Through Glass Eyes is now approved for printing under my own publishing name, GRINDELWALD. This novel was first published by Robert Hale Ltd in 2006, and Ulverscroft 2007, under the title The Twisting Vine.
When first accepted for publication, Hale did not consider my working title, Through Glass Eyes, appropriate, arguing that the doll element in the story was not strong enough to support the name. I disagreed but acquiesced.
I remember Mark Twain’s short story, The Million Pound Bank-Note (later to become a book and movie staring Gregory Peck). In that tale, the story evolves around the note. In Through Glass Eyes the doll is not always present, but is always hovering in the background.
Furthermore, changes in the doll’s dress over a period of 25 years can be regarded as a metaphor for the fluctuating fortunes of Lucy Oldfield reflecting her times of hardship, struggle and eventual triumph.
To my mind, the title could not be more appropriate.
In setting out to produce a cover for the paperback, I wanted to feature the doll, a 24-inch French bisque Bru of the 1890s. Of course to buy one of these rare antiques today would cost tens of thousands of dollars.
By chance, I learned of a one-day Doll Fair in Launceston (Tasmania) and went along with my camera.
On the first stall, a beautiful doll caught my eye. To my amazement, I discovered it was a replica Bru cabinet doll of the late 1800s – though only about 8 inches tall. And the only one at the fair.
Exhibitor Derrise Mahoney was delighted to share her story with me. She is a local doll maker who creates and paints the porcelain heads from Bru moulds, adds the mohair wigs and designs the dolls’ dresses.
With Derrise’s permission, I took several photos of her beautiful Bru and, as a result, was able to produce the book’s cover which I am delighted with.
Note: the colour of the book'scover is not true and should have a soft blue background
Through Glass Eyes is a story for the ladies. It’s a heartfelt rags-to-riches saga set mainly in Yorkshire in 1895. Here is the outline:
“When Lucy Oldfield steals an exquisite French doll from her dying mistress, she is unaware of the roles it will play as time goes on. Love, loss, pain and joy are the ever-changing facets of Lucy’s life, and throughout her journey, the Bru doll is never far away.”
Now approved for print, Through Glass Eyes will be available on Amazon in July or you can find it at GRINDELWALD.