Meet the Books! Lillian

So, ever so long ago Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper began a lovely feature called Meet the Books! As soon as I saw it I thought, "Oh, how delightful! I shall participate in this, yes I shall."

And then, of course, I procrastinated.


But the reign of procrastination (over this matter at least) has come to an end! And for this first Meet the Books! post, I thought I should take the opportunity to talk about my current project, Lillian, in detail. So here you go.

love, protection, healing, sleep, purification, and peace. Promotes healing from depression.:

Who are the characters?

There are lots of them! Here they are, roughly in order of appearance.

Lillian: the protagonist, a Lillidy raised by mice in the very much mistaken belief that she is a mouse

Mrs. Mouse: Lillian's bustling, capable, emotional mother


fb31e87b41d285e490be8aa73ed4dee8.jpg (564×976):

Mr. Mouse: Lillian's quiet, sensible, ever-so-slightly-henpecked-husband father

Melissa: the oldest of the Mouse children, a lovely and sweet young lady

Andrew: Lillian's older brother

Clarksie: Lillian's mischievous best friend

Trinket: Clarksie's weak-willed little sister/henchman

Tipperkik: Melissa's beau

The Turvy Prince: roguish ringleader of the Turvies, dedicated to turning everything "inside out and upside down"

Pep: spirited princess of the Fairies, determined to lead the charge for order

Tuttlebee: a friend of Pep's, sometimes a little too candid


Love this vintage fairy artwork for a little girl's room!:

Fyria: Tuttlebee's fearless twin

Minnie: another fairy friend of Pep's, sweet and shy

The Fairy Queen: kind, wise, and weary ruler of the Fairy kingdom

The Attic Mice: new neighbors who arrive in the house and promptly drive Mrs. Mouse nuts

Mrs. Brown: the mistress of the big white farmhouse (very minor character -- I think her feet make an appearance once)

Dorothy: the naive, talkative, and well-meaning little girl who lives in the big white farmhouse

Mr. Chesterton: an old cat

Louisa May: a young cat

Shadow cat:

Roland: a red-winged blackbird and proud member of the Redwing Corps

Sam: Lillian's long-lost brother (shh!), a dear, goodhearted boy

Tom and Bluebell: Sam's younger brothers

What does the plot consist of?

Must you ask me this when I haven't an official blurb, Belle? Ah well...

The story begins when the mice discover an infant Lillian on their doorstep and decide to raise her as their own. Despite her human appearances, Lillian grows up believing she is as "mousely" as her family and friends. Yet, she has always felt a strong fascination for the wood just outside their house. She isn't allowed to explore the wood...but then one day she hears someone calling her name from its depths, and can't resist the temptation to disobey anymore. She discovers in the wood a world where fairyland vies with topsy-turvydom--a world that might force her to face the truth about herself.

Lillian tries to forget what she glimpsed in the wood. But then the newly-moved-in Attic Mice begin taking advice from the Turvies, and the consequences of their rowdy actions could ruin the peaceful life the mice have always known. Lillian must make a choice: either she stands with the Fairies, saving the mice and losing her most deeply held beliefs about herself; or she lets the Turvies have their way, keeping her identity but leaving her world to destruction.

What is the setting?

The big white farmhouse where the mice live and the surrounding wood.

Who are the favorite characters in it?

Hmm. Well, I think readers tend to be very fond of Pep, and I don't blame them--I've had so much fun with her!

Pep:

One of my little sisters really likes Clarksie. Her mischievousness is amusing, I suppose.

I'm rather partial to the Turvy Prince, myself. Yes, he's the bad guy, but...he's so fun to write! And, conversely, there's Sam. Sam barely comes in at all, but I know him from earlier drafts and short stories and such, and he's just the best. :)

What is the favorite scene?


Interesting question...I don't know. I've not shared the entirety of this book with very many readers; I think my little sister is the only one besides me who's read it all the way through. When I asked her to draw a picture of her favorite scene she drew the Prologue, with a baby Lillian left on the mice's doorstep. I'm pretty fond of that scene, but mostly because it's been there from the beginning. My critical side denounces it as cliche.

Thumbelina - Petra Brown, Children's Book Illustrator:

All the Turvy scenes are among my favorites. Also -- ooh, the scene where Mr. Mouse calls on the Attic Mice is fairly satisfactory. It was so much fun to write!

Any snippets?

Oh, snippets! Snippets are so much fun. :)

***
            "Trinket! We're going to have a birthday party for you."
            "We are?"
            "Yes, in the strawberry patch, and we'll invite all our friends and have games and - ooh! It should be a surprise party."
            "How could it be a surprise party when you just told her about it?"
***
            But when she found herself seated beside the Turvy Prince at what seemed a place of honor, she forgot she wasn't hungry. She'd never had such a meal before - fresh and clean and raw, as though pulled straight from the heart of the wood. The Turvies ate nuts and blackberries and mushrooms with the earth still clinging to their stalks; they drank clear cold water fresh from a woodland spring.
            "We eat the fare of the forest-kings," said the Turvy Prince. "We are the forest-kings. Every one of us, all of us. I am the prince of the kings."
***
             "Gee, Pep," he said, with a whine in his voice. "Why'd you do that?"
            "You deserved it! And I'll punch you again--I'll punch all of you--if I ever find you treating anyone so again."
***
             "How lovely to meet you, Lillian!" she said. "Do have a seat. I hope the Turvies were not too hard on you?" Real concern edged her voice and glowed from her face.
            "No, ma'am," said Lillian, sitting down in a chair between Pep and Minnie (the twins were sharing a settee across the room). "That is - not very hard."
            "What a polite little liar you are, Lillian!" exclaimed Pep teasingly. "You know that's not true."
***
"Mr. Mouse," said Mrs. Mouse, late that evening when all her children had gone to bed. "Something simply must be done about those attic mice."
            "Oh?" said Mr. Mouse, never looking up from his paper.
            "Yes, indeed. Have you seen the mess in the big kitchen?"
            Mr. Mouse did not answer.
            "Have you seen it, Mr. Mouse?" asked Mrs. Mouse, a little more shrilly.


Beatrix Potter:

***
           It was a long way to the attic. And Mr. Mouse was not alone in the dark. Other living things moved and breathed and peeped out with sharp invisible eyes from the shadows - mainly little spiders whose cobwebby homes Mr. Mouse sometimes stepped into.
***
            Clarksie waved a careless paw. "Oh, it slipped my mind."
            Things slipped Clarksie's mind fairly often.
***
            "Oh, Mr. Chesterton used to be a ferocious cat," she said, scratching him fondly behind the ears. "But now that he's old and fat, and lame in one leg, he's nothing to be afraid of at all."
***
             Mr. Mouse put down his cup of coffee and looked at Lillian over the breakfast table. "Lillian," he said. "You are beginning to sound like your mother."
            "Why, Mr. Mouse!" exclaimed Mrs. Mouse, pretending to be offended.
***
            "Especially from mouse traps," said the Turvy Prince. "And I'll show you why. I have here a long wire with a hook on the end — a clever contraption of Turvy make. Examine it, if you will. It's really quite simple. It's fashioned from a paper clip found on the kitchen floor, unbent and twisted into the proper shape for our purposes. Quite sturdy. With this hook I propose to retrieve the cheese without causing any harm to myself. Stand back, everyone."
***
            "All right," said Dorothy. "Well, I'll go clean up my dollhouse town, just in case you change your mind." And she jumped lightly up and tripped away, glad with the sure and certain confidence of childhood that the mice would soon live in her dollhouse town.
***
            "I think Lillian's right," said Pep. "The attic mice are the root of the problem, but the cat's more pressing right now."
            The Fairy Queen smiled. "The root of the problem," she said, "is a disregard for order and decorum. But you're right, Pep. Something should be done about the cat first."
***
            Again, the redwing's beak opened - much more widely this time.
            "The Fairy Queen!" he cried. "Well — well — well! If she's gone wrong, then the Turvies must have won the day! There's no authority to report to, if the Fairy Queen's gone wrong!"
            "Oh, yes there is. But calm down, Rol. The Fairy Queen has her reasons. She always does."


Redwing Blackbird - by jeremyjonkman:

***
If you ever want to visit the Fairy Queen, then I highly recommend getting to know the Fairy Princess. It makes things so much easier, for the fairy guards let you though without asking any questions, and no matter what the Fairy Queen is doing, she always has time for a visit with her little heiress.
***
            That evening Pep paid her promised visit. She came in the hours of very early evening, when the glow of day had grown soft and golden. 

So there it is! My first ever Meet the Books! link-up with Belle Anne @ Worlds of Ink and Paper. What do you think? Do you like stories about fairies and mice and such things?  Do you like red-winged blackbirds?

Comments

  1. Oh, what an adorable story! I really do think that this savors of Narnia and Beatrix Potter mixed. It's very cute. It also reminds me a bit of... a fairy-tale, I suppose. *laughs* I guess it is, after a fashion! ;)

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    Replies
    1. Why, thank you, Belle! Haha, yes, it's certainly a fairy tale of sorts. :)

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  2. "But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain:
    The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men (an', fairies),
    Gang aft agley,
    An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
    For promis'd joy!"

    I couldn't help it, the mice brought the poem to mind!
    I used to read mouse stories all the time, like the Poppy series by Avi.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, that poem is delightful. I'd never heard it before! I'm not familiar with the Poppy series, either--perhaps I should look into it, eh? :)

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  3. It's Robbie Burns' To A Mouse. But I added the "an' fairies" part.
    I think it has been about ten years since I read the Poppy series- but I remember liking them, and perhaps you will too.

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    Replies
    1. That's cute. :)
      Well, there's another thing added to my TBR list! Goodness, how those things grow... :)

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  4. Oh my word, can I just say how adorable this sounds??? We need more books like this in the world!

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    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Kayla Marie! You just made my day. :)

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