|I was twelve years old and had a secret. I was lonely. I’d changed schools and hadn’t settled in at all. So I’d sit there daydreaming, that I had a quite different secret
I had a superpower.
I didn’t have any doubt about which power it would be either. Let others be super-strong, or mega fast – I wanted to read minds. I’d spend many happy hours deciding how I would use this awesome gift. It made me feel less alone.
So it was a special pleasure to revisit my dream in the MindReader trilogy. The protagonist – twelve year old Matt – isn’t exactly me but let’s say we’re very close!
I immersed myself in thinking about Matt and how he would use the crystal – the source of his mindreading. Questions danced about in my head. Would he ‘tune into’ his friends? His closest friend (Emma)? His enemy (Finn)? And what about when he discovers a girl he hardly knows is about to run away from his school. Should he befriend her? Try and stop her? Is Matt like Spiderman, obliged to use his power to do good?
And what about when he ‘overhears’ something mysterious and chilling from a total stranger. Should he investigate further?
I’ve always enjoyed what I call realistic fantasy. That is how I see the MindReader books. I enjoy the way the story isn’t confined to one genre. It’s a school story. It’s a comedy. It’s a mystery. And yes, a fantasy. I hope this makes the MindReader books different and fresh.
Matt is certainly challenged by his super power. But what I like best is how a magic crystal changes Matt in a good way – and makes him feel less alone.
Exactly as stories can do.