Counting down to Midnight

Right at the moment, I'm feeling very, very nervous.

Hi, my name's David Whitley, and my first novel, The Midnight Charter, is just about to be published.

Gosh… it was quite a thrill to write that sentence…

Everything is prepared. The books are printed and shiny. My website is up and running, (and please do come and visit me at )! The Great Puffin has given its blessing.


So, you'd probably expect me to be happy. And believe me, I am – excited, gleeful and blissfully, utterly happy. I've wanted to write for nearly as long as I can remember. This is, quite literally, a dream come true. Several dreams in fact.

But still, I can't help being nervous as well.

You see, up until now, this book, this entire world, has been mine. Only I, and a small group of friends, relatives and editors, have been allowed inside. We alone have walked down the streets of Agora, the city where anything can be bought and sold. Only a select few have so far followed the adventures of Mark and Lily. Agora has been hidden away, like a secret club-house, private, special, and mine.

And now, we're throwing open the doors. And it won't be wholly mine any more.

But I said nervous, not sad. Because, despite all that, sending The Midnight Charter out into the world is the best part. The streets of Agora are beautiful when they are empty, but they won't really come to life until they are thronged with people – with you!

So please, come and visit my world. Wander around the market squares, and watch out for the special offers on pure, distilled emotions – Excitement is selling particularly well this summer. Meet everyone from the lowest debtor to the mysterious and powerful Libran Society. Follow two children – Lily and Mark, as they try to make their way through the world, and survive in the city where you are only as valuable as what you are willing to trade, and where debt is death.

And above all, enjoy your stay. It's your city too, now.

And I couldn't be happier to see you!

David Whitley

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