I got such a fun e-mail today that I had to share it. I’ve been exchanging e-mails with the lovely and talented Eve Laur ( the award winning Estonian translator of Phillip Pullman’s Dark Material’s Trilogy) We’ve been chatting about the Rebel Prince Competition and all the fun I’ve been having looking at the entries and how different they all are from each other, and how difficult it is to get characters right in graphic novels etc etc etc
ANYHOO, this morning Eve sent me this photograph as her ‘entry’ to the competition. She meant it as a joke, this is her ‘female Christopher’ the person she thinks should play the role of Christopher Garron if he was a girl. (It’s Estonian TV chef Anni Arro, btw) But you know what? THIS IS SPOOKY. Because that photograph is pretty much exactly how I imagined Christopher’s mother. Anni Arro could seriously have walked straight out of my imagination! Even her brightly coloured top is spookily close to how I imagined Christopher’s mother’s ornate clothing because I had always envisioned his mother as being of Saami origins ( Laplander)*
Skann Saami woman and child from Inari Finland
This is a photograph of a Saami woman and her child, taken sometime before 1930 in Finland. Look at that little fellow! What was it Christopher described himself as? ’A terribly wild infant.’ ? Something like that. Can’t you imagine this little guy giving his mother some right grief? Though this image gives a small idea of the features I wanted Christopher’s mother to have passed down to her son ( Anni Arro is a much better example) it doesn’t give a true taste of how vibrant the colours are in the Sammi or Laplander costume. The photograph below does give a better idea. This is the (then) Crown Princess Sonja and Crown Prince Harald wearing traditional Saami (Laplander) clothes in 1969. Aren’t they amazing?
traditional Saami costume
Funnily enough, Saami Laplanders also traditionally inhabited conical tents ( as opposed to yurts) which was a lovely surprise to me and helped tie them in nicely with the Merron. Ah, it was great fun revisiting this inspiration. Things drop so quickly from my head once I’m immersed in another project. Being surrounded as I am now, by 1890’s horse carriages, top hats and sword-canes it was a real treat to go back and revisit some of the earliest inspirations for The Moorehawke Trilogy.
Thanks Eve! I enjoyed that!
Albi? How many days left in the competition? OOooo, look, time is running out…
*(ONLY READ THE FOLLOWING TEXT IF YOU ALREADY READ THE CROWDED SHADOWS OR DON’T MINDSPOILERS.)
I figured Christopher’s mother would have been a native Sami woman who ran with her ’sevenths’ child after a Loups-Garous pack had ‘visited’ her tribe. I always thought maybe Christopher’s father might have been a Merron or Sami or Swedish Loup-Garou)