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 Sara Litchfield and find out about her story,
"El Flautista de Hamelin."
Sara Litchfield is an author and explorer who believes in leaving the right ink on the wall of the world. Born in the English Midlands, she earned a Masters in Theology at the University of Cambridge before becoming a reluctant 'Big Four' accountant in London.
In 2012, she emigrated to Middle Earth (sometimes known as New Zealand), where she now devotes herself to all things words and wonderful.
Her debut novel, dystopian thriller The Night Butterflies, was released in 2014.
Visit her digital hobbit hole at www.authorsaralitchfield.com
A Conversation with Sara
1) Sara, why do you write?
I love creating something out of nothing and taking others on a journey. I’ve always had stories to tell – for me, writing them down means leaving my mark on the wall of the world.
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
Fairy tales are eternal. They are full of symbolism and commentary on the human condition, embracing the idea that light can triumph over darkness. They are fantasy and escape and wish-fulfilment. And they’re a part of your childhood that stays with you until you’re grown and you know it’s time to pass them on.
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?
This is a tough one! I’d say it’s the tale of Hansel and Gretel. No one comes riding to their rescue – in the end, they save themselves. The dark woods, the trail of breadcrumbs, the gingerbread house, the wicked witch… there’s such strong imagery. It’s still a favourite of mine because it appeals to all the senses and has such a satisfying ending!
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman. This retelling really brought home to me the power inherent in sharing a different perspective. I read this so long ago that I had to search to find the story’s title, and even to remember who authored it – but the twisted tale and the shivers it gave me have always stayed with me.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?
My tale offers the reader a different perspective when it comes to the events that played out in the town of Hamelin, long immortalised in folklore. The persecuted residents of Hamelin pray to The Piper for salvation and he answers their call, but at what price?
A taste of Sara's story...
We sat around in the dirt and the stench. We didn’t mind the surrounds; it was our birthright. But the little ones were sobbing — great, shrieking sounds of sorrow and fear. We crowded beneath the floorboards, snuffling and pressed together, the lice migrating from fur to fur. There were more of us than there’d ever been, and more murders to match.
What were we here for? No one seemed certain if we more desired safety or vengeance. We’d been laid low by poison, torn apart by dogs, beaten to death with sharp edges and rough stones. There were so many of us; where could we go that it wouldn’t be the same?
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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You can email me at shelley.chappell