Friday, July 20, 2012

"Some Kind of Fairy Tale"

Graham Joyce, a winner of the O. Henry Award and multiple recipient of the British Fantasy Award, lives in Leicester, England, with his family. His books include How to Make Friends with Demons, Smoking Poppy, Indigo (a New York Times Notable Book), The Tooth Fairy (a Publishers Weekly Best Book), and Requiem, among others.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Some Kind of Fairy Tale, and reported the following:
Page 69 doesn’t really represent the novel overall but then I’d be surprised if it did, since the precise genre of my novels is never easy to pin down. That’s deliberate by the way. There are elements of Fantasy (or of the Fantastical, since it’s not traditional Fantasy) but there are also sections of social realism. Much of the novel doesn’t have a whiff of Fantasy about it, and page 69 reads like a sequence from a crime novel. It does however pin down the central mystery, which is that of a girl going missing from the bluebell woods of the English countryside. She comes back 20 years later and doesn’t appear to have aged. Page 69 refers to the disappearance, but not to any more than that.

The disappearing girl is Tara, and page 69 has her former boyfriend Richie talking about how he fell under a suspicion that lasted twenty years and wasn’t lifted until she suddenly returned. All that time he’d been suspected of having killed her in some way that the police were unable to prove. No-one quite believed he was innocent. He not only lost his girlfriend, but also his close ties with her family and with his own best friend, too. This shattering experience has, in a different way, locked Richie in the past, too.

The other thing is that I play around with Point Of View in different chapters. This is so that you get a shifting perspective on what is happening, not of the same events, but on what to believe. Some of the novel is told in one character’s first person point of view; other parts are told in third-person; secondary characters get to chip in with a first-person perspective and so on. In one way, the novel is a game of who do I believe? but with serious issues at stake.
Learn more about the book and author at Graham Joyce's website.

See Graham Joyce's top ten fairy fictions.

--Marshal Zeringue