Mr Oliver Boon was born on Blackrabbit Island, in a little hamlet named Heron-on-the-Weir. From an early age, he showed a gift for working with his hands and loved nothing more than to gather pinecones, fur, and feathers, and craft them into sculptures and dolls.
Unfortunately for Oliver, his family had no use for such things, nor was there a market for them in the area. He was put to work in the fields, something he hated. As soon as he was old enough, Oliver took himself off to Port Knot —the biggest town on the island — to make his fortune.
The Boon family were highly thought of in the town, and though Oliver was but a distant cousin of Lady Ivy Chase (neé Ivy Boon), his name opened plenty of doors. Still though, for his first ten years or so the only place he could afford to live was in a run-down part of town named Gull’s Reach.
Blackrabbit Island was famous for its love of masks. The ruling council each wore one designed after a different animal. During one lively summer festival, Oliver noticed the how the upper classes could afford to have custom-made pieces but the ordinary people were stuck making their own or doing without entirely. Oliver created a method of churning out good-quality masks cheaply. They sold well enough for him to see a future in it and with some help from landlord and Councillor Mr Baxbary Mudge, Oliver opened his own shop named the Hiding Place.
A string of disastrous love affairs in his early twenties left Oliver broken-hearted. He threw himself into his work, eventually becoming the apprentice to the official maskerer of Blackrabbit Council, charged with maintaining their ancient masks of office. Oliver hoped to take over from him one day but was content to supply masks to various playhouses and parades.
In THE LION LIES WAITING, Oliver will meet the previous owner of his shop, Mr Duncan Hunger, and make a decision that changes both of their lives forever.
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