Paver-2234

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

Gratitude

School Visits

Thank you very much for your work!

Hi!

Trans and non binary people

Thank you

Souleater

Anna writes...

Hello, I have been a fan of these books for such a long time. but I cant remember if we see the part where Torak gets the soul eater mark or if I'm being silly and there wasn't one. If there was one please tell me what chapter it is.
I was also wondering you ever thought of writing a book with the healers when they were younger and all friends and we see the how they slowly become evil (or broken)we could see how they were raised, hurt. The trio with Toraks father, Fin-Kedinn and Tenris + love bond between Toraks mother and father and Fin-Kedinn. All of it would just be so heart-breaking/warming. Also the parallels between them and Torak would be so cool!
I love all of your work too!

Michelle Replies...

Dear Anna, thanks so much for your message, and it's great that you like my stories.  First, to clear things up about Torak's Soul-Eater tattoo: we don't see it when it actually happens, which is at the end of Book 3 (SOUL EATER), but we do see it as a mini-flashback in Chapter 2 of Book 4 (OUTCAST), when Torak recalls the experience of being held down and tattooed.  So it's understandable that you couldn't remember either way; indeed, when I got your message, I had to scurry back to the books and check!  As for your second question, you're not the first reader to suggest a prequel dealing with the Healers/Soul-Eaters, and/or the backstory of Torak's parents, Fin-Kedinn and Tenris.  But while you perceptively (and persuasively) highlight how this might all work, I'm afraid that I've never been tempted to write such prequels,  I think mainly because we know how it all ends, and what happens to all the characters.  I hope that's not too disappointing; and thanks again for getting in touch. With very best wishes, Michelle


A 10th Book?

Mira writes...

Dear Ms Paver,

I hope you are well!

I have hugely enjoyed reading the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness - the series was really a joy to read! I love the impact it had on the reader and it hooked me to read on from the very first book to the very last. This is why when I finished the last page of the last book, Wolfbane, I realised with a heavy heart I could not be with these characters for longer. Nothing can beat the grip of the stories!

Therefore I am beg you (at your earliest convenience) to write another book in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness! My wild idea would be to add to it by bringing all the Soul-Eaters back to life to come together to destroy Torak and everything he loves? Then, he could defeat them once again with his companion wolf and Renn!

I would be so grateful for your consideration.

Yours truly,
A big fan,
Mira Sibal

Michelle Replies...

Hello, Mira.  I'm delighted that you've enjoyed the nine books in the series, and it really does sound as if you've been living and breathing th stories!  While I sympathise with your very eloquent plea for a tenth book, I'm afraid that I've no plans to write one.   You see, I just feel that I've left the characters in a good place at the end of Wolfbane, and that the shape of the series is complete as it is.  So I'm sorry to disappoint you, but there won't be any more stories to follow about Torak, ~Renn and Wolf.  All I can suggest is that a spot of re-reading might help to fill the gap, and take you back to the Forest.  Thank you for getting in touch - and may the guardian run with you!  With best wishes, Michelle


Les Chroniques des Temps Obscurs Tome 7-8-9 in French.

Stéphanie writes...

Looking for your book Les Chroniques des Temps Obscurs Tome 7-8-9 in French. I found #6 on Amazone. I read Tome 1-2-3-4-5 and would really like to continue the series because I like it :). Can you tell me if they are still available somewhere? I canot seem to find them and my bookstore could only get me up to #5.
Thank you very much 🙂

Michelle Replies...

Dear Stephanie, I'm afraid that Tomes 7, 8 and 9 have not been translated into French, and there aren't any plans to do so in the future.  (That was not my decision, it was decided by the publishers, Hachette.)  So I'm afraid that if you want to read more, you will have to get the books in English.  Sorry about that!  With very best wishes, Michelle


Gods and Warriors audio books?

Felicity writes...

Hi Michelle,

I've LOVED listening to the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series with my daughter on audible. We were rather at a loss when we didn't have Torak and Renn in our lives!

We discovered the first book in the Gods and Warriors series, which again we have really enjoyed listening to. Will an of the other books be published on Audible as an audio book?

Best wishes,

Felicity

Michelle Replies...

Deare Felicity, I'm so glad that you enjoyed listening to Ian McKellen's superb recordings of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.  I'm afraid, though, that after recording the first in the Gods and Warriors series, Puffin decided not to record any more audiobooks in the series.  That decision is of course up to them, although I do think it's a pity; but there we are.  Still, returning to all things Wolf Brother, it's terrific that Ian was kind enough to record the three sequels to the original six books in the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness - so that we have his marvellous performances of all nine books.   With best wishes, Michelle


Wolf Brother to Dark Matter

Aimee writes...

Hello Michelle!
I started reading Wolf Brother when I was 12 (now 27-where has the time gone?!) and at the time read the series up to book 6! I was very excited when I saw an advert for the newest trilogy that came out a couple of years ago, so this year purchased them after re-reading the first 6 books. I was wary of ruining a childhood favourite when I started them again, but low and behold I was blown away, perhaps more than when I was a child and quite surprised at some of the dark twists! My mum read them when I first read them so we could talk about them but I never would have guessed how much I enjoyed them as an adult! I’ve now finished the latest 3 and I’m quite content with the end, but I wish I could dip back into that world again- a reread may be required in the future!
Anyway, I’m most of the way through Dark Matter now and am looking forward to the other adult books. The tension in Dark Matter is getting to me, I can feel Jacks emotions in your writing!
Just want to say thank you for your imagination and research to get your tales so accurate!! Torak, Renn and Wolf will always hold a special place in my heart!! Best wishes, Aimee

Michelle Replies...

Dear Aimee, thank you so much for your heartfelt message.  I was delighted and fascinated to learn of your response both to the first six books, and particularly to the final three!  I'm also glad that you liked the ending.  May you enjoy many happy re-reads in the future.  With very best wishes, Michelle


thank you

Anna writes...

Hi Michelle

I just wanted to thank you for providing such an excellent ‘chronicles of ancient darkness’ series 🙂 your books bring me so much peace- I first read them from when I was about twelve, (my grandmother brought me them from the library each week) then I reread the series during the first couple months of lockdown. Now, at 22, I am rereading them all again, and wolfbane for the first time!

The relationship Torak and Renn have to nature, and the in depth detail of their hunter gatherer lifestyle, has always stuck with me.

Now this summer I will be taking a course in Norway that will teach me live in the lithic era 🙂 ie foraging, making stone tools, tanning skins, and processing wild fish. Thank you for your book that taught me so much about how our ancestors lived and also gave me an ideology of how we can live more integrated within nature.
I feel so lucky to have read this series!

Michelle Replies...

Dear Anna, thank you so much for your wonderful message.  I love the image of the twelve-year old you reading the series as your grandmother brought the books to you from the library.  I do hope you enjoy Wolfbane, and that you find it a fitting end to the series.  Have a marvellous time in Norway; that course sounds amazing!  With very best wishes, Michelle


Hi, you’re awesome!

Molly writes...

I'd like to interview you, because I LOVE your books. The interview is for a schoolproject and I'd appreciate it very much if you'd accept.

If it's not a problem send me a mail as soon as possible. YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!

Best regards, Molly <3

Michelle Replies...

Dear Molly, I'm so glad that you like my books.  I'm afraid I can't help with your school project, as I'm up to my ears in work and family stuff.  Also, if I said yes to helping you, that would open the doors for lots of other requests like yours - and I'd never get any writing done!  Wishing you the best of luck with your project - and may the guardian run with you!  Michelle


Address

Sage writes...

Hi my name is Jocelyn, your books are the best I have read in my life. I am 12 and sending this from my aunt’s phone. I wanted to tell you how amazing your series “the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness” my question is how did you pick the names of Renn and Torak because everytime I read their names I thought how they weren’t ordinary and wanted to know how you picked them? Renn is my favorite character. Thank you.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Jocelyn, I'm delighted that you've been enjoying the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness so much!  The short answer is that I made up the names Torak and Renn. I had to, because we don't know any Stone Age names.  But in doing so, I borrowed sounds from various old languages, such as Old Norse (what the Vikings spoke) - and after that it was a question of trial and error, until I had something that felt absolutely right for the character.  As it happened, much later, after I was well into writing the books, I learnt that both names mean something in other languages: Renn means "reindeer" in French, and Torak means "perfect" in Greenlandic; I was told this by an Inuit girl in Greenland.  But that's just chance, and the important thing is that the names fit the characters.  Finally, and in case you didn't know, I should tell that I've also written three more Wolf Brother books, after the six of the Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.  I hope you enjoy them too! May the guardian run with you.  Best wishes, Michelle


German translations

Sylvia writes...

Dear Michelle,
I read some of the Torak books when they first came out (already a mature adult at the time!) and loved them, and knew they would be right up my godson Jonathan's street - now 12, he's been addicted for the last two years and has read volumes 1-5, mostly gifted by me. HOWEVER he's German, and we cannot get hold of vol. 6 ('Seelenwächter' I believe) in German anywhere! You don't happen to know of a secret stash? Any print runs planned? Such a shame they're no longer available.
Worse still, am I right in thinking the last 3 volumes haven't even been translated? In which case I'll have to tell him to get his skates on and keep working on his English...
NB. I love Thin Air & Dark Matter especially, too, and shall explore some of your other books.
Kind regards, Sylvia

Michelle Replies...

Dear Sylvia, I'm so glad that you and Jonathan have both enjoyed the Torak books; but I'm afraid I can't help you as regards a German edition of volume 6 - except to suggest a secondhand book site, such as abe.com?  And I'm afraid you're correct that the final three volumes - ie books 7-9 - haven't been translated into German, so Jonathan will, as you say, need to keep working on his English, if he wants to find out what happens... Thanks very much for getting in touch, and I hope you continue to enjoy my Gothic novels too.  With very best wishes, Michelle


Dreams and Visions in the Chronicles of Ancient Dark Series

Niklas writes...

Dear Michelle Paver,
I am currently writing an essay in a class about Dreams in literature for children and teenagers. In my essay I want to take a closer look at the Chronicles of Ancient Dark as I always felt like you had a clever way to place dreams or visions in a way that not only push forward the narrative but also give great insight into one of the characters while also giving explanations for these dreams or visions that fit the lore of the world you built. I am curious as to:
1. What was your vision/intention with using dreams and visions to greater extend?
2. When it comes to Wolf how did you come up with ideas of how an animal would dream?
3. Do you feel there is anything that differentiates Chronicles of Ancient Darks usage of Dreams from other book series?

Michelle Replies...

Dear Niklas, what an interesting essay.  To answer your questions: (1) My intentions in using dreams and visions in the Wolf Brother books were largely as you say, either to drive the story, and/or to show character - while trying to stay in keeping with how prehistoric people might have thought.  In psychological terms, the dreams of Renn and Torak mostly tend to show what's going on in their unconscious: in other words, what they're not yet conscious of knowing, but are aware of at a deeper level. For instance, in Viper's Daughter when Renn dreams/has a vision of her mother, on a psychological level this is her unconscious  helping her process the fact that she has inherited aspects of her mother - which, as she comes to realise over the course of the story - aren't all bad.  Also, some of Renn's waking visions, and all of Torak's spirit walking,  are of course based on shamanism, as practised by many indigenous peoples all over the world (and probably by prehistoric people as well).  (2) For Wolf's dreams, I've used what I know of wolf and dog cognition, and I've tried to keep his dreams simpler than those of Torak and Renn, and rooted in instinct and feeling; the same goes for all the passages from Wolf's point of view.  (3) Finally, I can't really say whether my approach differs from how dreams are used in other book series, as I don't really know any.  Except, I suppose, that I try to avoid dreams being too prophetic.  I wouldn't regard that as realistic - unless, of course, the "prophecy" really relates to something that the character is already unconsciously aware of.  I hope the above proves helpful to you - and good luck with what sounds like a fascinating essay!  With best wishes, Michelle