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We were thrilled to welcome former Bristol Grammar School pupil Jeremy Levett back to BGS on Wednesday (5 December) to talk to pupils about his new book, The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines. Jeremy co-authored the book with Philip Reeve, creator of the Mortal Engines quartet of books.
A long-time fan of the Mortal Engines series, Jeremy met Philip Reeve at a BGS literary event in 2009, a year after he left the school. After talking to Philip at the event, the pair subsequently kept in touch and, when publishers Scholastic suggested creating The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines to Philip Reeve, he knew he couldn’t write it alone, and that the person he wanted to write it with was Jeremy.
Reflecting on the project, Philip Reeve commented: “Jeremy’s a long-time fan of the books, but his mind works in a completely different way to mine…Jeremy also has the ability to write all this stuff in a way that’s both funny and informative. He has a glittering literary career ahead of him if he wants one, and I’m proud that it began in the world of Mortal Engines.”
Scholastic commissioned the book to coincide with the release of the film adaptation of Mortal Engines. Produced by Lord of the Rings Director Peter Jackson, who also co-wrote the screenplay, the film had its premiere in London on 27 November and, thanks to his involvement in the book, Jeremy was invited to attend, getting to meet Peter Jackson and the film’s stars.
Speaking about his return to BGS, Jeremy said: "Despite all the encouragement of my teachers and the BGS librarians, ten years ago I didn't really believe I'd ever actually be a published author. But it turns out they were right, and I was wrong. The Illustrated World has been a wonderful project to work on, and I'm so proud to have my name on the cover. I'm excited to be back to the place it all started – and I hope someone in my audience will be talking about their book in ten years' time.”
As well as catching up with former teachers while at BGS, Jeremy also held a lunchtime Q&A session open to all pupils, and ran a workshop with our Sixth Form Creative Writing students. He was also kept very busy signing copies of the book for pupils and staff alike. We are very grateful to Jeremy for his time and so very generously sharing his insight in the world of Mortal Engines.