Joe © Laura Wells

Joe is the hero of The Scar Gatherer series. At the beginning of The Leopard in the Golden Cage, he is nearly eleven years old (his birthday is in September).

He is entirely fictional, and not really based on anyone I know, although I've met a few boys of about his age who have many of his characteristics. He shares his dad's interest in history, and lives with his mum and his older brother, Sam, now that his mum and dad have separated.


Every time he has ever visited a ruined castle with his father, he has wished that he could time-travel. When he visits Fishbourne Roman Palace, he does his best to imagine what it was like when it was buzzing with life. But when he slips through time by mistake, he discovers that it wasn't altogether like he expected. Writing these books has allowed me to make these journeys with Joe, and to find out just how nasty and uncomfortable a lot of aspects of life must have been. Like Joe, I've loved spending time in Lucy's worlds, but I'm also very glad to live when I do!

Lucy is the heroine of The Scar Gatherer series, and she appears as a slightly different person in each book in the series. One of the curiosities of the series is that every time Joe meets her in a new world, she doesn't remember him, even though he recognises her from their previous meetings.

She is a little younger than Joe, being ten and a quarter at the beginning of The Leopard in the Golden Cage (her birthday is at the end of March). She is a wholly fictional character, though like Joe, she shares quite a few characteristics with girls I have known during my life.


Even though she lives a life of luxury at Fishbourne Palace, she is fierce and resilient, and she is good at dreaming up schemes for making things happen. Joe often feels that he has to work to keep up with her, and she does have the advantage that she is on her home soil. He, on the other hand, is in an unfamiliar world whenever he is with her, and he struggles sometimes to make sense of everything and fit in.

Lucy © Laura Wells

"Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real."

Cormac McCarthy

Last updated 22 February 2021  © Julia Edwards

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