Smitten, enthralled and gobsmacked.
I’ve been trawling the marvellous art of one Kathleen Jennings, an incredibly talented artist I had the good luck to meet at GenreCon. And the meeting was auspicious. I mean, her Twitter handle is @tanaudel. Cue FanGirl hysteria as I launched into Diana Wynne Jones rhapsodies. (DWJ is my number one, all-time-favourite author. Don’t believe me? I even wrote a scholarly review of her work and I’m no scholar!)
For those ignorant of vital information, Tan Audel is the name Polly gives viola player Ann Abraham in Fire and Hemlock. Yes, a viola player. The woman is genius.
Meeting of minds established, Kathleen then floored me by asking if I’d read Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin. Hands were clapped in breathless amazement, screeches were uttered. Tam Lin is one of the five books I would bring to a desert island (NB. Australia being one of them). It remains the only non-school book I have ever written side notes in: placing the references is a pleasurably smug indulgence. It is a literary education of a novel. To it I owe my love of Christopher Fry and my stab at reading the Worm Ouroboros. Until meeting Kathleen, I knew only one other person who loved Tam Lin with my level of besotted adoration.
Then I got home and found Kathleen’s art on the web. Go here. Go here NOW. I’ll wait.
Brilliant, isn’t she?
Well that’s Christmas sorted, as far as I’m concerned.