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 Simon Fogarty and find out about his story,
Simon Fogarty lives and writes in Wellington and is a member of SpecFicNZ. He was first published in the anthology, The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales (2014). His short story, ‘Santa’s Sack’, was nominated for a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2015.
He is finalising his first novel—a middle grade horror—at the same time as writing his second novel—a YA fantasy.
In his spare time he does a lot of yoga, plays and coaches ultimate, teaches creative writing at his children’s school and is pretending to learn the mandolin.
You can follow him on twitter @simonfogarty.
A Conversation with Simon
1. Simon, why do you write?
I told myself I always wanted to write a novel. In truth, I think I was looking to do something creative and writing was the avenue I chose. It's satisfying to craft a story, even if no one else reads it. It's also hard work, but that's a challenge I enjoy. When I look at the quality of my work when I started writing four years ago, and the quality now, there's a massive difference.
2. Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
I think fairy tales will always be relevant because they cover such a broad range of stories. I enjoy the supernatural and magical elements as well as the dark side to them. The Brothers Grimm wrote dark stories which have a certain appeal. I guess the happy endings despite the adversity give them universal appeal.
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?
Tough question as it was some time ago! Rumpelstiltskin is probably the one. I guess I liked the devious antagonist. I don't think it's been replaced, although I am a fan of some of Neil Gaiman's retellings of classic fairy tales.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
Neil Gaiman's 'Snow, Glass, Apples' is my favourite retelling. He's one of my favourite authors so no surprise that I love his fairy tales. It's Snow White told from the stepmother's perspective with Snow White as the villain. It's just such a clever piece and reminds us there are two sides to every story.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale ?
My fairy tale is a retelling of Rapunzel. It was inspired by Gaiman's 'Snow, Glass, Apples'. Specifically, that story made me want to tell a story from the points-of-view of the two characters in conflict. In this case they are the Rapunzel character and her mother-in-law to be, who's not keen on her future daughter-in-law. It's turned out quite dark but I think people will enjoy it.
A taste of Simon's story...
There were portraits of my mother—Countess Báthory—at our manor, her beautiful blond hair cascading over her shoulders. My father told me she died giving birth. I blamed myself, but my father said it wasn’t my fault. While I believed him, there was always something about his eyes that made me suspect he wasn’t telling me everything about her death.
I inherited my mother’s beauty. The only blemish on my porcelain skin was a black mole on my arm. Superstitious folk claimed moles were a portent of evil. Sensible people like my father rejected the notion. Even so, he bade me cover it whenever possible. But my real connection to my mother was my hair. It was identical to the hair in her portraits. I loved it and refused to have it cut. It became impractical, taking hours to braid and even longer to wash. It also became famous throughout the Empire and, secretly, I delighted in the attention it brought.
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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