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 http://web.me.com/wendyorr1/wendyorr.com/Princess_&_her_Panther.html (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: http://tinyurl.com/2egku4m
Labels: picture books, Princess and her Panther, publishing journey