Roderick Gordon writes the Tunnels series of books.
Born in 1960, he grew up in Highgate, North London, and eventually went to University College where he dabbled in genetics and listened to Joy Division. After an unsuccessful bid to transfer to medical school to train as a doctor, Roderick graduated without the faintest idea what he wanted to do. For several years he wrote music and played in a number of bands, and also toyed with the idea of a job in the film industry (he was very briefly at George Harrison’s Handmade Films), but eventually somehow landed in the City working for an investment bank.
In 2001, after nearly two decades of pretending that he was a corporate financier, Roderick was made redundant, something that he has described as a blessing in disguise. He was now able to meet more regularly with Brian Williams, an old friend from his university days, and they began to work together on some writing when they weren’t playing video games. Their first project was a film screenplay for a crime thriller called Second Face, and they both found the process so rewarding that they decided to continue the collaboration and attempt a book for younger readers, a project first suggested by Roderick’s wife, Sophie.
Roderick had always been interested in archaeology and palaeontology. His great-great-grandfather William Buckland is widely recognised as one of the forefathers of geology, and in 1824 gave what is thought to be the first scientific lecture on the jaw bone of a dinosaur called the Megalosaurus, some twenty years before the word dinosaur itself was coined by Richard Owen. Roderick himself was fascinated by ‘what lies beneath’, and when he bought a sixteenth-century country house in Northamptonshire, and found that it was rumoured to have a secret passage beneath it, the germ of the idea for Tunnels was born.
In 2005, Roderick self-published The Highfield Mole. All the copies quickly sold out, attracting the attention of Barry Cunningham, J.K. Rowling’s original publisher and founder of The Chicken House, a publisher of children’s books. After a period of editing, Barry republished The Highfield Mole in July 2007, re-titling it as Tunnels to reflect the fact that it had been changed.
After intense media interest around its launch, Tunnels was published in forty countries and was a New York Times Bestseller, achieving sales of more than a million copies worldwide. Shortly after publication the movie rights were purchased by US-based Relativity Media, who have appointed Mikael Håfström as the director. A manga of the book has also been released in Japan. and Roderick followed Tunnels with further books in the series, Deeper (2008), Freefall (2009), Closer (2010), and Spiral (2011), with the last book, Terminal, released this year to conclude the saga.
The series has a number of very active fan sites, including www.mundotuneles.com for Spanish-speaking countries. The Tunnels Facebook page has more than 40,000 likes, and Roderick himself can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.com.
Roderick lives in Norfolk with his wife and two sons, but regularly sneaks back to London for reasons of sanity, but mostly to have his hair cut.