Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Allyso Tormblood

Sally's People are characters I invented for books, short stories and poems. Their creation spans the last three decades of the 20th Century and (so far) the first of the 21st.

Allyso Tormblood is fourteen, but she looks more like eleven. Her childish appearance is a source of annoyance to her; as niece of easy-going Lord Merritt and the heir of Castle Torm, she feels entitled to a little respect. Allyso has plenty of friends at the castle. Her uncle's democratic ways ensure she mixes comfortably with housemaids, stewards and visiting lords. She is a reasonable person who expects the best of people, and mostly she is right. That's why it feels so odd when she takes a strong dislike to the latest visitor to Castle Torm.

Then disaster strikes, as her premonitions prove correct. Suddenly, everyone at Torm is dead, or dying, and Allyso is the only one who can help them... and only then by daring the well-way, a tight underwater passage developed by some of her small ancestors.

Having escaped the castle, Allyso faces a long and dangerous journey across country and into time.

Allyso's first name is a partial anagram of my own first name and surname initial. This reflects my own childhood as a small, young-looking person who expected the best of others. Castle Torm is named for "tor", a rocky outcrop.

Allyso appears in "Candle Iron", published by HarperCollins in 2000. It is one of my favourites, a semi-sequel to "Amy Amaryllis" and "Shadowdancers". Though I always wanted to write two direct sequels (to be called "Candle Stone" and "Candle Way"), life got in the way!

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