[DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

Deborah Meghnagi Bailey deborah at brightweavings.com
Fri May 20 05:22:13 EDT 2011

This is all absolutely fascinating, Hannah. Thank you so much!

-----Original Message-----
From: dwj-bounces at suberic.net [mailto:dwj-bounces at suberic.net] On Behalf Of
Hannah Green
Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 11:34 AM
To: 'dwj at suberic.net'
Subject: Re: [DWJ] News from the archive - The Spellcoats

Esther, there's nothing in the early draft about the Undying Ones that
doesn't get revealed eventually in the published story, it's just you get
more information early on in the story.

Yesterday afternoon, I discovered another partial early draft, again
consisting of the first few chapters.  This one is very different from the
published book, with different characters - it features a family of six
siblings, the children of a lord of Dalemark.  It is described as a story
'from the early history of Dalemark', but the protagonist identifies the
land as Dalemark, and his father as a lord of Dalemark, which suggests the
setting is not as far back in the history of Dalemark as the setting of 'The

This draft does feature the father and two brothers going off to war against
the 'New Men', people who have come to Dalemark from across the sea.  The
protagonist is unable to go, because he has a problem with his back, a birth
defect, and his father does not think he will be able to fight.  He is left
behind with his two sisters and younger brother.  They carry out the fire
ceremony for the One, which results in him turning gold, but they are
interrupted by a young girl who has fled the New Men, and they are soon
after forced to leave their own home by a band of New Men who attack the
village.  The children and surviving villagers flee into the forest, and the
story breaks off shortly after they have an encounter with the Piper, which
is similar in many details to the children's first meeting with Tanamil in
'The Spellcoats'.

If you merge some of the details from this partial draft with details from
the one I mentioned yesterday, you start to see how Diana came up with the
story that was eventually published.

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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