Friday, 15 September 2017

The Ringmaster

The Ringmaster (1999) Post 259

The Ringmaster is a short book and one of the few I have ever written in which the protagonist's name is never revealed. I didn't even assign her one in my mind.

The protagonist is a child whose family tradition is rooted in the circus. She assumes she'll be a performer when she gets older, but while still a child, she develops the autoimmune disease known as juvenile arthritis. Not only is this a painful and chronic condition, but it causes deformity in her hands and other joints. The doctors say she should be able to lead a fairly normal life, but that can't include performing in a circus.
The girl is devastated, but her school friends get together to put on their own circus. They come up with acts and yes- there's a place for her. She is the Ringmaster, the one who holds the whole performance together. There are now a few stories about children with this condition, but this was probably one of the first. One of my close relatives had (and has) it so I knew from observation just how much it affects the life of the child, and of the family.


Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. She runs and Prints Charming Books. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. If you enjoyed a post, or want to ask about any of my books or my manuscript assessment service.

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