I have a very vivid memory of my paternal grandfather showing me the contents of a biscuit tin (it was cornflower blue with an orange design) which he took out from the dining room sideboard. Inside the tin, he kept a set of plump dwarf-like clay figurines, something like Snow White’s dwarves, but with grim faces and huge hats. I was very young at the time, and my grandfather didn’t let me handle them. Years after my grandparents passed away, I asked my father, aunts and uncle what had become of the figurines. They had no idea what I was talking about. The family believes the tin and its contents never existed, and I must have dreamt it all.
When I wanted to plot my story, this ‘mystery’ came to mind. Why did I have such a vivid memory of something that never happened? This question, and the ‘dream’ episode I described above, sparked the plot of Dawn of Purple and Gray.