Work is continuing apace with the illustrations for my feminist fairy tales. The Changeling, which was the third story I wrote for my forthcoming book, has several really wonderful images in progress already. I'm excited about this story for many reasons (of which the gorgeous emerging illustrations by Megan MacPhie have got to be right at the top of the list), and I'm interested to see what the response will be to a feminist fairy tale that's actually about how patriarchy can affect men.
Several of my stories have men at the heart of them, as although I'm a right-on feminist with women's rights at the forefront, I'm certainly not blind to the many insidious ways in which misogyny hurts men too. The Changeling deals with this subject, following the story of a baby boy who is separated from his mother at birth, an experience that stays with him for the rest of his life.
My second son Adam was taken by the faerie folk when he was only 24 hours old. Of course by that, I mean we were separated for 3 days, which he spent in an incubator with IRDS and I spent mostly crying and trying to express enough milk for him. I've always worried about how that early separation might affect him, and The Changeling was born of that experience and my further reading of how early separation and the "mother wound" can affect men's ability to relate to women throughout their lives.
It's quite a sad little story, with an ending that's more hopeful than truly happy, and it's one that made me weep like a bairn whilst I was writing it, so I hope my readers will find it touching too.
In the meantime, here's a sneak preview of The Changeling's mum, ready to give birth under the light of a full moon. I just love her! :-)