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Neil Arksey

Monday, 07 January 2013

Neil was born in Nottingham but now lives in Peckham, South London. Apart from being an author Neil has worked as an actor, lifeguard and a sports instructor. His first book Brooksie was published in 1998.

Neil ArkseyTo date, Neil’s books have all been about football, making him a top scorer amongst footie-mad readers everywhere. Neil’s is an exciting new voice in children’s fiction with a strikingly original approach – witness the recasting of Macbeth as school footie star Mac B. Neil Arksey has three main passions – writing, acting and football. All three come together in Mac B, Neil’s original novel which relocates the drama of Macbeth to a contemporary school football field.

Both of Neil’s previous novels for young people, Brooksie and Result!, are about football. The combination of subject-matter with an electric writing style makes Neil one of the most sought-after writers for boy readers and those seeking strong material for this audience.

Neil was perfectly positioned to rework Macbeth, since he acts and runs drama workshops at the Globe Theatre in Southwark. As far as football goes, Neil’s own career was brought to a close through injury, but he still works as a swimming instructor and is an avid Arsenal supporter.

The first story Neil wrote was a runner-up in a London writers’ competition. The next story Banana, – written for his dyslexic, football mad nephew – was published in an anthology of football stories. His latest book, published in August 2000, is Playing on the Edge.

Neil has written scripts for the children’s TV series Teddybears and Kipper. He is also a storyliner for the Secret Lives – a daily soap on Finnish TV. Secret Lives is watched by a quarter of Finland’s population, making it the most successful daily soap in the world! Neil says that “The age group I write for is the age at which my eyes were opened to the ways of the world. For me, the most character-forming period of my life.”

“I don’t consider myself to be a football writer (I intend to write a lot more besides). You don’t have to be a good at football, you don’t even have to play to enjoy stories set in the world of football. My hope is that some people who have, for whatever reason, been alienated from football or maybe never even really encountered it, could be turned on to the game by my stories.”

Appraisals – What they say about Neil Arksey

“For young footballers who eat, live and breathe the sport, there is now some fun to be had in the world of fiction.” South London Press on ‘Result!’

“Nick Hornby for kids” is how Radio 5 Live presenter Nicky Campbell described Neil Arksey.

“Brave in concept, refreshing in execution, this is football fiction of a new order.” Times Educational Supplement

‘Mac B’ was been shortlisted for the Lancashire Children’s Book Award.