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Mother Thorn: update January 2021

 

Hi all! I now have some lovely author copies of both hardcover and softcover editions of Mother Thorn, and can show you some of Kathleen Jennings‘ wonderful illustrations. The collection has been available for pre-order for a while now from Serenity Press, but you won’t find it on the major bookseller sites or in bricks and mortar bookstores until after April 11 2021, which is the official trade release date. The edition shown here is a POD (print on demand) edition which was released in December 2020 to fulfil early orders, and which is still available via Serenity Press.

A very lovely cloth-bound hardcover edition, with gold details, comes out on April 11, and ordering information for that will be up on the publisher’s website soon. It’s a collector’s edition and well worth waiting for. At around that time we’ll be doing more publicity, signings, and probably a book launch. I’m hoping we can set up a three-way chat online with me, Kathleen, and our publisher, Karen McDermott. Watch this space.

Apologies if details of release dates, editions and prices have not been readily available. Queries about the production and availability of the book should go to Serenity Press via the Contact page of their website, as they handle that side of things. Now a sneak peek inside the book:

 

This is my favourite illustration. It’s for the story Copper, Silver, Gold, which is my version of the fairy tale The Tinder Box. The central character is Katrin, a young soldier returning from a terrible defeat. There’s mention in the story of her grandfather: ”Erik was a walker between worlds. He knew the tongues of owl and thrush, of fox and wolf and deer.” I love the way Kathleen has shown the heart of the story here, with Erik at the roots of the tale, Katrin and her comrades on the way to war in the centrre, full of hope, and at the top, in the present, a weary and despondent Katrin encountering a strange old woman in the forest.

 

This one is for Pea Soup, my take on The Princess and the Pea. It’s a light-hearted story told in several tiny chapters, with all the main characters getting a say (yes, readers, even the pea gets to narrate briefly.) This illustration shows a freezing and bedraggled Bella, who has run away from home, discovering a rather grand house in the woods and wondering if she should knock on the door. Kathleen has made the house many-layered, just like the bed on which Bella will find herself spending the night (but not before consuming several bowls of the best pea soup she’s ever tasted.) A lot of fairy tales, in their most well-known forms, allow female characters very little choice about their destiny. Each of these four tales has a young woman as the central character. They all get to make their own choices. Some do better than others!