The Story Behind the Story

When I was about the age of young Sylas Tate I had a thought – what if the reason we can sometimes be so doubting, so unsure of ourselves, is that we aren’t quite whole? As I got a bit older the idea started to develop: what if the other part of us had a world of its own? And what if this other world was in some ways just the same as ours but in others was utterly different, even opposite? Those thoughts stayed with me and over the years they became bolder and bigger: what might those double worlds of dual souls allow me to explore and explain? Myths and legends? Even some of our basic ideas – science, magic, the supernatural?

One of my early attempts at depicting the Ravel Runes

One of my early attempts at depicting the Ravel Runes

Eventually I had so many nagging ideas that I knew I had to write them down, so I changed my own world, moving from publisher to writer, and began The Mirror Chronicles. I started by preparing the history and background of this other world and then I moved on to the first book, The Bell Between Worlds. This opening novel takes Sylas Tate into another world of possibilities, imaginings and second souls and brings him face to face with many of the questions I asked myself years before. Happily for Sylas he also finds some of the answers.

A draft of the hardback cover for the Bell Between Worlds.

A draft of the hardback cover for the Bell Between Worlds.

As you will see I have found that there is plenty for Sylas to discover. I have written some scenes that did not make the final cut and envisaged plenty of others that I have not yet written. To give a greater insight into the trilogy I thought I would share with you two of these scenes:

The first is a prologue, which I have written especially for release to you, and which gives a very brief introduction to the first book and a hint of its mystery and magic. The second is a scene called “The Bouncing Turnip”, which I had originally written for the chapter entitled “The Mutable Inn” and which gives a snapshot of some of the more playful magic of the other world. Finally, I thought it might also be good to share an extract of one of the most pivotal scenes in the book – the scene in which Sylas first hears the chime of the bell between worlds. I very much hope you enjoy these scenes, and the first two novels, and the third to come. With best wishes, Ian Johnstone

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