2018 November Curiositales Magazine with Natasha Ngan and Elizabeth Tammi

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CONTENTS THE HIGHLIGHTS

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@chacha_reads

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STRIVING FOR

FICTION FOOD

FROM BLOGGER

Interview with Natasha Ngan of Girls of Paper and Fire

Recipes from Girls of Paper and Fire and Outrun the Wind

Interview with Elizabeth Tammi of Outrun the Wind

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REPRESENTATION

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FEATURE

TO AUTHOR

A LANDSCAPE OF SOCIAL CHANGE

BOOKSTAGRAM CREATORS

SANTATORY CREATIONS

A look at fairytale retellings and how they’ve changed.

Check out these 5 amazing Bookstagram creators.

Trine Ericzon shows off her amazing cosplay designs.

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CONTENTS 09 Editor’s Letter 11 12 14 22 26 28 34

A note from the editor. Contributors Learn more about this month’s writers, photographers, and crafters. Giving Back Learn more about this month’s charity. Striving for Representation Natasha Ngan of Girls of Paper and Fire Natasha Ngan | Share Your SheNatash shares her favorite goodies. Seeking Contributors Like what you’re reading? Join our team! Fiction Food Recipes inspired by Girls of Paper and Fire and Outrun the Wind. From Blogger to Author Elizabeth Tammi of Outrun the Wind.

42 Elizabeth Tammi | Share Your Shelf Elizabeth’s tour of bookish items. 46 A Landscape of Social Change by Sumaiyya Naseem

50 Bookstagram Creators

Check out these awesome readers. 84 Tale as Old as Time Photo essay featuring the ultimate book lover.

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@the_readers_nook

94 Blood of the Fey by Alessa Eleffson

Chapter One preview.

106 November New Releases 108 Around the World


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FROM THE EDITOR

Letter From The Editor

November is a month we associate with gratitude here in the US, and, I’m reminded as my friends abroad repeatedly wish me a Happy Thanksgiving, around the world as well. One thing I’ve always been profoundly grateful for are books. Books to escape, books to learn, books to see myself in, books which show a level of humanity that I can merely aspire to. Books have always been a huge part of my life, and without the authors who create them, I would be bereft. Authors like Natasha Ngan, who poured herself into her latest novel despite the exploration of heavy topics. Authors like Elizabeth Tammi who rewrote an ancient narrative to fit one more suited to modern women and society. I know that I’m not alone in my love of story. Not alone in my desire to see myself within the fiction I consume. Sumaiyya Naseem writes a moving essay describing how she felt when she finally saw herself within a fairytale retelling- a common genre today, often missing diversity. But through our constant collective conversation of the books we read, the publishing industry is changing for the better to fit more mixed tales. Happy Reading, Gillian St. Clair Editor-In-Chief CURIOSITALES

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CURIOSITALES New York, New York; USA

EDITORIAL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Gillian St. Clair CONTRIBUTORS Kelsey Bjork, Elle Jauffret, Trine Ericzon, Sumaiyya Naseem, Alessa Ellefson

MARKETING & ADVERTISING SALES DIRECTOR Vipul Kuchhal

ONLINE Curiositales is a digital monthly magazine. We also engage readers with a free newsletter. For your regular dose of all things bookish, subscribe at www.curiositales.com

COPYRIGHT Copyright 2018 by Curiositales Magazine. All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in review.

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SUMAIYYA NASEEM

Trine Ericzon is a Norwegian cosplayer, gamer and nerd.

CONTRIBUTORS

TRINE ERICZON

A bookworm who was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and while she reads a bit of everything she has a keen interest in women’s fiction and immigrant stories. She shares her literary journey on Instagram (@sumaiyya.books) and is a freelance fiction editor specializing in Muslim and Middle Eastern narratives. She’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in English Literature in Delhi, India. Most importantly, she is Mom to a loving cat, Gatsby.’

ALESSA ELLEFSON

ELLE JAUFFRET

Alessa Ellefson loves to tell all sorts of stories to all sorts of people in all sorts of places.

Elle Jauffret writes from personal experience about the culinary arts, mysteries, and France.

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GIVING BACK Every month you read, you're giving back. Curiositales donates 10% of every purchase to a nonprofit. Check out this month's organization.

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It’s so full of the things I love and so full of me.

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he world is so diverse, it really is shocking how much movies, shows, and books lack in representation. Progress is being made, but there’s still a long way to go. Stories with diversity can be more difficult to get out to fans, but that doesn’t stop creators from trying their best to get them out into a world that so desperately needs them. Natasha Ngan is one of those creators.

STRIVING FOR

REPRESENTATION Interview by Gillian St. Clair Written by Kelsey Bjork

Her third novel, Girls of Paper and Fire, follows the story of Leia. Every year, eight girls are chosen to serve the king. They are known as Paper Girls, and this year, Leia is one of them. Being chosen is an honor, but it’s also a cruel fate. As if that wasn’t enough for Leia, she also gets involved in a forbidden romance. As a half Chinese, half English woman who grew up in both Malaysia and the CURIOSITALES

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UK, Ngan wanted her book to be multicultural. “I wanted to write something that felt really specific and personal to my experience and my identity,” she said. “I also wanted to represent other Asian girls, other queer Asian girls, and other teens who suffered sexual assault. So there’s a lot of issues there that are very personal to me.” The process of getting Girls of Paper and Fire published was not easy. After publishing her first two fantasy novels, Ngan and her agent began to have problems. Still, Ngan found herself looking for her next story.

I wanted to write something that felt really specific and personal to my experience and my identity.

“I tend to get my ideas while I’m writing my previous books. Once I’ve finished whatever I’m working on, I’ll look at my ideas that I’ve written down and see which one I’m drawn to the most,” Ngan said. “I knew I wanted to do a fantasy, and Girls seemed like the most logical one because it’s so full of the things I love and so full of me.” After four months of writing and editing her manuscript, she sent it to her agent… who said she did not like it. After going back and forth, they decided that the best solution would be to go their separate ways. This, of course, did not deter Ngan from trying to get her book published. She sought help from author friends who read her manuscript and gave feedback. When it came time to query she got a lot of offers, but her journey was far from over even once she got her new agent, Taylor. “Everyone seemed to think it would be

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Sabriel by Garth Nix, Harry Potter, The Edge Chronicles…none of them really had any good representation. I love JK Rowling, but the representation was not great. So that was a stark contrast compared to the media I was consuming in MalayWith my first two books I’d been on subsia.” With this novel, Ngan is hoping to mission for two days, so the contrast was give others the kind of representation she significant. But that’s the thing in publish- would have appreciated when she was ing, the waiting period varies so much. It’s younger. not a representation of the quality, either. It’s just who reads it at what time.” “I think what I wanted to do with Girls was bridge the two cultures a bit because Even though it’s been about five years being half-half, I’ve never felt exactly like since Ngan began thinking about Girls, I fit in with my family in Malaysia. I don’t she said it was all worth it in the end since speak Chinese well enough, I don’t live she found the perfect people to help her there, and I’ve got this British side of me. story get told. But I’m not fully British because my household is run in a very Chinese way. “James Patterson is my publisher. He runs I grew up with Chinese medicine and the imprints at Jimmy, Little Brown, and culture, so I wanted something that felt Hachette,” she said. Although Ngan did familiar to me. But because all the things not work with Patterson directly, he had I was reading and consuming from Mathe final say in it being accepted. laysia were Asian, I struggled to read it because it was in Chinese.” The influence “I was pretty nervous because, obviously, of multiculturalism is easy to see in Girls it’s quite different to what he writes,” she of Paper and Fire. explained, “but I’ve since met him when I was in the U.S. this year. He is so nice and “You can recognize Chinese cultural had a lot of thoughtful and meaningful things like little bits of language that I’ve things to say about Girls, and why it was used and the ways of respect. You can important to him, and why he felt they also see the Malaysian influences with needed to publish it.” the clothes. There’s Indian clothes, there’s Malay traditional clothing, and traditional Ngan grew up around two different culChinese clothing. But there’s also western tures, so she was able to see the differenc- influences. I wanted it to have an identies in the stories being told in the UK vs ty that felt very rich and full but not too those in Malaysia. “When I was growing attached to any one real world place.” up and reading middle-grade, white male authors were the standard. I’m trying to Although Ngan grew up in Malaysia and think of some, but I really can’t think of the UK, she currently lives in Paris. So, any books that I read in the UK that feawhat brought her to her new home? “I tured Asian characters. have a beautiful French boyfriend,” she quite an easy sell, which it wasn’t,” she said with a laugh. “I think, in the end, we were on submission for one year. There were things going on throughout that, but it was long.

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happily. “We’ve been together over two years. We were doing long distance for a while, and it wasn’t too bad, but we wanted to build a life together.” Moving to a new country can be exciting, but it can come with challenges. Luckily, Ngan’s boyfriend has been very helpful with the transition. “I’ve never spoken French apart from what I learned in school which was not useful at all. But my boyfriend is very patient and has been teaching me. I also went to a course for one month which was absolutely crazy. Learning a language melts your brain like nothing else,” she said exasperated. Learning a new language isn’t the only adjustment Ngan has made. “I have to say, Paris was not my dream home. I’ve met so many people who live here and for them it was their dream to teach and live here. Lots of Americans as well, I find, have these lovely, romantic views of Paris. For me, it’s not quite like that,” she admitted. “I really love London, and it’s very different from London. I actually found I really love New York when I went there for the first time this summer. It has the same openness and the sort of energy and the people and the culture as London,” she said.

“I have lots of annoyed tweets from people saying how hungry the book made them. Food is a huge, huge part of Chinese culture and my culture growing up. We celebrate with food, we commiserate with food, we gather the family around food, and we’re always having dinners together. In Malaysia I had my parents at the table as well as my grandpa. We had this ritual where, out of respect, you have to welcome everyone to the meal before eating. So yeah, I just love food. Ugh, I could eat food all day,” she said as though imagining her next meal. “I do eat all day, actually,” she added. Ngan’s love of food even comes through on her Instagram. In one of her most recent posts, she shows off a healthy but delicious looking second lunch. “There’s lots of great food in Girls. Particularly Malaysian food because that’s my favorite.” Writers tend to not be the most social people, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to go out every once in a while. “I’m an only child, and I was very, very shy when I was young. I’m definitely an introvert, but I’m a social introvert. I love my friends, and I love going out, but it takes energy from me. So I spend a lot of time on my own.

Ngan had a lot of anxiety and chronic “Whereas Paris is very traditional, so it health problems, especially when she has the sense of being a little bit closed. was young, which also strengthened her But I’ve been enjoying discovering a new bond with books. “I actually didn’t get city and learning a new language and cul- diagnosed with a genetic condition until ture. The cheap, good wine is obviously a my mid-twenties. It explained all of the big bonus.” Along with wine, Ngan is also problems I’d been having, but before that I a huge fan of food. didn’t know what they were. 18

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So I retreated a lot within myself, and books were a big comfort for me. When I was lonely or in pain – physically or emotionally – I felt safe with books. Plus I’m a big re-reader. I love that sense of comfort from reading a book where you know the characters, and it feels kind of like another home. I still re-read all the books I read when I was young because it gives me that feeling of being with friends.” Not surprisingly, Ngan has also always loved writing. “I’d write on anything I could find like receipts or the back of envelopes. Now I write on my notes in my phone when I have inspiration. And I’ve always written for work but only non-fiction. I didn’t know how publishing worked, and working in publishing was never really an option that was suggested to me. My mom is very traditionally Chinese; you go to a good university, get a scientific degree, and go from there. I studied geography at university, but all the while I was writing and getting non-fiction work published and my creative writing was pushed aside until I got a sense that I had a book in me and I sat down and wrote it. That was the first book I got published which was The Elites.” Although Girls of Paper and Fire is Ngan’s third book, she discovered being a published author does not guarantee another book. “I actually think it makes it harder unless you had a very clear success, which the majority of authors don’t. So the odds of your publisher taking a chance on you on something new is even lower. Plus everyone loves the shiny new debut.

I had no idea about this, so it’s something that I warn new authors about because I thought publishing was the end. I thought I would be set after that, and that’s not the case at all. So having a lot of patience and a lot of perseverance has been key.” Another key to Ngan’s writing journey has been her readers. “A huge thank you to all of you because I know that Girls is not the easiest book. It is a little difficult, and it does tackle some really strong topics, especially given the current political climate, especially in the US. So a big thank you to everyone who has read it or is planning to read it. There was definitely a time when a book like this wouldn’t have been published. It was such a struggle to get it published, but I’m hoping that books like mine can open the door for other writers. So if you’re a writer, I encourage you to be bold in what you write and to not be afraid to tell your stories; your true heart stories. The ones that are really important to you. Don’t go chasing trends or what you think will get you published, because in the end if you write something that’s full of heart, it shines through in the writing.” That advice doesn’t just apply to writers. “At the end of the day, you have this one chance to make your life what you want it to be. I think you should try and fill it with the things you love and bring you joy,” Ngan said. “And the things that bring you joy are going to help other people as well because you’ll be inspiring others with your passion and will show them that it can be possible.” CURIOSITALES

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Girls of Paper and Fire was released on November 6, so you can show your support for Ngan and for diverse stories by visiting her website where you can find links to purchase it. TWITTER: @girlinthelens WEB www.natashangan.com INSTAGRAM: @girlinthelens

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Share Your Shelf with Natasha Ngan

I can’t write to music, especially not anything with lyrics, but I do like to listen to music when I’m doing editing or making notes. This is my playlist for GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE! 3. MUJI GEL INK BALLPOINT 0.38 PENS: It’s crazy how a pen can feel so right, or so dreadfully wrong! These ones are my go-to. I tend to write very fast and small when I’m making notes, and these fit my style perfectly. I feel lost without them! 4. PUKKA TEA:

1. #DOYOURYOGA BUCKWHEAT CUSHION: While I usually read on the sofa or in bed, I sometimes like to sit on a yoga cushion. It’s a good way to improve your posture and ease out your hips after a long day at the desk. 2.SPOTIFY: 22

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Being both British and Chinese, it’s no surprise I love tea. I have a whole cupboard in my kitchen just for my collection! Which type I choose depends on my mood and the time of day – I prefer black teas in the morning, green teas in the early afternoon, and herbal teas such as chamomile or lemon and ginger in the evening. Pukka is one of my favourite brands for tea – their products are organic and they are a carbon neutral company. 5. DROPBOX: This has saved my behind so. Many. Times. You can access files from anywhere with the app or desktop site, re-


cover previous versions of documents, and never have to worry about losing your manuscript again! 6. ORIGINS 10 MINUTE MASK TO RESCUE PROBLEM SKIN: Smells so good and really refreshes me during long writing sessions! 7. BRANDY MELVILLE JUMPERS: I have so many of these! They’re inexpensive, cute and oh-so-cuddly. Perfect for staying cosy whilst writing and reading. 8. SALT LAMP:

I have to have a little extra light in addition when reading, but my salt lamp really sets a cosy mood for bookish evenings in. I love the warm glow it gives my room. 9. NUUNA STITCH JOURNALS: Small and light enough to carry everywhere, and surprisingly durable too. Mine have travelled with me all over the world! 10. FRESH FLOWERS: I prefer wildflowers, but living in Paris that’s not really an option, so I just pick up a cheap bunch of carnations or baby’s breath each week to have something fresh and natural around. CURIOSITALES

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CONTRIBUTE JOIN THE TEAM

Curiositales Magazine is on the lookout for contributors. If you have an idea geared toward the YA readership, send us an email: contribute@curiositales.com. Our readers are creative and talented and we want to feature you. Send us an email to be considered for an upcoming issue. Short Story Criteria: Around 3,000 words Submit a Word Document

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SHORT STORIES COSPLAYERS ARTISTS EDITORIAL PHOTO SPREADS TUTORIALS ARTICLES FLASH FICTION HAVE AN IDEA? LET US KNOW!


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FICTION FOOD

By Elle Jauffret

GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE “…the palace food is delicious […] steaming bowls of coconut rice… […] sugared glutinous rice-balls […] we have breakfast—usually rice-balls […] The fragrance of coconut-steamed rice rises out.” “I don’t dare touch the bamboo basket, even though the smell of the dumplings inside makes my mouth water. […] I consider not eating the dumpling out of principle—who needs pity dumplings, anyway?” “[…] ..her name was revealed on the bamboo chip… […] the name painted on the bamboo chip is mine.”

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Sweet Rose-flavored Coconut Rice Balls In a small pan, bring 1 cup of sushi rice + 1 cup of water + 1 cup of coconut milk + 1/8 tsp salt to a boil over high heat. Then reduce to low heat, cover, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat. Add 3 tbsp of sugar + 1/2 tsp of rose water to the rice. Stir and let the rice cool down. Scoop about ½ tbsp of rice and make a ball, then roll in coconut flakes (1 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes). Serve warm. Bamboo Shoot Salad Slice 2 cooked bamboo shoots into thin slices (or drain a 12 oz can of sliced bamboo shoots). Toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil + 2 tbsp cilantro + ¼ tsp of salt. Serve cold. Prawn Dumplings In a bowl, combine 1 lb of uncooked prawns (peeled, deveined, and finely chopped) + 1/3 cup chopped scallions + ½ cup chopped cilantro + 1 tsp sesame oil + 1 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp pepper (for extra taste, add 2 tsp of lime zest). Mix well and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Line 40 dumpling wrappers (3.5 inches in diameter each) on a work surface. Place ½ tbsp of shrimp mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Moisten the edge of wrapper with water and close wrapper to form a half moon. Then, press the edges together to seal the dumplings—you can also pleat the edges to provide a more secure seal (so dumplings won’t open). Steam dumplings in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes or boil. To boil, drop dumplings in boiling salted water and cook for 4 minutes once they reach the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve warm. For the dipping sauce, mix ¼ cup black vinegar + 1 tbsp soy sauce + 1/2 tbsp grated ginger. 30

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OUTRUN THE WIND The flavors and the simplicity of these dishes reflect the Mediterranean location and time period of the story. The pork/boar recipe is inspired by the killing of the Calydonian Boar by Atalanta. The baked apple is a nod/reference to the apples Hippomenes received from Aphrodite to win the footrace against Atalanta.

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Baked Apples (for 4) Wash and core 4 apples. Fill a baking dish with 1 cup of water. Place apples in the dish and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 350 degree-oven for about 40 minutes. Serve warm and drizzle with honey. Mediterranean Pork with Green Olives (for 4) 3 tbsp butter 1 medium-large onion (finely chopped) 1 tbsp flour 1/2 tbsp olive oil 1.5 lb pork/boar chops (deboned and cut in cubes) 1 can of green olives (pitted) 8 bay leaves 1 tsp dried thyme 1 tsp dried oregano salt, pepper Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir for about 1 minute. Set onion aside. In same pan, sautĂŠe pork in olive oil until brown on all sides. Return the sautĂŠed onion to the pan with the pork. Add 1 cup of water, thyme, oregano, bay leaves. Stir well. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add the olives. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Serve as is or on a bed of rice or mashed potatoes. 32

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French-born, Californian lawyer by day, writer/home chef by night, Elle Jauffret writes from personal experience about the culinary arts, mysteries, and France. She received the 2016 SDSU Writers’ Conference Choice award and loves creating “fiction food” based on the books she enjoys. You can find her at ellejauffret.com or @ElleJauffret on Twitter and Instagram

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It’s interesting to see modern retellings of stories that have been with humanity for so long.

“ Books are more than just stories. They

are companions, safe-havens, and a way to grow empathy. Some might say they are the closest things we have to magic. Part of the reason why is because books have the ability to make readers feel so many different emotions, whether it be happiness when the victory is won, or sadness when a character dies.

FROM BLOGGER TO AUTHOR Interview by Gillian St. Clair

The thing that makes books so special, though, is the fact that even when a book doesn’t have a perfect, happy ending, it can still mean the world to its readers and make a positive impact on their lives. This doesn’t mean that seeing a beloved character get a tragic ending isn’t heartbreaking, of course that’s why fanfiction exists. But when Elizabeth Tammi read a story like this, she did not simply turn to fanfiction. Instead, she wrote her own version of the story.

Written by Kelsey Bjork

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write of Greek mythology character, Atalanta. “Essentially, she ends up having to marry a man who uses literal divine trickery to trap her into marriage,” she said when explaining the original plot. “I’ve always loved Greek mythology, but I didn’t really understand the details and the extent of Atalanta’s story until about two years ago during the summer before I moved away for college. I was reading more about her, and I was really captivated by her story, but at the same time I felt kind of angry at how it ended. Her story just didn’t leave me alone for quite a few months. Eventually, new characters and ideas about what might have been going on in the background came to me. So out of spite I decided that I’m going to tell it my way.” Tammi described the plot of Outrun the Wind in her own words: “After being saved from a dangerous life serving as Apollo’s oracle, a girl named Kahina is bound to serve the goddess Artemis. When a routine mission goes awry, she finds her fate intertwined with that of legendary huntress Atalanta. They end up in the kingdom of Arkadia where Atalanta’s father is king. Atalanta is desperate to avoid marriage while Kahina is desperate to earn her way back to Artemis’ hunt. Together, they devise a dangerous game in plans to obtain their freedom. But when the men responsible for both of their dark pasts shows up in Arkadia, the games turn deadly, and they have to find a way to reclaim their freedom.” Although Tammi never had a favorite Greek myth before, her version of Ata36

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lanta’s story is understandably her favorite now. “My version, of course, will always be the real myth in my head,” she said. Tammi may be biased to Outrun the Wind, but she still has a love for the original as well. “The more I studied about Atalanta and read the original poetry about her, the more I fell in love with what she did represent, even if I wasn’t super thrilled with how some of the male poets of the time handled her. Maybe I am biased now, looking back, but I definitely have a soft spot for her.” One of the reasons mythology is so amazing is the fact that the stories were created so long ago and yet are still being told. “It’s interesting to see modern retellings of stories that have been with humanity for so long,” Tammi said. “It’s like the same thread has connected all these generations through the same characters and the same stories.”

My version, of course, will always be the real myth in my head.

It truly is incredible to look back at previous generations and see how some stories have carried on and continue to affect


people even now. No matter the age of the story, and no matter the age of the readers, stories have the ability to bring people together. Luckily for Tammi, her parents helped instill her love of reading at a young age.

mi because of her popular blog, annabethisterrified, something that came into being because of her great love for Riordan’s series. “Because I knew there was an online community for the series and was just so excited for the next book to come out, I made a blog without my parents permission in 2012…I was in middle school,” she said laughing.

“They always like to say they were reading to me and my sister literally from the day we were born. So I can’t remember when it wasn’t a huge part of my life,” Tammi said. “And I’m really grateful for that. Reading and writing were definitely “My parents found out about it around my strongest subjects all throughout elea year and half later. They were usually mentary, middle school, and high school.” pretty strict about making sure they knew what I’m doing on the internet, but when Tammi’s love of young adult literature I told them, “I have around 10,000 followbegan with the Percy Jackson and the Olym- ers,” they were like, “Oh, okay! You can pians series by Rick Riordan. “I got abmake this work for you!” solutely hooked in fifth grade. That was definitely the catalyst for me. I still loved Turns out, her parents were right. “For the mythology before then, but his books first couple of years it was all about Percy made it come alive for me in a really vivid Jackson: fan art, headcanons, theories, etc. way.” Readers may be familiar with Tam- But eventually when I was around 14, I

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transitioned to being a young adult fiction blog where I reviewed and talked about a whole bunch of different books.” That is when her blog really began to take off. “I was approached by Penguin Random House and a few other publishers and authors to help out with blog tours and arc reviews, and I fell in love with doing that. I got exposed to a bunch of other great book series’ that I don’t think I otherwise would have heard of.” Tammi has grown her community to 26,000 followers and still tries to review books, but now she also keeps them updated on her writing journey. “They were there from when I was 16 and first taking writing seriously, and I am very grateful to have had the same group of people with me for all this time,” she said. Tammi’s blog is not the only way she has prepared herself for being an author. She is currently a junior in college and is pursuing not one but two degrees.

“I’m a little over half-way through my undergraduate degree and am double majoring in creative writing and journalism. When I went in I was thinking that I always want to be writing creatively, as chaotic as it is, but at least with journalism there are concrete career positions I could potentially apply for. Hopefully I can find a way to do both of those things throughout my life even though they are two very different aspects of storytelling.” So, what is it like to be a debut author while still in college? “It’s very weird, for sure,” Tammi said with a laugh. “It’s weird to be in school while all this is happening, but I’m glad it is. It’s great that I get to have a bit of a jump start on writing.” From an outside perspective it may see like Tammi knows exactly what she’s doing, but she would disagree. “I did work hard, and I did put myself out there, but a lot of it comes down to luck,” Tammi said. “I don’t think anyone should feel rushed or feel like they’re not doing well if they don’t have a book out by a cer-

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tain age because it couldn’t matter less.” Tammi had the incredible opportunity to visit Greece as part of a summer study abroad program with her university just a few months before she got her book deal. “It was really weird being in Greece for so long while I was still working on Outrun the Wind,” she said. “But being in Greece and getting to spend a long amount of time there was really cool. I got to go to a bunch of different museums and see some of the first artistic renditions of the Calydonian Boar Hunt and Atalanta. I also got to visit Delphi and Corinth and a bunch of other places and that was really, really great.”

the moderness takes away from the significance of the sights for me. I still enjoy them a lot, and it’s fun to imagine what they might have been like in their heyday.” It’s always helpful when authors are able to visit the location where their novel takes place, but when writing a fantasy novel, it can be complicated. “It is, at the end of the day, a fantasy novel. So while I did try to do historical research to try and make the atmosphere as real as possible, we’ve also got gods and goddesses and monsters walking around. So there’s definitely, I’m sure, a few inaccuracies,” Tammi explained.

Although Tammi already had a commuA few months later, she got an offer for nity of followers when writing Outrun the Outrun the Wind. Then, while studying Wind, she waited a while before telling abroad in England earlier this year, she them about it. “I’m not super vocal about managed to sneak in another week to projects if I don’t know they’re going to go Greece. somewhere, so I kept it to myself for quite some time,” she said. “But I have three “I’m very lucky to have been twice so wonderful critique partners, and they recently. It’s a great place, and I absolutely were very helpful in reviewing my outlove it. Places like Delphi are totally selines and stuff like that. If I ran into a snag cluded, and they’re as real as they can be they were there to help me with it.” even though everything is in ruins now. But there are a lot of sites in Greece that Tammi began working on Outrun the Wind are very well preserved or at least seclud- in the fall of 2016. She became inspired ed enough from the megalith of Athens to rewrite Atalanta’s story around two that it still gives you that energy, if that months after first learning about her. “It makes sense. wasn’t the first manuscript I’d ever written, so I felt a little more comfortable in It was very inspirational and definitely my ability and knew that I could at least reinvigorated me. Athens itself is obvifinish it. So after I felt like I had an underously a pretty big, modern city, but it’s standing of how Atalanta’s life might have very easy to imagine what it would have gone and been, I started writing,” she been like back then. It’s a very cool mesh said. of modern and ancient, and I enjoy seeing how it plays out. But I don’t think It’s common for authors to put a little of CURIOSITALES

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themselves in their characters without even realizing it, and Tammi is no exception. “I was writing it, initially, at a time in my life where I was going through a lot of change: I had just moved states and moved to college. A big part of the story is both Kahina and Atalanta arriving in very new situations, and they both learn things about themselves like their heritage and their fates,” Tammi said.

And I think, looking back, that probably connected to the transformation that I was going through at the time. So maybe seeing how they adapted to that was my own wishful projecting that I’ve got this.

“And I think, looking back, that probably connected to the transformation that I was going through at the time. So maybe seeing how they adapted to that was my own wishful projecting that I’ve got this.” Considering what all Tammi has accomplished, it’s safe to say that her wishful thinking was correct. Outrun the Wind will be released on November 27, so if you want to go along on Atalanta’s new journey, check out Tammi’s Goodreads page to find out where it can be purchased! TWITTER: @ElizabethTammi WEB www.elizabethtammi.com INSTAGRAM @elizabeth_tammi http://annabethisterrified.tumblr.com/ 40

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Share Your Shelf

with Elizabeth Tammi

1. Caribou Coffee K-Cups! I swore I’d never keep a coffee machine in my kitchen, but my roommates brought one, so…it’s not my fault, right? I need something to keep myself up to write, haha. 2. Starbucks Gold Membership! There’s a coffee pattern already. Oops. I love having a Starbucks membership, because I earn points to get free drinks and food, which comes in handy since I tend to get lots of work done in coffeehouses. 3. Index Cards! Though I draft on my computer, I have to visualize the ‘big picture’ while plotting. I like to cut up index cards with plot points written on them and tape them up on a wall to help understand the logistics. 4. My Eccolo Planner! I’m a college student with lots of classes and clubs and chaos. If I don’t write something down, including bookish happenings, I’ll for sure forget it. 5. Logitech Wireless Mouse! Though I love my laptop, I have a hard time working on stuff after a while if I don’t have a wireless mouse. The touch pad just doesn’t cut it for me. 6. Any Book by Rick Riordan! It’s true! Whenever I leave home for college or an internship, I’m always sure to pack a Riordan book—I find so much comfort and inspiration in the world he’s created. 7. Popcorn! My biggest, all-time favorite snack is popcorn. My roommates swear they associate the smell of popcorn with me. Could be worse! 8. My Instagram app! I love using Instagram—it’s a great social network for writers and readers. I like sharing my news on there, and really enjoy seeing all the cool “Bookstagram” photos and thoughts. 9. YouTube! While I can’t listen to music with lyrics without getting distracted while writing, I adore YouTube’s mass of ambient and orchestral music. It gets me in the mood, especially with my current Norse-inspired project. 10. Bulletin Board! I have a bulletin board that I always hang above my desk. It’s perfect for hanging up reminders of upcoming book releases I’m excited for, and other memorabilia and photos that represent me. 42

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A Landscape of Social Change in Fairytale Retellings by Sumaiyya Naseem

My first experience with fairytale retellings happened when I watched the film Beastly, starring Vanessa Hudgens. This was in the pre-Bookstagram era, some 5 years ago, so I wasn’t even aware that the film was based on a novel of the same name by Alex Finn. I’d become entranced by the familiarity of a story I knew by heart; a beautiful young woman falls in love with a deformed man to form an unconventional match. Her love for him unexpectedly breaks a witch’s curse and frees him from a life of isolation and self-loathing. I could point at lots of elements that made me love this film, but a few stand out in particular: the soundtrack, the scene where the duo recite O’Hara’s popular poem ‘Having A Coke With You’, and the general hopefulness of the narrative. I’ve watched the film dozens of times because of the comfort of Beauty and the Beast told in a recognisable and relatable frame; teenagers in a city with family problems, we have all been there. But there aren’t many of us (if at all) who have been taken into captivity by a beast46

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like man, and offered a library as compensation for our troubles. In recent years, fairytale retellings have become popular enough to be considered a sub-genre of Young Adult fiction. Perhaps these reimagined narratives have worked so well because readers visit the novel with a frame of expectation, and with this awareness, are able to comprehend more easily the deeper levels and overtones in the author’s recreation. Being aware of the story’s frame allows readers to look more closely at what new elements the author has brought to the story. With a story frame in hand, authors are also able to use them as guides to relay new ideas and more current issues. This brings me to the subject at hand; the landscape of social change in fairytale retellings. In order to offer my understanding of this, I’ll take a look at some fairytale retellings that I’ve read in recent years, and how they represent the changing landscape. After Beastly, the next memorable fairytale retelling that I read was The Book of Lost


Things by John Connelly. This was a magical, whimsical read that felt very close to the image of fairytales I had in mind. It was almost Alice in Wonderland-esque in its unraveling, and there was a violent sense of danger and doom that drove the narrative forward. At its heart, the novel celebrates the power of storytelling, and just how much stories can affect a young mind. Next I read The Wrath and The Dawn, a retelling based on Scheherazade, the heroine in the Middle Eastern classic The Arabian Nights. This book, which concluded as a duology, didn’t really work for me because I felt the retelling had failed in capturing the essence of the Middle Eastern heroine I had become fascinated with during my undergraduate literature studies. I’d begun to doubt whether fairytale retellings could ever do justice to a classic character or storyline. Had retellings become a vehicle for adding romantic thrills and drama to classics?

Cinderella was about love and dreams coming true, but would a retelling of Cinderella only serve to present the details that we weren’t originally offered? At this point I wondered what purpose retellings served. A year after that experience, I became enraptured by The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and it was at this point that I became aware of just how intricately the fabric of retellings can be manipulated to present a new kind of story. Meyer changed my mind about retellings. Driven by the uniqueness of its science fiction take on our favourite heroines like Cinderella and Red Riding Hood, Meyer’s addictive storytelling offered a fresh spin on several childhood favorites. But, more importantly, they provided a narrative on alienation, racism, contempt of that which is different and, more radically, the ethical debate surrounding CURIOSITALES

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Artificial Intelligence and manipulation of technology. These themes made The Lunar Chronicles stand out for me as an adult reading YA fiction; here were characters made in the image of some of my favorite fairytale characters, but the world they were navigating and the problems they were up against felt so real. Peel away the layers of fantasy and futuristic science fiction, and you’ll find tyranny, elitism, racism and the fight to make the world better again. And in terms of aesthetics, the story was no longer an imaginary landscape of castles, forests and horse riders, but rather of spaceships, science labs and complicated international politics. With this format, the fairytale retelling presented a reflection of our world today, using the essence of age-old stories. My most recent read, Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd, combined fairytale retelling with urban fantasy. Set in modern Paris where fashion and croissant rule, Grim Lovelies looks at the contained world of beasties - animals turned to humans by witches (re: Cinderella) - who are on a dangerous quest to stay human forever. This fun and adventurous fairytale retelling is more inclusive in its representation of sexual orientations and trans characters. Of course, in general we’re finding more diverse perspectives in fiction today, but it’s quite satisfying to see the meeting of tradition and modernity. 48

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Fairytale retellings are exciting to read because they are presented with elements of familiarity, but what makes them so important now is how they merge earlier traditions of storytelling with newer ideals and awareness. This is especially remarkable for adults who enjoy reading the new versions; we have all read and loved fairytales in our childhood that now feel questionable in light of the way our social dynamics are evolving. Fairytales have issues; from Princes’ saving Princesses to the idea of marriage being the ultimate escape for a “damsel in distress”. Reading contemporary retellings allows us to reconcile how we think today with the comforting escapades of our childhood years. Fairytale retellings are starting to properly reflect the social change that is happening in the world today. New and upcoming retellings are offering a wider lens of worldview and a more inclusive sense of life. Young adult readers are, on the other hand, able to reinforce their principles and worldview through these new versions of fairytales. Being able to read more inclusive and diverse narratives, in fairytale form, gives them the satisfaction of representation and a reaffirmation of their personal beliefs. A bookworm who was born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Sumaiyya reads a bit of everything but she has a keen interest in women’s fiction and immigrant stories. She shares her literary journey on Instagram (@sumaiyya.books).


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Trine Ericzon Trine Ericzon is a Norwegian cosplayer, gamer and nerd. She’s a lover of coffee, vintage, and historical fashion. Follow her online to stay updated with her latest creations. @ santatory_creations

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Check out this free preview of Blood of the Fey by Alessa Ellefson Morgan Pendragon just wants a normal life. But on her last year at a Swiss boarding school, one of her classmates is found mysteriously dead. Before she knows it, Morgan’s called home to Wisconsin, for the first time in her life. There, not only does she have to deal with her crazy-weird family, but she’s forced to attend a strange school set in a magical world under Lake Winnebago. To make matters worse, she must train with the others to become Knights of the Round Table and fight in a secret, millennia-old war against the Fey—fallen angels with unimaginable powers who’d do anything to destroy humans. And if that wasn’t enough, she must do the impossible: learn to make friends. As the world is falling apart, Morgan must adapt to her new reality before she either goes nuts... or finds herself dead.

PROLOGUE

Legends say that, in the beginning, angels were free to roam through all planes of existence. Some chose the physical world and became so enamored with it that they could frequently be found roaming about in nature and interacting with its inhabitants. But when the War broke out, and the Fallen Ones were cast for ever out of Heaven, these angels found that they’d been locked out of Paradise as well. Not evil enough to be sent to Hell, they were forced to spend their nearly eternal lives on Earth, where they became known as the Fey People. But living with near-unlimited powers amongst mortals brought about inevitable abuse and subsequent retribution from those they had oppressed. The Fey saw their fortunes reversed, and their dominion gradually diminished until only one place was left for them to escape to— Avalon. CURIOSITALES

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CHAPTER ONE

The truth of the matter is, when you’re in deep shit, there is no Prince Charming who’ll come to your rescue, let alone one who’ll do the dirty work for you. A precept that’s been pounded into my head with a twenty-ton mallet since I first saw the light of day. Still, as I stare at the detritus floating around my calves, I wish this wasn’t the case.

Gritting my teeth, I wade deeper into the frigid waters of Lake Geneva. I stifle a sneeze. Despite the ungodly hour, I don’t want to draw anyone’s attention, especially when I’m supposed to be safely tucked in bed back at school. Last time I got caught on a little outing, Sister Marie-Clémence had me do penitence at four every morning for a month. Not that I dislike my dates with the Lord—I sign myself in case He’s listening—but at the ripe old age of seventeen, I need all the beauty sleep I can get. The reeds sway with every one of my movements in a sleepy waltz, oblivious to the small knife in my hand. “I’m so very sorry,” I murmur to them as I go about my reaping, “but it’s for your own good.” Or at least the good of the school’s greenhouse. For two weeks now, I’ve seen our plants—those precious beings I’ve tenderly watched grow—inexplicably wilt and darken, and nothing either I or Sister Marie-Bénédicte have done has helped. 96

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“And so you must understand,” I tell the alga as I snip off one of its tendrils. As I reach into my pocket, the glass container slips out and falls into the water. “Saint George’s balls!” I mutter through clenched teeth. “That’s all I needed.”

Thankfully, I find the vial floating amongst the rushes and fish it out without any other incident. My sample safely stored away, I plow through the weeds in search of my next victim. I sigh. Doesn’t look like anything here has been infected, which brings me back to square one. I stare up at the Alps, wondering whether I should check uphill instead for the source of the disease. The sun peeks over the Rochers de Naye, firing its blood-orange rays at me, like a prison guard on an escapee; a definite sign I’ve been gone too long. I put away my tools and make for the shore, when something catches my eye. Amongst the rushes’ thin stems is a dark patch of algae I’ve never seen before. Intrigued, I make my way over and pick a few strands. Odd…The algae have the same consistency as moss… As I reach for my knife once again, something big and round pops out of the water a foot away, gelatinous eyes staring straight at me. I gasp, let go of the hair, and stumble


back. I slip on the muddy floor of the lake and fall into the reeds, gulping down some of the foul water. “Help,” I squeak. I lurch for the lake’s bank and manage to make it to solid ground. “Help!” My weak cries must have gotten someone’s attention, for the next thing I know, a gendarme’s standing next to me while another’s fishing out the body. “Your name?” the potbellied officer asks me through his thick mustache.

“N-No, th-thank you.” I don’t think anything can dispel the cold I’m feeling, and, never having gotten ill, I’m not afraid of sickness. “What were you doing here?” the officer continues, licking his pen. “S-Sampling.” “The water?” I shake my head. “Macrophytes. For p-pollution.”

“M-M-Morgan,” I manage to say.

“And that’s when you found it,” the man says, taking copious notes.

“Last name?”

“Agnès,” I say, my voice catching.

“P-P-Pen…” I sneeze, and some of the wa- “Excuse me?” The gendarme’s pen has ter that has filled up my hip boots squish- stopped over his notebook. es out. “Agnès Deschamps,” I say, watching the “You want to write it down?” the genpeople pack her body up. “She was my darme asks, handing me his notepad. classmate.” Teeth chattering, I shake my head. “D-DDrag-g-gon,” I manage to say.

I don’t have to see the gendarme to know what he’s thinking. I’ve never been very good at making friends, concentrating inThe man’s eyebrows lower dangerously, stead on not getting bullied all the time. A blotting out his beady eyes. “Listen, missy, little investigating and he’ll find out how, if you think you’re being funny…” just last week, I broke down and punched a molar out of Agnès in gym class after “Pendrag-g-gon,” I say again, tearing my she’d slammed the volleyball in my face, eyes away from the scene below, where an twice. An act I came to regret immediateambulance has arrived. But I can’t get the ly with the relentless retaliation that folsight of the bloated body out of my mind, lowed. An act I regret even more now. the girl’s porcelain skin striated with black veins as if she’s shot herself up with ink. I For there’s no doubt I’m going to be their shiver. suspect number one. “Do you need another cover?” the officer asks me.

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The room is small, gray, with a camera stuck in one of the ceiling’s corners like some fat spider. The desk is cold under my fingers as I wait, wait for the detective to come question me again, to accuse me of doing the worst of things, things I’ve never even imagined, as he waits for me to break down. But what he doesn’t know is that I’m used to this type of treatment. All I need to do is keep my mouth shut and wait for the nightmare to stop. Except this time, it’s not ending, and the hours creep by while images of Agnès’s corpse float about in my mind. You could always plead guilty. I’m sure they’d move you then. “And be in jail for the rest of my life?” I retort. “For something I didn’t do? No thanks. I just need to survive through this, like I have with everything else, and then I’ll be free. I won’t let you jeopardize this, so shut up.” For once in my life, my alter ego—the one I like to pretend is my guardian angel— complies. The door slams open, and the inspector strides in. He slaps his file down, and a few pictures jump out onto the table.

Lucky? I stare at him, wide-eyed. What happened? Did Agnès miraculously resurrect? “I don’t know who your parents know,” the inspector continues, “but you can tell them that when I find definite proof of your involvement, I will come for you.” My parents are here? I straighten up in my seat. My parents actually came to see me? For the first time since I found Agnès’s body, I feel my heart pound against my rib cage like a boxer on a sandbag. “A mute lawyer,” the cop growls, glaring past my shoulders. “I’ve seen it all.” A tall shadow makes its way through the still-open door. I look around in time to see Dean, my family’s lawyer, walk up to me. My heart leaps at the sight, and I want to rush to him, throw myself into his arms where I know I’ll be safe, but I hold myself back. Despite the circumstances, he seems collected. But then, in all my years knowing him, I’ve never seen a single hair of his stand out of line. He motions for me to get up, and, like a good soldier, I obey at once.

Without even acknowledging the seethWithout meaning to, I find myself staring ing detective, he shuffles me down the once again at Agnès’s ballooned body as it hallways under the other officers’ disaplay on the shore like a stranded blowfish. proving stares. I hunch over, hating all I swallow the bile that rises up my throat those judging looks, but Dean sets his arm and force myself to look up into the little around my shoulders protectively, and I man’s steely eyes. know I’m going to be all right. “Consider yourself lucky,” he says, his fet- It’s not until we step outside and the late id stale-tobacco breath wafting over to me. summer breeze tickles my face that I open up. 98

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“Are they here?” I ask Dean, following him down the steps toward a black car. He pauses and looks down at me, his dark eyes inscrutable, then shakes his head. My shoulders slump. No. Of course not. My parents have never bothered to come see me in all my years at the boarding school. Why would a little incident like the murder of a classmate make them change their modus operandi? I try not to show how much this hurts, however expected it may be, and smile at Dean as I pass him to get into the open car. The leather soughs as I slump into the seat, and I slide over to let Dean sit next to me. God knows what’s going on inside that elegant head of his. Something brilliant and devious, I’m sure, or he’d never have been hired by my family. Yet somehow I feel like he understands me, that he knows me like no other person does, and for that I’m grateful. “Back to school?” I ask. Dean shakes his head, and I let myself unclench my hands. I don’t think I’m up to facing Sister Marie-Clémence’s wrath or the accusatory looks of the rest of the school. The momentary relief vanishes, however, when I realize what this actually means. I swallow hard. “H-Home?” Dean gives a curt nod. As I feared.

Lake Michigan at our back, the limousine that’s taking us from the airport to my parents’ house is eating the miles at a solid clip. I stare outside the windows without paying attention to anything. I can’t keep my thoughts from returning to the daunting prospect of meeting my parents for the first time since being sent away, despite spending a whole day flying over the Atlantic to get used to the idea. Once upon a time, I would have been brimming with anticipation, but something tells me that, after having been accused of murder, hugs and kisses are not what’s on the menu du jour. “You don’t think they’ve prepared a surprise party for me?” I ask with a tense smile. Without looking at me, Dean pats my hand while remaining focused on whatever business my parents have for him. I look over at the foldable table before him, strewn with papers and maps, and lose interest. There are more important things at hand, such as preserving my own life, however others might disagree. I clear my throat. “Does Wisconsin have the death penalty?” I redden at the squeakiness of my voice. But when faced with the possibility of the electric chair, I’m afraid it’s hard to keep up my composure. My question, however mousy it might have sounded, draws Dean away from his work. His eyes look me over carefully. Then a tiny smile lifts a corner of his lips, and he shakes his head. CURIOSITALES

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The Gordian knot that my stomach’s become loosens somewhat. I return Dean’s smile, then look back out the tinted windows at the rolling hills of yellow grass, the sharp angles of the city of Fond du Lac rising behind them like uneven teeth. I wipe my hands on my jeans as the car speeds past the first rows of Monopoly houses that ring the outside perimeter of the town. A large, dark monolith of a residence rises before us. The gates open before the car can even stop, and a few moments later, I find myself standing before the empty porch steps. Heart thumping, I follow Dean inside the quiet hallway, where a minuscule, ghostlike servant awaits. Eyes downcast, she presses her tiny body against the wall as Dean walks by, as if afraid to be seen. “Nice meeting you,” I whisper before Dean and I make a turn into another, wider hallway. My words echo in the still air, and I repress a shiver. What is this place? Are people not allowed to talk here? Do my parents only hire mutes? I grimace. All I know about them is what everyone else knows, which is to say not much. They’re very rich, and travel lots, and from the limousine and private jet we used, I would assume in style. Looking around the mazelike house, I think “eccentric” is a better term. Displayed along every wall are hundreds of artifacts from all over the world. If it weren’t so quiet, I’d think we were in a museum. As it is, the whole place is more 100

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of a mausoleum—an apt setting for my demise. We make another turn and find ourselves before a large, dark wooden staircase. The plush carpet muffles our footfalls as we go up to the second floor. As I step onto the landing, I get dizzy and waver. I fling out my hand to catch myself on the wall, but knock down the bust of some long-dead bearded man instead. In a blur of movement, Dean catches both the old man’s head and my arm before either of us can crash to the floor. “Thank you,” I breathe. I didn’t think the idea of finally seeing my parents after all these years was going to affect me this much. I thought—I hoped—I would be immune to all feeling for them by now. But no matter what I may tell myself, my body can’t lie. After a pause, Dean lets me go, though he keeps close to me. I force air back into my lungs as we arrive before a set of imposing doors. With a final look in my direction, Dean knocks on the wooden panel and opens it. My mouth runs dry. After a moment’s hesitation, I follow the lawyer into a library, the parquet floor reflecting the multitude of lights from the chandeliers above. Lining the red-papered walls are ceiling-high shelves filled with books. Two dark shapes in the back of the room draw my eyes away from the threatening volumes. I wish I were brave enough to run over to them and finally hug them, as I always do in my dreams, but I’m too


scared of their reaction and remain frozen. “I do believe your daughter’s here,” says the man, leaning against a high-backed chair in which a small woman sits reading. “You married me. Hence, she’s yours as well,” the woman replies. They’re both wearing matching black clothes that look straight out of one of those Victorian romance novels some of the girls at school sometimes snuck in. Frilly blouses cinched in tight jackets, tight pants for him, and a billowing skirt for her with so many ruffles one might mistake her for a doll—except for the leather army boots. The man’s upper lip twitches. For a split second, I see disgust etched in my stepfather’s features, and I try not to flinch.

Alessa Ellefson loves to tell all sorts of stories to all sorts of people in all sorts of places. From sun-soaked California to regular-soaked old Belgium, she has left a trail of giants, fairies, battles, and magic all over the globe.

“Well, what have you got to say?” says my mother, her black-lined eyes never leaving Blood of the Fey and Rise of the Fey, the the pages of her newspaper. first and second entries in the Morgana Trilogy, were written at coffee shops between day I feel the sting of tears despite myself. I jobs in finance and nights of “research” watchtake a deep, shaky breath, pull my shoul- ing Korean dramas and French murder mysders back, and raise my chin. “I didn’t do teries. Alessa is now hard at work finishing it.” Curse of the Fey, the last in the series, before the book can turn back into a pumpkin! Mother looks up then, her unblinking stare boring into me. After having the You can find out more about her writings via time to do two Paternosters and an Ave her website at www.alessaellefson.com, and Maria in my head to calm myself down, sign up for her newsletter to get other extras. she finally speaks again. “Just go to your room.” TWITTER Not exactly the warm welcome I’d imagined, but at least they haven’t executed me on sight. Which, relatively speaking, is a rather good turn of events.

@alessaellefson

INSTAGRAM @ alessa_ellefson CURIOSITALES

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Around the World T

he International Kolkata Book Fair. Kolkata, India. This unique book fair is the third largest non-trade book fair in the world, and as such, it’s open to the general public. Not just whole-sale distrubutors. Every winter, 2 million people attend the fair, making it the largest book fair attendance-wise. And they have more than books to keep them entertained. The entire event has a traditional fair feeling... there are musicians, picknickers, food stalls, and more. No wonder that Kolkatans consider the experience and integral piece of Kolkata. Want to attend? The 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair is January 30th to February 19th. It’s being held at the Central Park Mela Complex.

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