Michelle Paver: a life in writing | Books | The Guardian

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Michelle Paver

A Guardian 'Life In Writing' profile by Alison Flood.

Paver's new book, Gods And Warriors, has just been published.

Her new novel, Gods and Warriors, launches her second children's series. This one is set in the bronze age Mediterranean, around 1500BC, and is filled with the colours, sounds and scents of the Minoans and Mycenaeans. It follows the adventures of Hylas, an "Outsider", rejected from his village, living alone with his sister on a hillside tending goats when terrifying black-clad warriors attack and the pair are separated. This first book is his quest to find his sister; in it, Hylas meets Pirra, the 12-year-old daughter of a high priestess, who disfigures her face to avoid an arranged marriage.

Paver has been climbing active volcanoes, meeting dolphins and knapping obsidian to get everything right (she's just back from a research trip to Milos, where her lack of skill at knapping - shaping stone tools - meant that she "left a libation of blood" behind). "You have to be there, to realise what things mean for characters," she says. "I've climbed Stromboli when it's erupting, which is quite a heavy climb, three hours with a helmet to get to the top. When you're there and it's dark and you can see this eruption and feel it, it's quite different to watching it on TV. I've got Hylas in my head because I know roughly what's going to happen, and I'm there, I can feel the grit, I'm coughing it up for days afterwards. So it's fun, but it also allows me to feel the story.


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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on August 25, 2012 9:03 AM.

Picture book roundup - reviews | Books | The Guardian was the previous entry in this blog.

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