I love mysteries. Real life mysteries let you use your imagination to create solutions for yourself. The Princes in the Tower? What really might have happened to them? Did Princess Anastasia really survive?Was there someone on that grassy knoll when JF Kennedy was shot? and because I love mysteries I sometimes leave unsolved myteries in my books. I'm always receiving e mails and letters asking me about them.
Right from the very first book, Run Zan Run, I left an unanswered question. You never learn Zan's real name, and even if I knew it I still wouldn't tell. Because I want to give readers the chance to come up with their own answers, their own stories. In Missing, who was the boy buried instead of Derek? He must have had a story to tell too. I'm always being asked what happened to Stash, the boy who died mysteriously in Tribes. Well, I know and I don't think it is what anyone would suspect. Maybe one day I will tell, but not yet. In Underworld, is Angie an angel? Did she die and come back to help her friends, or was she ever really alive in the first place? These are the questions I am constantly being asked. But leaving a question unanswered lets you make up your own story about these characters. Unanswered questions abound in the Nemesis series, most notable being...what is Ram's real name. We never find out, because by the end, Ram feels unworthy to use it. He feels he has to earn the right to take back his name again. You think I'm finished with Ram? Think again. I have lots of adventures in my head about this boy.
But perhaps the top mysteries I am asked about are from two of my most popular books. Roxy's Baby and Another Me.
What happened to Anne Marie in Roxy's Baby? Roxy doesn't find out, and neither does the reader. I know the answer to that, but I can't tell, not yet. But I know from e mails and letters that so many readers have come up with their own answers.
And which one survives in Another Me? Fay, or her fetch? Well, the clues ar there in the book for you to see, but I deliberately left it open, once again, so the reader can make up their own mind, come up with their own answers. In the short story I wrote from which the book grew I was more definite about which one survived, and if you go to see the film, Panda Eyes, adapted from Another me, you'll see an answer too. I'm still not going to tell you what that answer is! Want you to go and see the film, don't I!
There is an unanswered mystery in my latest book, Mosi's War, too. We find out one of Mosi's secrets, but he has another. I don't reveal it in the book, but the clues are there for the reader to find.
Here's a mystery I heard of on the radio just last week. The key codebreaker at Bletchley Park, was worried that if Hitler invaded, the banks would not be safe. He'd lose all his money. So he put it all into silver bullion, and he took it and buried in the forest around Bletchley Park. He marked the spot, kept a map, but by the end of the war...he couldn't find it. Key codebreaker ! And he couldn't read his map or find his treasure. It's still there, all that silver bullion. But for how long....?
Mysteries! I love 'em.