Ask Michelle

Here are Michelle’s most recent answers to the questions and messages readers have submitted.

Latest Messages

Thank you for these wonderful books!

Dutch translation

An invaluable gift

A Love that started long ago


School Visits

Thank you very much for your work!


Trans and non binary people

Thank you

Dark and kujai

OnionToaster writes...

Are dark and kujai in love? I love your books by the way I was so excited when the 7th came out, I read spirit walker first in year 3, and I really liked it, im in year 7 now and i still love these books

Michelle Replies...

I'm so glad you like the books - and you've guessed correctly about Dark and Kujai.  Thanks for getting in touch, and I hope that you continue to enjoy spending time with Torak, Renn, Wolf and the others in the Forest!  With best wishes, Michelle


Sam writes...

Hallo, I’m Sam
I know you have had this question about a million times, but not from me. My super original question is…..
“What is fa’s name?”
Is it actually fa or did Torak forget? I know you’ve said you shall never tell us but I decided might as well ask myself.
Best wishes Sam (very cool guy)

Michelle Replies...

Nice try, Sam, but you're right, I've said in the past that I'll never tell Fa's name, and I'm sticking to that!  But you can be assured that it isn't Fa (which just means "father"), and that Torak hasn't forgotten it.  But he won't be telling you either.  Thanks for getting in touch - and may the guardian run with you.  With best wishes, Michelle

A Book that takes place before the events of Wolf Brother?

Ethan writes...

Hello Michelle,
When I was reading Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness, one thing always stuck to me - I always wondered what more we didn't get to know about Fa. I believe that he has a great story left to tell, and the fact that he only ever appears in the first few pages of Wolf Brother makes me curious as to whether you could develop another book in the series - this time, not following Torak's or Renn's story, but through the perspective of Fa, and Torak's mother, which is another character I would love to know more about. Perhaps the book might end at the night of when the demon bear attacks, or his last yells echoing through the forest, telling Torak to run. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

Thank you, for all the wonderful adventures you've shared on Torak and his friends. They've really inspired me to create some stories of my own!

Best Wishes,

Michelle Replies...

Dear Ethan,  thanks for your message, and you're not the only reader who has asked me about prequels.  You're right in that there is an entire backstory to be told, but I'm afraid that it's never appealed to me to write it.  I prefer to keep it mentioned in hints and glancing references, and I've always thought that it would destroy the mystery - particularly as regards Fin-Kedinn - if I were to write that story in full.  Also, the thing I find off-putting about prequels is that we already know how they end; and in Fa's case, it doesn't end well!  However, I'm delighted that you've enjoyed the books so much, and I'd like to wish you the best of all possible luck with your own writing.  With best wishes, Michelle

Your books

Isabelle writes...

Hi, I'm Isabelle I'm 13 and a huge fan of your books, after reading the whole series so many, many times for 3 years I've always thought what a great movie, or TV show, or basically anything it could be turned into! (though nothing would be the same the actual book its self.) then I started to see rumours about it being made into a movie but wasn't sure so wondered if this was true! Thanks for your time!

Isabelle 🙂

Michelle Replies...

Hello, Isabelle, thanks for your message, and I'm delighted that you've enjoyed the books so much!  I'm afraid that at the moment there aren't any plans for a film or a tv series.  There have been film deals in the past, but they haven't ended getting made into films.  (In fact, this happens to most film deals.) But in the meantime, you can always return to the Forest by re-reading the stories.... Again, thanks for getting in touch - and may the guardian run with you.  With very best wishes, Michelle

Chronicles of ancient darkness

Coleman writes...

I was fortunate enough to be able to read/ listen to the series as they came out and I was thinking that they would make an amazing TV show especially if it were abke to really follow the books. It's such a different area and style of TV show that's out now I think it would do really well.

Michelle Replies...

Thanks, Coleman.  I've replied to your previous comment so I won't repeat myself here - only to say that I'm glad you enjoyed the books.  And who knows what will happen at some stage in the future?  May the guardian run with you.  Best wishes, Michelle


Vaughan writes...

Hi, I just wanted to thank you for writing your Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series. I first read the series as a kid, and recently (being 24 doing my masters) wanted to give it a go again.
There was a lot of fear involved, I wasn’t sure the series would hold up as well as they did in my head after all these years (quite a few other authors haven’t really stood the test of time).
However truly your series is a masterpiece. I loved every second of the journey for a second time. Thank you so much for creating these books, I have not, and will never forget them.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Vaughan, I'm delighted that the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness didn't disappoint!  I can also understand that you were apprehensive before you re-read them as an adult, and it's great that you enjoyed them on this re-reading.  And maybe you found yourself also re-visiting how you'd felt on your first reading as a child; that can add a further layer of experience that I've sometimes found quite moving. However it struck you, I'm very glad.  And I hope that if you've come across the three sequels I wrote a few years after Ghost Hunter (Viper's Daughter, Skin Taker and Wolfbane), you've enjoyed them too.  Thanks so much for getting in touch.  With best wishes, Michelle

Wolf brother

Coleman writes...

I'm sure you probably get this a lot, but I've been lucky enough to read/ listen to the entire Chronicles of ancient darkness as they came out (even pre-ordered a few) and I was just wondering if you've ever thought about making a TV show out of them. I think it'd be really cool to have something that's a little different than pretty much every thing else out right now

Michelle Replies...

Dear Coleman, I'm really glad that you've enjoyed the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.  To answer your question, I have in the past done several film or tv deals, but (as happens with most film deals) they haven't ended up being made; and as films cost millions of pounds to make, it's not up to me to make that decision, it's for the film companies, who would be putting up the money.  I agree with you that it would be great if a film or series were made - as long as it was a good one, and faithful to the spirit of the stories!  If anything happens on this in the future, you can be sure that I'll post the news on my website.  In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy spending time in the Forest with Torak, Renn and Wolf.  With best wishes, Michelle


Holly writes...

Hi Michelle!

I work at my local library and (luckily) they have gorgeous hardback editions of Dark Matter and Thin Air. I read them both in a week (they were a month or so apart, I get very spooked) with my little book light and rain sounds in the background. I was just wondering if A) You'd consider writing anything similar to those books again B) If there's going to be stage or film adaptations of either. One of my friends read Dark Matter when I did and we had so many varied ideas on what the environment looked like. Thank you!!

Michelle Replies...

Dear Holly, What a lovely message - and I'm so glad that you enjoyed Dark Matter and Thin Air.  As regards film adaptations, I don't have any news as yet, but if and when something happens, I will of course post it on my website.  Concerning further Gothic/ghost stories, a few years ago I wrote Wakenhyrst, which is a a Gothic novel set in the fens during Edwardian times.  And most recently I've written (well, almost completed) a ghost story set in the rainforest, which will come out next year.  And I'm hard at work on another.  I hope that helps a bit - and thank you very much for getting in touch.  With best wishes, Michelle

Theme of uncertainty in the Wolf Brother series

Garrett writes...

Why did you intertwine the theme of uncertainty into the Wolf Brother books, where the main characters are always confronting the unknown and the dangers of the forest, without any warning or certainty of events?

I recall the brief dialogue between Fin-kedinn and Torak in the book Oath Breaker, in the beginning of chapter 39, pg.231, on the idea of accepting uncertainty.

The uncertainty of events/nature seems to me to be a core tenant or theme in the series, and is a strong antagonistic force to the hero's cast in their journey, often eclipsing the efforts made by the villains themselves, yet just as easily becoming the villain's downfall.

I think this is what makes the series so good, as a reader I never know what to expect next, or how certain elements will intertwine their meanings into the story's resolution. Even the most powerful characters are yielded to the circumstances which they are powerless to influence, towards nature's unpredictability, and often towards the will of their own people, adding to a already endless struggle of righting the wrongs of the past and fighting against malevolent forces, or just for survival. The character's mistakes are often impossible to fix and become part of the character's growing maturity, which I think is great for character development and the story's moral theme.

That idea has stuck with me, as I reflect onto current world events, and from what I have read of philosophy.
So I must also ask:
- What influenced you to use this theme of uncertainty, and is it deliberate in the design of the plot?
- What helps you to deal with uncertainty, in our current times? What helps you to voluntarily confront uncertainty to then take action?
- What would you recommend for other people to read from literature or history, that would help people accept uncertainty?
- Are there any books which you hold favor that uses the opposite theme in them, instead of having constant uncertainty, the narrative provokes a theme of certainty, which the protagonists attempts to overcome in their own way? (As I would associate in dystopian books, or example)

Personal notes:
Thank you for writing this series, I first read both Wolf brother and Spirit Walker at a very young age, at around 6 to 7 years old. And I actually remember asking the school library (2-3 years later) for the books in the series, but they could not find the ones I had read previously, and I had forgotten the names of the books by then. I was dissapointed for a while, apparently enough to keep it in the back of my mind many years later. I finally re-found the name of the book in my early twenties while doing a internet search trying to pin it down, and have since read the entire series.

I must admit it is somewhat eerie looking back in retrospect to notice how reading those books at such an early age effected my mental attitude towards nature and how I tended to silently reflect on people's sociability in terms of tribal-social affairs. I also remembered the plot point in Spirit Walker where Torak 'spirit walks' into a fish or seal, which was one of the most intriguing aspects of any book I read at that time, which as a kid was the most creative thing I had come across at that point in my life.

I must admit that re-reading Wolf Brother's plot decades later made the hook/sinker effect at the beginning less effective overall, but still the best I have ever read, and the ending to that book felt rushed and less than what it could have been. But re-reading Spirit Walker and the remaining books in the series more than made up for that.

My society is in desperate need of a return to nature, great stories, and heroic figures to look up towards. I appreciate that you helped to fill such a gap in my life, as in many others. And in my case, that goes twice over. Thank you, for helping bring people's attention to a better narrative, and into a different world.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Garrett, I'm so pleased that you've enjoyed the books, both as a child and adult, and thank you for such heartfelt and perceptive comments.  For me, themes tend to arise naturally, without conscious thought, and I don't realise what they are until I'm well into the writing.  I think uncertainty forms such a big part of the Wolf Brother stories because uncertainty is inherent in the natural world, and hunter-gatherers know that.  Indeed, they're probably more aware of it than we are.  This was obvious to me from the start, when, to make Torak's world real, I began to research the ways of life of people who (at least until recently) still lived in traditional ways, such as Indigenous Australians, the Inuit, certain Native American peoples, and the Ainu of Japan.

You also asked what helps me deal with uncertainty, and that's much harder to answer.  I suppose like most people, I try to impose order on what I can around me - such as my house, my work and so on - while trying to accept that most of life is beyond my control.  It's not easy and I often fail and have to try again.  But that's just life.  As for books about this, I've never liked stories with messages, or ones that make things too cut and dried.  When I was a teenager, and subsequently, the novels of Dostoyevsky helped me, because for me they show how mixed peoples' motivations can be, and how essentially unknowable each person is.  They're also terrific stories.  I hope this helps a bit, and thank you for asking a question which I don't think I've ever been asked before.  I'm also delighted that you mentioned the scene when Torak spirit walks in the seal, as that was one of my favourite passages to write.   With very best wishes, Michelle

Touring 2024

Ethan writes...

Hello Michelle,
I've been wondering whether you will do touring - would just love to meet you in person! Me and my friends love reading your Wolf Brother Series, and a meet and greet would make things so much more special!

Warm Wishes,

Michelle Replies...

Hello, Ethan. It's great that and your friends are enjoying the Wolf Brother books;but as regards touring, I'm afraid I've no plans for that this year, due to family commitments.  That may change next year, when my next book comes out - and if it does, I'll post full details on my website.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy further visits to the Forest with Torak, Renn and Wolf!  With best wishes, Michelle