Welcome to the Dragon's Pen, the blog of an aspiring kiwi author ... chatting about reading, writing, querying and publishing

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tales with a Twist

The Dunedin Writer's Workshop has another competition coming up, the theme: Speculative Fiction. A broad theme to encompass Sci Fi, Fantasy, fairytales and folktales.

With this is mind, I'm working on a series of fairy tales. Some are takes on old tales that I've twisted and reworked in order to make them more original.

Others are original stories written in the style of traditional folk and fairytales. One is about a banished faerie and another about a dragon tattoo.

This is really exciting for me. I've always loved fairytales. As a child I spent hours reading (over and over) Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rose White and Rose Red, the Nutcracker, the Princess and the Frog, Hansel and Gretel and Rapunzel, among others.

As an adult I've collected books of old tales, Scottish, Scandinavian, Irish, Greek and Roman, and take as much pleasure in them as I did as a child.

Reading them with adult eyes is a very different experience, you see the underlying lesson with much more clarity, a lesson which is often overlooked by youthful readers. For them the magic is in the tale of love, in the vanquishing of the monsters, in the "other world" experience of the tale itself.

For myself that magic still has power over my imagination and shows in the shape of the tales I write. Many fairytales, especially the traditional ones, have unhappy endings. Grimm's fairytales are classic for this. These stories always made me feel sad and being a child of vivid imagination those feelings often lingered with me for a long time. As a result my stories always seem to have a happy ending, even if it's somewhat tempered by difficult circumstances.

In other exciting news: I have an audio book - what I'm referring to as eAudio - coming out in a few months. The story is an original fairytale about a courageous maid and three fierce dragons. I'll tell you more about it closer to the release date.


  1. I notice some of your reading comes from Scandanavia. Have you read the Finnish national folk saga, the Kalavela? if not, I'd recommend it.

  2. I'm not sure that I have. The name is vaguely familiar. I'll seek it out. Thanks for the tip.

  3. The Scandinavian influence may be due to my English /Irish heritage and the rumour of Vikings in my family tree, which has led to something of a fascination with literature from that end of the world. :)