Anna Questerly

Anna Questerly
Bookseller and bibliophile turned author, Anna Questerly writes medieval fiction and fairy tales for smart kids and young hearts. For adults, she creates Utopian fantasy as A.J. Questerly.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Swordsmith and the Dragon

Back when the world was younger and dragons still prevailed, there was a peaceful village and in the village lived a swordsmith with his wife, Constance, and their little daughter, Olivia. The young family lived in a small cottage and although they were poor, they were very happy together.
This had been a tough year for the entire village. The harvest had been meager and there had not been as many travelers through the village as there had been in previous years. The King’s men had even lowered the taxes they collected which came as a welcome relief to all.
Still, the people were very worried. Kliban the dragon was due to appear and he never reduced the fealty tax he required from the villagers. They knew that if they paid the dragon what he expected, they would starve through the winter.

My Favorite Fairy Tale

Has to be Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves; I love stories where the hero wins by cleverness rather than goodness. Perhaps it's because the goody-two-shoes mentality in many stories is boring to me. Give me a character who uses their mind and can figure out ways around practically anything and I'm hooked; that was one of the reasons I loved Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth so much. I hope I was able to bring that same trait to my characters in my stories, although I did allow the virtuous to win on occasion. You be the next blog will give you a sample of one of the fairy tales from my book.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time...I believe these to be the four most magical words in the English language; these words instantly transport us to far away lands. Lands where we might meet dragons, witches, princesses or beings we cannot yet imagine. These words create limitless possibilities the moment they are spoken or read. Is it just me or do those words still send a delightful shiver down your backbone too?
I still get that same tingle when I settle down with a new book to read; as I open the cover I’m sure, I mentally insert the words, Once upon a time, because writers always seem to forget to include them at the beginning of their stories these days.
In fact, I don’t think those words have been used to begin a book in over a hundred years. I may be wrong about that; if you know of any, please feel free to add it to the comments. Are fairy tales out of style? Perhaps it’s time to reawaken their power?
I started writing fairy tales last summer and enjoyed it so much that I’m still writing them today-the truth is, I can’t stop; it’s now become an obsession, taken over a large part of my life and now they have somehow turned themselves into a book!
As part of my research for my book, I’ve been rereading the old fairy tales and I can now say with confidence, I am a fairy tale expert. Let me know your questions or thoughts; I want this blog to be about anything related to reading, writing or telling fairy tales and I will welcome all comments.
Which is your all time favorite tale? I’ll tell you mine in my next posting.