A Love that started long ago

Garrett writes…

Heya Michelle!
My name is Garrett, I'm from Canada, and boy what a fan I am! I remember it like it was yesterday, ten years old at a parent teacher interview in grade 5 (2012), and I was eagerly scanning the book report options on the desk in front of me. What catches my gaze in that moment? None other than wolf brother! I read the first few pages and was hooked instantly. I read it, wrote my book report, and picked up all of the sequels from the library a few weeks later!
I can say without a doubt it is my favourite book series of all time. Not only is it incredibly written but also teaches the reader so much about the ways of life back then. I was so impressed to learn that you actually went out and did hands on research to make sure the book was an accurate portrayal of the time period and place.
Here I am reading the series again at 22, and when I google you so I can send you this message, I learn that you've written three more additions to the series recently?!?!? Something I never would have expected, and I'm so glad you decided to re-visit this beautiful world you created.
I feel like I grew up with the characters, and grew alongside them as their stories continued. The way you incorporated supernatural elements to the world always intrigued me and makes me believe there is always more magic than we think out there.
This series is one of the main reasons I love nature so much, which has inspired many important parts of my life, from being a treeplanter to working at nature centres and being highly interested in wildlife biology and educating others about the natural worlds and environments around them!
I guess what I'm trying to say is thank you. With your words you made nature breath, you gave every tree a soul, every river a voice, giving every mountain, bog, island, and snow covered tundra their own personality. From the hidden people, to the groaning of injured trees, and the silence of a forest with a predator near, you made accessible to myself, and I'm sure other children and adults alike, the emotions and spirit of everything in nature.

I hope you are doing well, and I would love to hear some of your craziest stories from your adventures, your favourite things you learned in the process of doing research for the books, or any behind-the-scenes info of writing them.

Garrett C.

Michelle Replies…

Dear Garrett, What a beautiful message: thank you!  What makes me particularly pleased is that my stories have encouraged your love of nature, which has taken shape in such positive and active forms: tree-planting, working at nature centres, and much more, by the sound of it.  And your response to the books has been everything I hoped for when I wrote them, as I struggled (and it did feel like a struggle at times!) to recreate Torak’s world from the point of view of the hunter-gatherers of the past.  I’m afraid I don’t have time to talk further about my research, as my life is rather full at the moment, caring for the needs of my elderly mother (as well as trying to write); but in the past, as and when the books were published, I talked a good deal about my experiences in writing them, so you should be able to find quite a lot of stuff on my website and in the Author’s Notes at the back of each book.  (There are also several live-stream video chats on YouTube which I did a few years ago, called MPLive; in many of those I talk about the writing at various times, too.)  I really hope that you enjoy the final three books, as and when you can get hold of them – and that you enjoy being back in the Forest (and beyond) with Torak, Renn and Wolf!  Thank you again so much for getting in touch – and may the guardian run with you.  With very best wishes, Michelle