Friday, January 30, 2015

Guest post with author Laura May ~ Giveaway

In Defense of Fairy Tales by Laura May

There's a famous quote by CS Lewis, "Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again". Whenever I see it, I think of my grandmother, to whom I dedicated Pickles and Ponies. Perhaps it's just that grandmothers are such magical beings in fairy tales—though obviously mine would smack down the Big Bad Wolf before it made any headway with her, because my nan is bad-ass.

People were I think a little surprised that my debut novel was a fairy tale for adults. (Of course, when I introduce it as an "adult fairy tale", I have to quickly add "no, not that kind of adult fairy tale!") This is because anyone who knows me knows I'm a cynic. A die-hard, 'love and romance are for fiction' kind of cynic. And yet I wrote a fairy-tale, and The Little Prince in all its fantastically moralistic glory is one of my favourite books (not to mention tattooed onto my body). So what gives?

A big part of how this happened is that I was living in St Petersburg, Russia when I started putting the story-line for the book together. I found Russian culture so wildly, wildly different to that of my native Australia that I felt sort of conflicted: values of rationality and logic were out the window in favour of love and romance. I actually once had a student start debating something with me then stop with a sniff and go "there's no point in arguing with you, Laura—you're too, too logical". To her, arguing with logic rather than emotion was such a foreign concept, whereas to me it's the other way around.

This is how the twin characters of the heartless Vanya and over-emotional Horse came about—and later, Theo, who suffers from being an 'Overly Empathetic Person'. I wanted to write about this contrast between the rational brain and emotion, and investigate whether there could be a balance. Thus Vanya is born without a heart, his talking horse Horse has to navigate him through otherwise awkward social situations, and Theo is at the opposite end of the scale: feeling everything, but never of his own volition. Princess Melodia of Rather Fishlike Things on the other hand is a bit of a mixed bag—her ultimate goal is love and romance, so she sets about using totally rational (well, 'rational' to a brain-washed princess) methods to get there. My characters face the normal 'three challenges' of fairy tales, and slowly progress to become whole, normal people rather than dichotomous extremes.
And this is what I like about fairy tales. They're allowed to be prescriptive, to show the world as one wishes it could be. They're full of true friendships, of altruism and morals; of lessons about avoiding toxic people; and of this idea that as long as you're the best person you can possibly be, you too can have your happy ending. I like to think that it's the same in the real world—but these ideas are rarely so explicit and obvious in the 'real world' as they are in fairy tales.

I think that in modern life, it's all too easy to become over-run with break-ups, bills and bad times. But, as per a fantastic quote by Danielle Steel, "If you can see the magic in a fairy tale, you can face the future." I feel like as long as we can see the magic of fairy tales, whether that be in a book, film or computer game, the world is a brighter place to be.

About the author:

Laura is an Australian who keeps forgetting she's meant to stay in the same place. She loves adventures—which is good, because she's constantly winding up in the middle of them. When she's not accidentally finding herself in the middle of a riot, being tear-gassed or jumping into frozen rivers, she enjoys sailing, snowboarding, and making an obnoxious number of puns.

You can follow Laura and her latest adventures at

Thanks to a curse, Prince Vanya was born with a silent heart. Luckily, he has his talking horse (conveniently named 'Horse') to help — and he'll need it. The prince is on a quest to save Melodia, Princess of Rather Fishlike Things, who's suffering from a certain amount of brainwashing. On his way he'll encounter friends and foes, most of them with attitude. Meanwhile, Melodia keeps stumbling into adventures of her own.

Will the prince manage to rescue the princess? Will he break free from his curse? And most importantly, will there be a happily ever after?

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Find out more about Pickles & Ponies here.

Be sure to enter to win in this fantastic giveaway for 5 ecopies of Pickles & Ponies by Laura May.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Entries close at 11:59pm Feb 6/15.
Winners will be drawn Feb 7/15.

Winners will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.


  1. Super cute cover and title. Who chose them?
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. The title was actually originally Vanya and Melodia for the main characters, but no-one could say the names! As to the cover, I worked with a brilliant Swiss comic book artist (Mara's Comics on Facebook) to create it. I don't know how she put up with me!

  2. Love the cover and the story looks like fun! >.<

  3. This is going to be a fun read. I love the cover!

  4. A simply beautiful cover! Reminds me of a coloring book page. What new books are you planning?

    1. Right now I'm on a bit of a writing hiatus while I work on my Masters - pretty time-consuming, as it turns out! Next I'll be writing the follow-up to Pickles and Ponies, as well as starting on a more adult series.

  5. Replies
    1. Should be working. I've just tried it on a few different computers and a mobile. Try refreshing your internet. Rafflecopter sometimes goes haywire if your internet lags.

  6. i like the cover and who wouldn't want to read anything about ponies lol. The books sounds awesome hope i get to read it.

  7. Sounds like a cute one. Added to TBR on goodreads.

  8. Hope I win a copy! Would love to read then pass along to my sister. :)