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Goodreads asked Tommy Muncie:

Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Tommy Muncie It's really hard to say how I first came up with Shadow the character because I've changed him so much over four years of different drafts, but I do remember having a friend at school who had a paddock full of trees and could climb them without ropes to a height that I would have found nauseating took look down from...I guess that part comes from remembering that.

The Talent mind power is a combination of various influences, most notably the 'Skill' from Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy and 'Affinity' from Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn books. Mind to mind communication is a pretty standard idea in sci fi or fantasy, but every author adds their touch to it. Originally called the 'Sen-go' ('2005' in Japanese - the year I first started writing about mind powers) I renamed it Talent partly so I could have 'Talented' as an adjective, and then found out there was an Anne McCaffrey series with telepathic people known as 'Talents,' but rather than change it I left it as a kind of 'lampshade.'

The idea for the substance Dream Morphine was originally something I came up with when I wrote a story about video games with no hardware - I built in the idea that people with the Talent power could write brain-code into these substances and record memories that they later adapted to become the games. It felt a bit like the 'pensive' idea from Harry Potter where people with magic can take memories out and put them in a jar, but my version had much nastier side effects and far worse bad guys in on the act.

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