It is a suitably mist-laden day. The sky looks as if it is made of a million feathers. I’m thinking about magic and why we believe in it; if indeed we do.
Yesterday, at Llandeilo Book Fair, I read the chapter in Ghostbird when Cadi – my young main protagonist – first encounters the ghost of her little sister. This baby ghost attaches itself to Cadi and thus begins the search for the truth.
Is such a thing possible? Do ghosts exist and if we resist the notion, is it possible to then go on to enjoy a contemporary story that insists they do? My story relies on a myth, and the suspension of disbelief in fairy tales. I am asking people to accept that the ghost of a little girl could become a catalyst for healing and redemption. That the fairy tale about a woman made from flowers could imprint on the lives of people living in the 21st century.
It is up to my reader of course whether she takes the kind of magic I write about at face value or explains it away as a fancy conjured from my over-active imagination.
I believe there is an intrinsic and emotional truth in fairy tales; nothing in fiction for me comes close. They are the basis for most love stories and the more fearful kind too; the kind that keeps us awake long after the final page has been turned. (Even crime thrillers rely on things that go bump in the night and dreams that turn to nightmare.)
And fairy tales are often allegorical; when unpacked and explored, they can teach us valuable lessons. (Anyone who has read Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés will know this.)
The possibility that reality and the world we glimpse on the other side of the veil can coalesce has always been appealing to me. Not everything odd or mysterious that happens in life can be explained away by logic. And many of us are drawn to the dream places we still long for after we have put away childhood notions of wonder. (Or fear.)
Across the hill, the mist lies still as a caught breath. In the distance a lone red kite hovers; searching for her lunch no doubt. Or is she? Has she caught a glimpse of something beneath the feathered mist? A place where birds speak and ghosts find peace…
In other, more grounded news, the Book Fair was brilliant!
I sold and signed lots of books and managed to do my reading with only a few stumbles. And answer questions…
I’m getting better at this ‘author’ lark…