“Kill your darlings!” they say. Oh, how it hurts to have to cut carefully crafted episodes out of my manuscript, just to comply with the expected word count.

Here is one such incident that that had to go. It took place on the Isle of Capraria, very near the end of the book. Continue reading “Collatio”

Silvanus’s Treks

I just discovered a map Silvanus must have made, showing his treks across Ilva. How do you like it?


Actually, it was made for him by a brilliant cartographer in Russia, Polina Vorontsova.

I asked a Hippie for an Eagle

Kili and Kwee were real eagles. Nothing to be afraid of. Not like the fearsome AquilaAquila, who never took his eyes off you, always looking for a chance to punish you for things you hadn’t actually done.

Silvanus had spent many an hour watching them – masters of soaring – as they hunted for dormice or frogs, or repaired one of last year’s nests in preparation for a new family. Continue reading “I asked a Hippie for an Eagle”

Trial by Trek

Aquila, Chapter 1, Excerpts

Slowly – ever so slowly – we trudge on up the steep hillside, from terrace to dilapidated terrace, all of us heavily laden, dripping with sweat. Crispus is no problem; he’s a follower. But it seems Hercules doesn’t like going just with me, without Dad to lead him. Perhaps he’s right to object. Why did Dad send me anyway? It’s a man’s job. And me all alone! It’s not fair of him, giving me such a difficult task at my age. Usually, we’ve been away for about two weeks; can I cope that long alone? What if something goes wrong? I might break a leg. Or get lost. Or robbed. Continue reading “Trial by Trek”