Stranger Than Fiction was inspired by the idea of being inside a story that has been tried in various ways in fiction and fantasy. One day I would really like to try something like the comic book world that everyone remembers from the 1985 music video of a-ha’s Take On Me. You know the one I mean. This is more in the lines of Never Ending Story (1981 movie) in which a boy finds himself in the fantasy world of the book he is reading.

In this case it is a book a man is in the process of writing. Damien Rousse, was VERY slightly a pun on Russell T. Davies, taking his first and last name and mixing them up a bit. But RTD is a much better writer than Rousse. Terry Pratchett is the KING of colourful fantasy as far as I’m concerned and the orang-utan on the mountain is borrowed from his Discworld novels simply because a mountain climbing orang-utan using crampons and climbing equipment seemed such fun.

The urban myth of the jigsaw puzzle was originally written as a piece involving Rose for the Unfinished Business series. I never found a story to fit it into so it became Jasmin’s story instead within this fantasy ramble.

The house that she couldn’t get out of owes its origins to a film I saw a part of many years ago, in which a family found themselves trapped in their home by some kind of hard substance surrounding it on all sides. I never knew the name of the film and never saw the end to find out what happened, which is probably why I remember it – trying to work out how it might have ended. But I decided a variation on the theme would be good. The library she could not get out of, meanwhile, is somewhat inspired by the scene in the Doctor Who episode Logopolis when Tegan is lost in the TARDIS and keeps coming back to the Cloister Room.

Wyn and the pygmy guys and the fish, I really don’t know WHERE that came from. But the picture of her sitting on the jetty fishing, and stopping to bash the sea monster with a stick just resolved itself and the pygmy family progressed from it.

Wyn trying to remember Earth and fixing on the rain as something she could clearly recall owes inspiration to the other great master of Fantasy, C S Lewis. There is a scene in The Silver Chair in which the Human children are being befuddled by magic and try to fix on something from their reality. Wyn succeeds slightly faster than the Lewis characters.

The idea that Rousse can write himself back out of the trap of the book also owes its origins to something I read or saw SOMEWHERE, but I cannot remember WHAT it was, only that I DO remember a plot like that and worked on it in my own version.