books are a wonderful mix of edge-of-your-seat thrilling, ethereally magical and code-crackingly adventurous. Here's a round-up of what's out this month! 
(more…)

Boy X

Kidnapped and drugged, Ash wakes up on a remote tropical island. His mum – a genetic scientist – has been imprisoned and infected with a deadly virus.

Where is he, and what’s he doing there? He sets out to cross the jungle to find out and rescue his mother. Soon he realises he’s quicker and sharper than before. But there’s something else ... why are the animals watching him, and how can he use the jungle to his advantage?

The new novel from the author of Big Game – now a major movie starring Samuel L. Jackson. 

Dan Smith

Growing up, Dan Smith lived three lives: the day-to-day humdrum of boarding school, finding adventure in the padi fields of Asia and the jungles of Brazil, and in a world of his own, making up stories.

Dan's Chicken House novels include My Friend the Enemy, My Brother's Secret and Big Game, the latter of which is now a major movie starring Samuel L. Jackson. His fourth novel for Chicken House, Boy X, published in 2016, and his newest novel Below Zero is publishing January 2018.

Dan lives in Newcastle with his wife and two children.

My Brother's Secret

Germany, 1941. 12-year-old Karl Friedmann is looking forward to joining the Hitler Youth, like all boys his age.

But when his father is killed, his rebellious older brother Stefan shows him things that leave his faith in the Führer shaken.

Who is the real enemy? What is the meaning of the flower sewn inside his brother’s jacket?

Karl soon finds out when he gets involved in a dangerous rebellion ...

My Friend The Enemy

Summer, 1941. For Peter, the war is a long way away, being fought by a faceless enemy.

Until the night a German plane is shot down over woods that his missing dad once looked after before he went off to fight.

Peter rushes to the crash site, where he finds a young and injured German airman.

And helping him seems like the only right thing to do ...