Ask Michelle

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

Latest Messages

Future books

A little thank you

film adaptation of the book series Chronicles of Dark Times

Chronicles of the Dark Times

I cannot wait!

Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

The chronicles of ancient darkness was my saviour

I’m a huge fan!

language/runes used in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness

Thanks you and ask for Audible translate

Primary school class loving your novel.

Dale writes...

Good afternoon,
My name is Dale Innes and I am a primary school teacher. We are currently studying wolf brother as our class novel and the children are loving it. The opportunity Arouse to purchase new books for our schools reading scheme and wolf brother was top of my list. I have taught literacy through your novels in previous schools and I love how this novel grips the children’s imagination and interest in reading.

I was wondering if you would be able to answer some of the children’s questions? We are completing an author study on you and the children love having the opportunity to ask you questions. =)

1. How did you come up with the ideas for characters in wolf brother?
2. What inspired you to write wolf brother? Do you have a favourite chapter?
3. What is your favourite book of both your own writing and of other authors books?
4. What inspired you to get into writing novels?
5. How did you feel when your published book becomes popular?
6. How long does writing a book take?
7. Did you enjoy writing as a child?
8. Do you plan on continuing to add to the wolf brother sequel of novels?
9. Do you have anything on your desk whilst writing to inspire you?
10. Does writing books require a lot of motivation to keep going if you get writers block?

Thank you for your time and for writing such interesting novels.

King regards,
Dale Innes and Primary 5/6 I

Michelle Replies...

Dear Dale,

Many thanks for your message, and I'm so glad that the children are enjoying my stories.  They've asked lots of questions, and as I've already answered some of them for other readers or on my website, I won't repeat myself, but here goes:

Qu 2 - What inspired me to write Wolf Brother? - Please see, go to the Cave, then click on "Why I wrote Wolf Brother", for the full story.

Qu 8 - Will there be more in the series after Wolf Bane? The short answer is "no".  For a fuller answer, please see my recent answers on this website to Josiah and also Lilya.

Qus 2 & 3 - I don't really have favourite chapters, or books that I've written, or read. (Or if I do, they keep changing!)

Qu6 - How long does writing a book take?  It depends on how long the book is, but not as much as you might think.  For instance, Wolf Brother is a shortish book, but it took just as long to write as some of my adult stories which were twice as long.  I'm quite a slow writer, and the books I write always seem to need lots of research - both in libraries and in the wild.  I also like to plan my stories very carefully, although these plans are only a guide, and I always change them a lot as I'm writing the story.  Lastly, I re-write a lot, cutting out the boring bits, making the story clearer, that sort of thing.  This is crucial.  For Wolf Brother I went through about 30-40 drafts.  So to answer your question, most of my books take about a year to write; and sometimes as much as 18 months.

Qu 1 -Some of the characters share traits with myself (Renn is rather critical, as am I, and Torak is a loner, as I am) - or with people I know.  However mostly they are themselves, as they walk into my imagination.  And they often surprise me while I'm writing, by doing something (in my imagination, I mean), which I didn't expect.  But that's good, it means they're coming alive.

Qu 7 - Yes, I always loved writing as a child, and I wrote my first story when I was five.  It was called "Ebany the Mouse Goddess" (my spelling wasn't great), and it was about a mouse goddess who rescued her people from a glacier which was threatening to squash their village.  At school I went on writing, and I loved it. I think this was because when you write, you can make anything happen.  You're in control.  And I enjoyed using my imagination.

Qu 9 - I don't really get inspiration from the things on my desk, but I do have a few small objects that I like to look at and pick up when I 'm thinking. One I particularly like is a small swimming seal about the size of my thumb.  It's beautifully carved from reindeer antler and very realistic, with its front flippers pressed against its flanks, as seals do when they swim.  It was carved by a Chukchi artist and I bought it from him on a windy beach in Chukotka, eastern Siberia, when I was there on a research trip for Viper's Daughter, the seventh book in the Wolf Brother series. I love it.

Well that's all I've got time for, but I hope the children enjoy these answers - and continue to enjoy my books. Thanks for getting in touch.

Best wishes, Michelle







You’re incredible:)

India writes...

Just a quick comment to say thank you for all the worlds that you've shown me:)

I adored the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness as a child and when I read them now feel just as immersed in Torak's world. I don't know another series that is so wonderfully rich and well researched!

Recently read Dark Matter and Thin Air and have rarely been more unsettled by books. I love them! Same feelings as reading Daphne Du Maurier's horrors.

So yeah, just wanted to say thank you and I hope you're well 🙂

Michelle Replies...

Dear India,

What a truly lovely message to receive on a cloud, windy and rainy Monday morning!  I'm delighted that you enjoyed the Wolf Brother books as  a child, and it's great that you've since graduated to my adult Gothic stories. I find that very encouraging as I battle to find enough time to finish my fourth Gothic story (after Wakenhyrst, that is).  It's set in a rainforest, and has been bleating for my attention over the past few weeks, as I've been busy dealing with stuff concerning my elderly Ma.

Thanks again for getting in touch.  Stay well, and happy reading!

Best wishes, Michelle

I must of cried for an hour straight

Lily aya writes...

when I entered 5th grade (now at the end of 6th) I started reading your
book series; the ancient chronicles of darkness. I almost immediately
fell in love with Torak, Renn, Dark, Wolf and all the others. I know
there's a incredibly small chance that this will do anything. ( I assume
your very busy with others books.) but, only halfway into the last book,
I realized I would have to say goodbye to Torak and Renn. I must of
cried for an hour straight. the point is, if you have free time, it
would mean the world to me if you continued the book series. but, if
that isn't something you can do, thank you for the overpowering
happiness you brought me. You ended wolfbane fantasticly so its probably
not writers block but if you did continue the book series, the next plot
could be that Renn gets pregnant, just an idea. thank you for writing
the book series, and if you dont write another book, thats completly ok.
i wish i had the words to explain who grateful I am for it. ( sorry for
my bad grammer)

Michelle Replies...

Dear Lilya,

Many thanks for your lovely message, and for your question.  You are not alone in wanting me to write another Wolf Brother book!  However I'm afraid that as you've probably guessed, the answer is no, I have no plans to write any more books in the series.  I give my reasons in full in a reply to a message from another reader, Josiah, back in early February; you might like to take a look at what I said to him.  But briefly, I feel that I've dealt with the emotional aftermath of the first six books, and that I've given Torak, Renn and Wolf a good send-off  and started them on their adult lives. Maybe that will involve children for Torak and Renn, as you indicated - or maybe not.  It 's now up to readers to take the stories further in their imaginations. Another reason was that  I wanted to end the series on a high note, and I'm extremely proud of how WOLF BANE has turned out, so I think it's best to leave it there.  You're also right that I am currently writing another book, this time a grown-up ghost story set in a tropical rainforest.

Thanks for being so understanding  and perceptive about my not writing any more of the books you love.  And perhaps a spot of re-reading might help?

With very best wishes, Michelle




Best wishes and thank you once more

David writes...

First I hope that all will be well with you and your family.
When searching for a way to contact you for my first Thank You letter I did notice there are more books that continue the adventure.
I’ve already made steps to purchase them so I can enjoy the continuation of this great story.
Thank you for the kind reply, I’ll follow more often now that I know where to search.
-Best wishes, David.

Michelle Replies...

Dear David,

It's good to know that you're already on the track of the trilogy which completes the story of Torak, Renn and Wolf.  I really hope you enjoy them!

With best wishes, Michelle

Thank you

David writes...

It is not a question, simply a thank you letter.
When I moved at 12yo I frequently went to the local library.
As a kid who was frightened by wolves your book cover intrigued me and I’ve decided to give it a go.
The first few pages were pure horror for 12yo me and I loved it, finished the first 3 books without pause throughout a week but to my misfortune I found out that only the first 3 books were translated to Hebrew (I live in Israel), and so I started to search and see if I can find the original series in stores near me - to no success.
After a few years of reading the first three over and over again I managed to save enough to buy your complete series from Amazon to be delivered to me. My English wasn’t perfect at all (still isn’t) and it really took time for me to finish the first three books in English but with a dictionary to my side I managed to do so.
Finally finishing your Chronicles of Darkness series at 16 years old was incredible. I still read them every few months and enjoy it greatly each time. I’m 24 now, just finishing the second title and wanting to thank you.
Thank you for helping me overcome my fear of wolves.
Thank you for helping me learn English and read better.
Thank you for an incredible story to which I hold dear.
Thank you, for everything.


Michelle Replies...

Dear David,

Thank you for such a marvellous, heartfelt message!  And my apologies for taking a few days to reply; I've been dealing with some family stuff to do with my elderly mother which has been taking all my time for weeks.  But enough of that.  I was absolutely fascinated to learn of the effect which finding the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness had on you as a child - and I'm so impressed by your dedication and persistence in getting hold of the remaining three books , then working your way through them with a dictionary.  Your English is pretty perfect now, I would never have guessed that it isn't your first language; and I'm delighted that my stories have helped play their part in that.

I also love the fact that you still re-read them, even though you're now an adult.  You're not alone in that; over the years, many readers have told me the same thing.  It's wonderful, and it's not something that I ever imagined when I began writing Wolf Brother.

Finally, I wonder if you're aware that I recently wrote three more stories featuring Torak, Renn and Wolf?  Just in case you're not, they're called VIPER'S DAUGHTER, SKIN TAKER, & WOLF BANE (more details on my website).  I'm afraid these aren't published in Hebrew either (that's not in my control, it's up to the publishers to sell the rights overseas), so you'd need to resort to Amazon again if you were interested.   But I thought I should mention them for completeness.

Thank you again, David, for getting in touch with such a beautiful message, I really do appreciate it.

With very best wishes, Michelle

Thank you

Jay writes...

Dear Michelle,
I hope this message finds you well (and belated Happy New Year!). I've thought about this message for a very long time, and I've spent many days and weeks and months searching for the right words. Now I'm here, and I still don't think that I'll be able to tell you all these things that I've wanted to tell you, for such a long time.

First of all, I'd like to tell you just how much I love, love, love your works. The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness remain, to this day, the most amazing books I've ever read. I also loved reading Gods and Warriors and also your slightly darker, spookier works are amazing and I enjoyed every second of them. Your writing is so unique, so amazing and beautiful, so full of heart and life. I open a book and the words come alive.

Also, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for putting these amazing works out into the world, for people to read.
To be honest, I first read the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness when only Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker had been released yet (in my country, anyway). It was pure coincidence. At the time I lived in a rural region, my small town had a tiny library. That's where I found these two books. I still remember seeing them for the first time. They'd been presented on the rare book stands, I saw the covers and immediately, I was intrigued. In that moment, the magic was already at work. Of course I borrowed the two books from the library and as soon as I got home, I started reading and from the first word, I was already so in love with the story, the world, the characters and ideas that came to life as I kept reading. I bought my own copies from the local book store and then eagerly waited for each new release.

I discovered and read Wolf Brother and Spirit Walker at a time in my life that wasn't happy, not at all. I was hurt and lost, and I believed the entire world was against me. I still remember that biting loneliness from back then, that dull, aching emptiness inside of me. Books were the only things that brought light into the darkness that I was living in.

Yeah, those were dark times for me and I don't want to dwell on that. I'm telling you this because your wonderful books, as weirdly and corny as it sounds, helped me through these times when I was convinced that things would never, ever get better. It was a time when I hated myself and my life, but your books, telling this beautiful story set thousands of years ago...I don't know how, or why, really, but your books helped me see the light again. This may sound terribly corny, but I think that your books came into my life when I needed them the most. That is why to this day, I still feel this connection to them that I can hardly put into words. I usually say that they're my favourite books of all time, but „favourite books“ don't even come close to encompass everything that I feel for the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. These books saved my life. You saved my life.
And now I'm here, writing this letter to you, and I'd like to thank you again for writing these books, for creating these stories and characters that made me want to not give up just yet. They made me want to not let go of my life just yet. Thank you for making me want to hold on.

I'm an adult now, navigating through a busy, hectic life. As it oftentimes happens, the darkness came back to me after years, like it was just waiting for me to jump into working life and attack me even fiercer than it did when I was twelve.
I was getting really bad again (now I know that it's depression) and it was then when I, just by chance, felt like I should check out your website. It's how I got to know about the continuation of the series that saved my life.
And here I am now, and I have to tell you, when I saw the announcement of you continuing the series, I cried tears of joy, because I couldn't believe that we, as fans, were allowed to visit this beautiful world once again to continue the journey together with Torak, Renn and Wolf.
And you saved me again, together with Torak, Renn and Wolf. It may sound corny, but I wanted to stay alive to read book 7, 8 and 9. Hence why I'm still here and the darkness has passed once more and I think, if it comes back, I'll be ok. I'm in a much better place now.
So thank you, thank you so so so much. I think I will never be able to tell you just how much your works mean to me. So really, just....thank you.
Thank you for everything.


Michelle Replies...

Dear Jay,

First, forgive me for taking a few days to reply to your wonderful email. Since before Christmas I've been dealing with a rather fraught family matter which has taken every moment of my time, and I didn't want to dash off a hasty reply to your considered and thoughtful message.

Thank you for describing so beautifully the effect which my books have had on you, particularly the CHRONICLES OF ANCIENT DARKNESS when you were a child.  I was also very moved by your account of the dark times you've experienced: the "biting loneliness" and the emptiness of what you now realise is depression.  You seem, though, to have developed from a young age that most potent of weapons against bleakness: the ability to lose yourself in, and draw comfort and companionship from, a book.  I can only say that I am delighted that my stories have helped you so much.

There are people in my family who experience depression too, and I have some idea of what a horrible illness it is.  I'm so sorry that for you, it recently came back.  But how lucky that you came across Books 7, 8 and 9 of my books!  And I am glad and relieved that they helped bring you back to the light once more.  (You mentioned a few times that some of your words might sound "corny", but I can assure they're not.  Nothing can be corny that comes so clearly from the heart.)

Finally, I might add that your message has helped me too, because over the past five weeks, the family stuff I mentioned has stopped me doing any work on the book I was writing,  and I've found that rather discouraging.  Your message came just at the right time, and reminded me that writing good stories really matters!

Thank you again for getting in touch.  May you have a happy and healthy 2023 - and beyond.

With very best wishes, Michelle

Complete Box set

Ali writes...

Hi Michelle,
How are you? I'm wondering if you'll be releasing a complete box set now the final book is out.
Best wishes,

Michelle Replies...

Dear Ali,

Many thanks for your query.  You're not alone in wanting this, and it would be great if it could happen.  But I'm afraid that at the moment there are no plans for a complete boxed set of the Wolf Brother books.  The reason for this is mainly that the first six books are published by Hachette Children's Books, whereas the final three books are published by another publisher, Head of Zeus.  So it would be a bit complicated, and as far as I know neither publisher is thinking of doing this.  It's a great idea, though; and who knows, it may happen at some stage in the future.

Thanks for getting  in touch, and Happy New Year!  With best wishes, Michelle

Thin Air – hooked!

Salomon writes...

Dear Michelle,

I’m sitting on the floor by the latrine on the delayed and crowded 16.47 from Marylebone to Haddenham… Reading thin air, utterly hooked, and reliving my own alpine climbing days… the discomfort, pain, cold, hunger, exhaustion… making the best of an unplanned overnight bivi…

I bought Thin Air in a charity shop some months ago… I glimpsed it in my peripheral vision and immediately picked it up and took it home. Not before paying for it..

I’d love to know how you researched this book. It’s brill and spot on.

I feel like I’d trust you to hold my ropes!

My heart goes out crevasse deep to the Sherpas and Cedric.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Salomon, I've just checked my emails and got yours; I really hope that by now you're no longer on that delayed train, and have reached Haddenham!

I'm absolutely delighted that you enjoyed/are enjoying THIN AIR, particularly as you've been a climber yourself.  In answer to your question, nope, I'm not a climber and never have been.  But I have hiked in mountains in all over the world; and I've always loved the classic accounts of climbing, such as THE WHITE SPIDER and TOUCHING THE VOID.  To research the story I read in-depth about the history of Himalayan mountaineering.  Then, to put it simply, I used my imagination.  I also hiked in the foothills of Kanchenjunga, which was invaluable.  (I go into all this in a bit more detail in the Author's Note at the back of the book; but I suggest you only take a look at that when you've finished the story.)

Thanks so much for getting in touch; and I hope you enjoy the rest of it!

With very best wishes,  Michelle




who dies in oath breaker?

emilia writes...

who dies in oath breaker? I know its a spoiler but I am itching to know by the way i love your books my favorite characters are wolf and torak

Michelle Replies...

Dear Emilia, I'm really glad that you like my stories, but I'm afraid I make it a rule never to answer questions that are spoilers!

But thank you for reminding me about the importance of avoiding spoilers. And for anyone reading this and thinking about asking a question, please DON'T include a spoiler in your question, because then I won't be able to answer it.

Thanks for getting in touch, Emilia, and I'm afraid you're just going to have to read OATH BREAKER to find out whether anyone dies - and if so, who!

With best wishes, Michelle


Aria writes...

Dear Michelle Paver

I am a big fan of your books.

I am 9 years old and I have written a letter to you for my homework. Please may you let me know where I can send my letter.

Thanks very much I will look forward to hearing from you.


Aria ????????????????❣️????

Michelle Replies...

Dear Aria, I am so glad that you like my books.  The best place to send me a letter is to my publishers, at: Head of Zeus, Publicity Department, 1st Floor East, 5-8 Hardwick Street, London EC1R 4RG.  They will send it on to me - although I warn you, it sometimes takes a few weeks!

I hope you continue to enjoy my stories, and thanks for getting in touch.

With best wishes, Michelle