Allen & Unwin, 2005

Book One in the ‘Genius’ series

Available from
Allen & Unwin

Other books in the ‘Genius’ series
Genius SquadThe Genius Wars

At seven, Cadel Piggott was hacking into computer networks. At eight, he was orchestrating traffic jams. At twelve, he was sabotaging construction sites. Now, at fourteen, he’s studying for his World Domination degree. The trouble is, he’s finding it hard to live up to his father’s expectations. For more information, visit the Axis Institute website.

Winner of the 2006 Davitt Award for Crime Fiction (Young Adult).

This title is also available in the United States (Harcourt), Germany (Droemer Knaur), France (Éditions du Masque), and Thailand (Bluebell Books).

‘There’s a moral here but Evil Genius doesn’t lay it on thick. It stands out from the pack of young adult novels and there’s a real drama and tension as Cadel twists and turns like an animal in a trap.’
The Weekend Herald (NZ)

‘Jinks has created an intricate, well-constructed and layered reality in this hefty novel, and as the complex deceptions that have shaped Cadel’s life come to light, his emotional unraveling and awakening will likely engross readers.’
Publishers Weekly

‘Really smart and clever. ‘
Philadelphia Inquirer

Click here for more reviews

‘Catherine Jinks has written several other books . . . However in my opinion Evil Genius is the best ever.’
Townsville Bulletin

‘Catherine Jinks is a brilliant builder of narrative firewalls, and just as you think you have it all figured out, you don’t. To match the dynamic intricacy of the plot, Cadel’s character develops from that of a put-upon child to a morally searching adolescent.’
Chicago Tribune

‘Jinks has done a good job putting into words a complex plot that kids will understand. Evil Genius is a rousing summer read and a distraction for any genius who fancies altering traffic light patterns and learning the Pentagon’s secrets. ‘
Edmonton Journal

‘Catherine Jinks pulls out all the stops in Evil Genius, making Cadel not just smart, but brilliant, devious, loyal, inventive, creative, focused, and oddly good at cross-dressing.’
The Georgia Strait

‘This hefty but engrossingly complex tale features a young super-brain being groomed for world domination . . . Cadel rides right up there with Artemis Fowl as a sympathetic anti-villain.’
Kirkus Reviews

‘Imagine Harry Potter’s Hogwarts in reverse . . . this book will appeal to younger teens who can see the possibilities for adventure through the eyes of the bad guys. Although Cadel himself will in the end deny evil, he learns that no one remains untouched by it.’
Voice of Youth Advocate

‘Evil Genius will be another crossover title with a broad potential audience, appealing as much to adults as to teens with a taste for the dark side. It is long, at almost 500 pages, but the short, snappy chapters make it easy to get through.’
Children’s Bookseller and Publisher

‘Like Cadel this is a clever book . . . [with] brilliant moments and thrilling episodes . . .

‘With elements of and parallels to Artemis Fowl, Harry Potter and Lemony Snickett, and a plot that twists and turns, it would be easy to see Evil Genius as another book in the ‘me too’ vein, but CBC award winner Jinks is far too good a writer to fall into this trap. This will appeal to adults and teenagers alike.’
The Manly Daily


  • Guest

    Oh, Catherine Jinks…where to begin? I’ve often considered writing to you, but I
    had so much to say I never imagined I could find the satisfactory words with
    which to express it. But I’ve decided to
    give it a try and speak from the heart.

    To say that your Evil Genius trilogy
    holds my three favorite books would be an understatement. (And I’m the very definition of a bookworm,
    so you can imagine how many books I’ve read.) This trilogy you’ve written has
    not so subtly made its way into a very important place in my life and in my
    heart. You know that feeling when you
    not just read a book, but live it? And
    the characters become such important family and friends that you forget how to remember what your life felt like back before
    you knew of their existence? It makes it
    quite difficult to picture that there’s a person out there who so carefully
    conjured them into existence. It makes
    it feel as though the very moment you opened the pages, and it became your book (you know that feeling?), was
    the exact moment that the words were birthed.
    It’s the highest compliment I know to offer an author.

    I’ve spent so many hours in deep discussion and contemplation (and of course
    actually reading) this trilogy, that
    it only made sense to attempt to explain to you, the creator, how appreciative
    I am of it.

    I think there’s two important reasons why these books so readily made it to the
    top of my Favorite Books list. The first, and most important reason, is the
    relationship between Cadel and Prosper.
    I’ve always called it a “poisonous relationship.” It’s so
    beautiful and so tragic it takes my breath away every time I even think about it. It’s also beyond inspiring.

    The second, and no less meaningful reason is the depth of the story, and the
    characters within it. It probably should’ve been obvious, but for some reason it never occurred to me that it was possible
    to put all the layers and depth of humankind, and all the variables that make
    them up, into a book. Unfortunately it’s
    something that’s actually rare to find (in my experience) in a book. So when I read Evil Genius and there it was, so perfectly set, one layer gently
    upon the other and so forth, it sparked in me an excitement and a new passion
    for writing I had never had before. You
    see, I would love to be an author someday (although I’ve never even gotten
    remotely close to finishing a book, haha), and your Evil Genius trilogy challenged me to go further and to work harder
    than I thought was possible to perhaps someday create something worthy of being
    called “great.” I’m the kind of person who always looks for the
    deepest depths in life (I’m also obsessed with psychology, so that may play a
    part in it, haha). I love reaching, and
    feeling, and experiencing the very core of a person or a situation. But it never occurred to me that that way
    that I live and enjoy life could be placed on the pages of a fictional
    story. Not until I read Evil Genius and I could see the layers of the unfolding story,
    and felt as though I could reach the spirits of the characters as I might in an
    actual person.

    Another reason that just occurred to me are the twists within the story. I have
    a particular talent for profiling a book and accurately guessing how it will
    end, but Evil Genius was one book
    that blindsided me (and not just once, either).
    I was very appreciative of the unexpected twists and turns and I greatly
    commend you for them.

    So that’s why Evil Genius and the
    books thereafter are so beautiful to me.
    (And I’ll have you know I spent the next fifteen minutes after having
    finished The Genius Wars curled into
    a ball, sobbing on the couch. It would’ve been longer too, if not for my
    concern that my family would walk in and think something was terribly wrong.)

    My sister (who some days I could almost believe adores this trilogy even more
    than I do) and I have spent many hours having ridiculously in-depth discussions
    about your characters. Not only is it
    something important to me, but it’s something that I truly do enjoy talking and
    thinking about. It always reignites a
    passion in me for it, these books.

    It’s actually kind of funny, because I can go weeks without thinking as much
    about them, but then it’s like a switch is flipped. One day I wake up and all I can think is,
    “It’s time. I have to read Evil Genius again.” And then I
    obsess over it for a week or two until I finally give in and re-read it. That’s probably why I chose now to write this
    to you: it’s happening again, haha.

    So I have three little stories that happened to me in connection to your
    trilogy that I hope you find as amusing as I did:

    The first happened about the fourth time, I think, that I read Evil Genius. Back in the house where I grew up (my family
    recently moved), we had a small room next to our kitchen. I think it was originally supposed to be some
    kind of breakfast area or some such, but my mom had converted it into a sitting
    area. A lot of my family members often
    read there. So I was reading Evil Genius for the fourth time, sitting
    at the chair in that room, and despite it being the fourth time of reading it,
    I couldn’t put it down. (It gets better every time I read it, I swear; and I
    always find a new layer in it to dissect and examine.) It was about four in the
    morning. I was so into your book that I
    had almost entirely forgotten real life existed. My entire family had long since gone to bed
    (with the exception of my eldest sister, who used to always stay up very late
    into the hours), and so I was alone in silence…with Cadel, though, of
    course. I believe I was reading Chapter
    Thirty-Five (that was always one of my favorite chapters, because I love
    organization and that chapter feels so organized), and it was sucking me in
    until I felt like I had actually gone through the pages and became Cadel. I probably looked a little crazy, sitting
    there with my eyes so wide, haha. I
    think my heart was pounding as I relived with Cadel the realization of
    everything that had been playing out underneath his very nose. And it was as I sat there, ignoring the
    whistling of our freezer and the quiet sounds of my sister going to bed, that I
    heard a sound that was out of place. I don’t
    know if it was the house settling or perhaps our refrigerator shifting in some
    way, but I had been so into the book, you understand, that when I heard the
    sound I jumped about half out of my skin.
    My eyes darted around like a cornered animal for a moment, and then I
    went straight back to reading, my heart pounding even more. I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit that’s
    not the only time that happened. Every
    time I read your Evil Genius trilogy
    I get really jumpy for some reason. It’s
    a wonderful feeling.

    But anyway, the second little story was even better. I believe this was after the fifth time I had
    read Evil Genius, and I had moved on to
    Genius Squad. I had finished reading a little bit
    earlier this time, and had set the book down at my bedside. I think I had fallen asleep pretty quickly,
    but sometime during the night I stirred, and it was in that place right between
    dreaming and waking (when you can see the room around you, but you think your
    dreams are still happening) that I became completely convinced that Prosper
    English was standing beside my bed with a gun to my head (it’s my fault for
    stopping at such a climax in the book).
    I ended up fully awakening and realized I had just been dreaming, but it
    was great. That might sound a little funny,
    but I like it when things like that happen, because it helps me to understand
    the characters a little better. It’s
    like, in that time of a blurred line between fiction and reality, when you
    become entirely convinced of fiction’s reality, it actually becomes true for a moment. It’s pretty exciting.

    Now, the last story isn’t really much of a story, but just the birth of an
    expression I thought you’d find a chuckle in.
    I had been reading another of my favorite books (not one of yours this
    time, I’m afraid), and there was a part in it that one of the characters had
    been explaining something to another.
    Well, after she finished explaining whatever it had been, she said
    something along the lines of, “My point being…” then concluded her
    explanation with something that didn’t connect to her explanation in the
    slightest. It really confused me, so I
    was attempting to explain it to my sister (the one I’ve spent so much time
    discussing Evil Genius with), and my
    example of what the confusing explanation and conclusion had been like was,
    “It would be like if I explained this whole thing to you, and then ended
    it with, ‘My point being, I love Cadel.’” So now, as a result of that,
    whenever my sister or I go into a long description or explanation of something,
    we often end it with the sentence, “My point being, I love Cadel.”

    Now, I suppose I should stop blabbering on forever and a half. I’ll be truly amazed and grateful if you made
    it this far into my ramblings. I did
    think I should tell you, though, I also greatly enjoyed reading Pagan’s Crusade. I had sort of rushed through it at the time,
    though, so I plan on reading it again to better soak it in, and then continuing
    on to the rest of that series. I haven’t
    had the pleasure of reading any of your other works, though, since the tiny
    town I used to live in didn’t have much to offer, but I’m hoping for better
    luck here. I look forward to reading
    more of your work.

    I’ve always had a lot of questions about your Evil Genius trilogy characters (I love them so much I simply can’t
    learn enough about them), but a lot of my questions had been asked by other
    people and already answered (among them the question of what Prosper’s younger
    years had been like).

    But there’s one question I’ve never seen asked, and I’ve always wondered: Have
    you ever thought about middle names for your characters? I love thinking about
    middle names for my characters, so I wondered if you ever had. I’ve always wanted to know Cadel’s middle
    name in particular, but I’m also curious about the others. And if there are any other tidbits about your
    Evil Genius characters that never
    made it into the trilogy, I’d be overjoyed to hear them (from a favorite color
    to an interaction between two characters).

    (Plus, my sister wants me to ask you how to pronounce Greeniaus.)

    Well, that’s all (at last). I would
    apologize for such a lengthy comment, but such an amazing trilogy deserves at
    least this much praise. Thank you so much for your time!

    God bless you.

    P.s. “Mr. Ivan Bleski’s” upstairs bathroom at Curramulla is now my
    dream bathroom.

    • Catherine Jinks

      I’ve got to tell you, Katelyn, that your amazing message has almost freaked me out, because I honestly can’t believe that my books are THAT IMPORTANT to anyone. It’s wonderful – don’t get me wrong – but I have no idea how to respond. I suppose I’d have to look way, way back at myself when I was 13, and obsessed by Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy. I reread those books over and over, but there was a lot of pain among the pleasure, because I knew I’d never be able to LIVE IN THE BOOKS, which of course is what I wanted to do. I’ve wanted to live in ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ , as well, and the ‘Sherlock’ TV series, and a lot of other things, and the fact that I can’t is so frustrating, sometimes. That’s probably why I write books – so I can live in them for a little while. But it’s not real living; it’s just a pale imitation. And the tragedy is that I’m NEVER GOING TO MEET any of my characters in person, face to face – though I remember once (just once) sitting in the car and suddenly having the strongest sense that Pagan and Roland were in the seat behind me. Unfortunately, that experience has never been repeated.
      It sounds to me as if you may have come very, very close to the experience of living in a book, you lucky girl.
      Can I just say, though, as a mother, that staying up till four in the morning reading a book is not a good idea? Even if it is my book, it’s bad for your health. And I’m afraid I have no idea how to pronounce ‘Greeniaus’ – I’ve only ever seen it in print.
      Thank you so much for writing to me with such honesty and enthusiasm, even though I find the enthusiasm just a little bit incomprehensible. You really find my books THAT good? Wow. Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

      • Katelyn

        Thank you so much for your response! I understand exactly what you mean by wanting to live in a book; it’s something I’ve often felt myself. Though now I’ve found a way to be so enthusiastic about my own life, that I simply take the inspiration from books and apply them to myself. I’ve realized that passion doesn’t come from things like books, it comes from inside yourself and you place it ON the books. Although, of course, you must seek out this passion; it’s not something that can be achieved on your own. It’s there for the taking, you just have to accept it.
        That passion is the reason for my enthusiasm. My passion used to stem from a desire to live IN the books, now it stems from a desire to live the books OUTSIDE the books. Does that make the least bit of sense? Anyway, I thank you again for your response. You’ve brightened up my day.
        God bless you.

  • James

    Miss Jinks am 14 am a blockhead when it comes to school I didnt really care much for reading me being a jockstrap but when I read your book I couldnt stop reading that whole weekend I now like to read and enjoy your books thanks for your help please message back it would be something to talk about =)

    • Catherine Jinks

      Wow, James, what a compliment! Thank you so much! To know that I’ve made reading fun for someone is absolutely the best thing I could ever hear, because I LOVE reading. That’s why I’m a writer, in fact – because I love reading.
      And I bet you’re not a blockhead at all. How could you be, if you read ‘Evil Genius’? That’s a big book! You have to have brains to read that.
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

  • Traitor_Ex

    Hey I just have to say wow. I am just so in love with your books. I mean wow. I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said by your other fans present on this site but it is just so amazing and I love this series with all my heart. I remember reading the second book first (Heresy I know) back in 2009 when I was just eleven years old. I was confused and but down the book but last year I re-picked it back up and read it from start to finish, then picked up the first one, then re-read the second and finally the third. I can safely say those hours without sleep were worth it. I am a colossal bookworm and many books don’t do what your stories do to me and that is fully immerse me into a world of conspiracies and revenge plots and I loved every second of it. Your books are on my top shelf in my room and are always some of the first I recommend to others.

    P.S. Finally someone who can spell gaol correctly!

    • Catherine Jinks

      What can I say but thank you so much? It’s good to know that the second books is stand-alone enough for someone to be able to read the whole thing, then go back to book one. I always wonder if I’ve done enough summing-up at the start of my sequels, but obviously it was enough for you! So that makes me very pleased. Though once again, I seem to be depriving young people of their sleep – this has been said often enough to be making me think I’m having a bad effect on children’s health!
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

      • Traitor_Ex

        I’ve been contemplating a reply for a few days now because I am unsure of whether that was acceptable or expected as I am socially inept and don’t understand the workings of the social order. It pleases me greatly that you take the time out of your day to message your fans and in my opinion that makes you an even greater role model. I have been tasked with the duty of creating a presentation on identity for an assignment and was told to use some literary sources to present the struggles of finding oneself and a sense of identity, your books were the first that sprung to mind. I always loved your books as I found myself relating more and more to Cadel (Not in the criminal for a father, awesome hacking skills and previous enrollment to Axis) as I found myself trying to devise a social algorithm myself at one stage and failed miserably. I was diagnosed with Asberger’s and found that Cadel’s determination and obsessive behavior was something I could relate to as well as his lack of friends, as Cadel grew I found myself growing an eventually I left my comfort zone and spoke to other humans (the horror). I now have a very close, albeit small, circle of friends who I would trust with my life. I owe that to your books so thanks.

        • Catherine Jinks

          Okay. Wow. Well first off, the whole question of replying or not replying in these situations? You’re not the only one – because NO ONE’S WRITTEN THE ETIQUETTE BOOK YET. Not about the Internet. We’re all just feeling our way. Personally (and this is PERSONALLY, mind you) once I reply, and if I don’t ask you a question, you don’t HAVE to write back – why should you? But hey – if you want to, that’s okay. That’s my feeling. On the other hand, I’m not someone who rings people up after a dinner party to thank them, even though that’s a really, really well-brought up thing to do. My mother does it, but I don’t – and most people I know who are my age don’t either. So I’m thinking perhaps there’s a generational difference – on the internet as well as in real life – so maybe younger people might say, “Yeah, you should reply to her reply!” I’m just not sure.
          With regard to what my books have done for you – well, I bet it wasn’t my books. I bet it was you. You just worked things out, and maybe my books helped a little. If they did – boy, that’s another one of those compliments that makes me so happy. I’ve said this before to other people who’ve written to thank me for ‘helping’ them with my books – I’m in many ways a pretty useless person, unlike a teacher or a doctor or a nurse or a police officer or a social worker or even someone who does a really good job in a shop, so the fact that I might have made even a small difference for the better in someone’s life is the BEST GIFT YOU COULD GIVE TO ME. Thank you so much for passing it on. You’re not the first reader who’s identified with Cadel, for very specific reasons, and it makes me so glad that I’ve managed to (inadvertently) improve life for isolated young brainy people.
          I have to admit, it makes me wonder about myself, sometimes. Looking back, I was pretty isolated too, when I was young (living in Papua New Guinea), though I wasn’t all all that brainy, I’m afraid. And I sit here day after day, hardly speaking to anyone except my family, hammering away at a keyboard … hmm. Interesting.
          Anyway, thanks again, and don’t worry – you don’t have to reply if you don’t want to! I won’t be offended. How could I be? You’ve made my day.
          Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

  • lou7894561230

    I love the series I’m on the genus wars I’m 12 I am dyslexic but I love to read I’m unsocial love computers but I’m a litil dume I am happy you made the books

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thanks so much, Lou! And you can’t be dumb if you’re reading those books – they’re very complicated and full of scientific language.
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

      • lou7894561230

        I had strate f’s latest year how do you pronowne cadel

  • Ashley Hester

    I picked this book up in 7th grade and was so taken by it that I ended up reading it in one night! I couldn’t sit still while reading this book! I shook with nerves during tense scenes and I paced my room all night! I immediately told my best friend about it and together we read the series through to its conclusion a couple years later.

    Now I’m in college, living on my own for the first time. I’m in the middle of Exam Week, so I’ve been very stressed, and I was pacing my apartment when I stopped to glance at my three bookshelves (they take up most of the space in my tiny home). Between moving across the country, starting college, and learning how to live by myself, I just hadn’t had the time to sit down and read a book in a few months! But I spotted the Genius series and I re-read it in three days. It was like a breath of fresh air! My stress disappeared and I was able to relax for the first time in a while!
    I remembered exactly where I was at in my life when I first read each book! I recalled how I felt about each character, all of whom are so familiar and so real that they feel like family at this point! I guess it’s just nice to know that no matter what changes around me as I grow, this series is a constant in my life.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thanks for taking the time to message me IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR EXAMS, Ashley! And thanks for the wonderful message, which gave me SUCH a boost. I see you’re studying nursing; you’re obviously a better, more community-minded person than I am, but at least my books have been helpful to you in some small way. It’s interesting how so many of my fans seem to go on to study at university, in all kinds of fields – computer engineering, medieval history, neurology … you’re clearly all very bright and passionate people. It would be lovely to get you all in a big room and have you meet each other!
      Anyway, I hope you pass your exams with flying colours and go on to have a very successful, enthralling career. I’m sure you ill. And thanks for keeping my books so close! I find that very touching …
      Subject: Re: New comment posted on Evil Genius

      • Ashley

        Oh my gosh, thank you so much for replying! It means the world to me!
        I’m pretty confident for my exams, especially after getting to clear my mind with some much-needed reading!
        I’m already getting excited for my next semester since I’ll be taking mostly classes that will pertain to my major. (I dread the day I’m told to sign up for a math class, though! I can’t handle numbers in almost any capacity, but I can write a 5 page paper in 2 hours.)

        Speaking of my major, when I was interning at an assisted living facility during a CNA course, I often thought of Sonja Pirovic. I made absolutely certain that everyone in my care was treated with the dignity and respect that they deserved, even if they weren’t my patients. It’s really sad how many people employed by assisted living centers do not seem to see the patients they are caring for as sentient human beings. It takes a special kind of person to work in such places, and unfortunately I’m not entirely suited to do so. I know I would never be able to handle the emotional stress of that kind of workplace. Ironically enough, I’m far better suited to work in Emergency Rooms. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush? Maybe the emotional distance afforded? Who knows.
        Still, when re-reading the Genius series I often found myself recognizing similarities between Sonja and past patients of mine.

  • Laurel Racette

    Dear Catherine Jinks,
    Evil Genius is one the best books I’ve read in my life. About a week ago, I had a book report due in a day and I hadn’t even started it. As I was paced around my room at 11:30 pm, I noticed Evil Genius in my bookshelf. I picked up the book and reread the book, for like the hundredth time. When I finished, I came with the best idea for a book report. I worked through the night and early morning creating the perfect report. I cut a giant computer and pasted it on my poster board. The next morning I turned in my report. (I got an A) I just love your book so much. Cadel seems like the most perfect kid in the world, what I would give to be him! I just want to say thank you for writing my favorite book. It will always have a place in my heart.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Gosh, Laurel, thank you so much! What a lovely message! And I always get SUCH a boost when I hear that someone’s got a high mark because of the ‘Genius’ books. It makes me feel as if I’ve contributed something to society!
      And congratulations on the ‘A’!

      Subject: Re: Comment on Evil Genius

      • Laurel Racette

        OMG! Thank you so much for responding! It means the world it me. Evil Genius is an amazing book and it is amazing that you took the time to respond to me.You have totally contributed to society (are you kidding?!)!! I am forever grateful. Wow, I have no idea to say! THIS IS SOOOOOOOOO AMAZING! I remember picking up Evil Genius in the library and reading the back and saying, “This seems interesting.”. Then I read it, and WOW! The next day I begged my parents to take me to the library and I got Genius Squad and Genius Wars. It was a struggle to read the books because I wanted to know what happens but at the same time I didn’t want to finish the books because then the series would over. And now I am communicating to the author! The only thing stopping me from shouting for joy is my parents sleeping and I definitely don’t want to wake them! : ) Cadel is such an admirable character because he was strong even though his whole life was a lie. He found a way to overcome such a hardship at a young age and whenever I think about something bad is going on, like fighting with my sister, I kind of start to think about Cadel and how his life was much harder than mine, and that keeps me going. There are a billion things I want to say to you but the only thing I can think of is, thank you. Thank you for an amazing book.

        • Catherine Jinks

          Oh gee, Laurel, it’s not that big a deal! It’s not as if I was J.K.Rowling, or something. I’m just a regular person sitting around in my regular house in front of a regular computer. But thanks anyway – I really do appreciate your appreciation. Subject: Re: Comment on Evil Genius

          • Laurel Racette

            A regular person wouldn’t come up with an amazing story like that, just sitting in a house in front of a computer. To be honest, Harry Potter is great series, but I like Evil Genius more.

      • Laurel Racette

        Here is a picture of my book report. : )

        • Catherine Jinks

          Fantastic-looking book report, Laurel. Clean and simple, but elegant. Seems to me you have a bit of a designer’s eye …
          Subject: Re: Comment on Evil Genius

          • Laurel

            Why, thank you.

  • Roxy Johnson

    Catherine Jinks, all i have to say is THANK YOU for writing the Genius Trilogy. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve read Evil Genius since the 9th grade, but it is one of those books that I don’t care how long it will take me to read it because it is simply so entertaing and captivating. I am now a Junior in college and i barely got to reading Genius Squad and Genius Wars, but after finally finishing the trilogy i wondered why you didnt write another one. I can only imagine what else you can add to this amazing story, but it would be something to look forward to.

    PS: If it ever happens, i don’t know if you ever been offer before but I wouldn’t be suprised if you have, i would love to produce this trilogy into a movie series. Of course if i follow my goal to become a producer. All i know it’s that i need this to be part of a movie, aside from seeingit play in my head, i would love to actually see it played out.

    Again thank you! Hopefully i get to meet you one day and thank you personally :)

    • Catherine Jinks

      Yay! I always hoped that one of the people who loved my books would grow up and make a movie out of it! Like Judy Blume, who waited for years and years, until her son grew up and became a director and decided to film one of her books himself!
      Well, good luck, Roxy – I hope you do become a producer – and thank you so much for your kind and very heartening message.
      Subject: Re: Comment on Evil Genius

  • DJ

    Hi, Ms. Jinks
    It’s been a long time since I’ve read the Evil Genius books, but seeing this comments section I feel like I need to tell you how much it meant to me when I read it in middle school. I used to be a very quiet kid, and had a lot of difficulty finding a place between who I felt I was and how I wanted other people to see me. I don’t think it’s so much that I wanted to fit in, as much as it was that I didn’t know how to make myself acceptable to other people. I read quite a few books back then, and I’m grateful that Evil Genius was one of them. Cadel and his experiences, his struggles and triumphs and losses, meant a lot to me. Your books were the kind of books that put words to the things I felt, and helped me figure out who I was, and who I wanted to be.
    I’m in college now, graduating very soon, and still figuring out who I want to be. I still think of Cadel once in a while. So I just wanted to say thank you.
    Sincerely yours,

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thank you so much – I’m very touched. To my shame, I never really set out to help people when I wrote ‘Evil Genius’ – it was a purely selfish act – but for some reason, it seems to have been of great comfort to a large number of readers, and I couldn’t be more happy about that. I guess it’s something I can take to my grave, really. So thank you for taking the time to message me, and I hope you work everything out soon. I’m sure you will. (It was always smart, smart kids who read ‘Evil Genius’.)
      Subject: Re: Comment on Evil Genius

  • Alison Byrne

    Hi, Catherine. I am part of a team currently writing a teacher’s resource on “Evil Genius” for Reading Australia. I am wondering if you would be interested in providing some insights into the text that would create a really personal, direct link to the students studying the novel. I’m really enjoying the project, lots of quirky characters, great plot twists and really relevant thematic foci for our (performing arts) school. I’ve already requested a class set for a Year 8 “Creating Characters” unit for next year! My email address is: Many thanks.

  • Tanaya M.

    Hi Catherine Jinks,

    I just wanted to say that this book series means an incredible amount to me, and if you don’t mind my self-indulging for a moment, I just thought I would quickly share just how much of an impact this book had on my life.

    So, I found Evil Genius in my school library when I was in eighth grade, in early 2008. My school only had two grades in it, grade 7 and grade 8 (I promise this will become relevant!). At this time, I took the bus to school, and I absolutely devoured the novel every chance I got, including the hour-long ride to school. For about a week straight, I read and read and read the book on the bus, not talking to anyone that I usually spoke with, just reading.

    As I got towards the end of the book, a boy whom I hadn’t really spoken to much before started asking me about it, and being the fanatic dork that I am, I went into a lengthy discussion about the plot, the characters, the setting, everything that I had discovered so far about it, including the fact that there was a sequel that had just or was just about to come out. And through all my rambling and ranting and raving about the book, he listened to me, and by the next day, he had picked up the book at Chapters and was reading it as well. We became good friends after that, and he even bought the sequel along with me. However, when I graduated middle-school in June, he still had to spend another year because he was in grade 7.

    We fell out of contact for a while after that, with me starting high school and him going to a middle school almost an hour away. It wasn’t until the summer after grade 9 that we got back in touch, and he told me he would be going to the same high school as me. A lot had changed in a year, and at first it was hard to reconnect, but then we went on a trip to the local Chapters and he bought me the recently released third book in the series, Genius Wars, and we were able once again to bond over the book series and re-establish our friendship to where it had been. He quickly became one of my closest friends and we spoke everyday. By grade 11, we had become inseparable and on March 7th, 2011, we began dating.

    Eventually, we went off to university and moved in together, and I’m proud to say that as of May 15th 2016, we are engaged. We are young, (He is 21, and I’m almost 22) and won’t be getting married for a few years still- but I wanted to thank you and let you know just how much your novels have impacted my life. It might have just been pure chance that I was reading Evil Genius on the bus when I was, but I’d like to think that had I been reading Harry Potter, or something as equally well-known (no offence meant, I adore the book series even more that I love Harry Potter) that we wouldn’t have been able to speak as much as we did, or reconnect, and the timing of the novels release was exactly what I needed in my life, even if I didn’t know it at the time. I want to thank you for your (although unknowing and indirect) hand in giving me my best friend, soul mate and future husband. Your books are phenomenal, (I am a big fan of The Reformed Vampire Support Group and its sequel) and the Evil Genius Series will always hold a special place in my and my fiancés lives and hearts.

    Once again, I thank you whole-heartedly for your novels and the impact that they have had on my life.

    Wishing you all the best,

    Tanaya M.,
    Ontario, Canada

    • Catherine Jinks

      Tanaya, this has got to be one of the most moving and wonderful messages I’ve ever had. Thank you so, so much for sharing your story – which is a great deal better than any of mine! My own husband is Canadian, and I’ve been to Ontario, which makes it even better. Let me wish you all the very best in your future life together, and I hope you have a fabulous wedding (with an ‘Evil Genius’ theme)!

  • Prosper English

    Hello Catherine. I personally love your books and would encourage you to write more ‘Genius’ series books as they are my favorite series. Just as a side note the Axis institute website link you have posted here does not work for my new computer. I’m not sure if this is because my computer is new, if the link doesn’t work or something else. Thank you for being suck a great author.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Hi, Prosper! LOVE your name! The website link was an old one instituted by my publishers, and they might have decided to scrap the website by now. But I’ll certainly look into it.

      Thank you for being such a great fan!

      • Prosper English

        Wow, thank you so much for replying. Also thank you for looking in to the web site issue, you really don’t need to. Thanks so much for being a great author and person.

  • Nina Nieves

    Hi Catherine , my friend is doing a report on you , let’s say like an autobiography. He wanted to know.. What inspired you to write this book (evil genius) ? Also if you don’t mind answering some questions that can help him with is report . So… What made you want to become an author ? Im not trying to sound weird or seem weird but his teacher wants some things about an authors childhood and can’t seem to find anything that has information about it . But Did you ever thought in your life that you would have had become this successful author in the future? And What was your favorite book as a child ? Did you ever liked reading books when you were a kid? And what was your favorite thing to do when you were a kid ? Those are my questions for you and I really hope that you get back to me I would be very happy . But thank you !!

    • Catherine Jinks

      Hi Nina – I decided to write ‘Evil Genius’ because (a) I saw ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’ and thought how amazing it would be if you looked as angelic as Elijah Wood (as Frodo Baggins) but were actually nasty piece of work (ie. you could get away with anything) and (b) because my husband once picked up my nephew’s disgusting ‘Professor Gangrene’ action man and wondered aloud where these sorts of villains ‘got their degrees from’ – whereupon my brother said, “The University of Evil.” I liked the idea of a university of evil.

      I wanted to become an author even when I was a child because I loved reading books so much. I wrote my first ‘novel’ (which was never published) at the age of 12. I was HOPING I Would become a successful author, but you can never be sure.

      My favourite book as a child was probably ‘The Silver Chair’ by C. S. Lewis. My favourite thing to do? Hmmm … I liked reading and drawing. I’m not sure which I liked more.

  • Chris Mueller

    Dear Catherine,

    I think it may have been some time since the Genius series crossed your notifications on this website. But I just wanted to say that Cadel is my equal favourite character (with Sherlock Holmes) across any work of fiction. He is dynamic, spirited, brave, uncompromising and when necessary, ruthless. It was amazing watching him grow from a shady outcast to a moral and adjusted young man. I LOVE how realistic and well-represented his teen years were. As a young male myself who is interested in both stories (in all their forms) and science, I really appreciated the accuracy with which you approached the scientific topics, namely computer science and mathematics.
    As evil as he was, I loved Prosper English. I think it was an amazing point of conflict for Cadel – that he knew that Prosper was a bad person, yet still felt an unbreakable bond with him because of his childhood. There were times there where I think Cadel realised he was perhaps more like Prosper than those around him; his cold, calculating, hard-hearted tendencies made him an intriguing and undulating character.
    I love the concept of a “University of Evil”! My friends and I studying science always have this joke that there are “dark arts” amongst the sciences and it was phenomenal to see how this played out. Furthermore, I loved the settings! I study at the University of Sydney and I have friends at the University of New South Wales, so I can see exactly where all these events take place. I also have a lot of friends on the North Shore, so it was amazing to see a story actually set in Sydney!
    It is my goal in life to be both a scientist and a storyteller and I truly do hope that one day I will be offered the chance to direct the film adaptations of the Genius series. I think it’s an incredible story and that Cadel is a character to which a lot of young people can relate. I’ve managed to get quite a number of university-age science students into reading fiction (for the first time in their lives, excluding prescribed texts for high school English) because of the Genius series!

    I absolutely love this series and I can’t thank you enough for the millions of ours you must have spent on it, from conception to publishing. My only wish is that I might one day be involved in bringing this story to the screen.

    I wish you all the best! :)

    Yours faithfully,

    • Catherine Jinks

      Boy, Chris, MY only wish is that some day someone like you might be involved in bringing this story to the screen! I’ve had so many false starts (here and in Hollywood) – one producer even talked to the star of the ‘Wimpy Kid’ series about playing Cadel – but it never, ever got over the line. I guess I’ll have to wait just a few more years, until the ‘Genius’ generation is seeded all though the film industry, and one man’s passion project becomes another woman’s fond memory. Of course, the most important skill required in the industry is money-raising – I see that now!

      On the subject of the book, however – thank you so much for spreading the word! And thank you so much for brightening my day with such an inspirational message, which makes me think I’ve made a difference after all! Writing can be a lonely process (that’s why I can very much see the attraction of film-making) and it’s nice to remember occasionally that HUMAN BEINGS actually connect with your work.

      Good luck with the films AND the science. God knows we need as much science as we can get, nowadays …

      • Adam Ray Thompson

        Hello! That 1 man who wants to make it his passion project is here! Haha! I’m currently trying to get into contact with you to at least create an indie developed film adaptation to this series. It was (still is) my favorite fictional books in existence. I related so much to Cadel with my emotions, my relationships, and my life in general growing up. I’d love to get in touch and discuss more!

  • neuroticperfectionist

    I tried to post a comment here the other day but it hasn’t appeared; I checked my Disqus profile and it says it’s been flagged as spam. It wasn’t spam but it was quite long, I didn’t want to try to resubmit it because that would probably just make the system think it was definitely spam. Can you see it from the admin end?

    • Catherine Jinks

      Sorry about that glitch – as you can see, your comment has been posted below, but I’ll reply to it here. The way you’re picturing your own character reading ‘Evil Genius’ and reacting to it is exactly the same response I had to my character Pagan Kidrouk; I used to imagine him sitting in the backseat of the car, reacting to things. Such behaviour is the sign of a very strongly conceived character – and possibly youth, as well; I was only about 26 when I wrote the first book in the Pagan series, and have rarely had such an intense experience with a character since.

      I have to admit, I never considered that Cadel was anywhere on the autism spectrum when I wrote ‘Evil Genius’. It was only after I’d received messages from people who were, and who closely identified with him, that I realised what I’d done. I’m probably a little better educated than I was twelve years ago. I’m certainly more careful.

      Thanks for the message, though. It’s always great to hear from faithful readers – especially after they’ve grown up. The fact that I’ve inspired WRITERS is particularly gratifying. I must keep an eye out for a novel featuring a villain with an island off the coast of Melbourne …

  • Jerusalem

    Dear catherine jinks, i have to say that i have just absolutely loved your book. Evil genius gives me new reading inspiration, the plot, characters, and emotions as well as the very concept amazes and astounds me. I’m doing a 600-900 essay about a scene in your book that i would like to change. At first i thought it would be easy because i really didn’t like how Cadel’s entire life was a frickin lie!!!! Like wow!!! But as i interpreted it more, and continually do, i decided to entirely redo the scene, even though i now cannot find any scene in your book that i’d like to change. Your work is an absolute masterpiece, and it has peaked the interest of becoming a computer hacker(nothing too crazy). Thank you for the awesome book, i’ll be reading the rest of the series for christmas.
    appreciated~ Jerusalem Edwards from Sunshine Acres.

    • Catherine Jinks

      I have to say, Jerusalem, you have the most beautiful, beautiful name. I once wrote a book set in medieval Jerusalem (It’s called ‘Pagan’s Crusade’), so you can imagine how impressed I am. And thank you so very much for such a lovely message. I have to admit, ‘Evil Genius’ is a bit antique now, when it comes to computers, but I’m glad it’s still sparking excitement about the digital world! And I never cease to be flabbergasted that people write essays about my books. I used to write essays about OTHER people’s books – I never, ever thought it would happen to me!

      Anyway, I hope you enjoy the rest of the series, and that, instead of becoming a computer hacker, you become a person who fights computer hacking, like my friend Richard Buckland, who appears in book three!

      • Jerusalem

        WoW!!! holy cow, i never imagined you’d write back, this is awesome. And thank you, i’m not sure how in tarnation my parents came up with my name(i don’t really know who they are). And yes, your book doesn’t exactly align with the notes on computers that i look at now…but it’s still soo cool. So the scene i chose in your book is the one where Cadel finds out that everything he’s ever know is a lie, and that Dr. darkkon has been paying his parents, like how did you come up. Also, i must say that you built Thaddeus Roth up as such a good mysterious awesome character that i was so sad to see him suddenly turned into the sorta’ve antagonist figure against Cadel. What do you have to say?

        • Catherine Jinks

          Ah … well, I suggest you read the next two books because that’s Cadel/Prosper relationship is VERY INTERESTING – kind of love/hate … you’ll see. It’s complicated, as they say.

  • Jackie

    Dear Catherine Jinks,
    Hello, my name is James Salvesen. I read Evil Genius for a school project this year and I really liked you book. I liked your book because of the twist at the end where Thaddeus reveals that he is really Cadel’s father. It completely turned Cadel upside down. He felt confused and betrayed since Cadel already had a weird father/son relationship with Thaddeus. The fact that he really was his father blew my mind.
    Another thing I enjoyed about the book were the different characters and their personalities. Cadel and Gazo were my favorite. Gazo is really cool with his space suit to block his super power of stench. Even though he wasn’t the brightest at Axis, he is really nice and a good friend to Cadel. I also liked Cadel because he had a really messed up life but he still kept going and trying to get free of it all.
    Even though the book was good, I didn’t like the ending. I wonder where Gazo went off to after he escaped the police and I didn’t understand the response letter (math problem) from IIPrimo to Stormer. I’m hoping you could answer those questions or hopefully they are answered in the next book “Genius Squad”.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thank you so much, James! It always wonderful to hear from readers like you who obviously read ‘Evil Genius’ VERY THOROUGHLY and liked it – or most of it, anyway! Don’t worry: you’ll find out what happened to Gazo (and Thaddeus, and Cadel) in the next two books. Unfortunately, it’s been so long since I wrote ‘Evil Genius’ that I can’t remember exactly what the final message said, but I know it wasn’t very important, plot-wise. I just put it in so that readers would run away and check the Table of Elements code and work it out for themselves. But you’re not missing anything much if you don’t.

      Thanks again for writing and I hope you like the two sequels even more than you liked the first book. I think you might; the first one left a lot of things up in the air but the next two don’t.

  • Katie S.

    Ms. Jinks,

    I have written this message to thank you for writing the “Evil Genius” series. I first began reading the series as an assignment for my grade eleven English class at school, and have written a book report on each novel. I used to be a strong reader of books when I was young, but I lost my avid reading habits around eighth grade because I was never able to find books that really resonated with me. I genuinely can’t remember the last time a book series enthralled me as much as the “Evil Genius” series has, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing it. From the moment I first stepped into Cadel’s world, I felt something special within myself.

    I hope that someday your books will receive more recognition, because I strongly believe that they are criminally underrated. I had never heard of them before choosing them from the book series that my teacher provided for this assignment, and that is a shame. They are phenomenal novels, and I hope they will receive more popularity and fans in the future.

    Additionally, I’m not sure if you designed or helped with the designs of the “Evil Genius” series’ cover art, but they are fantastic! Those covers were actually why I selected the series, as they were very eye catching. I hope that everyone who may have helped with the cover art gave themselves a pat on the back for it!

    Once again, thank you so, so much for creating this wonderful series. Even though it may have come to an official conclusion (at least for now), the series will continue on in my heart, and likely many other fans’ hearts. I hope you are well and still continuing to write, as you really have a great talent for it!

    Thank you for taking time out of your likely busy schedule to read this!

  • Catherine Jinks

    Thank you very, very much, Katie. It means so much to me that you took the time to get in touch and tell me how much you like the ‘Genius’ series. It’s wonderful to know that those books are still finding fans so many years after they were first published – a new generation, even! And of course I TOTALLY AGREE that they should have received more recognition, but … oh well. Whaddaya gunna do?

    I’m afraid I had absolutely NOTHING to do with the cover art on those books – authors rarely get a say on their book covers. Luckily, however, I loved them (how could you not?). But it was the publishers and designers who deserve a pat on the back.

    By the way, can you thank your teacher for me? I really appreciate it when teachers recommend my books to their students!

    All the very best with school in the future, and I hope you find many other books to love.

  • Ktapples

    Catherine Jinks, I remember picking up this book when I was around 11 and begging my parents to buy it, I remember them being sceptic because of the title and I had never read a book with that many pages. It became my absolute favorite! and the start to my obsession with books as kid, every time I’d go to the library I’d ask for the next one. Genius Wars was the first hardcover book I’d bought with my own money!

    As I grew older, sadly, I just stopped reading, I’m now 26 and recently rediscovered my joy for books and happened to stumble upon my copy of Evil Genius and all the memories came flooding back. I guess all I can say is thank you; just as before your books became the catalyst for my reading obsessions. I remember that feeling I had when returning to the library to buy the next book, anxious and so full of impatient energy! Its the same one I have now, seeing how much more you have written and how different it all is!!!!!!!

    I’m so happy I found those books again, and I’m so excited to discover the new worlds you’ve created!

    • Catherine Jinks

      Thank you so, so much. This means so much to me, especially at the moment – my daughter’s in hospital with COVID; she’ll probably be leaving today, but it’s still early days. So a message like yours couldn’t come at a better time! I do appreciate your taking the time to let me know that my work has meant something to you on your journey through life. It makes me feel as if I’ve done a bit of good in the world. I appreciate it – thanks again!

  • Maia P.

    Catherine Jinks,

    May I just say that I absolutely love your Evil Genius Trilogy. These are my three favorite books of all time and I’ve read them over and over again since I was twelve (I’m sixteen now).

    I remember when I first discovered these books in my middle school’s library. I had actually been really into villain characters at the time and Evil Genius was just what I was looking for. I started reading and was instantly hooked. I remember, I went on a trip for Christmas Break and because it was from school I didn’t bring the book with me but even on this trip I kept thinking about Cadel and what was going to happen next and I regretted not bringing the book along. When I came back from my trip I fished the book out of my backpack and read it well into the night. I even spent some time reading on the toilet because I didn’t want my parents to see me reading it in bed.

    And then there was the giant twist where Cadel discovers his whole life was a lie. That absolutely blew my mind as a little seventh grader. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to read your books for the first time again.

    And then there’s the matter of your characters. Oh my gosh, your characters are absolutely wonderful! Some highlights include Cadel, Lexi, Gazo and Saul Greeniaus. I feel like main protagonists are hard to get right. Oftentimes they’re overshadowed by the other, more interesting side characters. But that is not true for Cadel! He really stands out and manages to be interesting amongst all the other colorful characters. Probably because he is really colorful himself. His personality and struggles and everything else about him just leap off the pages. Cadel is definitely in my top ten characters of all time.

    Then there’s Lexi. I’ll be honest. I just like her because she makes me laugh. There’s something about her typical too loud, fashion obsessed teenage girlness that just makes her stand out amongst everyone else, I just love her. Gazo is absolutely adorable. I can’t say I wasn’t proud of him when he got really clever in Genius Squad and Wars. Then there’s Saul Greeniaus, who didn’t really stand out to me as much at first. But as I reread the series I really came to appreciate Saul’s calm level-headedness. He just seems so… I don’t know how to describe it. Together? I don’t know, I just really like him now.

    Then there’s Prosper English.

    You know how I said that Cadel was in my top ten favorite characters of all time?

    Well, Prosper English is my number one favorite fictional character of all time, I absolutely adore him!

    Oh, where to begin with Prosper English? Just where to begin? He’s so suave and charming but also such a devilish villain. There just seems to be so much to unpack with his character. His love for Cadel, his possible guilt when it comes to Elspeth. He’s such an enigma and it’s so fun speculating what could be going on with him! And there’s so many layers to him too! You have the smooth professor, the slithering snake, the doting father and even hints of a more savage beast within him! There’s so much to him! And while all your characters are so distinctive and I can picture them clearly in my mind, Prosper’s tweed jacket really is his uniform! I wouldn’t be surprised it his entire wardrobe was made of tweed jackets, tweedy pants and red ties (I always imagined him in a red tie). I just love him so much!

    By far, my favorite scene in the entire trilogy has to be that one where Prosper attends Cadel’s birthday party and scares that little girl. The characterization is just… chef’s kiss! You can clearly see he enjoys terrorizing that poor child but its also his weird way of helping Cadel out and it’s so fun! I reread the scene a lot, I just adore it. I almost cried when he was thought to be dead at the end of Genius Wars. But Cadel couldn’t have lived a normal life if Prosper was in it so I understand why you had to kill him off.

    Another scene I wanted to mention. You know that trip Cadel takes to California towards the end of Genius Squad? Well, as someone living in the United States it was pretty surreal to read. It’s always interesting getting a foreigner’s thoughts on your home country and it was pretty accurate too. Like we do have black and white cop cars and giant billboards advertising the latest television shows! Have you been to California before?

    Finally, I hope you don’t mind if you answer some questions I’m a little curious about. I really want to learn more about your absolutely amazing characters! I tried to come up with some new things you maybe hadn’t been asked before.

    1. Do you know why Prosper had that picture of Elspeth in his house? Why would he keep that around. He seems to avoid anything having to do with her as a rule and doesn’t have a lot to say about her when she comes up. The subject clearly makes him uncomfortable. So why does he have that picture? Does he ever look at it? If he does, it can’t be very often if it’s in the guest room.

    2. How did Elspeth come to be involved with the Darkkon criminal empire, anyway? She had to be pretty smart to catch the interest of people like Phineas and Prosper but it seems as if she couldn’t hold her own against them. What was she doing there?

    3. What was Prosper’s family like? I always imagined he’d been born into a large family with lots of siblings but that’s just what I thought.

    4. What’s up with Saul’s backstory? Everyone talks about Prosper (including me, ha ha) but you’ve alluded to Saul having an interesting past as well. What was his childhood like? What motivated him to be a cop?

    5. Where did you get the inspiration for the character of Prosper English? You said Cadel was based off Elijah Woods as Frodo Baggins and Dr. Darkkon was based off the infamous Professor Gangrene doll. Saul comes across to me as the anti-Prosper. So where did Prosper come from?

    6. How do you think Prosper would feel about having so many fans? Something tells me he wouldn’t like it…

    7. Do you still have that Professor Gangrene doll or has it been lost to time?

    8. How’s Richard Buckland, your friend who made a cameo in Genius Wars? Is he still around teaching computers? Are you still in touch?

    And finally, the number one most important question of all.

    9. What are the characters’ birthdays? From certain clues in the book I was able to deduce that Cadel’s birthday is around May-ish (although I could be way off. Hemispheres are really weird.) I think Saul, Prosper, Sonja and Fiona’s birthdays would be the most helpful.

    And that’s all! Whew, that was long! I’m sorry if it was too long. I’m just so passionate about these books and I love them so much and after seeing all the comments here I knew I had to say something to express my love for these awesome characters. And don’t worry. If you’re overwhelmed you don’t have to answer all my questions (I would really appreciate if you answered number 9 though.)

    So yeah. That’s all. Hope I made your days you’ve made mine a million times before with your books.

    Maia :)

    • Catherine Jinks

      Hi Maia – Thank you so much for your lovely, lovely message. It’s so nice to know that people are still reading the Genius books after all this time. Keywords – all this time. It’s been so long since I wrote them that – I have to admit this – I don’t remember much about them. Oh, obviously Cadel and Prosper and Sonya and so forth, but all the little details – like Elspeth’s photo or Saul’s backstory … I honestly can’t remember. I CERTAINLY couldn’t tell you when their birthdays are. Your guess is as good as mine. I can tell you a few things : I went to Los Angeles and few times over the years, and one time I went to a book festival, and hired a publicist/escort person for the day and he drove me down to Laguna Beach looking for somewhere to put Prosper’s house. And Saul was based on a real-life lawyer I read about in a true crime novel. And Richard Buckland is still teaching at the University of New South Wales. (He’s one of my brother’s best friends.) And I don’t think Prosper would mind having fans, though of course he’d rather despise them at the same time.
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  • Xavier Reichel

    Dear Catherine,
    I don't know if you're still responding to messages on here, but after reading all these beautiful stories other people have shared, I thought I may as well leave a comment anyway. I remember when you visited my primary school to talk about books, and showed off the iconic Professor Gangrene. I read a half-dozen of your books after that, including some I was probably too young for. Evil Genius was my favourite, though, for whatever reason, I never read the sequels until years later, when I was in high school. I've read them all quite a few times. Your books are wonderful, and you are one of many authors who made my childhood a happier one. I saw you contrast yourself with J.K.Rowling elsewhere in these comments, but between you and me, I read Evil Genius alongside Harry Potter as a kid and loved them both the same. As now a uni student, I haven't thought about any of your books in a long time, but this afternoon, while translating a 1965 German anthropological review of clothware in Kiribati for my translation class, I suddenly remembered Cadel's cotton skirt and Ariel disguise. Memory can be so funny like that. I thought I'd leave a message where you'd be likely to see it, just to say: thank you for being an inspiration! Books like these can mean so much to kids of all colours and stripes, and I know they meant a lot to me. I wish you the best, and many thanks.

    • Catherine Jinks

      Hi Xavier – I am still replying to comments on this website, and I'm so happy to hear from you! You're obviously doing well if you're translating German at uni, which is lovely to hear. You've no idea how much messages like this warm my heart, as I get old. You've made my day! Thank you, and good luck with your course, whatever it might be …?