My French publisher (it still gives me a kick to be able to say that!) Éditions Bookmark is having a sale as part of their #OPAllStars event and the French translation of Salt Magic, Skin Magic is part of it.
So to help promote Le Lord, Le Magicien et la Malédiction, (as it’s called in French) they asked me to answer a couple of questions.
This mini interview will be appearing on their website in French, but here are their questions and my answers in English.
What’s your favorite fairytale?
*Laughs* That’s a bit like asking me to choose my favorite book – it’s impossible! I could choose a hundred!
But I have a very soft spot for the story of Prince Lindworm. Do you know it?
It tells of a queen, who’s sad because she has no children. A witch hears her crying and gives her two pieces of fruit. Each fruit will become a child, but the queen must peel all seven layers of rind off the fruit before she eats it. She peels the first fruit, very carefully, and eats it. It’s so delicious that she gobbles down the second fruit without peeling it. In nine months, she has two children; one is a beautiful golden prince, and the other is a terrible, scaly, snaky monster known as the Lindworm.
I haven’t room to tell the whole story here, but it’s a perfect blend of bravery, cleverness, magic and brilliant fairy tale logic. And it has a happy ending, which I love
Can you explain to us how you worked on this book, what’s the specificity to work on a fairytale retelling?
I think writers should approach fairy tale retellings with extreme delicacy and utter ruthlessness.
Fairy tales are a precise art form. They’ve been whittled down to their essentials and have their own patterns and logic. I like retellings that retain the visceral power and magic of the original tales, while simultaneously turning the tales inside out, chopping them up, and giving them completely new values and meanings.
My book (Le lord, le magicien et la malédiction) isn’t a true retelling, but it plays with familiar fairy tale elements in a way that I hope remains true to the spirit of the old stories, while also subverting them in interesting ways.
Do you prefer your books in French? Get the book here: Lee Welch – OPAllStars