Aisling Fowler was watching her husband play a video game when inspiration for the heroine of her début novel first came to her. “He’s very keen to stress that he’s not a gamer,” she laughs, talking to me over video call from Sydney, where said husband is currently working. The female main character was very active and heroic and something about her connected with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who Fowler had loved obsessively as a girl. “I suddenly thought, ‘Why aren’t I writing characters like this?’ Almost immediately Twelve came to me. Not fully formed, but the idea of her.