Mark Mann is an author and journalist living in Woy Woy, on the Central Coast of NSW. In a former life he lived in London and was a travel writer. His travel books include The Gringo Trail and The Good Alternative Travel Guide. His passions include mountains, skiing, sustainability and soul music. He spends much of his spare time bushwalking in the national parks and forests around Woy Woy, which provided much of the inspiration for The Stone Gate.
What inspired you to write The Stone Gate
I wanted to write something about climate change that actually painted a picture of what it might be like. It's a subject I feel is very important and I follow closely, but it seems to me that for most people it's all facts and figures and it's hard to imagine what it actually means. I realised, paradoxically, that the problem doesn't seem real to many people because they can't imagine it. Imagination makes things real.
Why did you write it as a Young Adult novel?
Basically for my kids. I thought it would be fun to write something they could read. And also because the YA fantasy genre is a great medium for speculative fiction. Kids and teenagers are very open to that sort of imaginative fiction.
Jack and Kaya live in a small seaside town in Australia. When they see a strange white light shining from a giant rock in the forest, it takes them to a place both familiar and yet like nowhere they know. But where exactly are they? And can they make it back in time? The Stone Gate is an exciting action adventure that brings climate change / global warming vividly to life for young adult readers.