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Equus - Table of Contents Released!

Posted by Angie on April 1, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (1)




The Table of Contents for Equus has been released and I am very honoured to be a part of it. Equus is edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press. The due date is July this year. I'm so very excited about this anthology!


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Stars, Wings, and Knitting Things by J.G. Formato

Eel and Bloom by Diana Hurlburt

A Complete Mare by Tamsin Showbrook

Neither Snow, nor Rain, nor Heat-Ray by M.L.D Curelas

Rue the Day by Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Riders in the Sky by VF LeSann

Above the Silver Sky by Dan Koboldt

A Mother Unicorn’s Advice to Her Daughter by J.J. Roth

Ladies Day by Susan MacGregor

The Boys from Witless Bay by Pat Flewwelling

The Horse Witch by Angela Rega

Eli the Hideous Horse Boy by Michael Leonberger

Different by Sandra Wickham

To Ride a Steel Horse by Stephanie A. Cain

The Last Ride of Hettie Richter by Cat McDonald

We Us You by Andrew Bourelle

Scatter the Foals to the Wind by Chadwick Ginther

Lightless by K.T. Ivanrest

A Glory of Unicorns by Jane Yolen

Short Story Sale!

Posted by Angie on January 25, 2017 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Story Sale!


Huzzah! I'm so thrilled to announce that my story, The Horse Witch, will be published in Equus edited by Rhonda Parrish and published by World Weaver Press.


I'm very excited to be part of this lovely anthology about magical horses, unicorns and pegasi. This book is part of the Magical Menageries series published by World Weaver Press. And now I shall do a happy dance.





Syntax and Salt Special Edition:Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fairy Tales

Posted by Angie on October 30, 2016 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


 

My story Borrowing Wings is now live at Syntax and Salt’s special edition:  Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fairy Tales:  It is a story about goose girls and a library that loans out wings taken from fairy tales, changelings and Da Vinci models.

You can read it here: http://syntaxandsalt.com/project-tag/special-issue-october-2016/


Australian Fairy Tale Society Conference 2016

Posted by Angie on June 25, 2016 at 4:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Tomorrow is the 2016 Australian Fairy Tale Society's Conference: Into the Bush: its Beauty and its Terror and I'm pleased to say I am doing a reading of my story, The Bush Bride of Badgery Hollow there.

Tomorrow's program is attached here:

https://australianfairytalesociety.wordpress.com/afts-events/





Fae Visions of the Mediterranean Release and Blog Carnivale

Posted by Angie on May 3, 2016 at 7:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Fae Visions of the Mediterranean has been released today! I'm thrilled to have my story, The Return Of Melusine appear in this anthology. This volume contains stories in many languages of the Mediterranean, all rich in the folklore of this mysterious sea.

Read about the blog carnivale here!





Fae Visions of the Mediterranean - a Reflection on Mermaids

Posted by Angie on April 27, 2016 at 5:20 AM Comments comments (1)


Fae Visions of the Mediterranean, edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad and published by The Future Fire  is an anthology centred around the sea myths and folklore of the Mediterranean. Being a first generation Australian and my parents migrating here from the Mediterranean as adults, I was eager to see what the book would read like. Excitedly, I submitted a story, The Return of Melusine. To add to that excitement, my story of mermaids that frequent the lagoons of Venice was accepted.


When people talk about mermaids, our minds often go to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Many don’t know of the mermaids of the Mediterranean – there are those sirens featured in Homer’s The Odyssey, there is a merman in Abdullah The Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman in the Arabian Nights, and the mermaid Partenope in the South of Italy that people leave ricotta cakes for on the shore.


Growing up in a migrant Sicilian household in Sydney, Australia, I was raised on such stories – particularly by my grandmother who was fond of telling tales. They changed each time they were told and sometimes had different endings but the mermaids and monsters were there. The sea was full of them.


We would go to bay in Brighton Le Sands in summer; it is still a popular seaside spot facing the airport and the oil refineries in Sydney and although far away from the Mediterranean, it is populated by migrants who have come from there. As a child I would immerse myself in these waters, a far cry from the Mediterranean, and imagine myself a mermaid. I would blow bubbles in the water and imagine the secret messages reaching the mermaids in caverns.


Years later I identified with mermaids for different reasons. Mermaids are symbolic for me with duality in nature, personal identity and a sense of self. I think a lot of mermaid myths deal with these themes – how much of yourself do you give in relationships? Do you deny an aspect of your authentic self in order for someone to love you? When Melusina tells her lover he is not to interrupt her when she is taking bath, she is claiming some space for her self, to authentically be. These days, when I want solitude and a sense of reclaiming self, I take a soak in the tub. There are a lot of truths in these tales of scale and skin about authenticity and personal space.


I think this is where the fascination with mermaids for us all lie. Their duality, their deep love and desire for others juxtaposed with their desire for space for self and to authentically be.


I am very excited to know that I am in an anthology centred on the sea of my origin:

Fae Visions of the Mediterranean

An Anthology of Horrors and Wonders of the Sea


2016, Futurefire.net Publishing

Edited by: Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad

Stories and Poems by: Jenny Blackford, S. Chakraborty, Rhys Hughes, Claude Lalumière, Adam Lowe, Christine Lucas, Kalina Aïch, Vladimira Becić, Kelda Crich, Álvaro Mielgo Gallego, Maria Grech Ganado, Lyndsay E. Gilbert, Hella Grichi, Louise Herring-Jones, Simon Kearns, Mari Ness, Mattia Ravasi, Angela Rega, Urša Vidic and Dawn Vogel

Translators: Arrate Hidalgo, Dunja Ševerdija

Cover art by: Tostoini

comes out on May 2nd, 2016. http://press.futurefire.net/p/fae-visions.html

 

Go! Read!

Posted by Angie on February 22, 2016 at 10:40 PM Comments comments (0)

My lyrically talented and beautiful friend, Queen of the Dominion "Lime Marmalade" and a sister of the Travelling Maxi Dress, Suzanne J. Willis has a story you must read at the gorgeous Fantasy Scroll Magazine.

You can read the exquisite Sundark and Winterling here!

Now GO! Read!



Fairy Tale Friday - Reflection

Posted by Angie on November 26, 2015 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)




Just as there were twelve dancing princesses and twelve fairies invited to Sleeping Beauty's christening, there were twelve wondrous women writers join the discussion on fairy tales and writing for my blog series, "Fairy Tale Friday."

 Angela Slatter, C.S.E. Cooney, Erzebet Barthold, Kate Forsyth, Kathleen Jennings, Kirstyn McDermott, Leife Shallcross, Elizabeth Carroll, Margo Lanagan, Mary Burroughs, Natalia Theodoriou and Suzanne J. Willis participated in this series answering those elusive questions of what it is that makes a fairy tale and how  tales can be used as scaffolds or bring resonance to original works.

Same bones but gnawed in oh so many different ways! Each week I was intrigued with how each of these writers used the skeletons or old bones of these tales and fleshed them into new stories.

This series of interviews has made me more reflective about my own workings with fairy tales and more importantly, what is it about these old tales I love so much. I think that my passion for fairy tales comes from the fact that in these stories magic just exists. It is there, without commentary or explanation. In  the originals tales and in particular, the Sicilian ones I grew up with - magic without explanation exists,  just as darkness and evil does, and  the  downtrodden can and will succeed with smarts and perseverance.

You can slay a dragon if you like or be bold enough to invite her in for afternoon tea and compare scales.

Empowering stuff.

And so like the party ends at midnight, I'm going to stop for now at twelve. It's midnight and before I turn into pumpkin soup, I'm going to bed to prepare for another day of reading fairy tales with  my hesitant teen readers and then writing more in the hours in between,  inspired by all these fellow lovers and writers of fairy tales that appeared in this Fairy Tale Friday series! 



 

 

 

Fairy Tale Friday - C.S.E Cooney

Posted by Angie on November 19, 2015 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Fairy Tale Friday - C.S.E. Cooney


C. S. E. Cooney (csecooney.com/@csecooney) is the author of my most favourite collection ever,  Bone Swans: Stories (Mythic Delirium 2015), The Breaker Queen, The Two Paupers, and Jack o’ the Hills. She is an audiobook narrator for Tantor Media and the singer/songwriter for Brimstone Rhine. She is a Rhysling Award-winning poet, and her short fiction can be found in Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Apex, GigaNotoSaurus, Clockwork Phoenix 3, The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, and elsewhere. She joins us this week for Fairy Tale Friday.


 The term ‘fairy tale’ can conjure up clichéd images of ‘happy ever afters’ and thanks to Andrew Lang’s ‘Coloured Fairy Books’ Victorian tales for children told before bedtime. In your experience as a reader and writer, what is a fairy tale?


First of all, my first reaction to the phrase “fairy tales” is that, in my mind at least, they rarely feature fairies. Witches, devils, death. Sometimes fairies. But rarely.

To me, whatever “fairy tale” conjures harkens back to something much older than the 19th century. To me a fairy tale is a sort of augury of bones. Only instead of throwing old, dried bones to designate a direction, resolve a conundrum, or interpret a pattern, it’s old, dried words. But the words were once a living story, breathed out in oral storytelling and passed on through generations. And something in their dry old rattling wakes the mind to possibility.


 Writers such as Angela Carter have written retellings of fairy tales set in contemporary worlds. In your retellings or re-imaginings how important is it to keep the original content? How important is divergence to you? Or is this something that is discovered through the writing process and unique to each story?


I think it’s important, in a retelling, that the tale is—at some point at least—recognizable. I think that’s where the pleasure comes from, the comfort of the familiar and the discomfort of the strange. I think that’s what is compelling. You think you know something so well, like a best friend or a favourite blankie, and then your friend turns her face one way and she’s a changeling thing of twigs and leaves and dappled light, or you flip the blanket over and it’s a map of all the rivers in the world. Perhaps it is both our trust in the familiar and the new potential for betrayal or revelation that make us read on.


Sometimes writers work with the bones of fairy tales to write new tales. When ‘working the bones’, do you find that the original tales act as scaffolds, metaphors or symbols for your new tale?


Scaffolding, in the same way a skeleton is scaffolding for the flesh. (Keeping with the BONE METAPHOR above!) I guess, when you can see the skeleton of a thing, you can clothe it in any flavour of flesh you desire, then dress it up in whatever costume most pleases you, and send it off into the woods, or desert, or queendoms-under-seas. But the bones themselves will determine some of the features of the story. Those features will be familiar, and therefore beloved. That frisson of recognition. What my friend Karen Meisner once called “the fairy tale feeling.”


Can you tell us about a favourite fairy tale you have worked with for one of your stories? Was it a retelling or a re-imagining or a new story with the skeletons of past tales?


I have worked at length with Grimms’ THE JUNIPER TREE, both in my novella “The Bone Swans of Amandale"—which is a retelling, sort of, mostly, in a way, of The Pied Piper. But it uses the Juniper tree, with its ghost child, its transformational death magic, its gift-giving, its slaughter of innocents, rather mercilessly. In another novella (shh, it’s an EROTIC FAIRY TALE!!! Don’t tell anyone! Also, it’s kind of like horror, because there’s CANNIBALISM and DEMON POSSESSION! But... not really during the erotic parts) called “The Witch in the Almond Tree.” The same tale of The Juniper Tree is woven into the narrative as part of the history of the place. Actually, it’s the same place as Bone Swans—Amandale—although way earlier in the city’s timeline, when it’s still a one-horse town.

I’ve also re-conceived (and published) the fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin in a novella called “How the Milkmaid Struck a Bargain with the Crooked One,” which has been collected in my book Bone Swans: Stories. This came out of a discussion—and a desire—for characters who were not classically beautiful, but could still, you know, have adventures and romance and thoughtful interactions and moments of terror, just like the golden boys and girls of genre. I also like twisting a villain’s narrative a bit, or flipping the coin and tagging a new villain in an old tale. Where does that leave the old villain? Room to grow.


If you could invite three fairy tale characters to dinner, who would it be? And why?

Baba Yaga (oh she’d just be FUNNY, you know???). The ghost from Hans Christian Anderson’s The Traveling Companion (he seemed gentle and wise and well-traveled). Aaaaaaand, let’s see… Morgiana from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Because, besides Scheherazade herself, she’s the badassiest, smartest, cleverest, WONDERFULEST gal on the fairy tale block. Do the 1001 Arabian Nights count as fairy tales? I count them.

 

 

 

 

Fairy Tale Friday - Kirstyn McDermott

Posted by Angie on November 12, 2015 at 6:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Fairy Tale Friday - Kirstyn McDermott



This week's Fairy Tale Friday writer is Kirstyn McDermott. Kirstyn has been working in the darker alleyways of speculative fiction for much of her career and her two novels, Madigan Mine and Perfections, have each won the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel. Her most recent book is Caution: Contains Small Parts, a collection of short fiction published by Twelfth Planet Press. When not wearing her writing hat, she produces and co-hosts a literary discussion podcast, The Writer and the Critic, which generally keeps her out of trouble. After many years based in Melbourne, Kirstyn now lives in Ballarat and is pursuing a creative PhD at Federation University. She can be found online (usually far too often) at www.kirstynmcdermott.com



The term ‘fairy tale’ can conjure up clichéd images of ‘happy ever afters’ and thanks to Andrew Lang’s ‘Coloured Fairy Books’ Victorian tales for children told before bedtime. In your experience as a reader and writer, what is a fairy tale?


For me, a fairy tale is a story set at some time in our own world but glossed with a kind of magic or otherworldliness that is, almost without exception, taken as a given by those who encounter it. They are small, intimate stories about individuals and the unique trials, problems and choices that confront them – and they are also, very assuredly, about consequences. It’s the latter, I think, that attracts me most these days. There are always consequences, for someone, even when the tale has a “happy” ending – and, of course, the nature of that happiness, lasting or otherwise, is itself often highly questionable! There is also a delicious logic to the magic that permeates fairy tales, though it is seldom explained in such prosaic terms, and to the consequences of abusing or mocking such power. Fairy tale magic makes sense – not necessarily to our heads but always to our hearts.



Writers such as Angela Carter have written retellings of fairy tales set in contemporary worlds. In your retellings or re-imaginings how important is it to keep the original content? How important is divergence to you? Or is this something that is discovered through the writing process and unique to each story?


This does largely depend on the stories I’m working with and my reason for re-imagining them. And there has to be a reason. As either writer or reader, I find simple blow-by-blow retellings – what Jack Zipes refers to as “duplicates” – to be somewhat pointless. (I feel much the same about unimaginative remakes of classic or blockbuster films, but that’s another debate altogether.) If you’re going to take a story that is very familiar and use it as the basis for something new, you must have something new to say about it. Maybe you’re reconfiguring gender (as Angela Carter does) or sexuality (like Emma Donoghue); maybe you’re updating the setting and characters to illustrate the continued relevance (or otherwise) of a particular tale to readers today; maybe you’re simply asking, “What if this is what really happened?” Personally, I love reading fairy tales in contemporary settings. There is a sharpness and immediacy to such stories, unprotected by the safe distance of “once upon a time”. One of my absolute favourites of this subgenre is “The Forest” by Kim Wilkins, a “Hansel and Gretel” tale set in a low-income housing estate. It’s dark and magical and brutally honest.



Sometimes writers work with the bones of fairy tales to write new tales. When ‘working the bones’, do you find that the original tales act as scaffolds, metaphors or symbols for your new tale?


To tell the truth, my relationship with fairy tales is an ambivalent one. While they were among my favourite childhood stories, I drifted away from all those self-sacrificing maidens and put-upon princesses as I grew older. Until I started my PhD last year, I had never consciously retold a fairy tale – though I’d read and enjoyed so many retellings over the years. But our first loves never quite relinquish their grip on our psyches and I've come to recognise many of the dynamics, motifs and themes of fairy tales operating in my creative work, albeit at several removes. My novel "Perfections", for example, is a story of two sisters, an ill-thought wish and the most terrible of sacrifices, and it was a project with which I struggled throughout the entire creative process. It took me far too long to realise that I was, in essence, writing a contemporary fairy tale in guise of a horror story (and even longer to accept that this was something I wanted to write). So, until now, fairy tales have operated solely as symbols and touchstones in my own work.

With the novelette suite I’m currently writing for my PhD, however, I’m explicitly taking very well-known fairy tales and creating the stories that come afterwards. They all take place after the original fairy ends, at some later point in the lives of the fairy tale girls – my Red Riding Hood story opens the same night of the events of the traditional tale, for example, whereas my Hansel and Gretel are in their sixties. So here the fairy tales are most definitely both foundation and scaffold. I’m careful not to change too much of the bare bones that everyone knows – although there are usually multiple versions of any one tale, often in beautiful conflict with one another – but I do get read between the lines and offer my own interpretations of what might really have been going on, as well as building a brand new story on top of it all. It’s been so much fun, revisiting these tales in such depth and reading widely around them. I’ve even been trying to re-collect a lot of the Little Golden Book versions that I had as a child. It’s startling what memories are evoked simply by seeing those familiar illustrations again!



Can you tell us about a favourite fairy tale you have worked with for one of your stories? Was it a retelling or a re-imagining or a new story with the skeletons of past tales?


My favourite to work with so far has been “Hansel and Gretel”. I quite honestly forgot how much I adored this tale as a child, and how equally disturbed I was by it, until I began work on my own version. (And my Little Golden Book is awful in how it goes out of its way to absolve the father and demonise the step-mother. But the father wears pink pants, so there’s that!) My elderly Gretel runs a confectionary store, though she can no longer eat sweet foods, and poor Hansel still suffers from having being imprisoned by the witch as a child. I wanted to talk about cycles of violence and oppression, family dysfunction and the long-reaching effects of trauma, and “Hansel and Gretel” seemed perfect source material. Because, really, how could the end of that tale be truly a “happy” one when you consider what happened to those children – at the hands of their own parents no less! In the end, I found myself also writing about the nature of narrative itself, the consequences of telling ourselves the same tales over and over again, and the necessity of freeing ourselves to rewrite our own stories. The novelette that came out of this process is called “Burnt Sugar” and will be published next year in "Dreaming in the Dark", edited by Jack Dann – which, just quietly, is going to be an amazing book!



If you could invite three fairy tale characters to dinner, who would it be? And why?


I would invite the Witch from “Hansel and Gretel” – she can bring the dessert! mmm, gingerbread! – the Queen from “Snow White” and Mother Gothel from “Rapunzel”. They all feature in tales that I’m working on for my PhD and I’d love to hear their sides of those stories. Women who are old(er) and powerful are much maligned in many traditional fairy-tale cycles, but I imagine that none of them think of themselves as “wicked” or “evil”, and all of them have forged their own unique paths in a hostile world. It would make for fascinating dinner conversation!