Danced to Death….
‘Went the day well?’ I hear you ask…
The launch for the paperback edition of The Last Changeling was excellent – not least because I was presented with a rather nice bottle of champagne! Yummy!
I was surprised to find that when it came to it, I was quite stressed at being interviewed in front of an audience. Thankfully only my nearest and dearest detected this, but I found the process distinctly ‘counter-British’. We are raised to be discreet and ‘showing off’ is discouraged. I can only think that early conditioning was kicking in!
Interestingly, one of the questions I was asked was all about early influences…
A June baby, I started almost a year earlier than some of my classmates, so I first read Laurel and Gold Readers II when I was about 4 or 5, in my much loved village primary school. When they had a book sale I was thrilled to have my very own copy to keep.
Despite being quite old by the time they came into our little hands, Laurel and Gold readers were like a Readers Digest for very small children. Bound in green cloth with gold lettering, they featured traditional tales,mythology, short essays about natural history and some actual history, plus a poem or two. All beautifully illustrated, I adored them.
It just so happens that the image from a book I read as a child has stayed with me. I dug the book out the other day, and here is the intriguing image
The unseen hands stealing the baby must have sown an early seed that grew to flower in The Last Changeling. Imagine how shocked I was when I turned to the story of The Wood Maiden… here she is with Betushka, a girl she entices to dance…