Explore With Michelle

Michelle’s Jamaican Red Peas Soup

Red Peas Soup

If you’ve watched the video on this site of Michelle explaining how she wrote Fever Hill, you’ll know she talks about her favorite recipe, Jamaican Red Pea Soup. Well, here it is –very warming on a winter’s day – enjoy! Ingredients – 1lb (500g) casserole steak or shin of beef, ...read more →

Researching Dark Matter


A few years ago, I spent a fortnight traveling 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 ...read more →

Creating A Stone Age World


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 ...read more →

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Torak’s World


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 ...read more →

Researching Wolf Brother


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 ...read more →

Becoming A Wolf


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 ...read more →

Researching Spirit Walker


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 ...read more →

Killer Whales, Gutskin, And Seal Meat


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 ...read more →

Researching Soul Eater


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 ...read more →