In her book A Golden Fairy Tale, Katie Clark writes about the magic and mysticism of Willow White’s school fairy and misunderstood fairy, Elif, who will address past conflicts by thinking outside the box. Clark will be hosting a book launch party on Saturday, January 28, at My Favorite Books.
Fables are full of fairy dust
I do [clap] I do [clap] I actually believe in fairies. [clap, clap, clap!]One must take no chances when discussing fairies, and you, dear reader, are not very good at bringing a fairy back from the brink, so repeat with me: I do [clap] I do [clap] I actually believe in fairies. [clap, clap, clap!]
Myth, lore, and Disney paint the picture of fairies as mischievous yet protective little creatures who can save a rainforest and look cute in an updo and mini skirt.
Author, artist, and educator Katie Clark elaborates on this narrative in her new book, A Golden Fairy Tale.
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Clark shares a literary world that captures the magical innocence found in fairies through her main character, Elif, a lonely outcast fairy whose “unimaginative ways” are misunderstood by her people. With the help of her insect guides, Elif embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she fights to restore peace among the fictional tribes by using their differences to her advantage.
“Well, this book reflects what a typical fourth-grader would find himself in,” says Clark. Elif is not girly enough. She does not possess the skills that Legna has [the opposing fairy tribe] possessed. I thought outside the box and completed the challenge. So, you show the reader that even though you don’t have the necessary skills, you can think outside the box and move on.”
The worlds of wizards wielding wands and fairies blowing with pixie dust filled the nurseries of princes and peasants. This story time is a magical moment between children and parents when values are shared and dreams are encouraged. Katie Clark found her characters in these magical moments and based the lead on her eldest child. In the end, I put pen to paper.
“My girls are 16 and 20. I first started this book when they were much younger. I saw in my own eyes a fairy wandering around the room. And I captivated her in the stories I told the girls.” Clark wrote a chapter and kept it locked up for two years.
Clark has been writing with the help of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) program, which supports writers in developing a novel in one month. I wrote most of the story in one month. I would start typing, set a timer to keep writing. Stop and take a break, write, stop, take a break,” Clark says. “I would lose myself in the world. I was walking around thinking what would happen next. Literally, the characters reveal themselves to me. It’s been a really fun trip.”
No stranger to the creative or literary process, Clark has been a photographer, educator, and author. She first authored a book of poetry, Accepting the Seasons, geared towards mental health. Her photography, which hangs in hospitals, hotels, and banks across the city, spans the lines of fantasy in her curious eye and almost mystical viewpoint.
Clarke’s ability to capture the tangled shadows in the light is reflected in her writing. She is always amazed that the final product is not always what one would expect in either form. The most satisfying part is coming together all the pieces to build a “wow” in the end.
does it all
Clark asks, “What am I going to do this year? How am I going to get to the top of what I’ve done?”
She owns FOTO Studio Photography in Railroad Square, and hopes to take more photos this year and develop as an author. The plan is to build her fairy tale into a series that follows the main character as she matures and develops, as did her children.
If you love cake and fairy wings, Katie Clark’s book release party is the place for you. My Favorite Books aims to satisfy a free fantasy cake and wings with the purchase of a book. So grab your ears, leggings, and sparkly floral crown and jump into the stacks to discover Clark’s magical world where the fairies are.
if you go
what: The “The Story of the Golden Fairy” Book Release Ceremony
when: 1-3 PM on Saturday, January 28th
where: My Favorite Books, 1410 Market Street, Suite C-2
Contact: 850-668-7498; Visit mfbooks.us
Kristi Rodriguez de Conte is a columnist for the Council for Culture and the Arts (COCA). COCA is the umbrella agency for the Capital District for Arts and Culture (COCA).tallahasseearts.org).