The Book of Lies




 The Australian Cover

The English Cover

The American Cover




I get more emails about The Book of Lies than any other of my titles. Perhaps it's because fantasy is such a popular genre these days. I have my own theories about why and one of them is because the traditional adventure story went out of vogue in children's books about thirty years ago. Stories became more serious and tended to examine topical social issues. God knows, I have written a few novels like that myself. But my point is that lots of readers still wanted simply to identify with a courageous hero as he fought off the villains (and yes, the hero can be female, too) and generally had a swashbucking adventure. The place to find that kind of fun was in fantasy.

So when I felt myself growing stale after so many serious novels, fantasy was one of the ways I could let myself loosen up a bit.  It seemed like a good opportunity to write spine-tingling scenes of suspense and mystery in darkened places unlike anything I had experienced. I once heard Isobelle Carmody speaking about writing her books and smiled when she said that while her body seemed to be sitting at a computer, in her own mind she had a sword in her hand as she fought dragons and rescued the vulnerable from certain death. 

The story of The Book of Lies probably started when I was thinking about the OJ Simpson court case years ago and the use of Lie Detectors. Unfortunately, Lie Detectors aren't accurate enough to be much use in a case like that, but the media frenzy about the case set me wondering - and thinking - and jotting down ideas and before I knew it, I had come up with the idea of an infallable lie detector that used magic to read a person's mind and therefore, never made mistakes. Of course, that wasn't much use until I realised that my lie detector would have to become faulty, somehow, to create the drama for the story. That's when the book took on its present form.

I am not the first person to come up with a flying horse. The Greeks thought of that millenia ago. And I am probably not even the first person to come up with a beast like Termagant. They were great to work with, though. I just about gave myself nightmares when I first wrote about Termagant. The editor suggested I move the scene until later in the book to increase the fear and anticipation and she was right.

I first planned The Book of Lies as a one-off story. However, when I realised what Fergus would do at the end of the story, I decided there was more to tell and so Master of the Books was created. Even then, the characters were still alive in my imagination, so I continued with a third adventure, The Book from Baden Dark. 

Click here to see the other Fantasy books in this series.


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