what good is a toy that will wind down? What if you could put a heart in one? A real heart. One that beat and beat and didn't stop. What couldn't you do if you could make a toy like that?
From the moment Mathias becomes the owner of a mysterious piece of paper, he is in terrible danger. Entangled in devious plots and pursued by the sinister Doctor Leiter, his exquisite doll and malevolent coachman, Mathias finds himself on a quest to uncover a deadly secret.
I've always been a little scared of automatons and the idea of dolls that come alive. This story began life as weekly chapters read to classes at Wells Central Primary School. Sometimes I'd finish writing the chapter only the day it had to be read. I would arrive at the school with sheets of paper stapled together, ink still wet on the page, and everyone there knew they were the very first people ever to hear that story – and none of us, not even me, knew how it was going to end.
There was the day that Charlotte screamed so loudly at what happened in one chapter, and the day that Declan had a talking frankfurter that shouted ‘get your hands off me‘ as Mr Holloway confiscated it. Surprisingly, we had a whole lot of fun while this very dark and sinister story got written. And then there was the rainy, windy day I dropped the whole manuscript in the school car park…