As a Serious Writer, I wrote serious and depressing stories about my hometown. They were well received and I was encouraged to keep writing. When I wasn’t writing somber stories about people I didn’t like, I wrote copy for commercial websites. But the more I wrote professionally, the less I wrote creatively, until one day I became one of those people who talks wistfully of stories she might write if only she had enough time/motivation/magicfairydust.
It didn’t occur to me to write the kind of story that I loved to read until two girlfriends and I started a round-robin fairy tale exchange via email to pass the time at our dull day jobs. The rules were simple: The stories had to be original, and succinct enough to fit into the body of an email. That was it. And it changed both my writing life and the life that I am living. This workshop is one of the more delicious fruits of that happy experiment.
I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. (Honors) in English Literature in 1997. My mentor was Betty Sue Flowers, consulting editor for the Joseph Campbell/Bill Moyers series The Power of Myth. I’ve been writing short stories and reading fairy tales since I was old enough to do so. I’ve written and edited for publications ranging from MSN.com to the Encarta Encyclopedia to indie magazines, but my first and deepest love has always been fairy tales.
My influences are varied, but all share the qualities of being fantastic and visionary: Márquez, Morrison, Faulkner, McKillip, Tolkein, LeGuin, McCaffery, Gaiman. Diana Wynne Jones is a new passion. Garth Nix is also wonderful. Oh, and Phillip Pullman. And Terry Pratchett. And then we get into Carl Jung and Marie-Louise von Franz and their psychoanalytic interpretations of classic fairy tales. I could go on. But if you’ve made it this far, you might as well come to class and we can talk more there.