• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

Take Five: Kate Forsyth and The Wild Girl

I recently had the pleasure of launching Kate Forsyth’s wonderful new novel THE WILD GIRL, published by Vintage Books in Australia, at an event in Sydney. I interviewed Kate here on Writer Unboxed when her previous book for adult readers, the stunning blend of history and fairy tale BITTER GREENS, was released in 2012. Kate is an incredibly hard-working writer, energetic and versatile. She has written books for children, young adults and adults, and has ranged across the genres of fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction and poetry.
I was delighted when Kate took time out from a hectic round of promotional appearances to give WU a mini-interview about THE WILD GIRL.
Q. What’s the premise of your new book?
THE WILD GIRL tells the story of the forbidden romance between Wilhelm Grimm, the younger of the famous brothers, and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most compelling and powerful fairy tales. Set during the turbulent years of the Napoleonic Wars, THE WILD GIRL illuminates how the Grimm brothers came to discover their famous fairy tales, as well as telling one of the great untold love stories of all time.
Q. What would you like people to know about the story?
THE WILD GIRL is an epic romance set in one of the most dangerous periods in history. It illuminates the story of the famous Grimm brothers and what drove them to begin collecting their tales, as well as exploring what life was like in Europe at the time Napoleon set out to conquer the world. Inspired by a true story, it is filled with romance, passion, drama and heartbreak.
Q. What do your characters have to overcome in this story? What challenge do you set before them?
The novel is told from the point of view of Dortchen Wild, who has to overcome many obstacles before she can be with her one true love, Wilhelm Grimm. She wishes to be a dutiful daughter to her autocratic father, but, on the other hand, she longs for freedom and a life of self-determination. Her world is racked by war and famine and disease, and she must overcome the shadows of her past and her own demons before she can at last find her voice and win her love.
Wilhelm Grimm is desperately poor and cannot afford to take a wife. Dortchen Wild is forbidden to even see him by her cruel and overbearing father. At times it seems impossible that they could ever be together. Both have a long journey ahead of them before at last true love triumphs.
Q. What unique challenges did this book pose for you, if any?
There were so many challenges for me in writing this book, its difficult for me to list them all. My first major problem was my poor German, and the fact that so much research on the Grimms has not been translated into English. I tried for months to find a German research assistant and translator, but, for one reason and another, was unsuccessful. Then one day, quite by accident, I stumbled upon the blog of a German artist and cartoonist who wrote about how a small, white cot in her family, which had been passed down through the generations, was the same bed in which the Wild girls had heard all the fairy tales they had then told the Grimm brothers. I corresponded with this artist and discovered she was a direct descendant of Rudolf Wild, the elder brother of Dortchen. She was able to help me in so many ways, including translating Dortchen’s memoir and Wilhelm’s diary into English for the first time. She was such an amazing help to me, but then I had to struggle with the fact that I was spinning a novel – one that was inspired by fact but was a fiction nonetheless – out of her family history. This troubled me for some time and inhibited my writing, until I realised that all novels are by their very nature a work of fancy, and that all I could do was be true to the story as I saw it.
Q. What has been the most rewarding aspect of writing this book?
The extraordinary response to the book so far. Dortchen’s story of love, faith and courage has captured the imagination of so many people, as it captured mine, and I feel so proud of being able to illuminate her forgotten life story and bring her out of the shadows at last.
Vintage Books’ Australian edition of THE WILD GIRL was released in March 2013. The UK edition will be published in July/August 2013.
Become a part of the WU community:

  1. Comment on this post at Writer Unboxed.
  2. Join us on Facebook, and find a community of ~2400 other writers, in a promo-free zone.
  3. Follow our Twitter feed.
  4. Subscribe to Writer Inboxed, the WU newsletter, filled with exclusive craft and business content, and interviews with premier authors.

Write on.Take Five: Kate Forsyth and The Wild Girl was first posted on April 4, 2013 at 8:00 am.

"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
Mark Twain

Random picks

  • How limiting what you say in a presentation will make your talk dramatically better for the audience.
  • Two Poems by Patrick Kindig Sic Transit Gloria Mundi Fall has risen from the earth like Lazarus. The dogwood in the backyard remembers its flowers. The sky’s throat is raw with wood smoke and small regrets. I have slept beneath quilts in third floor apartments. I have scribbled endings on tables with chopsticks and pretended there is still time for funerals and baptisms. Let winter come. Let the water freeze dark and opaque. I will find new reasons to wait in the persistent whiteness of snow.   Raphael Cooking He undresses the apple’s heart with a knife. His hands are knowledgeable,...
  • I spent much of the winter and spring writing a non-fiction project, Writing Romantic Fiction, which will be published in November by Hachette/Macmillan. I was approached to do the project some time ago, and agreed to do it because it seemed like it would be a good exercise for me, and because it’s good to have something to offer at workshops. What I didn’t realize is how much soul-searching it would trigger, both about process and how it works and why and but also about the role of romance and romantic novels in my life and in the great flow of books. I love the genre, and writing about it...
  • One of the finest ways to burn off belly fat and get a six-pack flat stomach is to do cardiovascular workouts. But not all cardio is the same. Some exercise programs are better at burning fat fast than others. The better your workout sessions, the faster you\’ll get lean and firm. So, which are the best belly fat burning cardio workouts? In my mind, it is the following : 1. Running – My all time favorite. Running is a superb way to burn fat from all over your body as it\’s radical and incorporates all the major muscle groups.Make sure to run at changing speeds to truly push...
  • How to Start an Article With a Bang

Recommended sites

Most recent titles

Fast fact about writing

In some languages, as in English and French, the modern freezing of spelling has removed the writing more and more from pronunciation and has resulted in the need to teach spelling and the growth of fallacies like the "silent" letter (a letter is really either the symbol of a sound or it is unnecessary).