Kate Forsyth - Master Storyteller
To celebrate the release of my latest YA hisotrical novel That Stranger Next Door I've invited some great Australian writers
to visit and talk about their latest books.
My guest blogger today is Kate Forsyth, author of 25 novels for adults and children, including the highly acclaimed
Bitter Greens, The Wild Girl and The Puzzle Ring.
Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the internationally bestselling and 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.
Historical fiction has always been my favourite genre of fiction. I love it straight up, or served with a twist of mystery, a dash of magic, or a splash of romance.
I love HF so much because it always makes me feel as if I am learning something new, as well as having all the pleasure of a deeply immersive reading experience. So when I write my own historical novels, that is what I try and deliver to my readers: a story they can sink into, and the sense of excitement that comes from discovering something new.
My most recent historical novel for adults The Wild Girl tells the untold story of the forbidden love between Wilhelm Grimm and the young woman who told him many of his most beautiful and haunting fairy tales.
Her name was Dortchen Wild and she grew up next door to the Grimm family in the old town of Cassel, in the small kingdom of Hessen-Cassel (now in the very centre of Germany and spelt Kassel.)
They were both young – Wilhelm was in his mid-20s and Dortchen was 18 – and they fell madly in love. But Dortchen was forbidden to see the handsome yet impoverished young scholar. She had to sneak out to meet him behind her father’s back.
But parental disapproval and poverty was not the only thing keeping them apart. Wilhelm and Dortchen lived through the bloody turmoil of the Napoleonic wars. Hessen-Cassel was one of the first countries to fall to the French, and Napoleon mashed it together with another dozen or so countries to create a new Kingdom of Westphalia.
Napoleon set his dissolute younger brother Jerome up as a puppet-king. Jerome at once hired all his friends and set about bankrupting the treasury with his balls, masquerades and many mistresses.
Dortchen and Wilhelm had to overcome many obstacles in their quest to be together.
My most recent historical novel for children is the timeslip adventure The Puzzle Ring, which takes four modern-day children whirling back through time to the dangerous days of Mary, Queen of Scots.
They face many perils, not the least of which is that my heroine Hannah is red-haired and left-handed – clear signs of being a witch in 17th century Scotland!
They encounter Queen Mary and are present at the explosion which killed her second husband Lord Henry Darnley, and have all sorts of other exciting adventures before at last managing to find their way home again.
I think one of the reasons I love writing books lie this so much is I get to read so many fascinating books and visit so many fascinating places for my research.
You can find out more about Kate and her books by visiting her website
The next visitor on my Reverse Blog Tour will be Felicity Pulman.