John Peel

November 10, 2015

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John Peel was born in Nottingham, England (the home of Robin Hood) in 1954. He was a rather sickly child, so instead of playing games and sports, he read a lot. And reading a lot led Peel to want to create his own stories, so then he began to write a lot. Peel was 27 before he became a professional by selling his first story – a comic strip to Marvel Comics. He then managed to sell articles about British television shows to an American magazine, Fantasy Empire.

Peel moved to New York in 1981 to get married, and shortly after that, became the editor of Fantasy Empire. Peel’s first book came as a result of that, and then he started to write fiction. His first original novel was Uptime, Downtime – about two orphans who discover they have the ability to travel through time, but accidentally erase their own timeline in the process and have to attempt to change history back to the way it was meant to be, in 1992, and Peel has been writing novels ever since. Peel’s original works include:

The Diadem series: a game-like series of novels in which the main characters must travel to and complete challenges on different planets;
The Dragonhome series: a sister and brother each have Talents, which are considered dangerous in their world. They are on the run from the Kings Men, who want them in their army, and must seek sanctuary at Dragonhome, in which they discover strange noises in the night and a deadly secret hidden in the castle;
The Magical States of America: What if there was another world that existed alongside our own that was almost the same as ours, but twisted in a different direction? A world where they used magic to live their everyday lives instead of science, as we do? A world where there’s another you, but of the opposite sex? This book series imagines just that…
2099: Cloning, computer hackers, and a secret society dedicated to taking over the world…
Shockers: a series of horror stories, each with a completely unpredictable ending…
Foul Play: Childrens games gone wrong… and deadly…

In addition to his extensive original works, Peel has also written numerous television, movie and video-game tie-in stories, including Dr Who, The Outer Limits, Star Trek, James Bond Jr, The Avengers, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, The Secret World of Alex Mac, Eerie Indiana, Carmen Sandiego and Star Wars. While most authors get their start selling short stories, Peel admits to never having been able to do things quite the same way as others, so it was some time after his novels that Peel managed to sell his first short stories. Among his short stories are “The Tales of the Shadowmen”, a series which takes characters from French literature and stories set in France, and gives them new life. To this day Peel has still sold more novels than short stories!

Currently John Peel lives on Long Island with his wife and menagerie of dogs. The Peels have been active in helping to rescue abandoned and unwanted Miniature Pinschers for several years and as a result, ended up keeping the ones they couldn’t find homes for.

Leapers will know John Peel best as the author of the Quantum Leap novel “Independence”, and Peel has been more than happy to discuss his time writing “Independence” and his many other published works. So now please sit back and enjoy Hayden’s conversation with John Peel.

 

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