CM Kerley grew up in a small South African town cut off from the world by sugar cane that would whisper on warm windy days. From her bedroom window she could see a menacing old sugar mill near the forest. Every night she saw strange flashing lights and heard unnatural noises coming from the mill — obviously it was ghosts and sorcerers at war. She bought her first comic book age 9, got her first adult library card at 11, and at 15 completed her first fantasy novel — 412 handwritten pages — which she still has in her cupboard. She still sees lights and hears noises — thinks they just might be cars or airplanes — but believes magic makes a better story. Today she lives in London with her husband and children.