A graduate of Exeter University in the early 1980s, I spent 20 years as a teacher of French, Latin and Classical studies, before a change of career led me to writing children’s fiction. Currently residing in Abu Dhabi, I live with my husband and our beautiful Tonkinese cat.
The Shadow of Atlantis is the first in a series of time-travel adventures, featuring 3 children and a rather special cat called Max. I’m now working on the 17th book, The Shadow of the Great Fire. The series also includes several novellas that feature Max the talking Tonkinese cat undertaking solo adventures. As I take my young readers on a magical mystery tour through the past, I’m hoping that my love of history, myth and legend will rub off on them too.
In 1588, a plot to invade England and overthrow Queen Elizabeth the First is about to unfold. At this crucial moment in English history, four visitors from the future arrive in Elizabethan London.
Twins Joe and Jemima Lancelot, together with their friend Charlie and their talking cat Max, embark upon their next journey into the past as they continue the search for their missing parents who are lost somewhere in the mists of time.
Finding themselves at the heart of a web of conspiracy, can the young time-travellers solve the mystery of the Tudor Rose?
The characters in my series of books
There are four main characters in my series:
Eleven-year-old twins Jemima and Joe Lancelot; their best friend from next door, Charlie Green; and my favourite character, Max the talking Tonkinese cat.
Jemima and Joe have lost their parents who vanished in mysterious circumstances. With their parents missing, the twins are sent to live with their father’s brother, Richard Lancelot, a confirmed bachelor. Uncle Richard, a professor of ancient history and archaeology at the University of London, has no experience of bringing up children and, although he loves his niece and nephew dearly, he has a steep learning curve ahead of him. The loss of their parents and their move to London are tough for the twins, and they find it hard to adjust until, one day, they discover something that gives them hope – their parents travelled back in time through the portal of an ancient book, but left behind the key that would bring them home. Jemima now has that key, and so the children embark upon a quest to find them, searching through the pages of history. The twins share a close bond but their characters are quite different.
Jemima is sensitive and caring but, with a tendency to speak her mind, she has a temper when provoked. She adores Max and is fiercely protective of him.
Joe is more laid-back, but has an impetuous, reckless streak, sometimes acting without thinking.
Charlie, whose parents are divorced, hasn’t had many friends before and was always something of a loner before the twins moved in next door. Exceptionally clever, he’s a bit of a geek and has suffered a lot of teasing at school. His marked resemblance to the fictional character of Harry Potter, complete with round glasses, didn’t help. Since becoming friends with the twins and joining them on their time-travelling expeditions, Charlie emerges from his shell and his self-confidence grows. His amazing brainwaves and encyclopaedic knowledge make him a vital member of the group.
Max, short for Maximus, is an exceptionally large but devastatingly handsome lilac Tonkinese cat with aquamarine eyes. Everyone he meets falls for his charms, but he has a unique ability for a cat. With a magic owl charm that he wears on his collar, he can speak and understand human speech. The character of Max brings an element of humour to the stories, thanks to his grouchy one-liners, his clumsiness and tendency to get into scrapes. There is also something extra-special about Max, but I’m not going to let you into the secret here – it’s too much of a spoiler!
If my stories were made into films, I can just imagine an animatronic version of Max stealing the limelight!