* My favourite tidbit learned during my research was the Hungarian name for the hooded crow - the 'dolman crow' (dolmányos varjú), named after the Turkish word for a robe with sleeves, as seen in the black wings upon its grey body. But I initially read it as 'dolmen' crow, as in a megalithic tomb - perfect for use in a story which prominently features a prehistoric standing stone ... So I left the erroneous spelling in the tale...
* I rarely write short stories – preferring the time and space allowed by longer formats (likening it to my preference for playing 11-a-side football in my youth, rather than the more frenetic 5-a-side – you have more time to think and develop attacks/characters/situations - or indeed to regroup and defend...). So it was enjoyable to rise to the challenge of creating something different for Clamour and Mischief.
* My favourite corvid? But there are so many wonderful birds within the family. I love the chattering jackdaws that nest in our and our neighbours' chimneys. I'm pleased we don't have the amazing sociability of a rookery as close as that – but I have a soft spot for these birds that feature so heavily in my favourite children's book, Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising'. Magpies are the stuff of magic with their legendary obsession with shiny things, and their 'One for sorrow, two for joy' verse that I repeat to myself every time I see them. But hooded crows have remained in my imagination since my very first visit to Ireland as a teenager, with my mind full as it was of the myths and legends of the great warriors of the pre-Christian past, so it's perhaps no surprise I chose them for my contribution to 'Clamour and Mischief.'
Read all the Q&As with our Clamour and Mischief contributors.