Tag Archives: OUP Oxford

Guest Post – F is for … The A-Z of Railhead by Phillip Reeve


I have recently been sent a copy of Railhead by Philip Reeve.  The blurb alone on this book has me intrigued and I have heard very good things on twitter about this book!  I am so excited to read it soon!

I was contacted by the lovely Liz Scott to see if I would like to be part of the A-Z of Railhead blog tour for this book!  I immediately replied yes!  I need to know more about the world of Railhead!

Today I have Philip Reeve talking to me about F is for Flex!

*Hands over to Philip*

About Railhead


“Come with me, Zen Starling”, she had said. The girl in the red coat. But how did she know his name?
The Great Network is a place of drones and androids, maintenance spiders and Station Angels. The place of the thousand gates, where sentient trains criss-cross the galaxy in a heartbeat. Zen Starling is a petty thief, a street urchin from Thunder City. So when mysterious stranger Raven sends Zen and his new friend Nova on a mission to infiltrate the Emperor’s train, he jumps at the chance to traverse the Great Network, to cross the galaxy in a heartbeat, to meet interesting people – and to steal their stuff. But the Great Network is a dangerous place, and Zen has no idea where his journey will take him…

F is for…. Flex

When I decided that my space story was going to feature trains rather than spaceships, one of the things which sprang to mind was graffiti. I remembered seeing pictures in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s of the elaborate tags and logos which used to appear on the sides of New York subway trains – deeply vexing to the owners and operators of New York subway trains, no doubt, but clearly the work of some kind of outlaw visionaries.  Will Hermes’s book Love Goes To Building On Fire, a cultural history of those times, includes a vivid vignette about the Fab 5 crew and their creation of the first ‘worm’ – a ten-car train painted from end to end.


That’s where Flex came from; a mysterious figure, bundled up in second-hand clothes, who emerges from the mist and fumes of Cleave to spray pictures on the sides of trains as they wait to go through the city’s single K-gate. I didn’t know what part Flex was going to play in the story; I didn’t even know if s/he was a girl or a boy, but I knew that the paintings would have to be pretty good to please the wise old trains. The trains in Railhead are sentient, and they don’t take kindly to anyone simply writing their name on them, or scrawling random rude words. Flex is more ambitious than that; a Picasso of the rail yards whose work the trains are proud to carry with them on their travels. Flex is a secretive figure, lurking in the industrial shadows of Cleave, and never riding the K-bahn. But I like to think that, in stations at the far end of the network, art-lovers stop to watch as the painted trains go by, and are excited when they see a new masterpiece from the unknown genius of Thunder City.

Mind you, a story about people graffiti-tagging spaceships would also be cool…


About Philip Reeve


Philip Reeve was born and raised in Brighton, where he wrote his first story at the tender age of five about a spaceman called Spike and his dog Spook. He is a talented illustrator and writer, and he has illustrated several titles in the Horrible Histories series. Philip is best known for his multi award-winning Mortal Engines quartet, which won the Nestlé Children’s Book Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award, and the Guardian Children’s Book Award. Philip has also won the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal with Here Lies Arthur.

Check out this fab post about Railhead over on Philip’s website here

Find out more about Philip Reeve on his website www.philip-reeve.com

Or why not follow Philip on twitter using @philipreeve1

A huge thank you to Philip for telling us all about Flex and to Liz Scott and OUP Oxford for having me on this A-Z Blog Tour!

You can but Railhead here or from your local book shop!

Have you read Railhead?  What did you think?  Are you a Philip Reeve fan?  I would love to hear from you!  Why not leave a comment using the reply button at the top of this post or tweet me on twitter using @chelleytoy !


Tales Quiz – Which Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face Character are you?


Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 1Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 2








Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 3274273_STINKBOMB_BEES_FC








I am super excited to be a part of the UKMG Extravaganza Blog Tour and if you haven’t guessed already I have been paired up with the brilliant and hilarious John Dougherty!

The UKMG Extravaganza is taking place in Nottingham on the 17th October 2015 and is featuring all of these amazing authors!

UKMGX October Poster FINAL (3)

You can keep up to date on the blog tour here

When I was paired with John I knew I was going to have a lot of fun!

His books are funny, brilliant and illustrated by the awesome David Tazzyman who’s illustrations also include Mr Gum!

What more could I possibly ask for?!

Well okay…how about finding out which character from Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face you are most like!

Oh go on then!

About The Series

Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 1

Hey you! No, not you – the person behind you. No, not him either. Left a bit, left a bit more . . . You! Oh for goodness sake . . . never mind . . .

Dear Everyone (including you!)!

Welcome to the world of Great Kerfuffle!

It’s really great. And there’s usually a kerfuffle (the clue’s in the name really).

Come and join our intrepid heroes Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face as they set off on a highly dangerous and nail-biting adventure (or it may just be very silly and mildly perilous!). Oh, and there might be a few dodgy badgers hanging about too . . .

Meet the funniest collection of characters ever known to mankind in this stupendously hilarious book that will make you laugh your socks off, and quite possibly your ears too.

Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 2

Oi! You at the back! Yes, you! Stop mucking about and get a move on. Some of us are waiting to get
going on this quest you know! These magic porcupines are pretty hard to find, so pay attention and
stick with our fearless heroes, Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face.
It could take many years for us to finish our gigantic quest, or it could take just under 200 pages, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be back in time for tea, ’cause we’ll be starving by then . . .

With a host of unforgettable characters such as . . . ummm . . . old what’s her face and . . . errrr . . . young fellow-me-lad, this is nail-biting and thumb-sucking adventure that will leave you laughing and cheering and quite possibly really fancying a banana!

Stinkbomb and KetchupFace Book 3

Psst! Psst! Psssssst!!! OI, YOU!!
Do you want to know a secret? Well? Do you? It’s a good one . . . honest. You’ll never believe it. It’s so unbelievably unbelievable and soooooo secret. You have to promise not to tell ANYONE. Well? Do you? Cross your heart and hope to die (or at least pass out for a few minutes). OK . . . here goes. You know those badgers? You’ll never guess what they’ve been up to this time . . .

With more twists and turns than a pizza delivery guy on an oil slick, this amazing adventure will leave you hungry for more (pizza) . . .


Ssh! Keep the noise down! Shut Uuuuuppp!!! Thanks . . .
There are strange things happening on the island of Great Kerfuffle. Listen carefully . . . can you hear that humming noise? It’s getting louder . . . and louder . . . it’s coming this way! I think we’d better LEG IT!!
Oh, hang about, here come our heroes, Stinkbomb and Ketchup-Face to save us. They’re sure to know what’s beehind all this strange beehaviour. Let’s hope they don’t buzz off beefore the end of the story!

About The Illustrator


David Tazzyman lives in South London with his partner Melanie and their 3 sons, Stanley, Atticus and Albert …. He grew up in Leicester, studied illustration at Manchester Metropolitian University and then travelled around Asia for three years before moving to London in 1997.
He likes football, cricket, biscuits, music and drawing. He dislikes celery and changing nappies.

Would you like to see what David gets up to when he’s not drawing baddies with big ginger beards, goblins and the like?

Then visit his website at www.davidtazzyman.com

(Credit to http://www.mrgum.co.uk/illustrator/)

Which character are you most like? 

Take the quiz to find out and share your results with us on twitter or leave a comment.

If you cannot see the quiz below click here and scroll down

About John Dougherty

John Dougherty

John Dougherty was born in Larne, Northern Ireland. He studied psychology at university and then tried his hand at a number of jobs including YMCA hostel worker, factory machine operator, and unsuccessful singer-songwriter, before becoming a primary school teacher (elementary school teacher if you’re in the United States, which he wasn’t).

Whilst John was teaching, his interest in children’s literature was reawakened and he soon began writing stories and pestering publishers with them. After the publication of Zeus on the Loose (2004) he left teaching and took up writing full-time, only with more tea breaks.

His books have been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards – and one was chosen by The Times as one of the Best Children’s Books of the Year 2011 – but, more importantly, they make children giggle.

You can find more about John and his books on his website here

(he’s also a poet and a songwriter!)

Or why not follow John on twitter using @JohnDougherty8

You can also find out more about John’s books here which include…



Blog Tour

You can follow the rest of the blog tour below or why not check out my UKMG Extravaganza Blog Tour post here detailing all posts on the tour and authors attending the event!

UKMGX October Blog Tour Banner JPEG

You can find out more about the UKMG Extravaganza in Nottingham on the website here

Or follow them on twitter using @UKYAX

Or find out what we got up to at the Birmingham UKYA Extravaganza here

You can find out more about the Birmingham UKYA Extravaganza authors and the blog tour that took place here

Or why not catch up on the Nottingham UKMG Extravaganza Blog Tour posts and authors here


A huge thank you to John for being fab and making me laugh a lot!

Also a huge thank you to Kerry Drewery and Emma Pass for organising the UKMG Extravaganza and having me on the blog tour!

See you there!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...