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 Hilary Barrett and find out about her story,
"Signor Frizzio - a Hairy Fairy Story."
Hilary Barrett is a retired primary school teacher. Since retiring she and her husband have spent half their time living in Brisbane and half in Hilary’s home town of Barnoldswick in Yorkshire, England.
She enjoys writing ‘funny stuff’ as a hobby. The majority of her attempts at being serious descend into frivolity.
She is a member of Carindale Writers' Group, a support group for emerging writers in Brisbane. The writers' group has recently published an anthology entitled Encounters in which four of Hilary’s short tales appear.
A Conversation with Hilary
1. Hilary, why do you write?
After retiring, I began writing the stories my mum had told me as a child about her own childhood and early life growing up in a working class town in the north of England in the early part of the 20th century. I felt it was important to have this oral family history written down. Now I mainly write for fun.
2. Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
Fairy tales are still relevant because children are able to identify the eternal characteristics of good and evil, of right and wrong, of fairness and injustice. Their appeal is that the good always triumphs against evil, a reassurance and comfort to children.
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?
Probably my favourite was Cinderella, mainly because of the reasons above but also I loved the beautiful illustrations in the book I owned. I was also fortunate to see it acted as a traditional Christmas pantomime which gave the story a special magic.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
My favourite retellings are Roald Dahl’s 'Little Red Riding Hood' and 'Jack and the Beanstalk'. I love his sense of humour and wicked twists at the end. I also think he was clever to have written them as rhymes.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?
My retelling of Rapunzel began as a 500 word exercise for my writers’ group entitled ‘Hair’. I was stuck for an idea and then Rapunzel popped into my head. She appears in the story as a supporting character, the main one being my hairdresser, Signor Frizzio. The plot is his quest to find her.
A taste of Hilary's story...
Signor Frizzio gazed lovingly into the mirror. He twirled his black mustachios while his perfectly shaped eyebrows bobbed up and down in admiration. For the third year running he had been winner of the ‘Medieval Coiffeur of the Year’ award. His fame had spread to the far reaches of the known world. Invitations to the courts of all the crowned heads of Europe and fan mail from the readers of Wenches’ Weekly poured in. To have Signor Frizzio style one’s hair – or wig – was honour and prestige beyond measure. If told he was unavailable to style their hair for birthdays, knees-ups, weddings or court balls, princesses – aye, princes too – had been known to break down, weep uncontrollably and throw plant pots (or worse) at their servants!
But at the pinnacle of his career, one ambition still burned deep within the bosom of Signor Frizzio. ‘I must-a seek out-a the famed Rapunzel, she of the long golden tresses. She is the one whose hair I must-a fashion before I die! I will search-a high, I will search-a low until I find her!’
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
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