It began with his hands.
The Hall of Mirrors, Versailles
Longevity and immortality are themes which are perennially popular, and there are some wonderful examples in many genres (personal favourites are Tolkien’s elves, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Douglas Adams’s take on the Norse gods in his Dirk Gently novels, and, most recently, Jim Jarmusch’s vampire film, Only Lovers Left Alive). But I did not want to write, here, about magic, or vampires, or superpowers, or the paranormal. What I set out to do was to ask a question: what if a man inherited a particular set of genes which predisposed him to age abnormally slowly, so that he would outlive a blue whale or a giant tortoise, though not, perhaps, an oak tree. How would he survive in the world? How would he make his way in society? Could he be happy alone? What would he see as his purpose in life? John Stone becomes seriously ill for the first time at the beginning of the story; he must face the fact that his time on earth is finite and he must make peace with his own mortality. His encounter with Spark will shape the decisions he must make.
The Colonades, Versailles
Spark is on the cusp of starting her adult life. Like most teenagers, she is full of conflicting emotions and ideas: she is curious, ambitious, uncertain and loving. I found her a compelling character to write about: I loved her courage and emotional intelligence.
In me the past lives
Spark’s first sight of John Stone
Spark's first sight of John Stone
John Stone's Versailles journals
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