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 Maria Hansen and find out about her story,
Maria Hansen lives in Christchurch, New Zealand where she has a demanding job as a mediator and writes in her spare time. She writes children’s stories, short stories and is working on several novels. Fables and fairy tales are her favourite genre with their simple elegant language and connection with nature.
Maria has a BA in English from Massey University and studied at the Hagley Writers’ Institute. She has been published in takahē magazine and in 2015 her book, Isobel’s Garden (Lift Publications), was given as a gift to Prince Harry to take back to England to his little niece, Princess Charlotte.
A Conversation with Maria
1) Maria, why do you write?
It’s a way to put observations and themes into a coherent form and as with any creative expression, it makes me happy!
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
Some ideas are simplistic and the language dated, but good and evil characters and moral dilemmas will always be relevant in fiction.
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?
Hansel and Gretel. For the images really, the dark forest, the row of pebbles like lights on a runway, and the gingerbread house with all the coloured treats.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
I've never read a retelling. I don’t remember reading anything other than original fairy tales as a child. More recently I’ve beenreading the fables of Oscar Wilde. I do not know if they are retellings of originals, but I love the poetic language and his personification of nature.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?
I was walking in a park and thinking how plants trees and animals appear to us to accept the natural flow of life. My story explores that question. However essentially it is a story about those who support us whether in the human realm or beyond.
A taste of Maria's story...
It was spring and all over the land new growth was appearing. Flowers poked their heads above the cool grass and lambs were jumping in the paddocks. The fruit trees were blossoming, in soft shades of pink and white that filled the air with sweet fragrance. All, that is, except for one little tree. His branches were bare as if it was still winter.
“Why have you no blossoms yet?” said a tiny voice that seemed to come from the sky.
“Who said that?” said the tree.
Just then a brown bird fluttered down and settled on a low branch. “I did,” said the bird.
“Birds can’t talk to trees,” said the tree.
“We can if we choose,” she said.
“But why have I never heard you before?”
“There has been no need to speak before,” the bird said. She flapped her wings and hovered in the air.
“What was it you said?” the tree asked.
“I asked why you had no blossoms out yet.”
“I don’t think I will flower this year. My blossoms are small, smaller than the other trees and they do not smell as sweet.”
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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