Photo: ‘The Jungle of Chiapas’ by Bere von Awstburg from Pixabay.

Jungles and rainforests have always fascinated me. I think ever since watching Raiders of the Lost Ark as a child, and probably even before.

They inspired me to write about Iria.

Iria is the largest jungle on Altinor, the faraway planet the main character, Daniel Mearns, travels to in my Altinor books.

Iria is home to many beings, including spider-trees, singing voriez plants and the Phibs.

Phibs are bipedal, talking frogs the height of humans who have a warrior culture.

I’d love to visit more jungles and rainforests.

Have you been to a jungle or rainforest you’d recommend?

Or is there one you’ve always wanted to visit?

I recently wrote a chapter of Edge of the Wild, the third book in the Altinor trilogy, from the point of view of Tarban, a young soldier in the Delvidran army.

During it, he’s with the Commander of the army, Laton.

He is both frightened and intrigued by her and what they speak about.

Laton is the central antagonist of the books, other than Ordran.

An exceptional warrior, she is intelligent, ambitious, tortured, stern, loyal, at once strong and brittle – Laton has a very human alchemy of qualities that make her a fearsome antagonist to Daniel.

Do you have a favourite antagonist/villain in literature?

One of mine is Long John Silver, from Treasure Island.

He first appears one way to Jim Hawkins, the story’s protagonist.

Then due to each of John Silver’s choices later in the book, Jim finds his view of him often changing.

Whether an out-and-out evil villain or an ambiguous antagonist you sometimes found yourself empathising with or even rooting for, which adversaries did you enjoy reading about?

‘Jim, Long John Silver and his Parrot’ by N.C. Wyeth for a 1911 edition of Treasure Island.