Princess and her Panther

The Princess and her Panther is now out in the world, or at least in Australia – I think the North American release is next Tuesday. My author copies are sitting on the coffee table, and make me smile every time I see them.
Selecting bits of drafts to put up on the book’s own page on my website (and to take with me for the talk at the Kerlan Institute in Minneapolis) I found a letter from my then publisher at Canada’s Annick Press: “I love this story but have no room – remind me in the new year.” The letter is dated November 1990.
At that time I didn’t save any drafts till the final one – and the one I have is obviously one I’ve prepared to send to a publisher, so it’s undated – but I’m guessing that means that I started working on mid 1990.
I don’t have any memory of why I didn’t send it again later, or what happened if I did, and neither does the publisher, who is now retired but still a dear friend. However, it was a start of the book’s torturous publishing journey, involving disappearing illustrators and publishing house take-overs (as well as the usual creative ups and downs!)
So, 20 years, many, many drafts and 4 publishing houses later, here it is. Perhaps this distance is why I feel so completely happy with it, so in love with the richness of the colours and the feel of the whole book – it’s not part of me anymore, and is ready to be free.
The first launch or publication party for The Princess & her Panther will be at the Red Balloon Book Store in St Paul, Minnesota on July 10. For a complete list see the News & Appearances page on my website:

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