Shadowdancers

Sally Odgers sodgers at tassie.net.au
Thu Aug 7 07:23:58 EDT 2003



> Oh thank you! I shall now go and proclaim the news to my tute group in two
> weeks.
> Is there a sequel?


Not as such. However, there are two other books (Amy Amaryllis and Candle
Iron) plus one long short story called Wintersong
(http://www.twilighttimes.com/Odgers4.html ) set in the same reality. Craig
Day is a character in Amy Amaryllis, and Pirry and ShuMar both appear in
Wintersong. The groom and his soulbinder mother both appear in Amy
Amaryllis.

More info below the spoiler...
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> What happened to the sweet guy who was playing the pipe beside Pirimba's
> bed, during her coma?

He and Pirimba spent some time together for a while, but drifted apart
later.

> And, finally, do you have any Meaningful Insight you could share about the
> Deep Meanings and Themes in your writing and the reasons you wrote this
for
> young adults?
> If you want to get into this, that is [:)].
> For posterity/education's sake...

I wrote Shadowdancers way back - 1993, I think. It's part of my fascination
with realities and dual identity, which harks back to Amy Amaryllis.
Originally, it was called "Pirry Marimba", then "Pirry Pirimba", and then
the title had to be changed again to please the editor. It was originally
longer, but had to be cut for reasons of publishing economy.

Body/Mind - which is in Control?

In Amy Amaryllis, Amy (Craig's sister) was a champion swimmer, while
Amaryllis, her Ankoorian double, had never learned to swim. When they
swapped bodies I had to work out what would happen to Amy whose brain knew
she could swim, while she was in Amarylis's body. She would know *how* to do
it, but the body wouldn't have developed the right muscles. I expanded on
this idea for Pirimba when she took Pirry's place in the Valours.

Background Info.

I knew a bit about astral travel, and I had to learn about quadriplegia and
guide dogs. I'm no sportsperson, and don't know ballet, so I had to invent a
blend of arts/sport for which I could call the shots.

Villains.

The groom and his soulbinder mother played parts in Amy Amaryllis, so it
seemed natural to re-use them for this book. Radnom, the groom, was trying
to extort a breeding reinbeast from someone in AMY, so it seemed right to
involve him with reinbeast again.

Sisters/Rivals

Pirimba and Eden play out a sisterly relationship older than the hills. I
have a sister, and my grandmother had one; in each case there was both great
fondness and some rivalry... it is difficult for a younger sister to live up
to an elder - particularly if she's less talented or less gifted, while the
elder sometimes has problems making allowances for the younger.

Themes.

The themes in Shadowdancers are love and sacrifice, sense of self,
responsibility, morality and choice. I use these themes a lot - they crop up
in the unrelated novels Trinity Street and Translations in Celadon, as well
as the related Candle Iron.

Audience.

I chose to write this for a YA audience because it was too "old" for
children. Pirimba is in some ways a typical teen of her time... but she's
also the lucky one whose luck has just run out. The themes are concepts that
some teens grapple with in reality. However, I had another, more pragmatic
reason for aiming a a YA audience. This kind of plot wasn't ever published
in Australia for an adult readership. So it had to be YA.

Characters.

The viewpoint characters, Pirimba, Eden and ShuMar, (and Craig and Fraeman)
are all "good" characters. They're not especially heroic, but none of them
is a villain or even ambivilent. However, they all have faults and character
failings. ShuMar feels guilt more than he should, and overcompensates.
Pirimba is, at first, the opposite of this. Eden feels powerless. This isn't
a fault, but she is close to giving up her chances because Pirimba has lost
hers. Fraeman and Craig both rather resent being pulled into the dramas of
other people. As for Pirry and Dawkinds - we see them through ShuMar's eyes,
and ShuMar is sometimes as wilfully blind as Pierre is in reality.

If you have any more questions about such stuff, just ask. Like most authors
I can talk shop until the cows come home.

Sallyo.


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