Sooty is a character in the novel. It is a non-earth entity that enters Anna's life at a time when her world is already in upheaval, and sends it into chaos. With humor, of course. I don't like to write depressing stories.
He requires unusual forms of nutrition, including elements that he transforms to suit his nature. One of Anna's challenges in the book is to find sources for these elements.
I was delighted to get these sites today: Visions: Rare and Precious and the Dynamic Periodic Table. Thanks to GrrlScientist for the table via her wonderful series on the elements. I look forward to each week's element.