And hello to all my readers! In this blog, I'll tell you a little about the series, how it started, about its characters, and also about the Hidden World itself. I'll be very happy to answer any questions you might have--and feel free to leave comments!
The series started in a really magical way. One night, I had a dream. And in this dream, I walked down a little street and came to a doorway which had a sign above it: the Apple Tree Cafe. I walked through the doorway, down a rather dark and narrow passage-way. There was a door at the end of the passageway. This door was green, and painted on it was a picture of an apple tree with rather gnarly branches and some beautiful ripe red apples on it. I opened the painted door, and straight away, a voice whispered to me, 'We are the Hidden People.'
I woke up at that moment, and lay there thinking that I must find out who these hidden people were, and what were they doing in the Apple Tree, and what was it all about? These hidden people came from a hidden world, that was clear. But what was this hidden world, and how was it different from ours, and how might you go there?
Then I thought of a story I knew, an old Scottish story which is called Thomas the Rhymer. He's a young man who one day goes to sleep under an apple tree and then suddenly wakes up to find an amazingly beautiful lady looking at him. She's riding a white horse. Thomas says, who are you? and she tells him she's the queen of Elfland, and she's going to take him on a marvellous journey into Elfland. So he gets up behind her on his horse, and she takes him into a magical land full of wonders. He spends a long time there and has all sorts of adventures. Then at the end of several years, he wants to go home again, and off he goes--but with a special gift the Queen of Elfland has given him. It's the gift of prophecy, and back home he becomes known as 'True Thomas' because all the things he foretells actually come true..
So the hero of my series is Thomas, too. Not True Thomas, but Thomas Trew. He's a descendant of Thomas the Rymer, as I called him, and he too is specially invited into the Hidden World(though not by the Queen of Elfland, as you'll see) and has many adventures there. But Thomas doesn't live a long time ago, like that first Thomas. He lives now, in London. He's nearly 10, his mother's dead and he lives with his father Gareth in a rather grey house in a rather grey street. People think he's rather weird, even his dad, because he sees and hears things other people can't. He just knows something wonderful is going to happen one day--and sure enough, it does!