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You might be saying to yourself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to write a story about …”, and you’d be right. Writing a story, no matter how small, no matter how tall, is the greatest adventure of all! And so you begin unfolding your tale, weaving the words across the pages until the end. And what an end it is, or is it? For now you see in the hazy mirror, the hat you wear is a little clearer. And no normal hat is this, but one a bit amiss. There are layers to this hat you see, editor, marketer, and author – three – are not the only hats there’ll be. So, when dreaming of world building and your tailor starts a slacking, remember that your career is dead unless all these hats fit your head. Ah bub, here’s the rub, in that world of hats revolving, there’s a problem needs be solving. You can surf the social sites until your blue, just remember … you’re a writer too!
Rachael Fuller’s Faerytale conveys a wonderful reimagining of childhood stories, teleporting the reader to a magical place both familiar and new. Faerytale resurrects the nursery rhymes of old. When fairy tales were penned to entertain but also warn. There is no sugar-coated veil to shield and pamper the reader. There is only the truth. The world is beautiful and ugly, magical and dangerous. Rachael Fuller expresses this with a masterful sweep of rhyming prose, practically turning the pages for you!
Griffin’s Quill is proud to announce our fifth Featured Author Interview.
Meet fairy tale writer, Rachael Fuller. Rachael is an author and poet, combining the art of storytelling with the traditional rhyming prose found in all the classic fairy tales. Learn how this aspiring author managed to integrate the best of your childhood favorites into a new tale as dark as the original Grimm tales. Rachael’s work, brought to you by Safkhet Publishing, is leaping onto the literary scene via her highly entertaining and interactive website. Click here to check it out! But if you want the inside scoop into this up and coming fairy tale author, then look no further. Read on!
About the Author:
Rachael Fuller grew up in West Somerset, UK, where she spent her teenage years acting, singing, writing poems and daydreaming of fair maidens and knights in shining armor. Looking to the Brothers Grimm for inspiration, Rachael spurs her vivid imagination by sharing her stories and rhyme with anyone who understands the need for good old-fashioned story-telling, not just for children but for adults who long for more than just the reality they live in everyday.
Faerytale, told in narrative rhyme, centers on two sisters, Ellie and her older sister Lucy. While playing, Lucy finds that Ellie has disappeared down a rabbit hole and is lost in a dangerous land of twisted fairy tales. A darker account of the classic tales of Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, Faerytale is a chilling story of Lucy’s journey to find and rescue Ellie before the land is swallowed by impenetrable darkness.
Once upon a time, as all good stories start,
There was a little girl who longed with all her heart
To fill her world with magic, and live through stories told,
To wear those ruby slippers, to never dare grow old.
Her Never-Land she found in books: oh, how she longed to go!
But wardrobes failed to lead her to that magic land of snow.
Every thrilling tale she read, the lands they took her to,
The looking glass within her mind would let her journey through.
The other children called her names and wouldn’t let her play,
They thought her strange and far too shy, so always kept away.
But she cared not, this little girl, for in the books she read,
Lived many friends from magic worlds, alive within her head.
How she longed to live within the pages of her books,
To challenge evil witches and take back what they took,
Swim in silver seas with mermaids, listen to fairies sing,
And soar across the golden skies, on unicorns with wings.
For life was dull and boring, unlike the books she read,
Where tales of dark enchantment would fill her dreamy head.
Maidens locked in towers, with dragons breathing fire,
While princes fought to save them with arms that never tired.
But little girls who dream too much find wishes do come true,
And in this world this little girl would make her journey through.
For fairy tales, like magic apples, first seem good and sweet,
But one small bite would soon reveal some treats you shouldn’t eat!
Lost this girl would soon become, deep in her land of dreams,
Fairytales now brought to life, far darker than they’d seemed.
And who would be her savior, who would set her free?
Her older sister, brave and bold, she would prove to be…
Featured Author Interview:
Griffin’s Quill: “Faerytale” and your rhyming style are easily the most refreshing and unique encountered by Griffin’s Quill. However did you brave such a bold approach to your writing?
Rachael Fuller: Well thank you very much! Faerytale started out as a screenplay for an animated short so it was originally very visual and descriptive. I then wanted to write it as a story but as I wrote it I didn’t find it as enjoyable as I’d thought and felt it wasn’t unique enough.
As I said in my bio, I have written to and received letters from my Grandmother in rhyme for many years now, mainly about mice and their antics in our house as I was growing up. It is something I have always enjoyed sharing with my Grandmother so I tried rewriting Faerytale in rhyme and it just went from there! It makes writing more fun and I found it strangely easy to start with a simple story and flesh it out whilst writing in rhyme. I also found the ideas came easier and the story really came to life with the rhythm that ran through it.
In fact I have been asked to come into a few schools over Storytelling Week in January to give the children a workshop on writing in rhyme which is just so exciting! I can’t wait to see what they can come up with.
I have always found stories in rhyme to be a charming and refreshing way of telling a tale. However, I find that stories in rhyme which are accessible not only to young children but also to older children and adults are very few and far between. Obviously narrative rhyme is not everyone’s cup of tea; some people really don’t get on with it so naturally it won’t appeal to everyone. But the response I have had so far from both adults and children has been fantastic! It is proof to me that people like stories in rhyme and dark fairytales as much as I do. I really believe there is a place for narrative rhyme is the market, especially when coupled with fairytales which truly never go out of fashion or lose their charm.
Griffin’s Quill: Your webpage at rachaelfuller.co.uk/faerytale is amazing. Many undiscovered authors would kill for such an attractive and interactive site to display their work to the world. How did you come by it? What advice can you share with the readers on how to develope a
Rachael Fuller: I am very lucky actually as my fiancé Carl is a PHP web developer! He is also a really good artist; the front cover of Faerytale is by Carl. I just described to him how I wanted my website to “look”, so basically set within the forest of the story. It had to be very atmospheric, dark and visual. He then put together a book trailer to go with the website and a music score so it all ties in really well. It is still a work in progress though as we are looking to make it more interactive and to keep it fresh. Ultimately I wanted it to be an eye catching website without being to “busy” or overly complicated whilst incorporating the atmosphere of dark fairytales. I’m so pleased with what Carl has come up with. All the information is there for anyone interested in Faerytale and any future work, but there are also things to look at on the website such as Faerytale inspired artwork and hopefully soon a section for fairytales written or rewritten by children.
So basically my advice cannot be technical I’m afraid! But I generally think a website should be eye-catching and interactive as not everyone wants to read thorough loads of information. My other advice would be to marry an artist/PHP web developer!
Griffin’s Quill: Hone trade growing up with Grandma – check! Write a fantastic fairy tale – check! Marry a wonderful webmaster and amazing artist – check! Take the fairy tale world by storm – double check! It seems you’ve developed a winning life’s plan. What’s left? What can we expect in the future?
Rachael Fuller: Wow, I really want to say “take over the world!” but I won’t. What I really want is to continue writing. My plan is to have a series of fairytales rewritten in narrative rhyme, with their own dark twists and turns. People can’t seem to get enough of fairytales at the moment, especially in film what with Red Riding Hood out this year and two Snow White films coming out in 2012. And all of these films have gone down the Brothers Grimm route rather than Disney.
I am currently working on retelling Sleeping Beauty and plan to tackle Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel and so on. I absolutely love these tales, especially when taking them back to their darker roots, and I really enjoy fleshing them out and giving them that narrative rhyme rhythm! The next step would then be to come full circle and get them made as short films, which is what Faerytale was originally written for. I always pictured Faerytale as a stop motion film, much in the style of The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship, with a narrator reading the rhyme over the top. These types of films have such a timeless and magical charm to them. They can be made to look very sinister and gothic which can easily appeal to both children and adults alike. I realize I am jumping ahead a bit here but you have to have a goal! I guess I could always have a go at making one myself!
Griffin’s Quill: If you do, Griffin’s Quill will want to do a follow on interview! You are certainly not lacking in vision and productivity. How do you come by the original versions of Brothers Grimm fairy tales?
Rachael Fuller: My parents used to read me fairytales at bedtimes, just like the vast majority of children I’m sure. I had a bumper book of fairytales, it’s one of the first books I can remember, not sure where it is now though! Of course tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were originally folk tales from all over the world that were compiled and adapted by the Brothers Grimm. But it’s these versions that were best received and later adapted by Disney into those classic films. Fairytales are retold over and over again but they are certainly getting watered down over the years, be it through political correctness or just through fears of scaring children. I once read a version of Red Riding Hood where, instead of eating the Grandmother the wolf is invited to tea! I really don’t think children need that much protection from “scary” tales!
What I loved about the Brothers Grimm versions, that translated so well into the earlier Disney films, was the darkness and the sinister atmosphere they conveyed. There are many fantastic animated movies out for children these days but they are not quite the same for me. Maybe I’m just too sentimental, but to me they are certainly a lot more light-hearted and brighter. Of course I am not trying to say I was a miserable child! I just liked the films that were edgier, they were more thrilling to watch as they didn’t necessarily have a happy ending, anything could happen! In my adult years I have really enjoyed film adaptations such as Snow White: Tale of Terror and The Company of Wolves which stayed true to the dark formulas that were once present in the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. And I see no reason why this can’t continue in literature as well!
Griffin’s Quill: Is there a particular place you go, something you need to open a conduit of creativity?
Rachael Fuller: No not really! I really could write anywhere. Quietly at my desk, in front of the TV, on the train, even at work between calls (shh don’t tell anyone!). Sometimes an idea for part of a story, character or just a rhyming section comes to my head when I am nearly asleep. Then it’s quite annoying because I have to write it down or I will forget it, so I keep a pad and pen by bed but often scrawl in the dark so as not to wake up my partner!
I also find that after I have watched one of my favorite childhood fantasy films such as Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, Legend, Willow etc. I get a massive urge to write so I guess the answer would be that films like these inspire me.
Griffin’s Quill: Let’s talk about Faerytale. What can you tell us that the readers can’t learn elsewhere?
Rachael Fuller: Well Faerytale was actually a lot darker to begin with. Although I had no particular age group in mind when I wrote it I guess you could say it was aimed at older children and adults. Particular scenes in the story were toned down quite lot. For example the battle with Little Red Riding Hood’s wolf was a lot more violent, Snow White’s fate was more sinister and her stepmother came to a more gruesome end! However it was rightfully toned town to make it more accessible to younger children but it still has that darkness running through it that I had initially intended.
Who knows, maybe one day I will have the opportunity to release the adult version of Faerytale!
Griffin’s Quill: The two main characters in Faerytale, Ellie and Lucy, find themselves swept up in three fairy tale worlds. Do they encounter these worlds one at a time? Are the three worlds integrated into a single realm? How do they interact with the main characters of each fairy tale? Are they observers, or do they take an active role. Please feel free to give away all the book’s secretes. We won’t tell . . . many!
Rachael Fuller: It is Lucy that we follow through her journey to find Ellie. She tracks her little sister to a strange and vivid new land of twisted fairytales, where the balance between good and evil is already fragile. The fairytales she encounters on her path to find her sister each get gradually more dangerous, and she plays an active part in overcoming them to continue her journey. The characters from each fairytale are not quite as she had imagined them! But her determination to find her sister never wavers even as the world disintegrates around her, the evil taking advantage of her and her sister’s presence in their land.
You’ll have to read it to find out more!
Griffin’s Quill: Well, we certainly can’t leave Lucy and Ellie trapped in their fairytale forever. With the healthy dose of critical acclaim for Faerytale, Griffin’s Quill would be amiss not to add it to our Aerie. Can you tell the readers how you solicited such acclaim?
Rachael Fuller: The reviews I have had have been solicited from various bloggers and a local magazine. I have been delighted with the reviews and feedback I have been given so far. But it is the other contacts I have made which have been even more exciting for me. As I said earlier, I have had a few schools approach me about talking to their students about writing and fairytales in general and also to give workshops on writing in rhyme. The fact that Faerytale opened up this opportunity for me is just fantastic because it is something I am just so passionate about.
Griffin’s Quill: It is noble and rewarding to give back, inspiring the next generation as we were inspired. You are our second featured author published through Safkhet Publishing LLP, Will Macmillan Jones and “The Banned Underground” was our first. What can you tell the readers about this publisher? Are they a good fit for anyone seeking publication, or are they particular in what they publish?
Rachael Fuller: Safkhet is an independent publisher. They were certainly a very good fit for me as they saw the potential for narrative rhyme where other publishers didn’t! They have a very diverse list right now with cookery books, fantasy books and even activity books for children. Check out their list at http://www.safkhetpublishing.com/
Griffin’s Quill: If you could spend a day inside Faerytale, where would you spend it? What would you do?
Rachael Fuller: I would have a good look around! I would be literally exploring my own imagination but being able to touch, smell and sense it. How amazing would that be! My favorite place to go would be the woods at the beginning of the story. It’s the place I felt most connected to as I wrote it because it was written with the Exmoor countryside in mind (where I grew up). There were certain places we would go to play that had an “other-worldly” feel to them and I used to imagine all the strange creatures that lived there, unseen by us. But I would try to steer clear of the wolf and the Evil Queen!
Griffin’s Quill: Sounds like good fun. Perhaps technology will one day make such an adventure a reality. I see you’re not the “storm the castle” type. Oh well, I’m sure your characters will fare well enough on their own. Well you’ve been an excellent guest, Rachael. The addition of your work will certainly improve the Aerie here at Griffin’s Quill. We just have two more questions we like to ask of all our guests. Here is the first: If you were the Time Traveler in the 2002 movie adaptation of “The Time Machine”, what two books would you carry with you into the future?
Rachael Fuller: I haven’t seen that adaptation but by the sounds of it my first book would be a blank note book to keep a record of all that I have seen, to make notes and drawings etc. My second book would be Wuthering Heights which is one of my favorites and I never tire of it! The complete Grimm’sBook of Fairytales would be too big to lug about and Lord of the Rings is a trilogy and I couldn’t pick my favorite out of the three! It would be rather vain to take a copy of Faerytale but I have that story solidly in my head anyway so I would have no need of it!
Griffin’s Quill: There’s no keeping this author from plying her trade, it seems, in any future. Though we recommend bringing a durable writing tool. Last question: What advice do you have for fellow undiscovered authors out there? Any last words for your readers?
Rachael Fuller: It’s a massive cliché unfortunately, but never give up! You have to take a lot of rejection if you choose to try and publish your writing but writing is so subjective. What one person doesn’t like another may love so just keep trying.