By Jessica Duchen

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

Monday, 25 June 2018

Sooner than we thought! Plus, er, Siberia

After a spendid meeting with Xander at the Unbound offices last week, I'm suddenly facing the likelihood that ODETTE will see the light of day a wee bit sooner than expected. Christmas means Christmas...18. Not 19. 18. That's 6 months from now, in case you haven't noticed! So please don't buy your Christmas presents too soon: this one will, I hope, be worth hanging on for. 

It's all hands on deck now, and I'm revising the manuscript at breakneck speed, readying it for its structural edit. On the one hand, I know that whatever I do to it now, I'll have to do further revision after the cool, calm eye of the editor has taken it apart. On the other hand, certain things I can do now were not even a faint possibility when I started writing the book back in 1992. For instance, Googling Siberia. Odette comes from Siberia, a vast swathe of central and eastern Russia, but the obvious place for a swan princess to live is by a lake, and they have in Siberia an extremely large and beautiful one. And so I started looking for Lake Baikal.

Oh my God.

Mountains, forests, more forests, strange plants that grow nowhere else, sprawling rivers extending for leagues and leagues onward, onion-domed wooden churches, cabins and huts and fields... And snow. The snow. The snow on the trees. The sunlight on the snow. The sheer expanses of it all. Have a look at some of these astonishing photos.

So now I am chained to my desk, trying to sort out a little of the mess on screen. And what am I dreaming of? Getting on the next plane to Irkutsk. If that's the law of unintended consequences, so be it. OK, the whole book may take place in a semi-adulterated version of Cambridge, but perhaps I need a research trip to Odette's homeland?

Thank you again for everything you've done to support Odette. I'm now trying to make sure you won't be disappointed with the result!

And if you'd like to up your order of copies to accommodate your Christmas list, you can still do so by signing up for the Flock bundle or Read with a Friend. Likewise, do feel free to recommend it to any Other Interested Parties. Everything (except the Early Swan deal) is still open and up for grabs. https://unbound.com/books/meeting-odette/

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James Dixon
 James Dixon says:

Fascinating as always to follow the publication journey. Just a thought: I believe I'm right in saying that Ravel never went to Spain. Perhaps travel can sometimes narrow the mind, or at least the imagination.

posted 28th June 2018

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