Thursday, September 25, 2014

Interview & Giveaway: Kate Forsyth author of Bitter Greens

Last year Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth was released in UK and Australia, my impatient self could not wait for a Canadian release so I promptly ordered it from BookDepository.  Today I am thrilled to welcome Kate here.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of post for your chance to win a copy of this book (US only).

It's no secret of your love for fairy tales and retelling. I noticed on Goodreads that you are working on your doctorate in fairy tale retelling.  It sounds very interesting what exactly does this entail?

Its been such a fascinating Doctorate to undertake. Basically, I've written a mythic biography of Rapunzel, from its earliest pre-literarte roots in what may well have been a matriarchal mythology all the way down to Disney's Tangled. Along the way, I've been interrogating the question of why fairy tales such as Rapunzel endure for so many centuries, when other tales are forgotten and die.

Do your children share you love of fairy tales?

Certainly my daughter does, but then she has the most wonderful collection of beautifully illustrated fairytales and fairytale retellings (I collect them!). My boys, who are teenagers now, used to love me to read fairy tales to them, but have outgrown them now.

Writing seems to run in your family.  I've just started reading The Ivory Rose by Belinda Murrell, your sister.  Your childhood must have been really interesting, did you write/read together? Share (steal) ideas?

I do hope you enjoy Belinda's books and read many more of them. She's a wonderful writer.

We did have a fascinating childhood, surrounded by books and animals and all kinds of adventures. Both of us wrote from a very young age - poems and stories and novels - plus we used to put on plays for our mother. We read all the same books and played games inspired by them, and sometimes we wrote together (but not usually). We never need to steal ideas from each other, we have plenty of our own! Sometimes, though, there are eerie coincidences between our work. We both wrote a timeslip adventure set in Scotland at the same time, for example, and we had to change the titles as they were far too similar. The books themselves are very different though (mine is THE PUZZLE RING, and Belinda's is THE LOCKET OF DREAMS).

Can you see any of your children following in your footsteps?

All of my children are beautiful writers and love to read, but at the moment they have other hopes and dreams. Belinda's daughter Emily is the one who most longs to be a writer! I'm sure she shall make her dreams come true too.

Between your family, your doctorate, workshops you run and reading when do you have time to write?  What's a normal day like for you?

Busy! But I manage because I have an amazingly supportive husband and family (including my sister - we help each other out as much as we can!). I tend to write when my family are at school, and read at night before I go to bed. I turn  social media and email off while I'm writing, and try to do all my teaching and travelling and speaking to certain months of the year, usually after my book has been published. However, all this is easier said than done, and sometimes I wonder myself how I'll ever get any writing done!
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling & award-winning author of thirty books, ranging from picture books to poetry to novels for both adults and children. She was recently voted one of Australia’s Favourite 20 Novelists, and has been called ‘one of the finest writers of this generation. She is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers, and has told stories to both children and adults all over the world.

Her most recent book for adults is a historical novel called ‘The Wild Girl’, which tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.
She is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who first told the tale, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and has been nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Fiction, and a Ditmar Award.

Her most recent book for children is ‘Grumpy Grandpa’, a charming picture book that shows people are not always what they seem.

Since ‘The Witches of Eileanan’ was named a Best First Novel of 1998 by Locus Magazine, Kate has won or been nominated for numerous awards, including a CYBIL Award in the US. She’s also the only author to win five Aurealis awards in a single year, for her Chain of Charms series – beginning with ‘The Gypsy Crown’ – which tells of the adventures of two Romany children in the time of the English Civil War. Book 5 of the series, ‘The Lightning Bolt’, was also a CBCA Notable Book.

Kate’s books have been published in 14 countries around the world, including the UK, the US, Russia, Germany, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. She is currently undertaking a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, having already completed a BA in Literature and a MA in Creative Writing.

Kate is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia, ‘A Mother’s Offering to her Children’. She lives by the sea in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, three children, and many thousands of books.

For more information please visit Kate Forsyth’s website and blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

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