The real Thomas Trew and me at Waterstones in Ramsgate, Kent (with copies of the book and dolls of Pinch and Patch, created by Fiona McDonald)
Thomas, his sister Alice, and me at Waterstone's, Ramsgate
There's a real magic about this series, ever since its beginning in that dream. Wonderful and unexpected things seem to happen around it. One of the most delightful began one day when I opened my email inbox and discovered an amazing message waiting for me--from the real Thomas Trew, and his family!
What had happened was this--Thomas, who's twelve, and from Ramsgate in Kent, had googled his name one day, and found out that his namesake was the hero of my new series! He was astonished--it's not every day you realise, after all, that you share your name with a book character. And so he and his family got in touch with me. We exchanged quite a few emails. They asked me why I'd chosen the name 'Thomas Trew' for my hero, and I said it was because my Thomas is a Rymer, descended from the first Thomas, who was also known as True Thomas. I had just reversed the name, to get Thomas True--but used 'Trew' as it was a real surname. But I had absolutely no idea that somewhere out there would be somebody with the exact same name! It was a real buzz to find out!
It was even more of a buzz to meet the real Thomas Trew and his mother, Linda, father, Dave, and younger sister, Alice, in Ramsgate, during my promotion trip for the first book, around England. To everyone's amazement, Thomas even looks rather like the picture of my character on the cover of the first book! We all got on really well, and had a really fun time together. (And what's more, they all really liked the book!) We also had to do heaps of media interviews, for it seemed like it wasn't just us interested in this lovely example of life imitating story. Newspapers, radio and TV--including both the BBC and ITV--were delighted with the whole thing, and ran several pieces about it. The Hidden World had set its special magic on us!
We're all still in touch now--in fact you can see a comment from the Trews at the end of my first post on this blog. (Hello, and love to all the Trew family!)
The third book in the series, Thomas Trew and the Klint-King's Gold, which comes out in the UK in June, and later in the year in Australia, is dedicated to the real Thomas Trew and his family. And Alice, who dearly wished she could have a part to play in one of the books, is going to get her wish! I waved my magic wand and hey presto, a character called Alice appears in the sixth and final book!