The Story Behind ‘Blackwood’

This wasn’t my first ‘proper’ book. This was my second. The first was really terrible, so I like to pretend that my second one is my first, and the first one never happened. It’s best that way.

An agent told me, after reading my terrible book, that my characters were, basically, rubbish. For my second attempt I decided that, even if the story was crap and the setting was boring, and the chickens didn’t lay, nobody – NOBODY – would be saying my characters were rubbish. (Don’t you even dare!)

Mab, Otto and Silas, my ‘three friends’, were all different, but complementary. In the beginning, I stuck them in a medieval village tavern with smelly Ivor the Innkeeper, and spooky things started to happen. There was magic in the air and, as Blackwood village grew in the story, I knew that strange creatures had a home there and there was no place quite like it. I knew there was going to be a showdown at some point, but I also knew my three friends were not equipped to deal with the coming crisis.

Christina appeared when I’d already written a third of the book. She elbowed her way in without even asking, bringing with her a terrifying back story and proving she had more balls than all the men in Blackwood put together. She was just what was needed, and the book galloped along with her at the helm.

I love Blackwood and have two more books planned – a story to come long before, and a story to come after.

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