As with any work of fiction, there's always a protagonist at the heart of it, and so it is also with the PORTALLAS novels. When it came to the main protagonist, I wanted to make sure I'd come up with a character that I was comfortable writing. I had to like and feel for the character myself. Otherwise, how could anyone else? In Forestium: The Mirror Never Lies, the story revolves around a 16-year-old young man called Joshua.
Believe it or not, Joshua started out life as a 10-year-old boy in a previous short story I had written prior to starting Forestium, called The Diagnosis. When I decided to tackle a full-length novel, I wanted to make sure I wasn't fooling myself, and so decided to test the waters first with a short story - just to see whether I could write a piece of pure fiction and pull it off. That was a very useful experiment and set me on the right track towards tackling a novel. In The Diagnosis, Joshua is a happy-go-lucky boy with special healthcare needs, who life has dealt some pretty unfair cards, but who takes it all in his stride. I have special needs children of my own, so perhaps that's why I decided to write Joshua that way.
I've always liked the name Joshua - ever since I saw the movie War Games, in which Joshua is the name of a secret, government super computer. Joshua was also one of the choices we had contemplated when naming our Son.
When it came time to choose a name for my main protagonist in PORTALLAS, the name Joshua was already etched in my heart, and automatically evoked within me feelings of empathy, compassion, resilience & likeability - the same characteristics I wanted to come through in my writing. And so, a protagonist was born.