With Wish Upon a Southern Star soon to be launched in September, it is my pleasure to introduce you in advance to each of the contributing authors and to give you a taste of their work.
Today, meet Hannah Davison and find out about her story,
Hannah Davison is a Scottish-born, New Zealand-grown freelance journalist, blogger, and writer of picture books, junior and middle grade children's fiction.
In her former life, Hannah was a keen adventurer and marketing executive. A reformed nomad following the onset of domestic bliss, she explores the world through words. Her current fiction projects are a middle grade tall-tale adventure set in Scotland and a picture book series exploring some of life's little challenges and milestones.
Until she can 'work remotely' again, Hannah can be found at home on their family farm in North Canterbury with her husband, two children and a range of animals.
She is a member of the NZSA, SCBWI and the Children's Literature Hub in Christchurch.
Find out more at www.hannahedavison.com.
A Conversation with Hannah
1) Hannah, why do you write?
Writing has always been a part of me. It is what I enjoyed most about school and as a folder of stories is the only remaining evidence of my schooling, it is obviously what I valued most as well. It seemed to come naturally, and being one of those students that didn't like to over-exert themselves, I gravitated towards a path of least resistance! Today, on a practical level, it is something that I can do from anywhere, which is important considering I live in quite an impractical location. Now that I am a wife, mother and run a dairy farm with my husband, writing has become more important than ever. The rest of my life is very much shared with my family and the demands of our life on the farm, but writing, that's just for me. I think it is essential when you become a mother, to retain, nurture and value those parts of your identity that define you as an individual. When I write, I feel that I am being myself in the truest sense possible.
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
Fairy tales, despite having quite an innocuous name for a genre, are some of the most frightening, brutal and gory stories children can get their hands on. Long may it continue! I couldn't get enough of that as a child. To be acceptable, children's fiction today is much safer. The same rules didn't apply when the classic fairy tales were penned. Much has changed in how stories for children and young adults are written, even in my lifetime. What hasn't changed is that young readers still love to be horrified and fairy tales can be some of the best places to get that fix.
3) What was your favourite fairy tale as a child? Why did you like it so much then and is it still a favourite or has it been replaced and why?
When I was a child I loved the folk tale, 'Ali Baba and the forty thieves.' We used to have a cassette tape of fairy tales and folk tales. I remember listening to it on my Walkman as I picked up pony poo in the paddock. I also used to play it on this tape player we had that was the size of two bricks pushed together. I'd hide it under my pillow at night and fall asleep listening to the stories. It was quite uncomfortable but well worth the effort. I haven't read that story since I was a child but reflecting on this question I refreshed my memory and was amazed by how murderous the story was. You grow up and think that fairy tales are for children and to be left in childhood, but reading them again as adults, with a greater comprehension of the characters' motivations, you get so much more out of them.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
Without a shadow of a doubt my favourite fairy tale retellings are by Roald Dahl. In particular I love 'Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.' It is remarkable that this book actually survived our childhood to remain intact today, we read it relentlessly and then (I'm sure) delighted our parents and their guests at the dinner table by reciting the rhymes.
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.
What is not to love about a young girl who is not to be trifled with? Roald Dahl never ever failed to deliver the glorious and the ghastly in big, heaped spoonfuls!
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?
Locked in a witch’s Remuera loft conversion, Snapunzel awaits her prince, though she has not been idle during her years of incarceration. When the two lovers find one another, they embark on a modern-day courtship.
A taste of Hannah's story...
Once upon a time, a young, married couple waited for their first child to be born. They lived next to a beautiful villa in Remuera, by a woman who always received ‘My Food Bag’ deliveries. The smell from Tuesday’s Spanish spiced chicken with black barley and asparagus salad wafted over into the couple's house, driving the pregnant wife wild with cravings.
“I have to have that bag,” said the woman to her husband, as she performed prenatal yoga in front of her YouTube video. “You don’t understand, I NEED that bag,” she insisted.
The husband snuck next door, but as he was stealing the Food Bag, his neighbour opened the door, and caught him red-handed.
Want to find out what happens next?
Read the full story in
Wish Upon a Southern Star
(release date 2 September 2017)
Pre-order an e-copy from Amazon
(or wait for the release date to order your paperback copy from Amazon)
Attend the launch
Saturday 2nd September, 2pm
at the South Library, Christchurch
For Christchurch residents and launch attendees,
preorder a paperback direct from the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org
My anthologies are available in paperback and hardback forms at Amazon.com. If you've read one of my stories, please leave me a rating and/or a review.
Smashwords is where you can find my free-to-read stories. For more details on my stories, see Shelley's Stories above.
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Follow me on Pinterest to see my boards of fairy tale illustrations and fantasy art.
You can email me at shelley.chappell