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 J.L. O'Rourke and find out about her story,
"Operation Glass Slipper."
J. L. O’Rourke is the pen-name of Jenner Lichtwark, the editor/owner of Millwheel Press. Trained as a journalist and sub-editor, Jenner worked in newspapers, radio and as a freelance writer for longer than she cares to remember. Jenner writes murder mysteries, YA urban fantasy, freeform poems, and stories for children. She has a B.A. in Religious Studies and French Medieval Literature.
When not writing, Jenner enjoys being in a theatre, either onstage as a singer or backstage where she has been everything from floor crew to stage manager. She lives on a peaceful olive grove in North Canterbury. Find out more at www.millwheelpress.co.nz
A Conversation with J.L. O'Rourke
1) J.L., why do you write?
I don’t know – I’ve always done it. I found in my mother’s things a story I wrote and by the date on it, I was 6 years old. It’s like singing – I just can’t imagine not doing it. There are always ideas for stories popping up in my head and some of them stick there so long I have to write them down to get rid of them.
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
They all contain a message that gives hope to seemingly difficult situations. People today will still find themselves relating to the impossible pressure the main characters face and feel good when the characters overcome their challenges.
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?
I grew up pre-Disney so the fairy tales of my childhood were the Grimm’s versions. I didn’t have a favourite but the one that has stuck in my head over the years is the strange tale of the little cobbler and his belt inscribed “seven at one blow” – which was because he had killed 7 flies but turned him into a giant killer. It’s a mixed message of becoming the hero you imagine you could be and a warning to remain modest and not boast.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
I once had the pleasure of making props for a dance company’s version of Roald Dahl’s versions of three tales. No words but the tales told in ballet – I will never forget the woodcutter in a kilt with a chainsaw.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale
My story, Operation Glass Slipper, retells Cinderella in a context of modern, suburban domestic violence. Cindy watches her mother downtrodden by her father and her uncles until a television advertisement gives her a plan to save them both.
A taste of J.L. O'Rourke's story...
Cindy took the perfectly ironed white shirt from her mother’s hand, made sure its shoulders were aligned exactly on the hanger, then hung it on the wardrobe rail alongside the other five identical, immaculate replicas. She glanced at her watch, smiling as her mother’s sigh acknowledged her profound relief that they had completed the ironing ten minutes before her father was due home. It was better that way. If the shirts were there, hanging in soldierly ranks on the rail, he wouldn’t think anything about it. He would just grab one in the morning, grunt and put it on, adding the obligatory tie to finish the effect of the perfect man. He wouldn’t praise her mother for her hard work but at least he wouldn’t reprimand her for getting it wrong.
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 email@example.com
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