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An Introduction.

I was eighteen when I first encountered Tarod. Even for an obsessive writer with a very vivid imagination, it's a strange experience to have a character introduce himself to me, rather the other way around. As I've described it in an essay, it was as if someone, metaphorically speaking, walked up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Here I am—write my story.'

            From the beginning, I could picture Tarod clearly. Very tall and lean, with unruly black hair that is rarely trimmed, and intense, emerald green eyes. A self-contained personality, almost remote at times, but ferociously loyal to the people or principles he believes in. He would make an invaluable friend—or an extremely dangerous enemy. I fell in love with him, of course; but as his story began to take form, that feeling changed to something more subtle, until he became more like a fantasy brother than a fantasy lover. Perhaps there are elements in his nature that I wish I possessed; certainly his courage and ability to stand fast in the face of adversity are qualities that I admire and envy. So I like to think that, in some ways, he is the other side of my own coin. Though that is probably a piece of wishful thinking…

            Whatever the nature of my would-be relationship with Tarod, I wasn't going to have any peace of mind until I'd written his story—or at least a version of it. The result was a novel which I called Lord Of No Time, in which several characters who returned in the later version—notably Cyllan, Drachea, Keridil and, of course, Yandros—made their first appearances. When the book was finished I realised that I also wanted to explore Tarod's background story, so I wrote a 'prequel', then titled The Spirit Ring. The two books were published together in 1977 as Lord Of No Time. They didn't have a long shelf life, to tell the truth. But Tarod and his friends and enemies continued to stalk the corridors of my mind, until some years later my agent of the time suggested that I should expand the original story into a trilogy. The result was Time Master—and this time it was a success.

Two more trilogies followed: the sequel, Chaos Gate, set some sixty years after Time Master's conclusion, and the prequel, Star Shadow, which took readers far back into the world's history. I was then approached by Hodder Children's Books, who asked if I would be interested in writing a fourth trilogy, but this time for the Young Adult market. Daughter of Storms took place about a century after the events chronicled in Chaos Gate and introduced three new major characters: Shar Tillmer, and her friends Hestor and Kitto. Tarod, though, was never far away…


You'll find details of all the Time Master stories in the Books page of this section, including my own eBook version of the original Lord Of No Time—and news of a brand-new Young Adult trilogy