A few years ago, I spent a fortnight travelling by ship around the entire Spitsbergen archipelago, and although I wasn’t then thinking about ghosts, I was so struck by the beauty and the desolation that I knew I would at some stage write a story about it. I went in…more
Come & explore the real worlds that underpin Michelle’s writing…
Torak’s world is the world of six thousand years ago: after the Ice Age, and before farming reached his part of north-west Europe. The land is one vast Forest, peopled by small clans of hunter-gatherers. They have no writing, no metals, and no wheel. They don’t need them. They’re superb…more
Each clan believes that it is descended from its clan-creature. This is why, in OUTCAST, when Renn thanks the ravens Rip and Rek for helping Torak, she addresses them as “little grandfathers”. (At this point, of course, Renn doesn’t yet know that Rek is female.)
Wolf loves lingonberries because his creator…more
The world of WOLF BROTHER is strange, unfamiliar, beautiful, exciting – but above all, it’s REAL. I want the reader to feel that they’re right there in the Forest with Torak and Wolf. And that means research. However, it’s vital not to include too much in the stories, so I’m…more
How do you get inside the mind of a wolf? How does Wolf’s world differ from Torak’s? What are the unbridgeable differences?
Since I was a child, I’ve read everything I could find about wolves, and the wolf talk which Torak uses is as close as I can get to real…more
For Spirit Walker, much of which happens by the Sea, I made a number of trips in the summer and autumn:-
To get ideas for what the Seal Islands might be like, I went to the Lofoten Islands of north Norway, and stayed in a rorbu (a fisherman’s hut built on…more
When I was writing Spirit Walker, I needed to immerse myself in Torak’s world. So I went there.
To experience the Seal Islands, I travelled to the Lofoten islands of north-west Norway. Like Torak, I went at Midsummer, which is a very strange time in the north, because it doesn’t get…more
For Soul Eater, Torak must journey in winter to the frozen wastes of the Far North, where the Ice clans teach him vital secrets of snow survival.
For research, I spent time in north-east Greenland in winter, where I experienced at first hand the power of wind and snow, watched glaciers…more
The Inuit name for the polar bear is Nanuq: the most feared and respected of all Arctic creatures. And no wonder. The polar bear is the largest land predator in the world, and an incredibly skilled hunter, equally at home on ice, mountain, or in the sea. And unlike the…more
In Outcast, much of the story takes place in or around Lake Axehead, so I needed a large lake. Where better than Sweden, which has about a hundred thousand lakes to choose from?
To get ideas for Lake Axehead, I went to Lake Storsjon in northern Sweden, where I got inspiration…more