Glad you dropped by! Mind if I tell you about my brand new book?  Thanks. It’s called CHESSBOXER and is about a snarky and rebellious chess prodigy who takes up chessboxing. You can read reviews of it here, including a Kirkus *starred* review, which I’m told is a very nice thing to get. 

CHESSBOXER is my nineteenth published book. You can find out about the others here

At primary school I enjoyed Brer Rabbit, The Twits and the Just William series. I read them over and over and loved them literally to bits. In secondary school I chose mostly thrillers and whodunits: books by Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean and Arthur Conan Doyle. In my late teens I discovered Coleridge, Hemingway and a raft of other wonderful writers too numerous to mention. I fell in love with words and ideas, and began to read voraciously. I started to write, too, filling whole exercise books with inelegant haiku and wildly improbable stories.

Sophie and the Albino Camel, published by Andersen PressI have had a few different jobs over the years: apple picker, rice farmer, English teacher and radio producer. Through all those seasons of life, I continued to read and write. Some of my writing appeared in poetry journals and newspaper travel supplements. My first children’s book, Sophie and the Albino Camel, was published by Andersen Press and won the Glen Dimplex award for children’s fiction.

Since the Sophie series came out, I have written many more books for young people. The inspiration for many of these books was my thirteen years in West Africa. You will notice that lots of my books are set in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. ‘Write what you know’ is generally good advice, and it has served me well.

In July 2014 I moved back to London with my wife and two daughters. One upside of being back in England is that I get to visit lots of schools and encourage young people in their own story writing. My school visits are organized through Authors Abroad, including Able Writers Days. If you are a teacher and want to arrange a visit, please do drop them a line. They’re ever so friendly and efficient.

family-picIf you would like to get in touch with me, email is the best way. My address is sahelsteve@gmail.com. You can also follow me on Twitter.

Aside from reading and writing, I have a great love of Chinese ink painting and chess. Oh, and I’m freakishly tall – 6 foot 7 – so don’t be too shocked by that if I visit your school!

Hope you enjoy browsing this site.

For Press: you can download high-res portrait photos by clicking on the thumbnails below:

13 thoughts on “About”

  1. My name is Matt Reynolds. I am in New Mexico, USA and am so happy to see books by a person like Stephen Davies in our schools. Thank you Stephen for your work in Africa, and your writing.

  2. We loved it when Stephen came to visit us at Cardwell Primary School – all the children (and adults!) loved meeting him, hearing about his adventures in Burkina Faso and reading his wonderful stories. Stephen’s writers’ workshops inspired some fantastic writing and his books now take pride of place in our school library. Thank you, Steve – we hope to meet you again some time!

  3. Thank you for coming to Woodford Green Prep School today and sharing your wonderful ideas and books. We all loved ‘Don’t Spill the Milk’, you inspired both children and adults. Happy writing!

  4. Thank you for coming to Woodford Green Prep School today and sharing your wonderful ideas and books. We all loved ‘Don’t Spill the Milk’ and you inspired both children and adults. Happy writing!

  5. We met you when you first were starting to write- in Burkina Faso- my husband was your parkour guy in the desert. I am actually a budding author myself and I would love some advice along the journey. Any chance we could chat? We are still with SIM in East Africa now.

  6. Thank you for our fun lesson about Titanic this morning for Church Road School. It was amazing. I liked that your used our idea to help us start to write a story.
    Your book on Titanic is coming tomorrow on Amazon for me to read!
    From Bella

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