Dan Metcalf is a Devon based author who has so far refused to grow up. He does, however, have a wife, two sons and two cats. Dan, who enjoys books, films, comics and making up stories, is here to tell us all about his latest books, The Lottie Lipton Adventures.
A very warm welcome to GHB, Dan. Thanks for stopping by,
What inspired Lottie?
Lottie Lipton lives in the British Museum in the 1920s, which was the boomtime for Egyptology. I can trace her back to when I was writing a serialised short story for Aquila Magazine. I wanted to write something fun, with an intelligent main character who used her wits and brains to puzzle her way through the story. I couldn’t seem to get going, but remembered a recent trip to the British Museum. I was completely blown away by the building, the exhibits and the weight of history in the place. I thought how cool it would be to actually live there, to grow up surrounded by mummies and treasures. Then I found the key to the first story looking down at me from my living room wall. It was a painting of a golden cat statue that my neighbours had brought back from their holiday in Egypt, as a thank you for looking after their menagerie of animals. The picture had a cheeky smile and a glint in its eye, and I immediately thought of how it might come alive, and play tricks on Lottie.
For the character of Lottie, I started with a nine-year-old girl. How would growing up in a museum affect her? What sort of life would she have? She fell into place very easily, as though she was just waiting around inside my pen, ready to jump out and have an adventure. The magazine story went well, and little Lottie wouldn’t get out of my head, so I expanded it into a small book. Then another. Then another.
I have loved writing down her adventures and hope to do many more!