Cover Story

Some time ago, my lovely neighbour and friend, Emma Panting – a brilliant, award winning artist, read Silvana and we ended up having a deep discussion about the characters and the settings.  Anyway . . . Emma arrived at my birthday dinner last year bearing this most wonderful gift – a painting inspired by the first chapter (in which the main character is just four years old and has run away from some older boys who were bullying him):

Fabiom paid the woodmaids no heed. He would be safe here, that was certain; and the roots of one of the huge trees formed a circle, like arms, where he could sleep. He was hungry and sore, but most of all he was tired. With a whispered word of thanks to the Silvana of his tree, he curled up in the woody hollow and fell asleep almost at once.

Dreams came in the night. He was in a dark, tight space, not even sure which way was up. There was no way out. His body jerked and he cried out. Suddenly he was out of the basket and running, but they were chasing him, catching up, trying to put the basket over his head again. He glanced over his shoulder as he fled. They had heads like wild pigs, with tusks and fierce red eyes, and through their piggy mouths, with squeals and grunts, they called his name. A branch lay across his path; too late he saw it and tripped. Triumphant squealing bore down upon him.… And then silence.

He had not heard her sing to him but, from that moment, only soft and gentle sleep was his. And the song remained in his mind – for the rest of his life.



 by Emma Panting

I love all of Emma’s work, especially her angelic hangings. She is also a fabulous portrait painter, and produces unique pieces with her talented ceramic artist husband, Giles (who once attempted to teach me the basics of potting, bless him).

There is something very special about being able to share in other people’s creativity. To be able to inspire such a beautiful work of art through my story-telling is a real honour, and humbling too.


2 thoughts on “Cover Story

  1. ashleycapes says:

    Hi Belinda, loved the except and the painting too – beautiful match! The ‘piggy mouths’ especially, stuck in my mind.

  2. Wonderful story about the cover. Ashley is right – great matching of painting and excerpt.

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