Anna Tipton’s reimaging of the Swan Lake ballet is a rare and compelling work– blurr ing the border between reality and dream to create a gripping twist.

Swan Vanishing

Names: Tipton, Anna, author.

Title: Swan vanishing / Anna Tipton.

Description: McCall, ID: Hidden Shelf Publishing House, 2023. Identifi ers: ISBN: 978-1-955893-27-5
(paperback) | 978-1-955893-28-2 (Kindle) | 978-1-955893-29-9 (epub) Subjects: LCSH Swans–Fiction. | Shapeshifting–Fiction. | Ballets–Stories, plots, etc. | Fairy tales. | Romance fi ction. | Love–Fiction. | BISAC FICTION / Magical Realism | FICTION / Fantasy / Romance | FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Classification: LCC PS3620 .I78 S93 2023 | DDC 813.6–dc23


Publication Date: 9/19/23 Title: Swan Vanishing
Author: Anna Tipton
Publisher: Hidden Shelf Publishing House
Distribution: IngramSpark, Kindle Direct Publishing, Amazon, Apple iBooks, Overdrive, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play Paperback Price: $17.99 (ISBN: 978-1-955893-27-5)
Ebook Price: $9.99 (ISBN: 978-1-955893-28-2 (Kindle) | 978-1-955893-29-9 (epub) BISAC 1: FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
BISAC 2: FICTION / Fantasy / Romance
BISAC 3: FICTION / Magical Realism Page Count: 180
Trim Size: 5.5 x 8.5


It’s almost time. I know because the last rays of sunlight are nearly gone, and I hear the swan call for me. A hush falls over the clearing, and the shadows of the wood move together like one organism. I wonder at the turning of the wind. Through my window I see the fortified walls of the kingdom rise against the velvety fabric of the sky. I shiver.

I make my way down the cold stone steps in the tower house, here on the lake outside the kingdom. I pause to watch blue-green lights flicker from my father’s study. Drops of water slither down the limestone walls. I listen, imagining the dark work of his hands. Perhaps he’s turning himself into a bird of prey for one of his nighttime roamings. Onward through the passageway, I fall into reverie. I lead with my head forward, neck and shoulders sunken like a vulture’s.

The stairs take me into the entrance hall, and I hear an everlasting drip from my father’s study above. On the ground in the cleavage of the stones, where the water pools, I see my reflection twisted with some sour thought. Today, I stop. Then, as if from some power in the water or the stones, my reflection changes, and instead of my face, I see the head of a swan.

Alarmed, I stomp on it. Soon the agitated water settles, and I see my own face once again.
I pull my mantle tightly around me and hurry on, heels clopping, through the hall.

Outside at last, I breathe deeply. I might have come from underwater, for inside the tower house the air is thick and dense. I creep like a lizard toward the lake, like a mouse scurrying through tall grasses and fog. Before me the ancient lake shivers with some secret thought. I stand in the stiff , solid wind, my flaxen hair almost silver in the moonlight.

At the lake I catch my breath. My cloak bellies in the wind. I feel the blood fighting through my limbs, and my gums flare from the cold. I’m the one who feels, a woman, not an animal nor a dream. I sigh in relief. The swan in the puddle was only a trick of the eye. The bite of the wind calls me back to my purpose. I must check on Odette.

An ice wind rushes from the lake, and I shiver. I turn around, my breath the shape of white smoke. Dapples of light twinkle like tiny stars in the thousand dimples of the water’s surface, and I see Odette, a pure white swan. I soften at her arrival. The moon emerges from behind a black cloud, like someone coming out of hiding, and the transformation happens in an instant. A bat screeches and flies out of a tree, stirred by this unnatural displacement. There was a swan, and now, standing in its place, is my twin sister Odette, her white cotton dress and hair luminous from the transformation.

Meet The Author

Anna Tipton

Anna Tipton was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. Aft er earning her English degree from Wheaton College, she had a stint teaching American Literature in the inner city of Chicago. She’s gone on to study prose at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and currently splits her time between Florida and the greater Chicago area.

What inspired you to write Swan Vanishing?

I’m really interested in the fact that Odile looks like her opposite, Odette, and I wanted to use this to explore identity and the journey of a young woman coming in to her own.

What makes your book diff erent from others in the same genre?

It follows the story of Odile, the black swan maiden in the classic fairy tale. She has a small but impactful role, and I’ve wondered how she felt about being sent to the ball to trick the prince into thinking she was Odette, his true love. Th is story bears witness to Odile’s emotional life and gives her a voice.

What books, already published, would you consider to be similar or “comp” titles to yours?

The Penelopiad, Margaret Atwood
Fairest, Gail Carson Levine
Beauty, Robin McKinley
Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis


Hidden Shelf Publishing House - P.O. Box 4168 - McCall, ID 83638