Best Known Works: Oldfolk Tales
Where Can You Find Her? Amazon
Top Tip for New Writers: Write the stories you would want to read.
Hi Freya, thanks for taking the time to talk with us!
Tell us a little about yourself, what are the main life experiences that have led to this book?
I’m 56. I knew when I was 14 I wanted to be a writer, and gardener. The day I discovered I wanted to be a writer, I stayed up manically writing the whole night, did not sleep a wink, and was astonished at the morning light that I had done that. No one but I knew that I had done that, it changed me. I now had a passion, a religious experience that was intense and private and liberating for my young mind.
When did you realize that you were Pagan?
I’m ignostic, with pagan-heathen leanings. Paganism/heathenism, is liberating to me, because you make it what you will with no threats of damnation. And of course I love the natural part of it, the wheel of the year, the forest/fairy picnics of it. The power and majesty of the green man, the stag, the protector. And the history of paganism-heathenism. It’s my family history down the generations of Samhain, juleboking and Jul/Yule, and so many more historical wondrous celebrations and feasts.
Is this your first published piece or have you had work published before?
My paperback/ebook Oldfolk Fairytales, available on Amazon, is my most currently self-published book.
Are you published or self-published, and what has been your experience of this process?
I’ve been published thrice with online publishers, twistedshift.com, and two others I can’t remember right now, with some modest success. It was working with their editors that was wonderful though, priceless really.
Tell us a bit about your story, key characters and plot.
Oldfolk Fairytales is a book of nine fairy tales, rewritten with the protagonists being elderfolk for the most part, enduring and adventuring despite their being older. The world is aging, as am I, I thought it would be fun to write some stories with old folk as the main characters, and how that would be different. It was fun to write them. And I’d keep writing them, except I’m finishing up a young adult novel, hopefully to be published by Christmas. And also finishing up a science fiction space opera novel, hopefully to be finished before spring 2018. Both of which are the first books in their own series.
Do you have an excerpt?
Trailing her fingertips on both sides of the wall for balance down the narrow winding stairs to the dungeon, at the bottom of the stairs the girl’s dress had dragged through decades of accumulated dirt, soiling the tips of the dark red silk gown. Cobwebs and skeletons shackled to the stone walls and floor contrasted jarringly with the beauty of the girl with her long golden hair falling down the lace of the red gown. Drifting through the dark, she lit a torch to light her way through the endless stone subterranean passages.
Opening a heavy wood door, its black rusty hinges moaned as she passed through. The walls and ceiling of the long, long chamber were round, completing a half circle overhead. On each side there were tables running down the full length, overflowing with vials, beakers, scores of mortars and pestles of all sizes, glass slides, microscopes, scales, tubing, Bunsen burners, distillers, and many other devices and contraptions known and unknown.
Seemingly gliding without moving her feet, across the chamber to the end of the long, long narrow room, the girl lit all the candles, kerosene lamps, whale lamps, and torches available there at the end of the room. The floor to ceiling length and width gold framed mirror reflected herself as clearly as if she was outside at noon on a cloudless day.
“Mirror, mirror. Does Snow White still live?”
Nothing happened. Standing expectantly before the mirror, she waited for something to happen, for the mirror to speak as it had for her mother so long ago. Still nothing happened.
“Mirror, mirror. I am the daughter of the queen. By my mother’s blood, I command you to obey me. Tell me if Snow White still lives!”
Originating from far, far away, a rumbling could be felt within the walls and air. Gray fog puffed out and over the surface of the mirror, roiling over it like tiny storm clouds. It suddenly smelled of death and ashes in the chamber. An invisible wind blew over the mirror causing the strange fog to roll away. A masked face appeared in the mirror. Its deep voice booming, “Snow White lives.”
Paling, the girl demanded, “Where? Where is Snow White?”
“In the forest, in the cottage of the dwarves, deep, deep in the forest does she still dwell.”
“Where my mother eventually died,” uttered the girl to herself.
Fingernails digging deep into the skin of her clenched fists to the point of drawing blood, her face flushed red with anger, the girl looked as if she would smash the mirror.
“Is Snow White the queen? Or am I?” asked the girl, her voice trembling.
The mirror did not answer. The gray fog rose again, swirled over its surface stormily.
“By my mother’s blood, your mistress, answer me mirror,” demanded the girl imperiously.
“You are not queen,” stated the masked face through the fog in a smug tone.
The mirror began to shake as if it was in an earthquake. A crack appeared on one corner, then suddenly the mirror shattered, all the tiny pieces smashing and exploding onto the stone floor, walls and wood countertops of the dungeon chamber.
Screaming as she stumbled backward, the girl covered her face with her arm. “Oh my god!” she exclaimed in shock.
Searching her skin for wounds, she discovered none. The mirror shards had not harmed her. After a moment she collected herself, “Time for me to take the reins mother.” Slipping on a work smock to protect her beautiful gown, she lit a Bunsen burner and picked up a small pair of tongs. “I have a present for you queen.” She spat the word queen as if the word was as poisonous as the Death Cap mushroom she was picking up with the tongs. Her lip curled and a cruel glint shone in her eyes, transforming her beauty into the visage of a monster.
What are your future plans for writing?
My future plans are to never stop writing and creating.
Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your passion and your process Freya. We wish you all the best with your future books!