Ask Michelle

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

Latest Messages

Wolf Brother

Torak and Renn

(lack of) Hungarian translations

I am a Japanese reader of the Japanese translation of Viper’s daughter.

Thank you

Wolf Brother translations

Ghost Hunter

Thank You

Growing up with your books

The art of building suspense in words

ancient chronicles books are mint

alexander writes...

Hi Michelle,

I was wondering what inspired you too write this beautiful series of novels and how you came up with the character names?
I started reading the ancient chronicles with my dad when I was quite little and loved the novels, and even now much older I still enjoy them just as much.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Alexander, what a lovely image that evokes, you and your father reading the books together; and I'm so glad that you're still enjoying them (I take it you've caught up with the three later ones, VIPER'S DAUGHTER, SKIN TAKER & WOLF BANE).

I've described how I came up with the idea for the stories in details on my website, so rather than repeat myself, I suggest you go to, then enter the Cave and click on Why I Wrote Wolf Brother.  As for the names, the short answer is I made them up.  But it was more complicated than that. I took sounds or inspiration from various old languages: for instance, Hord, Saeunn, Thiazzi and Fin-Kedinn are Norse in feel, while Eostra is based on Anglo-Saxon.  I also adapted names from Inuit - for instance, Tanugeak and Inuktiluk - and from some Native American languages: Maheegun, the leader of the Wolf Clan, means "wolf" in Cree.  I made up the names Torak and Renn - but after WOLF BROTHER came out, I was  told by an Inuit girl that Torak means "perfect" in Greenlandic; and I later learnt that Renn means reindeer in French (spelt "renne"; that must have given my French translator a headache!).

So as you can see, I've been a bit of a magpie.  I should add that it has generally taken quite a long time to come up with exactly the right name for everyone, as each name has to fit the character and clan.  And funnily enough, the hardest of all was Wolf.  I thought of all sorts of names for my wolf cub when I was embarking on WOLF BROTHER - and it was only after three days and dozens of variants  that I realised that he doesn't have a name; it wouldn't make sense to him.  He's just Wolf!

Thanks for getting in touch, and I hope you continue to enjoy the stories of Torak, Renn and Wolf.

With very best wishes, Michelle











Wolf brother

Grace-Ann writes...

My 10 year old daughter is nearly finished the whole of the wolf books, she’s only a few chapters from the end. She is such a big fan of the books, she would love to know if you’ll be writing another series of books like wolf brother.?
Ps Thankyou so much for writing such an amazing set of books….molly is such a book worm and has read them all within a few months.

Michelle Replies...

Dear Grace-Ann, thank you so much for getting in touch - and I'm absolutely delighted that Molly has enjoyed the Wolf Brother books!  My goodness, nine books in a few months, she certainly is a bookworm.

I haven't written any other books set in the Stone Age, but I have written a five-book series set in the Bronze Age Mediterranean, about 3,500 years ago.  It's called Gods and Warriors,  the first book is The Outsiders, and all five are published by Puffin.  Like the Wolf Brother books, the stories are adventures, with lots of animals (they don't feature wolves, but a dolphin, a lion cub and a falcon are important characters).  If Molly tries them, I do hope she enjoys them.  Again, thanks for getting in touch.

With very best wishes, Michelle

I am the family genealogist—sending you a text that went to my brothers today

William writes...

I am wondering if you are part of the South African branch of the family?

Yes and I found Uncle Henry the other day. He’s buried in Belleville, NY. He was Thomas William Paver’s brother from Otterton, UK our great grandfather—his generation (siblings)went all over the world. One brother in South Africa, another in Australia. I’m guessing the author Michelle Paver is a relative from South Africa.. Their Uncles were the two Paver’s killed in WW1 and I’ve tracked them down in France. Worth a trip if you ever go—the WW1 sites are pretty awesome.

ps: I read your books to our 5 children and am now on to the Grand kids

Michelle Replies...

Dear William,

Thanks for this, and I'm glad that your children - and now, I hope, your grandchildren - are enjoying my books.  You're right, I'm part of the South African Pavers.

Regards, Michelle


Connor writes...

I have a Question and I am reading the wolf brother so I was wondering ???? if there was a film so yes or a no answer as soon as possible please ????

Michelle Replies...

Dear Connor, I answered this question fully when I responded recently to a message from Anna; but the short answer is, I'm afraid there are currently no plans for a film.

Best wishes, Michelle

A simple letter

Michela writes...

Dear Michelle,
I wanted to write a love letter to you and your work since a very long time, but I always felt like I didn’t have enough words to describe how much I’m grateful for all you’ve done.
Chronicles of Ancient Darkness have made my life and part of who I am now. I’m almost 29 but I love those books like that first day, when I was only 10 – a little girl in a library fascinated by a wolf who could be a brother.
And Wolf has been my brother since then, alongside Torak and Renn and all the amazing characters that live inside me every day.
I’ve reread their adventures a lot, so much that I’ve lost the count, and yet every time it feels like the first time, and the emotions flow like a river as I run, and hunt, and howl, and cry, and laugh with them.
Now that their journey is over, I’m sad and nostalgic – but I know it’s not really over, ‘cause I’ll keep them forever in my heart.
Following your live streaming on YouTube has proven me that you are not only an amazing writer (my favorite!), but also a wonderful person, one to look up for to be the best version of ourselves.
I hope this letter finds you well.
With all my love,

Michelle Replies...

Dear Michela,

Thank you for so much for your wonderful, heartfelt message.  I'm absolutely delighted that the stories have meant so much to you.  And you put it so well when you say that they're not really over, because they will be with you always.  That's how I feel too about some of my favourite books.

As for my live stream programmes, you say some very nice things about me; although in the interests of accuracy I should tell you that I also have my less wonderful side.  For one thing, I can be rather sharp and critical, just like Renn!  But I'm glad you've enjoyed the live streams.

Again, thanks so much for getting in touch. I received your message on an extremely dark and gloomy day when it didn't stop raining - and reading what you said brightened it considerably!

With very best wishes,  Michelle


Josh writes...

Hello I have been trying to get tickets to one of ur book signing but as u kindly told me that there are no signing ATM could there be a chance I could purchase a signed copy of one of ur books please as It would mean the world to my partner thank you for ur time


Michelle Replies...

Dear Josh,

Your persistence does you credit, but I'm afraid the only way you can currently buy a signed copy of one of my books is if you can find one I've already signed in a bookshop - whether that bookshop is a real one, or online.  (I'm sure you'll appreciate that, like most authors, I don't sell my books myself.)   I hope you find what you're looking for.

Best wishes,  Michelle

urgent question

Moritz writes...

In the book : Dark Matter A Ghost Story

Did the dark figure drown, if not how did it die?

Thank you for Answer

Kind Regards
Moritz Eggenberger

Michelle Replies...

Dear Moritz,

This is the kind of question I leave to the reader to decide. If one makes a ghost story too definite, it's no longer scary.  Have fun using your imagination!

Regards, Michelle

question for the exam I have tomorrow

Jasin writes...

Hello Miss Paver,
what does the title of your book "dark matter" mean? How does it relate to the story?

kind regards

Michelle Replies...

Dear Jasin,

You'll be able to answer both questions if you read the book. Best of luck with the exam,

Regards, Michelle


Josh writes...

Hello my name is josh I was wondering when your next signing is in Sheffield or surrounding areas if you could help it would be great as I'm wanting tickets for my partner as your her favourite author


Michelle Replies...

Dear Josh,

It does you credit to be thinking about your partner, and I'm so glad that I'm her favourite author!  But as you'll have seen from my answers to previous questions, I'm not doing signings this year and have none planned as yet for next.  If that changes, full details will be posted on my website.

Best wishes, Michelle


Alessia writes...

Hello Michelle,

I would really like to ask you a question that I am trying to answer myself over these last few weeks and…I wonder if you ever had to choose between two dreams? I want to be an author and an actress. But sometime I feel I am drifting to the acting ‘side’, and sometimes more to the writing ‘side’. I don’t know how to decide or if I can make it as both? I mean can you even be both? Thank you for your time.

Alessia Wilimowski

Michelle Replies...

Dear Alessia,

My goodness, that's quite a question!  And it's not one I've ever had to address, as I've never been faced with it, because I only ever really wanted to write.  I don't think I'm in a position to give you advice, as the answer is, in all likelihood,  something which will probably only gradually become clear to you.  All I would suggest is that perhaps try not to think of it as an "either/or" question.  In other words, trying your hand at writing doesn't necessarily mean giving up on acting, or the other way around.  It's all about creativity, and the one feeds the other.  So perhaps give yourself permission to investigate and play around with both.

The best of luck with exploring this.

Regards, Michelle