Alyson Grauer uses excellent imagery similar to what one would expect from George MacDonald in her fast paced adventure story, “The Brother Sister Fable”. With a pleasant modern setting, an indistinct bit of country land in New England, Grauer manages to pull the reader deep into the forest and all of the capabilities of exploration that a forest has. Using elements from well known fairytales, a brother and sister, a forest, and the belief that sibling love only grows with age, Grauer showcases exactly what someone with unconditional love would do for a sibling, despite fear of the unknown and wild beasts. Through courage, bravery, and perseverance, the sister shows that siblings will always stick together, even if it means having to face danger.
“The Brother Sister Fable” is just one of many excellent short stories in the book Legends and Lore, available on Amazon.com!
Review Written By A. Brown
Alyson Grauer is a storyteller in multiple mediums, her two primary canvases being the stage and the page. On stage, she is often seen in the Chicago area, primarily at Piccolo Theatre, Plan 9 Burlesque, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Her non-fiction work has been published in the “Journal for Perinatal Education” for Lamaze International. Her short fiction can be found in Tales from the Archives (Volume 2) for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and in one other anthology from Xchyler Publishing, Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology. Alyson is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and hails originally from Milwaukee, WI. Her debut novel, On The Isle of Sound and Wonder, will be released in November 2014 from Xchyler Publishing.
Facebook: facebook.com/AuthorGrauerTwitter: @dreamstobecome
Questions and Answers with Alyson:
How did the idea for this story come to you?
When I was little, my younger brother got lost in the woods. He was gone for hours, and I always wondered what it had been like for him to be lost alone in theforest. He was found, of course, but he didn’t like talking about it after that. It scared my parents half to death. It spooked me, too… A few years ago I had a dream about it, a vivid one, and this story came out of the two mixing together in my mind: the dream memories and the real ones.
What makes your main character unique?
I like to think that the sister is a little unique in that she’s not afraid of what might happen if she goes after her brother. Well, let me amend that — she’s afraid, but not so scared that she doesn’t act. She also deals with the various challenges and confrontations along the way with a relatively level head, which I like. I didn’t want her to be too skittish.
Is this part of a series?
When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I loved reading from a very young age. In fact, the legend has it that I coerced my preschool teacher to start me reading a whole year early, and by kindergarten I was reading Charlotte’s Web and Little Women while other kids were dealing with Dr. Seuss and See Spot Run. Reading that much made me realize I could make up my own stories, and it was all downhill from there.
What have you written?
In 2012, I wrote “A Trick of Strong Imagination,” a short story for Tales from the Archives, Volume 2, a podcast anthology for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrencesby Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine. In 2013, Xchyler Publishing picked me up for “Lavenza, or The Modern Galatea” in the anthology “Mechanized Masterpieces.” My first novel is coming out in November (also from Xchyler), a fantasy steampunk adventure called “On the Isle of Sound and Wonder.”
What are you working on?
Finishing up production on “Sound and Wonder.” After that, I told myself I’d take a break… but we’ll see how that goes…
How do you write?
Longhand, typewriter, laptop, tablet?I enjoy writing longhand from time to time – it’s really zen. Preferable method is laptop because my typing is fast enough to keep up with my brain. Occasionally Ihave been known to write on a tablet or smartphone in a desperate pinch.
What is your writing zone and how do you get there?
Zone? What zone? In a way, I need to see and feel my story. As an actor, I see things cinematically, imagine scenes as stage blocking, and hear dialogue as realvoices in a play or movie. So I love using Pinterest to help me visualize my characters and my world, using texture, color and light to help me find the words to move the story along. Good music is helpful, but sometimes I find I’m more productive without a soundtrack.
What’s the hardest thing about writing?
Learning that you’re not perfect, and continuing to put in your hard work in spite of that. Accept that it’s hard work, and learn to love it. Or at least be zen about it.What’s the easiest thing about writing?Letting the story tell itself. Once I’ve hit on the right story, the right place, the right characters… it unfolds. And if you get out of its way, when it’s over, you can tweakit to make it better. But you have to get out of the way first.
What are you currently reading?
What is ‘reading’? I don’t read when I’m writing, and since I’ve just come out of writing and editing “Sound and Wonder,” I’m still recovering my sea-legs for reading other people’s work. Although I’ll tell you I just finished “Dawn’s Early Light” by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris, the third Ministry book, and it was SUCH a doozie!!! Steampunk action-adventure with alternate history easter eggs and tongue-in-cheek witty quips along the way… so delicious. Do you prefer reading eBook or paperback?I prefer paperback, but I’m not anti-eBook.
What advice do you have for fellow writers?
Read read read read! Read out of your comfort zone and read deep into the history of your genre or subject matter. If you don’t do maximum research and don’t know enough about your subjects, someone will know! It’s like acting – if you don’t know what that one line in your Shakespearean monologue means, theaudience can tell you’re faking because they won’t know either. Make it clear with intent and research/preparation. If it’s steampunk, don’t just throw on a waistcoat and a tesla-coil gun, find your own path and figure out what your definition of steampunk is. Also, get diverse with your casting and locations. Victorian England or the wild American west make up the majority of steampunk fictional settings… but that doesn’t make them the best choice 100% of the time.