No man (or woman) is an island and this endeavour is certainly no exception. Many wonderful people have helped in varied ways, to bring this story to life. Apologies to anyone I have forgotten.To my parents, who nurtured my endless flights of fancy and ‘ventions’ as a child. And especially my poor mother, who proofread more versions of this book than either of us care to count (see how I neatly absolved myself of any responsibility for typos or poor grammar!).

To the nameless librarian who handed a very mini-me my first copy of “The Black Cauldron”.

To Jean and Barri, who rescued an under achiever and introduced him to the love of science, setting me on the path to so nearly becoming a mad scientist.

To my (very patient) editor, Emma, who so carefully nurtured the fragile ego of a young writer twenty years ago and inspired him to go ‘world building’ – and has had my back ever since!

To the wonderful Robin Hobb, whose only advice was ‘Persevere!’ – so I did.

To Jon, whose kind words, praise and endless suggestions lifted me when I needed it most.

To Matt, whose honesty (I call it ‘disagreeing with everything I say’) always challenged me to be making things better.

To Zach, my first official reviewer and youngest reader – you rock!

To Doug, for invaluable advice and many years of friendship.

To my dynamo children, truly incredible arrangements of atoms, who make every endeavour worthwhile.

And to my spectacular wife, who always believes, supports and has every corner covered. Nothing seems impossible with you at my side.


This journey has been a spectacular roller coaster. Since my first Zoom meeting with Neill and Terri, where we hatched the plan to bring the Atomverse to the screen and release an augmented edition of The Stone Thieves, I’ve loved every minute of the process and am grateful for the talented people I’ve had the privilege to work with along the way.

The amazing concept art Neill gave us the opportunity to create officially brought my world to life and I’m proud to thank the following incredible artists for their efforts:

Special mention to the generous Andreas Rocha, who has kindly let me use his art for the school edition of The Stone Thieves.

To Abbie, my marketing whizz, for endless hours of help and support.

To Andy, for a never-ending list of domains to register and things to fix.

To Justine, for keeping us all in line and helping me navigate the world of concept art.

To Holly, for amazing input, ideas and the most wonderful Friday chats on everything Atomverse.

To David Edwards, a Photoshop Jedi and a truly amazing man, who took me under his wing and continues to help me shape my world with a bucket load of tolerance and patience.

To Neill, my fellow Bok, for not running away when Terri chased him around the house, reading excerpts from the book, and lending his unwavering support, experience and guidance to our burgeoning idea. It’s a dream come true to be working with you.

And finally to Terri, without whom this project would not exist. Thank you for taking the chance on an unknown book and not only embracing the world you found within it – but for becoming its champion. Thank you for your unbridled passion and infectious enthusiasm – it’s truly the beginning of great things!