Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Book is Born: Presenting Tatterdemalion!

Dear friends and wild hearts, 

I have a glorious thing to tell you this Imbolc morning.

Today, a Book is Born! 

<<Books here! >>

(For the very eager among you, look no further than the image above and click through for your book!)

It is a book many years in the making, a collaboration between myself and the extraordinary artist Rima Staines. 

Come, follow us down the lane and through the hedge... 

... along the path all damp with the humus of leaves...

... between the gnarled old oaks whose branches are roots and whose roots are branches....

...and far out across the fields you know...

There, beyond the waters of the rain-made well, speaking the tongues of the Wild Folk, lives our magical book. 

It is called Tatterdemalion, and it is being published by Unbound. This means the book depends directly on you, dear and blessed readers, to be birthed into this good world. 

If you are as excited as we are, you can cut to the chase and PRE-ORDER YOURS RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT, look no further. Click right here. You can always come back and finish reading my ramblings later. They aren't going anywhere. :-) 

Tatterdemalion began several years ago when one of Rima's beautiful paintings sparked a doorway in me, a doorway into another world that led me, wielding my pen, through thirteen more of her paintings, the result of which was a novel in fragments that, stitched together, creates a whole mythology.

Then, this past autumn, I at last had the pleasure and the privilege of visiting Rima (and Tom, and the Boy) on mythic Dartmoor. 

I slept in a bell tent in a cow field...

... and woke up to mist over stone barns, dreaming of horses and ships, thinking of old tales and hawthorn trees.

Tatterdemalion came with me (in spirit, in the way that books travel with their writers wherever they go, sometimes sitting up inside the soul and saying yes, this.) It seems the book wanted to visit the land of heather and gorse...

...of Bronze Age ruins and the great hills of bracken. To walk the old, old roads laid by ancestral hands five thousand years ago.

For Tatterdemalion is rooted equally in Old European folklore and a wildly reimagined Northern California a few centuries in the future. The book had lived and journeyed with me in the wilds of Point Reyes and the Sierra Nevada for several years, and it was time for it to absorb the old, old bone-deep wisdom of Dartmoor, of Rima's England. (For more on what the book is about, well, you'll just have to visit it's official page here!)

During this time I met with the wonderful folk of Unbound (at which point Tatterdemalion sat up inside me and said yes, this!), a publisher that is revolutionary in the sense that they put the fate of books directly into the hands of readers; they foster a community of readers that supports writers. In an increasingly corporatized publishing world, this is a breath of fresh air. It means that we walk this road together, author and readers, this old road of story shared between hearts.

So, practically speaking, what this means is that we have a crowdfunding campaign now up on Unbound's website, where you can pre-order a copy of the book (ebook, hardback, signed!), along with many other special things, including exclusive classes, prints, and tickets to a Hedgespoken launch party! And the sooner we reach our fundraising goal (the cost of printing the book), the sooner it will be in your hands!

This book was created with a deep and fierce love. It was written with all of my heart, through the doorways in Rima's revolutionary artwork. It is a great honor, and joy, to birth it into the world with your help.

On that note, if (once you go view the book itself and the accompanying film ) this rings bells in your heart, we would be so grateful if you shared it with any and all folk you think might feel the same!

We are ridiculously excited to be sharing this book with you; do come along and join us!

With Love,

Sylvia & Rima


  1. Oh Sylvia, this is such happy news! Congratulations to you and Rima on this adventure - I can hardly wait for the publication! xx

  2. Congratulations Sylvia and Rima! I have been waiting for this book, hoping for it, since first reading an excerpt here a long time ago. It snagged my heart then, and my heart sings now at the thought of it almost being published. Such wild and sumptuous beauty in what we can glimpse of it so far! <3

  3. This is wonderful to hear! I adore both your writing and Rima's art work. What an amazing pairing. Can't wait. Congratulations to you both.

  4. This combination of story and image, of Sylvia and Rima, is surely known as nothing less then alchemy, oh dear ones, I can hardly even wait!

  5. Congratulations! I would very much love to support the book but I have to figure out how to do it without a creditcard or a PayPal account. Maybe I should just ask the good people over at Unbound?

    1. Hello Cristina! Thank you so much for your kind words. I think the best thing to do is contact Unbound directly here https://unbound.co.uk/support -- I am sure something can be worked out! Warmly, x Sylvia

    2. Oh, I mailed them already... well, they mailed me first because I got stuck in the middle of pledging;-)

  6. so excited to read your book and see Rima's drawings!

  7. I am foolishly giddy and wildly anticipate this joyous and wheeled book!!! I grin broadly to myself throughout the day, and feel my creative fires have been stoked by the mere thought of such a jewel coming into existence. Here's to the fledgling, that it grows and grows! A shout and a song and a dance is called for, I think.

    1. Lily you are so sweet! This note makes me so happy. Bless you for saying so. Yes to a shout and a dance!! (All a bit nerve wracking, this crowd-funding! But it's going really well! Shouts & dances throughout are needed.) I think you are going to love this book. Thank you so much for your support! xxx

  8. Hello Sylvia. Of course I have pledged already, having been waiting for this project to be born since I first read 'Witch Bottle' in Dark Mountain. It is so so exciting, and one third of the way funded already! Congratulations! I'm sure it will be fully funded and published in a great whirlwind of no time at all, for your writing and Rima's art is much loved and appreciated, and brings feral magic to the world—and we all dearly need that. x

  9. Cant wait to hold this beauty in my hands...........