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 K.S. Liggett and find out about her story,
"Adelaide and the Dark Wood."
K. S. Liggett has travelled the world finding inspiration. Originally from the USA, she believes there are always two sides to every story and strives to challenge our perception of characters we think we know. Always invested in multiple creative endeavours at once, she is currently writing her first full-length YA fantasy novel and launching a yearly retreat, Engage, for adults who share a love of all things 'nerdy'.
Residing in Christchurch, New Zealand, K. S. Liggett is a member of the Christchurch Writer’s Guild, rides horses in her spare time and works with technology. You can follow her on twitter @kateliggett
A Conversation with K.S. Liggett
1) K.S., Why do you write?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t re-imagining the world around me, usually in a fantastic way. When I lived in New York I loved to watch the people around me and create scenarios that brought them to that very moment. I admit, those scenarios often included things that may have been a stretch – like magic or dragons – but writing gives me an avenue to channel those moments of imagination. It also allows me to enter those lives in an attempt to see the world from a different perspective.
Often you hear, ‘write what you know’. While there is a truth to that saying that I embrace, I think there is quite a lot of personal growth to be gained by writing ‘what you don’t know’, and that’s a journey that I enjoy.
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
Fairy tales are relevant because they often take you one step away from reality while still embracing important issues that our minds can still recognize and relate to. They give us an unpressured environment to deal with difficult situations and see that there are workable solutions and alternate paths to take.
A child might dream of a character that embodies truth or justice – grand ideas. Yet, in real life, it can be harder to see those ideas in action. Fairy tales give us a platform to show morality and ideals as attainable, which is extremely relevant in today’s world.
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?
My favourite fairy tale has always been the story of ‘Scheherazade’, who was the narrator for the collection of folk tales One Thousand and One Nights (also known as Arabian Nights). I’ve always loved Scheherazade’s story because she was the greatest storyteller of all! Knowing the King was executing each of his brides after only one night, she offers to wed the King herself and regales him with stories. Every morning, as dawn broke, Scheherazade ended her stories with a cliff-hanger and the king was forced to put off her execution to hear the ending of the story. For one thousand and one nights, Scheherazade would finish one story and begin a new one, until she had no more stories to tell and the King had fallen in love with her.
Scheherazade is still one of my favourite fairy tales today. Composer Rimsky-Korsakov wrote a brilliant symphonic suite, titled Scheherazade that was based on the original collection of folk tales. This is also one of my favourite pieces of music as I believe it matches the fierce beauty of the heroine.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
I have always been a sucker for a story that challenges perception, hence, my interest in retellings of all kinds. I thoroughly enjoyed the 2014 Disney movie, Maleficent, as a portrayal of the untold story of an evil sorceress. The story follows a young woman’s life as she suffers a physical and emotional trauma, the choices she makes, and how she ultimately comes to terms with her circumstances. No longer is the audience judging a simple character for her acts of evil, but finding sympathy for a complex and emotional struggle that led Maleficent to make understandable choices. It may be no surprise, then, that this is exactly the kind of storytelling in which I lead my readers in Adelaide and the Dark Wood.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?.
Adelaide and the Dark Wood is a re-telling of the age-old classic, Hansel and Gretel, told from the witch’s point of view. Everyone knows the ancient witch from Hansel and Gretel is a monster of the worst kind. Or is she? What is her story and how did she end up on the path that led her to her infamous meeting with Hansel and Gretel?
Adelaide and the Dark Wood explores the difficult situations that human beings encounter in life and how every choice influences the next. It shows the unique path of a character trying to process difficult emotions while posing a moral question in the classic fairy tale style.
A taste of K.S. Liggett's story...
Adelaide and Helena were sisters. They had been born with magic and orphaned at a young age with no direction save a desperate, dying wish from a loved mother. Hear me. You mustn't expose your gifts. Never let them see. From that day on the sisters had been each other's greatest comfort in a world rife with superstition and fear. How they lived in that world remained a source of disagreement between them.
Adelaide believed that their mother, a woman they barely remembered, would have wanted them to remain separate from society and never risk exposure, but Helena believed their gifts existed in order to make the world a better place. Helena wanted nothing more than to share her gift of healing by helping humanity. Perhaps Helena, as the younger of the sisters, couldn't remember the fear in their mother's eyes as she said goodbye. But Adelaide remembered. And Adelaide did not feel at ease walking through Little Haring.
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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You can email me at shelley.chappell