Gerda didn’t know that Kay had splinters of ice in his heart. How could she know? The Snow Queen is a re-telling of one of my favourite fairy stories. The original was written by Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), and I have always thought of it as the most powerful story I have ever read. In 1994 I was asked to dramatise it for Radio 4, and I got to know it really well. The Queen must be one of the most evil figures in children’s stories, and Gerda must be the bravest girl. When I was asked by David Fickling if I would like to re-tell a fairy story for his series at Scholastic, I knew it must be The Snow Queen. I had recently visited Norway, and I enjoyed describing the white wilderness of the world of ice and snow and glaciers. The Snow Queen herself continues to haunt me – she appears very briefly in Zzaap and the Word Master. I have also written a short story, Someone Like The Snow Queen, for the Winter Magic anthology published by Simon and Schuster.