Folks, I'm here to tell you a shocking truth. The Chinese zodiac has got it all wrong. It's not the Year of the Dragon. It's the Year of the Elephant.
Okay, now that I've caused riots in the streets, let me explain. I've just come from reading two books in which elephants have a starring role, THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN and TUA AND THE ELEPHANT. Now we must add Lynne Kelly's debut, CHAINED. Heck, as Lynne Kelly remarked to me, elephants may just be the new vampires!
CHAINED has already been mentioned on Project Mayhem. (Remember Caroline's post in December when she got us all excited about five MG debuts?) Now we have the great honor of being one of the first to reveal the book trailer.
This is an amazing trailer, don't you agree? I had the pleasure of an e-mail exchange with Lynne Kelly. What, I asked, was the inspiration behind CHAINED, and what sort of research did she have to do? Here are her answers:
The research involved a lot of reading--books and online materials, but most importantly, talking to people who've lived in India and people who work with elephants. Especially about Indian culture, I learned things from corresponding with people that I couldn't have picked up from any amount of reading.
As for what inspired the book, I'd heard a "Don't be like an elephant" cautionary tale about how a young elephant that's tied up will struggle and struggle to break free, but when it gives up, it gives up for good. So later, the full-grown elephant is still tethered by that same small rope or chain, even though it's big enough to break free. When I heard that I'd thought it would make a great children's story, but I was thinking I'd write a picture book about it. That idea grew into the novel it is now, so although it's a completely different book than the one I first imagined, that elephant held by a small chain is still there.
I have a feeling that CHAINED is going to be a massive success. Thank you, Lynne, for creating such a profound and moving story.
CHAINED will be on the shelves May 8th, 2012. If you visit Lynne's blog on Tuesday the 20th (I'm tying a string around my finger!) you can learn how she made the trailer. She'll also have a longer version of it there.
Thanks for stopping by to celebrate Lynne Kelly, her novel, and THE YEAR OF THE ELEPHANT. (Fade to sounds of trumpeting.)