By Jessica Duchen

Odette, Swan Lake’s enchanted swan princess, is still trying to break her spell

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Merry Christmas - and here's to next year!

Dear supporters, readers and supporters-to-be,

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, a restful festive season and a fabulous seeing-in of the new year 2018! Are you staying home, going out, going away? Sun, snow, Christmas markets? Nutcrackers, Hansel-and-Gretels, pantomimes, or, er, Swan Lakes? 

I'm staying home and writing, as you may be surprised to hear (or not). I'll be devoting much time in the couple of weeks ahead to the refashioning of MEETING ODETTE into the setting that best suits a modern fairy-tale with a message of compassion and empathy: Christmas.

The whole book takes place across a few weeks and originally I'd envisaged it as a springtime fable. Moving it into winter has quite a few advantages that have nothing to do with the sales potential of a modern Christmas Carol. The setting will point up the 'relevance' of a tale that's about exile and homelessness. The chilly background matches the icy climate in people's hearts. And Christmas is a time that brings out the best and the worst in everyone as the associated stress kicks in. As far as our story is concerned, there's one benefit that's bigger still: Odette's transformation is triggered by daylight, so if she has several hours longer to be human every night, we can do a lot more with her. 

So the aim is to get it out in time for next Christmas - which essentially means autumn - and I'll have my work cut out raising the rest of the funding in the new year. If you'd like to help and you have friends who love magical realism, who are touched by tales that capture contemporary atmosphere or who just love Swan Lake full-stop, you might consider 

-- buying them a pledge as a gift with their name in the book;

-- sending them the link;

-- upping your own pledge to one of the multi-copy bundles like Read with a Friend (2 copies) or Flock (5 copies), thereby sorting out your Christmas shopping for 2018 in one fell swoop!

HAPPY FESTIVE EVERYTHING with much love from me, Mitzi, Odette, Harry, Robert and all the swans of Cygnford! I hope you will be able to meet them next year.





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