The Inspiration for LITTLE SONG

My novel, LITTLE SONG,  grew out of a trip to British Columbia.  Following two weeks kayaking and grizzly-watching in pristine wilderness, my husband and I waited in Vancouver airport for the first flight in a five days to leave Canada for Washington, DC—it was the Saturday after 9/11.

As I paced the corridors, I came across a quiet cove dedicated to local cultures I had admired during our vacation.  A button on a display started a video of a ceremonial dance.  A feather-clad man wearing a carved mask of Raven’s head stomped and whirled to drumbeats, until at last, as I stood mesmerized, he swung his masked head right up to the camera lens and pulled a hidden string.  The beak burst open before my startled eyes, and a second mask confronted me:  the ugly, distorted face of the Wildman of the Woods, drowner of  lost souls.

A caption informed me that I was watching the Transformation Dance.

So on the week of 9/11, a week in which I had kayaked among silent islands as eagles soared overhead, and where on 9/11 itself, I was staying in a lodge a hundred miles from a road, internet or TV, this video struck me to my core. I watched it over and over again.  Finally, I rushed to board my flight, anxious to write the story that had popped into my head.

To my dismay, I found the characters didn’t fit into a short story, which was all I knew how to write back then.  Frustrated, I put my draft aside for months and then years at a time, but the characters never left me.  After my fourth trip to British Columbia, I started the serious effort to complete the novel and find an agent.

I am very grateful to my many early readers, but especially to my wonderful husband Bert Helfinstein, and the talented members of my writing group, Women of Words.

To learn about my current project, a novel written from Napoleon Bonaparte’s point of view, check out my Finding Napoleon website.

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Copyright © 2011 Margaret Rodenberg