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People are always asking me: Where do you get your ideas from? In fact, it's the question I get asked most, and it's ever so difficult to answer. Sometimes I say: I don't know, and sometimes I tell them about things that have helped, and sometimes I say: by magic.

Long, long ago, when I was thinking about writing yet another novel that almost certainly no-one would read, let alone publish, I had an idea.

I know I did, because although it happened so long ago that I can't remember having it, I wrote it down.

I wrote it with a fountain pen on lined paper, and put it in a ring binder.

I don't know when this was, but I suppose it must have been before I had a computer; and the ring binder has been nibbled all round the edges, so I would guess it was when we had our house-rabbit, Chestnut - a beautiful lop-eared sandy creature, but inclined to jump up on your lap, and start eating the novel as it was being written.

In any case enough of the plan (and book) survived Chessie's attacks for me to be able, even now, to read the first big idea that led to the discovery of Nian's world.

How about (it says) a book about someone who sees an advertisement for something they own?

Yes, that's an interesting idea... a very interesting idea... but one that does not appear anywhere at all in the book that I wrote.

Neither does a small fair hero called Hemo, Ino, Xaver, Xavier, Xarier or Nial. Thank goodness.

The dad in this world does not work supervising refuse collections, either.

So where did I get the story of The Truth Sayer from?

Well... magic?"

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