Book 1 of the award winning Shalott trilogy.
Through a virtual reality program, five teenagers are zapped back in time to the court of King Arthur.
Unable to return, they are caught up in the dangerous liaison between Lancelot and Guinevere, the deadly magic of Morgan le Fay, and Mordred's ambition to rule Camelot.
Shalott was five years in the writing, during which time I learned a great deal about the 'Lady of Shalott" and the legend (and history) of King Arthur. I'm happy to talk to schools and other organisations about the legend, its historical background and some famous sites associated with Arthur, illustrating my talk with colour transparencies of photographs taken when I followed the 'Arthurian trail' in the UK.
'This spellbinding story weaves together past and present to create a tale that is at once dark and dangerous, and tantalisingly dreamlike.' Maggie Hamilton.
Shalott, the first novel in the trilogy, won the Society of Women Writers 2001 Book of the Year Award in the Young Adult Reader category.
Other books in the series:
- Return to Shalott: - as the five teenagers find themselves back in the court of King Arthur, past and present collide ...
- Shalott: The Final Journey: - When Guinevere summons Callie back to Camelot, Callie becomes trapped ...
Why I wrote the book?
I wrote these novels quite by accident - after my dog, Bonnie, died. I'd been listening to a CD, The Visit, by Loreena McKennitt and, as we buried Bonnie in our garden, the music of one of the tracks on the CD, Tennyson's wonderful poem, The Lady of Shalott, was going through my mind. I was heartbroken, and kept playing the CD for months after Bonnie died, until I started to become interested in the fate of the Lady of Shalott. Why was there a curse on her? Why, when she looked out of the window, was she fated to die? And from there, I started asking myself the 'what if ..?' questions that authors so often ask themselves. 'What if it's possible to go back in time and change history - or a legend?' What if you're creating part of that legend at the same time? What if, while you're rewriting that legend, you're actually rewriting your own life and destiny?
And so I decided to write Shalott - but first, I had a whole lot of research to do into the legend of King Arthur - is he real or not? (If you're interested, look for the article 'King Arthur: Fact or Fiction') I had to research life in the middle ages, and also research the legend of Camelot. I thought my brain was going to explode! But I loved spending time with those mythical characters, as well as with my Australian teenagers, listening to their problems and trying to sort them out. (Yes, I have voices in my head all the time, sometimes my characters keep me awake with their chatter ... but please don't tell anyone in case they think I'm crazy!)
- See if you can answer the quiz on the Shalott trilogy.
- Access information about the Ogham alphabet, and see if you can write your name in the ancient alphabet of the druids.
- Read the 'Shalott' series reviews.
Random House Australia, Level 3, 100 Pacific Highway, North Sydney, NSW 2060. Website: www.randomhouse.com.au
Please note that The Shalott Trilogy is covered by a Print on Demand order with the publisher and is therefore always available.
An audio version of The Shalott trilogy is now available on CD through Louis Braille Audio - visit the website: www.louisbrailleaudio.com for further information.