If you’ve read Is This Me?, hopefully you noticed the swallow on the charm bracelet at the beginning of each chapter as well as the pair in the section breaks. One of the most frequently asked questions is "Why the swallow?". So, I wanted to explain the symbolism behind the swallow image.
In the beginning, the working title for Is This Me? was Far From the Tree. The image behind this title was a tree with birds flying to and from, as well as perched on, the branches. The thought was that the tree was a symbol of home and family. The birds symbolized a child growing up and leaving home but returning to find comfort. When the title changed I wanted to keep the image of Amanda venturing out but maintaining a connection with her family.
I did some research into birds and found that the swallows nest in the same site year after year. Even if they migrate they return to the same area, often to the same nest. Further, they keep a single mate for life. Swallows symbolized different things around the world and through history. Some legends say the swallow brought fire to man, explaining the fork tail that was burned in the process. In ancient Greece and Rome the Gods were thought to change into swallow form. In Egypt they carried the souls of the dead and were considered sacred. During the age of exploration, sailors adopted the swallow as a symbol of their voyage, perhaps because they were the first sign land was near. The number of swallow tattoos they received depended on their journey’s length. Later, they adopted the practice of getting one swallow before they left and another upon return.
I liked the parallel between Amanda’s story and that of the swallow, migrating from its home but returning each year, and decided to use it as a symbol for my book series. I hope this gave some insight into my choice of the swallow in graphics for the book series.
All the best,