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Philip ross Norman

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Philip Ross Norman is the author of the Young Adult novel Beyond, a dystopian fantasy adventure story and the author and illustrator of several children’s books. He is the co-founder of Ross Robotics, a UK company specialising in modular robotics, and a serial inventor. As a distraction from technology he is working on another YA novel, Wreckwing, a fantastical story about magic set in 1600s England.

Before robotics and before writing YA, Philip lived in France where he had his own architecture and landscape design company. While he was in France he exhibited and sold paintings and graphics. Before that he was a caricaturist working on most of the national UK papers and many magazines.

And before that, he spent his earliest years in central and East Africa. And before that, he was born in Canada. He now lives in the UK.

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Published 28 August 2021

Author's note: there is a glossary of characters which starts on page 443 of the paperback. The ebook has an index link to key characters.



         It is an incredibly creative world and the hi-tech. aspect is both able to excite and add tension to the narrative - playing on the unanswerable question, how far can technology go?

The narrative weaves all the things you want from a YA - action, plucky children fighting against a system, mystery, but within an inventive story.

Eva Carroll

Find the paperback and ebook at

Small Title

Work in progress


Alice is a girl-magician whose destitute family pay to have her transformed into a fully-fledged Wreckwing by means of an initiation, called a Wreckoning. They do this is in the hope that she can magic them out of trouble and spare them from the poorhouse. Dunking their daughter in a cauldron of sweet and boiling unguents - spoiler alert! - they make a discovery, that the initiation may have gone wrong... or it may have gone very right, and that she isn’t just any kind of Wreckwing, she is... something rather more than that.

She is a wonder-child, a guaif, a magical creature that occurs once in ever so nearly never.

We are back in the late 1600s, in the far-flung storm-strewn and rain-drenched west of the English Isles. It is a time when superstition runs unbridled, where the people, god-forsaken and abandoned by hope, fear even the sky above their heads, or what it might do to them, and will believe almost anything…

It is a time when the arrival of a wonder-child could be… timely… for some. For the power-hungry and ambitious, Alice is viewed as an opportunity: but how to harness that power and not be destroyed in the process? How to destroy Alice? This is the question.

Wreckwing is about the stories that we tell ourselves, about the narratives that we cast like a magical skein to make sense of our world. But can sense be made - of anything?


We know that our senses will lie to us, that our stories, elaborately created, may be lies themselves. That there may be no clear dividing line between reality and the imagination, what then of magic?

Magic was inexorably and cruelly suppressed, it was driven from our world for fear that its power could be all too real. Alice’s story is frighteningly and magically that story, of how magic was driven from the world. Or was it?

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Cover concept 

Earlier work

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For about fifteen years I wrote and illustrated children's books. The Carrot War appeared in a number of foreign editions and you can still find copies.

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... and this book, The Fastest Egg & Spoon Race Ever was great fun to illustrate. It's as much about the comic silhouettes that the pig and the duck make as about who eventually wins the race.

So I found myself illustrating lots of other peoples' books, including this collection of First Fairy Tales which appeared as a boxed set for a book club and was sold around the world. This one is still in its original wrapper...


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Earlier work


I have always liked painting and print-making and have exhibited and sold semi-abstract paintings and prints in galleries in England and France. The subjects tend to be coastal landscapes or plants, the common theme is mood or inferential meaning generated through a combination of composition, colour and light.



I had an idea for a construction toy called Wiggly Works which evolved into a modular, reconfigurable robotic system. I had no idea of what I was getting into...


I would be happy to answer any questions you have. Feel free to send me a message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

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