TOXICS began with an idea, following the crack of a leg on marble and two weeks staring out at a blustery coastline. The potent mixture of complete immobility, and restless waves spiralled into a story of a young, restless girl, discovering a vast, dusty staircase in an old school.
From nowhere came the symbols, and the creatures of a world not yet entirely imagined, but lurking in the depths of my subconscious. There quickly followed old school geography books, stunning tomes on beautiful wildlife, Victorian painters of flora and fauna, historical documents, visits to the capital with its fine museum and library. Trawled memories of endless sea, and sky and wave; forests of pine and white lizards’ rock.
Truth layered upon imagination – a tower of dreams with substantiation.
It is set in The Old World – a fantasy world very similar to Earth, but without the buildings!
When I was creating it, I wrote for myself that, ‘The West is hot; semi-tropical jungles of surprising change; violent courses of water falling from softened cliffs. Home to the Fragrants who grow and move high in the canopies of the tall vegetations; hidden from all but the Strata in their heavenly nests. Their enharmonics, the Orions live further North in vast territories of broad rivers and dusty ranges.’
Each part of the world has different climates, just like Earth. It represents, in a way, a parallel Earth, but one that was never developed by man.
However it has many inhabitants. There are beasts and there are plants. The plants are conscious, communicating life. Each beast has a plant with which it shares a special link, and vice versa. These are called enharmonic relationships.
Enharmonics are extremely important to each other, although they may only meet once in their lifetimes. When you read Toxics, you will see how Reuben, the quest leader, meets his enharmonic, Orchadea. She is a Fragrant, and he is an Orion.
OCEANS the sequel returns to the Old World, and Felicity and Reuben, of course!