[DWJ] News from the archive - The Merlin Conspiracy

Amy Harlib aharlib at earthlink.net
Tue Jun 14 12:30:17 EDT 2011

aharlib at earthlink.net
-----Original Message----- 
From: Hannah Green
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:01 PM
To: 'dwj at suberic.net'
Subject: [DWJ] News from the archive - The Merlin Conspiracy

I've spent the last couple of days reading through three partial manuscript 
drafts of early versions of 'The Merlin Conspiracy'.  The three manuscripts 
are numbered sequentially from 1 to 3, suggesting that is the order in which 
they were written.  All three are significantly different from each other 
and from the published book, although similarities in characters and events 
can be seen in all three versions.

Manuscript '1' focuses on a heroine called Hedda Hyde, a crime writer and 
detective whose grandfather appears to be a Magid, and who is sent to search 
for Romanov in Loggia City.  Manuscript '2' is only four pages long and 
bears the title 'Magicmaster (?)'.  It features Romanov on his island, 
meeting Mini the elephant and seeing visions of a young girl seeking his 
help.  Manuscript '3' focuses on a teenage boy called Geraint Harvey, who is 
attending a convention with his grandfather, a crimewriter and a Magid.  As 
with Hedda Hyde in the first manuscript, he is sent to Loggia City in search 
of Romanov, while a parallel story begins to develop featuring Conrad, a 
trainee from the Royal College of Magicians sent to protect the Crown Prince 
of England as he plays a cricket match in France.

It's fascinating to see how certain elements of the story were clearly in 
place very early on - Loggia City, and Mini, for example - and yet so much 
is different in these early attempts.  There are passages from these 
manuscripts which make it almost word for word into the published book, and 
yet the surrounding context is completely different.

I really do love my job!

Hannah Green
Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books
Design Works, William Street, Felling, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear NE10 0JP
Tel. 01914952707
hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk<mailto:hannah.green at sevenstories.org.uk>

Website: www.sevenstories.org.uk<http://www.sevenstories.org.uk/>
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