Before writing took over my life, my passion was for dance. For most of my early childhood, my dream was to become a professional ballerina and, had I not suffered from vertigo and resulting balance issues, that dream could well have become a reality.
When I was seven years old, my mother took me to see Moscow City Ballet’s production of Swan Lake. It was the first live ballet I’d ever been to see and I immediately fell in love with the story, the music, and the choreography. I was in a wheelchair at the time, following a recent accident which had left me with a broken leg. Unbeknownst to me, my mum had arranged for me to go backstage after the performance and meet the dancers. The cast also gifted me with a very special, signed copy of the programme which I still treasure. That day remains the fondest memory of my life.
As a lover of all things fantasy, I have read and watched a fair selection of fairy tale retellings—enough to notice a rising trend in the genre. It inspired me to have a go at writing my own twist on a classic tale, but I wanted to take a story that had rarely been spun before. Naturally, Swan Lake was the first such tale to come to mind.
And so I began to take the story apart, thinking of all the possible ways I could turn it into something new. I thought about the characters and, in particular, the curious relationship between Odette and Odile. Why do they look so alike? Could something more than the magician’s greed tie them together? That’s when I decided that theirs was the story I wanted to tell, and the idea for Feathered was born.
Elward is based on the malevolent magician, Baron von Rothbart. In the original tale, Rothbart has Odette and her companions cursed to live as swans during daylight hours. The reason why is never disclosed. That was another thing I wanted to explore in my story: exactly why was Odette cursed to be a swan? I looked into this a little further and rationalised that, if Ida was going to be my main antagonist, then perhaps I could give Elward some sense of humility. So what if he hadn’t cursed Marion, but had instead saved her life?
Feathered is a story I have always wanted to tell, even if I didn’t realise it at first. Marion, Ida, Elward, and Aldren are all very close to my heart and I cannot wait to share the rest of their adventures with you.
Keep your eyes out for Tethered, the next instalment in the Swan Maiden Series!