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Philip Caveney
Philip Caveney
"When you are ‘in’ the film, everything is real… and you must get out before the final credits roll or you will be trapped there forever."

All About Philip Caveney

Philip Caveney was born in North Wales in 1951 – after a successful career as a writer of adult thrillers, he turned his hand to writing for younger readers in 2007.

Philip Caveney spent his childhood travelling the UK and the far east and is now settled in Edinburgh. He is the author of 10 books for children, including the Sebastian Darke series, which has been published all around the world. His latest series, the Movie Maniacs adventures, tells of a very special cinema where children can go into films and interact with its characters. But beware! When you are ‘in’ the film, everything is real… and you must get out before the final credits roll or you will be trapped there forever.

When Philip was thirteen years old, he read a book by American fantasy author, Ray Bradbury. The book was called Something Wicked This Way Comes and it changed Philip’s life. ‘I knew, right then and there, that I wanted to be a writer,’ he explains. ‘So I set about trying to do exactly that. I began with short stories and worked my way up to novels. The good news is it only took about ten years to get my first book published!’

Philip began as a writer for grown-ups and never thought about writing for children – until one day, his eleven year old daughter, Grace, picked one of his crime novels off the shelf and asked if she could read it! ‘To tell you the truth, I panicked,’ admits Philip. ‘I virtually ripped the book out of her hands and told her it wasn’t suitable for somebody of her age. She got a bit upset and to try and rescue the situation, I offered to write a book ‘just for her.’ The result was Sebastian Darke: Prince Of Fools, which became an instant success and spawned a series of sequels.

‘Writing for children set my imagination free,’ says Philip. ‘And I have my daughter to thank for it.’

Philip’s School Visits

Philip works with key stage two through to key stage five.
Events usually last 45-60 mins and comprise a showing of the exciting movie-style film trailer for Night On Terror Island, a talk about how he became a children’s author, a lively Q&A session. These events can accommodate large numbers of children – 300 students and more is fine!


Philip is also happy to provide writing workshops for smaller groups (up to 30 students) where he helps them to take their first steps in creating characters and writing their dialogue.

When Philip visits a school, he’s very keen to point out that the day belongs to you – in other words, he’ll do his best to fit in with your individual requirements. Need a whole-school address? No problem. Want him to work with a series of smaller groups, creating their own work? You’ve got it. Like him to sit down with a bunch of would-be authors and share tips about how to get their work published?  It’s done.

Philip also offers ghost story writing workshops

Philip’s Books

 Writing under the name of Danny Weston

The Piper


On the eve of World War Two, Peter and Daisy are evacuated from the safety and security of their familiar home in London, to a remote farmhouse in the wilds of Romney Marsh. From the moment they arrive, they are aware that something evil haunts The Grange..

What is everyone here so afraid of? Who plays the eerie music that can only be heard late at night? And why is Daisy so irresistibly drawn to it?

As Peter uncovers a dark family secret, he begins to realize that his younger sister is in terrible danger… and that to save her he must face an ancient curse…

Sebastian Darke: Prince Of Fools: Bodley Head/Red Fox: ‘Fast paced, funny and studded with sparkling buffalope one-liners this is perfect reading for Shrek fans.’ – Boys Into Book


The Haunting of Jessop Rise


Alone and penniless after his father is killed in a cotton mill accident, fourteen-year-old William faces the rest of his childhood in a brutal workhouse. Then his long-estranged uncle Seth sends for him, and William thinks his fortunes are changing.

But arriving at Uncle Seth’s grand house in North Wales, Jessop Rise, William encounters a ghostly figure. It soon becomes clear that the place is haunted by more than just one ghost.

But who are the spectral creatures that prowl about the estate? What are they trying to tell William? And what is the dark secret that Uncle Seth has been keeping for so long? As William uncovers the clues, he finds himself caught up in a dark and terrifying mystery.



Jack and his dad are runaways. Jack’s father recently turned whistleblower, revealing the truth about the illicit dealings of some powerful people. Realising that he and Jack might be in danger, Dad drives them to a remote shooting lodge in the Scottish Highlands, where they intend to lay low.

In the cornfield beside the lodge stands a scarecrow. When Jack witnesses something incredible, he begins to realise that it is no ordinary scarecrow – it is alive, hungry and fuelled by rage. And when Dad’s enemies begin to converge on the lodge, the scarecrow might just turn out to be Jack’s best hope of survival.

Reviews and Recommendations

The Sebastian Darke Books

“This is a fast, funny story that will grip readers from the very first page.” Red Fox Reviews

“…zips along with plenty of jokes and outrageous moments of melodrama. A sequel involving pirates is promised soon; readers who enjoy this book, and there should be many, can start looking forward to it now.” Nicolas Tucker, Times Educational Supplement.

“Fast paced, funny and studded with sparkling buffalope one-liners this is perfect reading for Shrek fans.” Boys Into Books

 The Alec Devlin Books 

“Fabulous read – this book, set in Egypt in 1923, will keep you up at night wanting to read the next page. Five out of five stars” Betty Bookmark

“…a cracking tale which combines sureness of touch with a great sense of timing…Don’t pick up this book unless you’ve definitely got time to finish it. It demands to be read at one sitting. Adventures don’t come much more gripping than this.” Phil Hewitt, The Chichester Observer Online
“Tombs, hyenas, live scarab beetles and mystery. What more could anyone want? Set in Egypt in the 1920’s and mixes established archaeology with a story of a different kind…A captivating and extraordinary volume. Adventure by the sandy spadeful. Not for the delicately minded. Five stars.” Sue Chambers, Waterstones, Harrods
The Movie Maniacs Books

“This book a sure-fire winner, and readers will look forward eagerly to any sequels. Thoroughly recommended, for both boys and girls.” The Bookbag

“Night on Terror Island is a gripping, fast-paced story full of action, adventure, magic, hungry saber-toothed tigers and killer Neanderthals.  It’s clear that Philip Caveney loves movies and the magic that they bring to children and adults.” My Best Friends Are Books – New Zealand


Awards and Nominations

‘The Haunting of Jessop Rise’ (written as Danny Weston)

Won the Uxbridge Book Award and the Hillingdon Book of the Year Award 2017

It has been Shortlisted for the Scottish Teen Book Prize, the Calderdale Book Award, the Tir Na Nog Award, the Warwickshire SLS Secondary Book Award and Nottingham Brilliant Book Award. It has also been nominated for a Carnegie Medal.


Danny’s most recent release, Scarecrow has been shortlisted for the Essex Book Award.

To Make a Booking

To make an enquiry about Philip Caveney, or any of the other authors, poets & illustrators listed on this website, please phone Trevor Wilson on +44 (0) 1535 656015, or email him at