I first read the legend of Gelert when I was six. It's carved in Welsh and English on the old dog's gravestone in Beddglert, Snowdonia, North Wales. It's a very sad story; it made me cry then, and it still does today.
Fast forward to about 1992, when I had it in mind to do an illustrated book for kids about the mad dogs that an equally mad Chinese Emperor might want.
That sixteen page picture book quickly became a seven hundred page novel that showed no sign of ending, which was scary, so I stopped writing.
In 2005, I returned to the idea, and promptly realised that I knew nothing about Imperial China. So I stopped writing again.
But I do know a bit about medieval Britain and dogs, and one sleepless night in February 2010 (too much cheese for supper), several strands of different stories suddenly crashed into each other in my mind.
'The Dog Hunters' was the result.
Gelert never died, and Prince Llewelyn, the baby he saved all those centuries ago, got to be kidnapped and whisked off to ancient China.
Now we have 'The Dog Assassins' too, with 'The Dog Army' on its way. Once that's finished, the plan is to take Llewelyn and Gelert through all the most exciting periods and events in history- although I'm not quite sure how I'm going to squeeze a 200 lb. Wolfhound into the cockpit of a Spitfire.
Got any questions? I'd love to hear from you via 'The Adventures of Llewelyn and Gelert' Facebook page, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org