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The hawk-eyed among you, or those who spend every free moment on Amazon googling my name (bless your little hearts), might have spotted the curious fact that, like, there’s this book out by me that I’ve barely even mentioned. Well, here’s the lowdown: I wrote PALE a while ago for an imprint called Barrington Stoke, who produce books targeted at reluctant and struggling readers or kids with dyslexia. I haven’t really talked about it much because I thought it was mainly going to be sold to schools and such, and also because I didn’t want it  to be confused with my usual output, since it’s a very different kind of book. But since it’s out there in the big wide world now, it’s time for Pale to take a bow.

Now listen y’all. This book was written for a specialist market. It’s very short, and the language and story are much, much simpler than the books you’re used to reading from me. If you’re curious, or if you’re a completist, or if there’s someone you know who’s a struggling reader and might like this sorta thing, then by all means pick it up; it’s a creepy little sci-fi tale that may tickle your fancy. But if you’re expecting something in the vein of Malice or Alaizabel, you’ll be disappointed. I wouldn’t want anyone spending their hard-earned readies and then being gutted because of the content.

Currently dividing my time between Silver, which is getting near done, and Secret Movie Project no.30300256. Next on the slate is Ketty Jay 4. That’s 2012 taken care of, then…

Happy New Year!



  1. Karen Carlson says:

    Ooo! I’m definitely going to go out and buy Pale now (completest right here). Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve started some kind of cult following here in the US between all my friends and me. I don’t understand why you’re not more popular in the US, so I’m working on changing that one person at a time. But even more than that, I’ve spent more money on shipping money than on your books having them sent most of them from the UK to California. Haha. Oh well.

    So, my best friend and I are writers (*gasp!*) and we wanted to ask you how you get your motivation to write for so long everyday. And where did you gain the confidence to go back and look at that writing and go, “Yeah, that’s good. I like it.” We compulsively want to erase everything and have to fight not doing so.

    You’re awesome and stuff! Yay! That’s all.

    -Karen Carlson

  2. Hey Karen,

    I’m motivated every day by the thought that if I didn’t write, I’d have to get a real job. After I’m done with the cold sweats and shaking I work twice as hard to avoid that dreadful fate.

    Nah, seriously, I don’t know. I never needed to train myself into working; I guess I have a natural Puritan work ethic. And as to the confidence thing, well, I’ve never cared a great deal about what anyone thought of me, so that sort of helps. Besides, you can’t please everyone, so I guess I just write stories for myself.

    As an exercise in confidence building, I recommend reading something that’s atrociously badly written and yet inexplicably popular, just so you can say to yourself: ‘Well, my writing might not be perfect, but I’m damn sure it’s better than THAT.’

    Remember remember, does free shipping worldwide on books, including the US. You know it makes cents.

  3. Karen Carlson says:


    Holy bajeebus, I think Book Depository is my new favorite website. I just saved about $12 pre-ordering Pale compared to what it would’ve cost on This is fabulous. Thank you for the suggestion!

    You know, it’s funny that you suggested reading a popular book that’s not written very well, because Sara (my best friend) and I just read a book like that. I won’t say the title, but it’s a book much like The Hunger Games, but written from a much more angst-ridden, love-struck, teenage girl perspective.

    Something Sara and I both do on a regular basis to keep us writing throughout the crazy-ness of college is role-play. It’s great for reading a lot of different writing styles and developing new, creative characters. Not like Dungeons&Dragons, but more like collaborative story-telling (, Did you ever role-play?


    (P.S. I’m so excited you responded! Haha. And happy belated Friday the 13th.)

  4. Ashley says:

    Dear Chris,

    I know not any other way of contacting you or I would, so I will write you this comment and keep it as sort as possible. I will admit that I have only read one book that you have written, Poison. This is by far my absolute favourite book. I noticed it in the young adult section that I was passing on my way to the regular fiction (I am 26 years old). The purple jacket with its glowing letters popped out at me and I couldn’t ignore it. I picked it up, read the back, then put it down and walked away. Probably a year later I went back to the book and decided to purchase it on a whim. Best decision.

    It has been a few years since I have read the book now, yet I go back and read my favourite passage, (I had the purple hardcover p. 286 second paragraph…avoiding spoilers lol). Your book has touched me in so many ways. What I love most of all is the strength and maturity Poison has. There are books that are extremely popular but the lead character has as much strength as a feather.

    I am an aspiring writer and you inspire me everyday. I just wanted to you know that. Your work deserves more recognition that it gets over here (Canada). I just got The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray and I am so excited to dive into it and get lost in your words!

    Thank you!

  5. Jord says:

    hi how are you? when does pandemonium come out again? anyway i cannot wait for silver. it sounds awesome!!! is the malice movie coming along now?

  6. @ Karen – I did RP when I was a teenager, but it was the old school kind, AD&D and all that jazz. I can still throw a mean +3 Melf’s Acid Arrow when I’m angry.

    @ Ashley – Thanks! Hope you like Alaizabel. Less meta-text, more demons ;)

    @ Jord – I think it’s 1st Feb in the US: at least that was what I was told a while ago.

    Malice movie looks pretty much dead in the water I’m afraid: I warned y’all not to get your hopes up too much :(

  7. Kelly (Bluephoenix) says:

    I’m not sure I’ll go out of my way to read it myself (just ordered Iron Jackal though, finally!!), but I’m really excited that you worked on a project like this! I had a friend who was so embarrassed by her slow reading that she didn’t complete a full-length book until a few years ago when she finally made it all the way through Watchmen. I can’t imagine imagine a life without the escapism and engagement that is found in a good story. Having more serious literature for people who struggle to read is fantastic, and I’m so happy that a favorite author of mine is invested in it. :)

  8. Yeah, I figure this cancels out at least five evil things I’ve done ;)

    Nice to hear from you again. Give me a shout next time you’re over this side of the world.

  9. Timothy Beese says:

    Hi! I am a big fan, but of the Malice series, and I was wondering when exactly do you think that the movie of it will be coming out? I bet i’ll like it very much. Your really great, and I hope that you will actually reply to this, but bye Chris.

  10. Hey,

    Sadly, at the moment it’s looking like it never will. Another fine project lost to Development Hell. Tch.

  11. Maia says:

    Hi, my name is Maia and I am 10 years old and in fourth grade I LOVE your books and well the real reason I want to send a request is because I have to write biography in school on my favorite author and I chose you for it and I wanted to ask a few questions 1:Do you have any siblings. 2:why did you chose to be an author. 3:what are your parents names. 4:what books did you work the hardest on. well can you maybe send me some extra info?(you can email me from this email address
    Maia :)

  12. Jay says:

    Hi Chris,

    Big fan of your Ketty Jay series – I hunted through four different South East Asian cities trying to find it while on holidays (the Thai staff were lovely but struggled to pronounce or spell “Wooding”).

    I know it sounds selfish to ask, but any idea when the fourth book might come out? As a side note, I thought you’ve played out the Captain’s relationship rather well.

    Thank you!

  13. I can imagine they had a pretty hard time with my name :-/ I think Broken Sky got published in Thai, though I’ve no idea how my name turned out with that…

    4th book, I’m getting to it as fast as I can, but it’s difficult to say exactly when until I’ve cleared off some other projects which were queued up ahead of it. Somewhere in the latter half of next year seems likely; it depends how Gollancz’s publishing schedule shapes up.

  14. Aron says:

    Dear Chris,

    I just finished Retribution Falls a few days ago, It was highly recommended by a friend. I absolutely loved it and it inspired me to start writing my own stuff. There is nothing like being able to escape into your own little world.
    Cant wait to experience more adventures with the crew of Ketty Jay.
    Again thank you for the inspiration.

  15. Jord says:

    are you thinking of doing an booksignings in the next few months? if there is one in the lincolnshire area, i will definetly go. my school allows authors to come & do booksignings actually. perhaps you might want to come sometime. my school is the priory academy lsst. it would make my school day if you came.

  16. Seth De Grace says:

    Hey Chris.

    I’m 13, and absolutely adore your ‘Malice’ duo. I always enjoy a good thriller… Especially when the main character shares my name. I think what most kids enjoyed about it was that it made sense. I’m still working up the courage to do the ritual. :D I’m not going to ask about the ‘Malice’ movie, because I just looked up at some of the replies and well…. I’m more than disappointed. :( I’ve yet to read any of your other books, (But I think I’m leaning towards Alaizabel) but I HAVE, however, read both ‘Malice’ and ‘Havoc’. After the fifth time of reading ‘Malice’, I have one question. Whatever happened to Seth’s twisted ankle? I was wondering how he could just say, ‘Screw you all. My ankle’s fine.’ While traversing the oubliette…

    Anyway, Im just rambling now. Big fan, and if the ritual works, I’ll send you a post card, and say hi to Tatyana for you. See you on the other side… ;)

    ~A young fan

  17. Seth De Grace says:

    Oh, and my ‘made sense’ I meant, it was believable… ^^

  18. @ Jord – Sorry, no. I can’t go into schools, they make my skin smoke and burn ;) Seriously, I don’t do many signings, mostly because I just don’t have the time.

    @ Seth – Glad you liked ‘em. I can’t remember offhand, but I think Seth just turned his ankle in the Clock Tower rather than twisted it, cos he said he’d walk it off as they were leaving. Yeah, I probably should have mentioned that it hurt a bit though, but it’s one of those little details that authors forget. Kind of like how Harry Potter’s glasses never fall off even when he’s pulling 7 gees on a broomstick ;)

  19. Peter says:

    just wondering is there any content in the braided path series that would be inappropriate for people under 15. Just thought I’d ask seeing as you call a proper “Adult Novel”.


  20. Well, I guess it depends on your mileage for what age kids should be allowed access to uncensored stuff. But yes, there are some very horrible things in there, though implied rather than graphically described, and there’s a bit of sex, although again it’s fairly tame. If you’re in doubt, probably best not, although I was reading James Herbert books about psychopaths sawing the top of people’s heads off at age nine, so what do I know? ;) *twitches*

    Retribution Falls is more suitable, if you’re going for an adult novel of mine. Nothing much there to offend, apart from the protagonist’s general attitude :)

  21. Ashley says:

    Hi Chris, I have a question for you. I am currently writing a book, yet at the same time I have a million other story ideas that are running through my head. Have you ever been in a situation like this? If so how do you handle it? do you focus on the story your writing or do you try to multitask and write more than one book at the same time? Thanks!

  22. Never write more than one story at a time if you can help it. God knows I have to multitask like a mofo at times between books and scripts and whatever else, but never between two books. I can handle that because they’re totally separate styles of writing: if you do it with books, they’ll probably just end up turning into the same book as all the themes and characters bleed into one another.

    I know what the indecision is like, but at some point you have to just pick one and stick at it. There’ll come a point when it gets hard, and you get into the nitty-gritty of the the thing and maybe that idea you chose seems a bit less awesome than it was before and you start looking at other, newer, shinier ideas. But all those ideas will end up the same way. They just seem tempting because you haven’t had to work at them yet. Finish one, take what you learned from it, and go do another. By then the ideas you had in the first place will probably have been replaced by newer, better ones anyway.

  23. Katya says:

    *reads through the posts* Might as well jump into the bandwagon of asking questions about writing here. What I’d like to know is how do you come up with the names for your characters, places, ships, organizations, etc? whenever I try to think of something, all I come up with are lame things that have just come out of a child’s imagination, names that try to sound impressive but you actually roll your eyes at when you read it. Any tips?

  24. Sorry :-/ I guess I just make ‘em up. Consistency helps – ie don’t have RARGOR THE MIGHTY THEWED with A’ji’kkk”rrrrf”si if they’re from the same country. I guess you just get an ear for it; after you’ve read so many fantasy books, you spot the cliches. Or if in doubt, just subtly alter existing names: that way they always sound genuine…

    Or it might just be you’re being a bit hard on yourself. Things only seem cool in context, and names are only as good as the world they reflect. If you randomly came across a hero called Luke Skywalker or Han Solo you’d laugh your head off, but because you know them from Star Wars, you don’t.

  25. Peter says:

    Just wondering when you’re writing these books do you have to brainstorm for ages to get the ideas or do they just come naturally as you’re writing. You’re the best Chris.

  26. Bit of both, really. A lot of it is brainstormed out before I start writing, some is done on the way, and some turn up as little surprises.

  27. Kit says:

    Hey Chris!

    I’ve read some of your books, and I love them. You’re amazing. Might I ask if there is a third book coming in the ‘Malice’ trilogy? Also, I’m a young writer, and my constant problem that causes me to nix any story I start, is that they always sidetrack into a toony and un-realistic story, that jumps all over the place because i’m too impatient to take my time and REALLY describe the scene. You’ ever have this problem?

  28. Aidan says:

    Chris!!! I love your books. I have read Malice and Havoc about 10 times each, and I’m about to finish Poison. The writing is simply amazing. If you will, (because I can’t attach files to this reply) If you reply I can send back a special poster to you I made about malice.
    Agreed with Kit, Is there another book coming?
    and also, I heard malice is in a stage of a movie writing. What’s the status of that??

  29. Hey guys,

    Third book – probably not. I certainly wouldn’t get to it for at least a year and a half anyway, so by the time it came out you’d be grandparents.

    Malice movie – probably not. It certainly wouldn’t get going for at least a year and a half anyway, so by the time etc etc etc

    @ Kit – re: your writing problem, maybe it’d help if you planned it out a bit in advance instead of making it up as you’re going along? It’s much easier to tell if a story’s getting silly when you’re looking at it from the outside. Perhaps it would help to write a quick outline of what’s going to happen in the story, and then read it back to yourself, see if anything sounds dumb. That way you have a framework so you know where you’re going, and it’s easier to stay on track. Outlines are boring but believe me, they’re worth it in the end.

  30. Kelly (Bluephoenix) says:

    Well, this is a terrifically late response to your response, but I’m so pleased you remember me! Now that I know you remember me two years later, when my diabolic plans to move to the UK are complete (why they’re diabolical I don’t know…yet…) I will most definitely be bothering you. :)

  31. Luisa says:

    Please please please please please please make a third book to Malice! I just finished reading Havoc and I am dying of suspense! It was hardly an ending because (EDITED FOR SPOILERS) and I am about to have a mental breakdown!

  32. Edited your reply for spoilers so you don’t give away the ending to everyone else. Anyways, I kinda like it the way it is :/

  33. Sarah Joy says:

    I read the Malice books, they were freaking awesome! I love how you tied Graphic novel and Novel together and actually made it work. Your characters are all so different but make a great combo. Thanks so much for your writing, you inspire me big time!

  34. [...] Din ce am citit, The Iron Jackal nu este ultima parte a seriei Tales of the Ketty Jay. Chris Wooding lucreaza deocamdata la Pale. [...]

  35. emilio says:

    Dude…chriss im 16 years old and my whole life ive read you books and at the age of ten i started righting a book of my own. im not done but i would be honor if you could read my book and gave an honest opinion.also i like rp and do it often on a chat server called imvu. And i herd about malise and it realy makes ma sad because malise was one of my fav. Books

  36. emilio says:

    And to add from before if you ever in miami go to south west i have a fan club there we meet every tus. And thurs.

  37. emilio says:

    South west high school

  38. [...] simply weren’t enough for me. On the other hand, I am not exactly the target audience. See the disclaimer on Wooding’s website: “I wrote PALE a while ago for an imprint called Barrington Stoke, [...]

  39. Ilona says:

    Hi Chris,

    Would just like to say that I have read all your books and am determined to own them all.
    I have dyslexia and have just orderd pale. When I first startrd to read your books, although I found reading some of them hard ,they were beautiful written and just begged me to read them all. I love your books your my favorite author. And I just wanted to thank-you for taking the time to write a book such as this one, I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Many thanks!


  40. Lex says:

    Hya Chris, have just finished reading Pale with my students. They thought the book was brilliant! They discussed discrimination, prejudice, human rights and fear; all of which we could link to the characters in the book. They were so excited when they read the last chapter, but left a bit dissapointed in the cliff hanger ending. They wanted me to ask you if there was a sequel to Pale? For extended work related to the book, the students are now going to write the last chapter as they thought it would end. All their work will be printed out and put on display. We could just have some budding writers of the future within our mist!

  41. Hi Lex,

    Glad your students enjoyed the book. No, there’s no sequel. I didn’t think the ending was a cliffhanger, myself: everything was tied up pretty neatly as far as I could see. But maybe they can do better ;)

  42. Kuzuno says:

    I’ve done very well with writing about things about things like an animated story like all of the Japanese cartoons or anime. So I was wondering how did you come up with the book Malice, the book interested me so much that when I got done reading it I just had to find out how you came up with it.

    I have been practicing on my skills of writing books though I haven’t tried publishing one yet maybe sometime I could send you a copy of one of my stories. If I get the chance to do so if you could please read over it and if you can make suggestions my email is So if you can please send me some ideas for it whenever I get the chance to send the story and please, please tell me a bit about how you developed Malice.

    The book was too interesting so I just couldn’t help but finding out how it was developed. Thank you for listening.

  43. Sarah says:

    Please write more books like Pale. I am currently reading it to my class of Year 6 children. All abilities are loving it- in particular the boys. The short chapters make a nice change and really keep the children wanting more. It’s a fantasic resources – like I say – for any ability. There’s so much you can get out of it for reading comprehension, writing and some great themes for PHSE.

  44. Heather Simone says:

    Hi Chris
    I’m an avid reader and own all of your books as well as about 800 others but you have a way of writing that no matter how many times I re read your books they are amazing. Keep up the hard work. You are by far my favourite author.

  45. Ozzie says:

    I am mad. Write another MALICE book. NOW. Do it. Do it. I triple-dog-dare you. Do it. NOW. I’m 11, so I won’t be a grandparent when it comes out. Maybe call it AGONY? That’s all I want. I don’t care how long it takes. Write it when you’re done with Silver, okay?

  46. oliver jones says:

    Hey chris:) Im a big fan of malice and Im just over half way through havoc and I have to admit ur work with books is very captivating and Im nearly 17 aswell. Just a quick ponder, what would you think of actually making a malice comic series? Just a thought as it would be mega. And Im really looking foward to what happens in the book cheers :)

  47. oguzhan says:

    realy good book ilove it nice ye yooo good man ui liked good luck so dionne.

  48. emma says:

    Hi im a student and im in 8th grade. i just finished reading your book Pale and i loved it alot. i want to know if theres a movie . but your a very good writer

  49. emma says:

    i have picked your book to do a book report on cuz i really love it. when i started reading your book Pale i didnt wanna put it down at all. only thing is i didnt really like the ending and i wish u made the story longer but besides that your book was great. :)

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