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 Stacey Campbell and find out about her story,
"Hine-te-iwaiwa and Rumpelstiltskin."
Stacey Campbell is a writer, lawyer and former journalist from New Zealand. She is the author of countless articles and legal opinions, but fiction writing is her real love.
Stacey recently finished her first (as yet unpublished) novel for young adults, set in New Zealand in the not-too-distant future. She is also working on a collection of short fiction for adults.
She was born in Hawke’s Bay and studied in Dunedin before moving to Wellington, where she lives with her husband Mike. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @staceyvivienne.
A Conversation with Stacey
1) Stacey, why do you write?
That's a big question! I guess I write to try and make sense of the world. So many other writers have helped me to see things I haven't seen before, or understand things a little differently. Reading and writing are both often solitary pursuits, but they both help me feel more connected, to other people and to the world I live in.
2) Why do you think fairy tales remain relevant today?
It's funny, when you read fairy tales as a child you only see the story. When you read them again as an adult you see where the story came from. Fairy tales tell us all sorts of things about the people who wrote them: what people were afraid of, what they valued, what they hoped for. And they're so full of potential for new tellings and retellings.
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 don't know if it was my favourite, but I have very early memories of being read Rapunzel as a child. I couldn't pick a favourite now, there are too many good stories out there. I am a bit fascinated by the Pied Piper of Hamelin and its possible origins - it's such a dark story.
4) What is your favourite fairy tale retelling by another author? Why is it a favourite?
I love Mallory Ortberg's retellings, published on the Toast* as 'Children's Stories Made Horrific'. She has such a wonderful way of drawing out the grotesque nature of many traditional stories. Her retelling of 'The Six Swans' is fantastic.
5) Can you tell us a little about your retold fairy tale?
"Hine-te-iwaiwa and Rumpelstiltskin" is set in New Zealand in the 1800s, when the country was still being settled. I wanted to explore what would happen to a character from an old European fairy tale if he was transplanted into the 'new' world. Rumpelstiltskin represents a lot of what is detestable about colonialism, but he meets his match in the resourceful Hine-te-iwaiwa. I really enjoyed writing it.
* Editor's Note: The Toast was "an American anthology, humor and feminist writing website," which ran between 2013 and 2016. "[K]nown for its parodic reworkings of classic literature and art," it is aimed at an adult audience and, as such, some content may disturb or offend. (Source: Wikipedia)
A taste of Stacey's story...
When Hine-te-iwaiwa was born in the light of the full moon, her father thought her so beautiful, so perfect and so full of life that he named her after the goddess of weaving, women, and the moon itself. Her mother worried giving a baby such a name would invite ill favour upon her, and fretted constantly over the child.
In spite of her mother’s worry, Hine-te-iwaiwa thrived and blossomed from a beautiful baby into an even more beautiful young girl, with her namesake’s skill for weaving. Almost as soon as she could talk and sing, she could weave works of beauty – intricate mats and kete she wove from the flax that grew all around the fertile land where her family lived. As she grew older, she saw that she could be useful to her father, and put herself to practical tasks, making fishing nets and woven cray pots that brought mana to her family. Her father would tousle her hair and say, “Ka pai, kō – great work, honey,” and she would glow under his praise.
But bad fortune came upon them when Hine-te-iwaiwa was nine years old. Her father, out fishing in the harbour, was tipped from his waka by a rogue wave, and although he was a strong swimmer he was pulled beneath the surface by a powerful undertow. His legs became tangled in kelp and by the time his fellow fishermen dragged him from the depths, his breath was gone.
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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