The Haywired Series

Book I – Haywired: A Steampunk Fairytale                  

Published –  September 2010                                              

ISBN – 978-1906132330                  

Suitable for ages 8+

Signed copies can be purchased directly from me for £7.99 incl. postage and packaging:

Download the first three chapters here!



In the quiet village of Little Wainesford, Ludwig Von Guggenstein is about to have his unusual existence turned inside out. When he and his father are blamed for a fatal accident during the harvest, a monstrous family secret is revealed. Soon Ludwig will begin to uncover diabolical plans that span countries and generations while ghoulish machines hunt him down. He must fight for survival, in a world gone haywire.


Reviews of Haywired:

“An exciting and masterful adventure – Ace!” – Jon Mayhew, author of “Mortlock” and “The Demon Collector

‘Intelligently written, with plenty of wry humour that adds to it’s adult readability. Haywired is a fun fantasy adventure full of family secrets, a circus, pirates, steampunk machinery, dark twists and some excellent grimness. I look forward to the next one.’ – Un:Bound

‘The reader is gripped throughout…intrigue and suspicion pour from the pages thanks to rich characterisation. There is also a dark hopelessness as the story weaves on, a sense of imminent foreboding caused by an all too familiar hand. Even though the subject matter maybe somewhat fantastical, there is a solid reality to this world, a physical quality that makes it unnerving…I am excited to find out what happens to his characters next, and just what mesmerising spin Alex Keller will take us on in future incarnations.’ – The Solitary Bee

‘Haywired is very different to the steampunk books I have read so far. The publishers are calling it a steampunk fairytale, and I cannot come up with a better phrase to describe it, as that is exactly how it reads. The fairytale feel to the story is there from the very first page and at times it is as if the Brothers Grimm were alive and well and writing for a steampunk loving audience. Like many fairytales it is also relatively short, weighing in at a slim 170 pages, but even so it still manages to pack quite a punch. Of course, most adults know that the Grimm fairy tales were exactly that – grim… Haywired is like this as well – the story is deliciously dark in places.’ – Book Zone 4 Boys

“Fans of Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engine sequence will love this debut novel, Haywired – published by a smallish publisher this compelling tale of unearthed family secrets as well as some diabolical plans to turn the world inside out, it’s up to 11 year old Ludwig to rescue the world before any of the ghoulish machines hunt him down. With a plot that’s full of twists and turns on every page, it’s not to be missed.” Debut Book of the Month


Book II – Rewired  

Published – April 2011      

ISBN – 978-1906132347                                          

Suitable for ages 8+                                                           

Signed copies can be purchased directly from me. Just email me at

Alternatively, Rewired can be purchased in the UK at Waterstones, Amazon, Lovereading, The Book Despository and WH Smiths.

And in the US, Rewired can be purchased through Amazon.

“There are worse people than me, boy. Much worse.”

Mandrake von Guggenstein has escaped!
Snatched on the day of his execution by a nightmare creature called Grilsgarter, the Terror of Beacon is loose again.

The clock is ticking. Can brothers Ludwig and Hephaestus find him before their world is plunged into darkness again?

Reviews for Rewired:
‘For anyone who enjoys a good story with an abundant amount of imagination and some of the most interesting characters you’ll find, then this is the book for you. It incorporates some great action and ‘crazy’ fighting scenes, and some fantastically strange machines that will keep you intrigued right to the very end. Please pick up a copy of this book, read it and then pass it on to your friends – you won’t be disappointed.’ – Mr Ripley’s Enchanted Books

‘I give this 9/10!’ – Nayu’s Reading Corner

‘There are sword fights a-plenty and a terrific tom-boy role model for girls (is it me or are tom-boys seriously lacking in contemporary children’s fiction?!) enters to add depth and richness – a good character I feel for developing in future stories. The machines are more terrifying than ever and the bad guys just get badder!’ – The Writer Side of Life

‘Once again the author has successfully touched the nerve cells of 11+ year olds by delivering a clever gothic horror adventure full of intrigue, suspense and plenty of humour thrown in.’ – Lovereading4kids

I loved it from beginning to end, and it was yet another read-in-a-single-sitting book from this author.  – Bookzone4boys


  1. Hello, I don’t know if you remember but you signed me a copy of your book in the waterstones in Bath, I really enjoyed it, and will certainly be getting the next one…

    • Hi Sammy

      Glad you liked it! I’m going to back in Bath Waterstones in October so I could sign Rewired then if you wanted.


  2. Hey. It’s me Ben, if you remember. I told you about the books I was currently writing. I have finished reading Haywired. I’d like to say it was one of the best books I have read for a while. I would like to send you some of my work as well.

    • Hi Ben

      Glad you liked Haywired. Wow, you read it quickly! Of course you are more than welcome to send some of your writing. My email address is just under my photo.


  3. Hi Alex

    Will you be writing another book in the Haywired series? The first 2 are brilliant and some of the best books that I have read in a very,very long time. I am very much looking forward to a third in the fantastic series. If you are writing a third could you tell me the possible release date and title.

    When are you coming to Swindon next?


    • Hi James

      That’s very kind of you to say, thanks.

      There’s certainly ideas floating around for a new Haywired book, but unfortunately it won’t be for a year or so until it could be released. I’m writing a new book at the moment that’s half-graphic novel/half novel at the moment and that should be out in September.

      I think I’ll be in Swindon Waterstones again in January/Feb. When it’s confirmed I’ll put it on the signings page.


  4. Hi Alex

    I remember seeing me at Walker primary school with our head teacher Liz Whincop, if you remember. I orderd you’re books hay-wired and re-wired. havent read them yet but sounds and looks realy cccccccccccoooooooooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Hi Alex,

    I saw you at Sue Ryder Finchley and you signed Haywired and Rewired.
    Read them both and loved them. I think you should really write a third one!

    • Thanks, Ben. I’m glad you enjoyed the books! At the moment Abigail Larson is working on an image of the HELOT, but I agree and image of the Jack HELOT would be great. I might see if she can do one at some point but if any one else wants to have a go at drawing Jack as as HELOT that would be great.

      Have a great Christmas!


  6. Hey Alex ,

    I heard that you were coming to my school Alexander Juniors school and I cant wait because I’ve been reading about your books

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