I had the idea of combining a journey to the Andromeda galaxy but linking it with many of my favourite characters. Flower-of-sands is decidedly one, but there are others. Elphina, the outrageous young female being from a super-advanced race, transcending the need for a body but choosing to have one. I have been searching for a way of describing races that have evolved beyond the level of humankind. Not an easy thing to do without sliding into fantasy - I wanted to convey a lightness of being and a simplicity alongside what we would describe as superpowers. And the idea that civilisations must pass beyond war and crime to evolve further. I have introduced the idea that powers exist that sanction the progress of societies until they have transcended the need for war and violence. Yet I need to tell this within a framework that involves conflict and peril to express the contrast and to have a fun, exciting, and, hopefully, engaging story. We must have an account. If everything were perfect, there would be no story. And we must have humour. Humour is essential.