Here are the answers to some commonly-asked questions. If you have a question that isn't answered here, you can ask on the contact page.
When are your next books coming out?
- Mel Foster and the Time Machine (Egmont), a fantasy adventure story set in a Victorian London as you've never seen it before! This is a follow up to Mel Foster and the Demon Butler.
- I have a short story in the Crime Club collection Mystery and Mayhem (Egmont) also just out, called ‘Mel Foster and the Hound of the Baskervilles’.
- And I’ve also written a retelling of Dickens’ Great Expectations for OUP, series edited by Michael Morpurgo. Out soon.
I also write for teen readers as Joss Stirling and Eve Edwards so please see those websites for news on other books.
How many in the Young Knights series?
There are three parts: Round Table, Pendragon and Merlin.
How old is Cat?
She starts out as 12 or 13 in 1790 - work it out!
Will there be any more Companions?
I have written a continuation, Water Thief, featuring George Clamworthy and his companion creature, Malvin, now available - see my home page.
How do I join the Companions Club?
This no longer functions beyond the fun assessment on line as the publisher (OUP) have wound it up after two years of sending out packs.
Any tips for an aspiring writer?
Keep on writing through until end of first draft without worrying about getting it absolutely right - you can always go back once you've got the whole story down.
Keep a notebook to hand.
Enjoy writing for its own sake as publication is a hit and miss affair.
See Tips for Writers page for more ideas.
Where do you get your ideas from?
All sorts of places - reading, things I see by chance, research into the past, my own experiences.
Mel Foster came from a desire to play about with the classic monsters of Victorian literature. I saw it as a kind of Frankenstein meets the Avengers!
Young Knights was inspired by folklore and Oxford - have a read and you'll see what I mean!
In the case of Cat Royal, it started with the theatre. I read a lot about the history of Drury Lane and as a result began to daydream about living there and thus Cat was born.
For the Companions, it began with my own experience of clubs outside school. I asked myself 'What if these clubs were magical, secret and far more exciting?' and thought up the Society for the Protection of Mythical Creatures.
The Ship Between the Worlds came all in one go, sitting in the sunshine looking at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford.
Dragonfly was inspired by culture clashes!
Darcie Lock by my life as a diplomat some years ago.
Wolf Cry (The Silver Sea), partly thanks to a voyage to Norway, but also from reading up on the lesser known facts about Vikings, the Sami and the presence of Africans in the north during the Dark Ages.
The Glass Swallow is inspired by the crash of the financial systems - not my usual area of interest but it got me wondering...