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The Children of the Valley Series

The Music from the Sea
The City In the Sand
The House of a Hundred Animals
The Tribe that Sang to Trees

These are set many years in the future. As far as the people of the Valley know, they are the only ones left in the world. The only people who leave the safety of the Valley are the Collectors, who hunt for metal or new plants in the world outside - except for two children, Possum, from the House of the Three Jasmines, and Mopoke of Iron Fist, with their companion the crippled collector, Desert Wind.

The Valley in these books is based on the valley we live in here - but hundreds of years in the future.

Mopoke and Possum aren't based on anyone in particular,..though they do have hints of my son Edward and Victoria Clutterbuck's (the illustrator’s) daughter Celene. But I think both would be insulted if they thought either character was based on them. I don't see myself as Desert Wind, though one reviewer at least assumed I was - though I probably do have small bits of her character and of Big Wattie's too.


I don't base any character on any one person, but they are all comprised of bits of people I have known (that sounds a bit as though I hack at them with a cleaver and stick them together again, but it isn't quite like that). I suppose many of them are bits of myself too.


My favourite character is Prickleberry Three Tooth - the story teller who is too old for the adventures in the series. I would have liked to write more about him and in the original plan he was a central character in three of the books.

No, that's not how I imagine Australia will be in the future though it has threads of possible futures. But it's how I imagine the Araluen Valley and the districts around it would fare if the future in the books came to pass.

The names for people and places just jump on me when I'm not looking - I very rarely work them out consciously. But the names come after the background and the theme so they are probably unconsciously related.

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