An Interview with Our Fractured Folklore Authors

Jay R. Wolf – ‘What was the biggest challenge in rewriting such a classic tale?’

I didn’t really find anything challenging with it. I had a clear idea in mind, knew where I wanted to go with it, and went for it. The only thing I honestly find challenging in writing anything is compiling the right words to make the story idea come to life. It also helps that it has werewolves in it, any story with wolves of any kind seem to come to me easier than others!

Christiana Matthews – ‘These tales are rather dark, much like the originals, why are twisted tales so appealing to us as writers and readers?’

For one thing, I think it’s because they are so much closer to the originals, which presented a much grittier world view and therefore a tougher road for the characters to travel. The heroes and heroines had to really work for their happy ever after, if they even got one. But even if they didn’t, they learnt valuable lessons along the way. The sanitised versions popularised in later eras and made even squeakier by Disney are really just pretty fluff, whereas the older and the twisted tales are closer to our lived human experience. And for another thing, they’re just way more fun, to read and to write!

R. L. Davennor – ‘Fractured Folklore’s focus is ‘kickass women’, why do you think retellings like this are so important to write?’

The classic fairy tales were written for a different time. Even today, we aren’t all that far removed from a world in which women were nothing more than assets and property. In a few of the most beloved tales, you could replace its so-called ‘leading lady’ with an inanimate object, and there would be little to no effect on the plot. That, obviously, needs to change. It’s important for retellings like this to exist not only to subvert these old-fashioned notions and keep the classics fresh and relevant, but to show today’s women that they have agency and value, and that they’re worth far more than their beauty or ability to have children alone. There’s the added bonus of making these retellings more inclusive to marginalized groups such as the BIPOC, LGBT+, disabled, and neurodivergent communities, which is exactly what I sought to do in my retelling.

S. M. Mitchell – ‘What role do you think fairy tales play in society?’

Well to paraphrase from one of my favourite non-fiction books, Gossip From The Forest, fairy tales held significant importance in the past as a means of teaching children. European fairy tales often feature dark and dangerous woods where children might get lost or eaten, to teach children the dangers of their landscape. In complete opposition, children who are raised in the desert do not need to fear the dangers of a forest, and so their fairy tales and fables feature different lessons. You may consider that fairy tales are no longer required but as Sara Maitland so eloquently explains, fairy tales and forests have developed a symbiotic relationship where one cannot survive without the other. Fairy tales fill us with a sense of awe when we walk into a forest, a feeling of magic – it encourages us to preserve and protect our woodland. Likewise, if our forests disappeared, so to would our fairy tales. They would fade from our shared subconscious over the centuries until they are forgotten altogether. Fairy tales connect us to our past, they help us stay connected to our childhoods, and they provide us with a little bit of magic in our every day life.

Elora Burrell – ‘What was your favorite fairytale as a child?’

As a child, other than Peter Pan, my favourite fairytales were The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. It wasn’t until later that I started to branch out with my love for fairytales and their retellings.

It was my love for these fairytales that made me branch out as an author and fall into fantasy.

Rebecca Clark – ‘What made you decide to rewrite this particular fairy tale?’

I have immersed myself in fairytale retellings before, especially when I took a specific module on it at university. That meant I knew a lot of the tropes of retellings of popular fairytales. I wanted to do something different so I could dig into a story that hadn’t been explored as much.

Rumpelstiltskin turned out to be the perfect fairy tale. It’s not the most retold story but it is still familiar. Like many of these old stories, there was an underlying social commentary particularly to do with gender which is often the case with fairy tales. The girl in the traditional story of Rumpelstiltskin has no autonomy. She gets in the different situations she has to deal with because of the faults of the men around her. I wanted to play with that narrative and reflect on what it could mean for society today.

Lisette Marshall – ‘Is The Bloody Key similar to other stories you write?’

The heroine of The Bleeding Key, Cath, is definitely similar to most other heroines I’ve written: stubborn, clever, and always a fighter even when she finds herself caught in a dangerous position. The rest of the story, however, is somewhat different from my usual work. Most of my stories are explicit romances, whereas the romance in The Bleeding Key is happening only in the background. And my other writings tend to be steamier too! But I loved doing something different from my steamy, murder-y fantasy romance trilogies for this anthology, because I’ve always loved fairy tales and especially Bluebeard’s story. This really was one of those stories that just wrote itself, and I had a lot of fun crafting it.

Epi Wildes – ‘What’s the main theme of your story Cursed in Red?’

If I were to sum it up in one word, I would say freedom. Raleigh finds herself trapped by several entities throughout Cursed in Red, such as familial pressures, societal norms, and economic status. Cursed in Red follows her struggle, when she goes to impossible lengths to reclaim her destiny.

Des Fonoimoana – ‘What was the inspiration for your short?’

Nothing specific was the inspiration for The Huntsman, but rather a combined idea of many concepts, stories, and art I thought would make for a chilling chase, with both a mental and physical aspect. I had to dig deep inside to come up with a scenario that would make me feel like a hunted animal… and I built my character into it.

An Interview with Our Editor

Brittany Saunders, owner of Folio Freelance, is a 23 year old university graduate with a wicked home library and two crazy cats. She runs her editing freelance business alongside her 9-5 job as a medical secretary. She’s the editor behind books such as The Monsters Within by Des Fonoimoana, Neverlander by Elora Burrell, and The Bloody Maiden by S. M. Mitchell. Later this year Ink & Fable will be publishing an anthology of fairy tales edited by Brittany.

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An Interview with S. M. Mitchell

Could You Tell Us A Little About Yourself?

Of course! I’ve been writing for about a decade and some of my biggest passions are history, folklore and the gothic. Incidentally I actually hated reading as a kid but I read Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses as a teen and immediately fell in love. Ever since then I’ve consumed books from all sorts of genres – my favourites being fantasy, the classics and non-fiction. Ever since then I’ve been obsessed with the idea of portraying philosophical and moral questions in the form of stories. I spend most of my time writing, planning story ideas, and taking in all the inspiration for new stories that I can, whilst hanging out with my son and spending time with our animals.

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An Interview with Elora Burrell

Could You Tell Us A Little About Yourself?

I’ve been writing for years, ever since a preteen. It started with reimaginings of Enid Blyton’s books such as the Famous Five and The Faraway Tree, and grew into a strong passion for literature and fantasy themed creative writing. This all came from the deep love of books and reading, it just seems I had the imagination to match from a rather early age. 

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Speculative Fiction Genres and Their Word Counts

At Ink & Fable Publishing, we love the wild, the outlandish, the quirky, the mind blowing – we love stories that tear us from reality and place us into a new world that we can explore and enjoy (and sometimes sob over). With submissions for Ink & Fable open, we wanted to share the genres that we absolutely LOVE and are passionate about. As readers and writers ourselves, we love stories that entice and engulf us within the world of the novel, and we do the same for Ink & Fable and our readers. 

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An Interview With Des Fonoimoana

Could You Tell Us A Little About Yourself?

This is a hard question! I will do my best to not be boring. Aside from being a writer and COO of Ink & Fable, I pride myself on being an adventurer. I love exploring, I love learning, and I love sharing experiences. I work with at-risk youth and have for the past 5 plus years. I wanted a new adventure so I took a chance working through Americorps serving food at an afterschool program. I knew I was where I needed to be and continued to work with kids. Some of my other hobbies include traveling, paddleboarding, yoga, playing guitar, volleyball, geocaching, and ghost hunting. I live in one of the most beautiful corners of the world and I enjoy being outside, which probably fuels many of my passions. I also enjoy video games. I’m an avid lover of gaming and love the immersion of them. History and genealogy are also some of my favorite passions. I enjoy a bit of everything and live by the motto: Gotta try everything once!

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Writing The Monsters Within

– Written by author Des Fonoimoana –

Not long ago I was reminiscing about how The Monsters Within came to exist and how many nights I spent haunted by the characters, even with other projects in front of me. They demanded I tell their story to the point where one day, I had to. I must have started writing the novel when I was 14 or 15 and now at my ripe age of 27, my story will finally be in the hands of readers. Back on the older console days, I was playing a video game with an antagonist that sparked the first thought of The Monsters Within. This antagonist was incredibly interesting to me, as he wasn’t the main baddie but he was connected to many of the characters, and I felt he had a story of his own to tell. He didn’t get the chance to show how diverse he truly was and reveal his motivations. I thought he deserved to have a voice. 

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Authors in Lockdown

2020 has been a strange year so far. Wild fires in Australia, earthquakes in Turkey, locust swarms in Africa, and protests for BLM across the globe after the murder of George Floyd are just a few things that have happened already. Many people have joked that 2020 is the start of the apocalypse. It’s certainly been a very challenging time. Lockdowns due to Covid 19 have also massively effected people. This is how some of our authors have been staying positive and writing during their isolation.

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George Eliot once said, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” At Ink & Fable Publishing we want to empower authors to conquer their wildest writing dreams and become the writer they’ve always wanted to be. By providing superior marketing, working intimately with our authors, and giving them a voice in how their project cultivates, we give a unique experience via our publication process and working closely with our authors unlike any other.

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