Take Five: Kate Forsyth and The Wild Girl

I recently had the pleWildGirl cover (418x640)asure of launching Kate Forsyth’s wonderful new novel THE WILD GIRL, published by Vintage Books in Australia, at an event in Sydney. I interviewed Kate here on Writer Unboxed when her previous book for adult readers, the stunning blend of history and fairy tale BITTER GREENS, was released in 2012. Kate is an incredibly hard-working writer, energetic and versatile. She has written books for children, young adults and adults, and has ranged across the genres of fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction and poetry.

I was delighted when Kate took time out from a hectic round of promotional appearances to give WU a mini-interview about THE WILD GIRL.

Q. What’s the premise of your new book?

THE WILD GIRL tells the story of the forbidden romance between Wilhelm Grimm, the younger of the famous brothers, and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most compelling and powerful fairy tales. Set during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars, THE WILD GIRL illuminates how the Grimm brothers came to discover their famous fairy tales, as well as telling one of the great untold love stories of all time.

Q. What would you like people to know about the story?

THE WILD GIRL is an epic romance set in one of the most dangerous periods in history. It illuminates the story of the famous Grimm brothers and what drove them to begin collecting  their tales, as well as exploring what life was like in Europe at the time Napoleon set out to conquer the world. Inspired by a true story, it is filled with romance, passion, drama and heartbreak.

Q. What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?

The novel is told from the point of view of Dortchen Wild, who has to overcome many obstacles before she can be with her one true love, Wilhelm Grimm. She wishes to be a dutiful daughter to her autocratic father, but, on the other hand, she longs for freedom and a life of self-determination. Her world is racked by war and famine and disease, and she must overcome the shadows of her past and her own demons before she can at last find her voice and win her love.

Wilhelm Grimm is desperately poor and cannot afford to take a wife. Dortchen Wild is forbidden to even see him by her cruel and overbearing father. At times it seems impossible that they could ever be together. Both have a long journey ahead of them before at last true love triumphs. [Read more…]