|U.K. Trade Paperback Edition|
Just to give you an idea of length, The Swan Kingdom is 65,000 words. Daughter of the Flames is 85,000.
In the course of writing the story I acquired nearly thirty reference books on Feudal and modern Japan, a Japanese Akido set, a Japanese tea set, a full Japanese kimono with tabi socks and zori sandals, and twelve albums of traditional Japanese music.
But it wasn't length of the book or the huge amounts of research on Japan, that caused it to take so long to complete.
|U.S. Hardback Edition|
The result? I love this book. I love it in a way that I didn't think I ever would be able to love a book, because I wouldn't change a single thing about it. I know it's the absolute best thing I've ever written and that creating this story and these characters has made me five times the writer I was before.
It has been nominated for a New Hampshire Library Association Flume Award. It received a five star review from Books for Keeps.
The book made Cicely Reads Books Top Eleven of 2011, Readeraptor's Best Books of 2011, Heaven, Hell & Purgatory's Best of 2011, Fluttering Blutterflies Top Ten Books of 2011 and was shortlisted as a Books 4 Teens Book Star 2011.
So, what is it about? Basically, it's Cinderella, turned on its head and set in a faerytale version of Feudal Japan. It's a story about revenge, and obsession and about magic, and about what happens when people lie to themselves and others.
But mostly - and most importantly - it's about love, in all its varied, beautiful and frightening forms. Here's the astonishing book trailer my publisher produced, which captures the spirit of the story:
You can read the first chapter for free here.