In February 2010, Penguin officially announced a contest for Redwall fans, in which one lucky winner would get to name a character in a future novel. Today, more than five and a half years later, we will finally reveal what happened. And it will surprise you.
The contest copy stated that the character would be for "the next Redwall novel." As this took place in 2010, it was widely believed that this "next" novel the contest referred to was The Rogue Crew, which was subsequently published in 2011.
However, Brian Jacques was almost always a year ahead in writing his books - it was certainly possible that the "next" novel for the contest winner's character was actually supposed to be a future book.
The Redwall Wiki can absolutely confirm that this latter scenario was definitely the case.
In early June 2010, I received an email from Redwall Wiki editor Hyzenthlay of Redwall - she had recently spoken with Penguin and learned that she had won the contest! (Which I must say, is incredibly exciting that a user of this website won!)
Hyzenthlay, also known as Olivia, was awaiting further word on what was to become of her character and would be getting back to me soon.
Unfortunately, that was our last communication. I never heard from her again, and thus who exactly her character was became a mystery. Over the years, I continually tried to get back in touch with Olivia, to no avail.
This year, though, we successfully reconnected and I was able to learn what happened.
Olivia created a character - a hare - named Reisa Kartwell!
The following was her official entry form description:
- I named the haremaiden Reisa Kartwell because "Reisa" comes from "reise," meaning "travel" in German and "Kartwell" is derived from "karte," the German word for map. Reisa's Salamandastron's cartographer, and her map depicting efficient travel paths proves invaluable when the Redwallers must quickly reach Salamandastron when Redwall is under attack.
Astute readers will note immediately that Reisa did not appear in The Rogue Crew.
For winning the contest, Olivia received a copy of her entry framed, with special artwork created by Redwall artist Sean Rubin.
Brian Jacques also signed the entry, with a personal note: "Winner - well thought out - such a good character. Brian"
It's unclear if Mr. Jacques would have been using just the character name, or would also be using the fan-created biography too.
Below, we have a picture of that artwork, courtesy of Olivia. Again, however, Olivia has disappeared on me. As a result, I have no other information to share right now.
I've inquired to Penguin in regards to the status of a Redwall 23, but as of press time, they've declined to comment or respond. Perhaps this article will get them to contact us.
For now, my belief is that Redwall 23 is out there. I hope to one day read it.
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