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The Wild Swans by Jackie Morris: Q&A and Giveaway!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

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The Wild Swans
Retold and illustrated by Jackie Morris

This very beautiful and lyrical extended version of the fairy tale 'The Wild Swans' by Hans Christian Andersen is the much anticipated companion to East of the Sun, West of the Moon. With strong characterization of the heroine and also with more rounded characterization of the wicked stepmother than in the original version, and with delicate watercolor paintings throughout, this is both a wonderful story and delightful gift.

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Jackie Morris lives in Pembrokeshire, Wales, with children, dogs and cats. Ever since leaving college, Bath Academy of Art, at least one cat has watched over her while she works. Big cats and small are a passion in her life, and it was while reading and watching her cat Pixie sleeping in winter that the idea for I am Cat came about. Among her many books for Frances Lincoln are The Ice BearThe Snow Leopard, and Tell me a Dragon.


 Q & A 

1)   What was your main inspiration for the book?

The Wild Swans is a story that I have always known, in different forms. The inspiration for working with this story myself was primarily my desire to try to understand it better. Also, I love the idea of a heroine whose heroic task to rescue her brothers is to knit in silence. When I was young I loved to knit, and in working with this book I have rediscovered this passion, I have made time to sit and knit, in silence often, on the hill above my house, in woodland, beside rivers, at readings.

2) Who was your favorite character to write about?

I loved discovering the White Queen, who has no name. She’s often a cipher, a wicked stepmother, with no character. I wanted to make her more than that. She’s a creature of the wild wood, with an ever moving crown of moths and white fur slippers she keeps beneath her bed that when she slips her feet into them can turn her into a wild white hare.
She is always outside the family. At the beginning of the book she is seen flying over the woods as a wild white egret. At the end she watches from the edge of the wood as a white hare. I haven’t finished with her yet. I need to write about her more.

3)   Are there any traits you want your main character to display?

Eliza, the main character of the book has courage, patience, empathy. She loves her brothers so much that she is willing to devote everything to bringing them back to human form. But she has flaws. She doesn’t listen to her brother, Cygfa, or maybe just is thinking of herself and her own wishes.

4)   Please list five reasons we should grab your book!

I can only think of one. The Wild Swans is a story that has lived with me all my life. It is part of the furniture of my mind. In it there are moments of real beauty. I would love to share this with other people, but there are many retellings, many versions. I’ve written mine to be read aloud really, by all ages, or carried around to be used as a harbour, a place of escape. I hope people who need it will find it. It’s such a small voice in such a busy world.

5)   Are you working on another book project?

I am currently working on four cover designs for a wonderful American author called Robin Hobb. I do all her jacket art in the UK and I adore her writing.
Also working on a true story set in Seattle about an Arctic Fox for a Scottish publisher called Barrington Stoke, a counting book called One Cheetah, One Cherry, a Book of Beautiful Numbers and finally a book called The Lost Words written by Robert MacFarlane, a wonderful British author who is very well known in the UK, but perhaps less so in the US? His words are a gift that drop into my inbox for time to time, bringing the wild world behind them. They are a hymn to the wild and a balm to the soul.
And I have a head full of stories that circle like sharks until one decides to grab my attention and shake me until I write it.
And I am knitting.
And when people ask me what I am knitting I say, “well, obviously, a shirt for a wild swan”.


Please comment with your name and email address for a chance to win this awesome book!

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. I wonder if I would enjoy this far more than Spinning Starlight. It sounds delightful anyway.

    Moriah Bolyard @

  1. Thanks so much for introducing me to this book and author. It sounds like something I would love. Unbelievably, I've never read Hans Christian Andersen's The Wild Swans.
    k3kdpv at gmail dot com

  1. bn100 said...:

    new author to me

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  1. bison61 said...:

    this book does sound good I'd love to see the watercolor paintings

    tiramisu392 (at)

  1. I have this book on my wish list. Yes please.

    Mary Preston

  1. Beth W said...:

    Thanks so much! :D

    bethwade1 at gmail dot com

  1. まいだ said...:

    A great Q&A.
    Thanks for the chance.

  1. Thanks for the chance <3

  1. Dilara C said...: Thanks for the giveaway!! :D

  1. Cindy said...:

    Am I too late to join? The book both looks and sounds great! I had a fun time reading the Q&A. Thanks for the chance!
    xinyi1467 at gmail dot com

  1. This sounds like an interesting read.

    Holly Letson
    bookaholicholly at gmail dot com