‘An old rubbish dump, so big that it’s a city. And everything that has been thrown away is there—memories, forgotten people, extinct animals.’
That’s the scribbled note that started me on the path to writing ‘The Keepers’ series. I jotted it down in my ideas book, in amongst a whole lot of other notes. And then I forgot about it.
Well, sort of. I think it must have been bubbling away in the back of my mind. Because several weeks later I went back and wrote underneath it:
‘Maybe it’s a museum!’
I had no idea that the world of ‘Museum of Thieves’ was going to end up the way it did. When I started writing the story, it was set in our world, with just a small magical twist to it.
But then one day, in my imagination, an enormous black bird raised its head and croaked, ‘Thie-e-e-ef!’
‘Hmm, that’s no ordinary bird,’ I said to my cat (who sometimes dozes on my lap while I write). She agreed. And bit by bit the strange world of Jewel began to unwind before me. Guardchains. The Seven Gods. Brizzlehounds and slommerkins. The House of Repentance.
By this time I was having so much fun that I didn’t want to stop. ‘I think it’s going to be a series,’ I told my cat. ‘There’s more to this story than meets the eye.’
My cat was not surprised. She knows that I’ve always loved fantasy. I love reading books that I can get lost in, that take me somewhere completely different. Writing such a book is even better.
As for a series, who knows where that will take us? There’s only one thing I can be sure of. It will be extremely dangerous …