|Dragonfly photo sent by my cousin when she heard the title|
The dragonfly theme in the book began because when I first imagined the shape of the story and the questions I needed to answer, I saw them in an iridescent blue bubble - and the next day saw a real dragonfly, exactly the same colour. This kept happening: it seemed that whenever I made a significant decision about the story, I saw a dragonfly soon after. It became too much to ignore, and eventually I decided that my character's name, Aissa, meant dragonfly in the island's language. Her amulet - the carved name-stone around her neck, that she calls her mama stone - would therefore be carved with a dragonfly symbol.
|Met a friend wearing this as I picked up the advance copy|
However, despite all my reading on Minoan and Cycladic civilisations, I had no idea that the dragonfly was relevant to Aissa's own culture. Then a month ago, with the book safely with the printer, I went to Crete and had an amazing, mind-boggling day with an archaeologist as I started the research for my next book.
Of course I told her about Dragonfly Song. 'Of course,' she said, 'the dragonfly was an important symbol for the goddess, or her priestess.'
|Fragment of fresco with dragonfly, from Akrotiri|
Life is full of coincidences and synchronicity, and sometimes story-making has more of them than the stories themselves.