Issue 046 Author Interview: Alex Grehy and “The Wandering Fae”

Welcome back to another Issue 046 author interview! Today we’re chatting with Alex Grehy about “The Wandering Fae” and the inspiration behind her ethereal story!

LSQ: Ah, the fae. I must admit, I love reading about faeries the most. Do you feel the same way? What is it about faeries that draws you in?

Alex: I’m an only child and was brought up in the depths of the Welsh countryside. I was never lonely because I had a vivid imagination and sincerely believed in fairies. I remember making up stories about them as I was walking home from school. They played in the trees and swam in the little stream that ran down the lane to my grandparent’s house. Wales has a rich history of legend and folklore – I read the Mabinogi when I was very young and was swept away by the blending of the real and magical worlds. That love of fantasy has stayed with me and I am a voracious reader. The fae are such complex beings in literature – from the delicate fairies of “Peter Pan” through to the haughty and cruel “high fae” of Celtic folklore. They are wonderful characters to spend time with.

LSQ: Usually love stories between faeries and mortals end badly, whether from the cruel passage of time or the fae’s fickle heart. Why did you choose to have Finn and Belladonna stay together as long as they have? What makes them different?

Alex: I think Finn is a fickle fae and has had many loves in his immortal life. However Belladonna was already a mature woman when they met and she has an old soul. I think that her magical power would have given her long life anyway, but the depth of her bond with Finn has made her near immortal. Belladonna is not besotted with Finn – she sees through his glamour. She loves him deeply and truly, with clear sight. Before Belladonna, Finn has never known what it is to be loved so sincerely – even his mother merely sees him as a trinket. Living a simple life on the waterways has allowed Finn to relax – he doesn’t need to play games with Belladonna – she’d be swift to chide him if he did! Then there’s Fergus, of course. I believe that hounds have very good judgement when it comes to people – Fergus loves Belladonna, therefore Finn does too – it’s the best sort of love triangle!

LSQ: The scenic details in this story are so rich! Where did you pull your inspiration from?

Alex: Ah that’s easy – all the places I’ve described are real. I have a narrowboat and have cruised the length and breadth of England’s canal network. If you were to come boating here you could follow in The Wanderin’ Fae’s wake and experience the wonder of each of the places that they’ve visited. The Woodseaves Cutting does feel prehistoric, though fortunately I’ve yet to encounter a t-rex! Most of the canals were built in the 1800’s by no-nonsense industrialists to serve their increasingly mechanized manufacturing processes. I love that the waterways have returned to nature and are a precious resource for us to enjoy at our leisure today.  A summer dusk, when the light is soft, and the water turns to treacle, the reflections become so deep you could turn the world on its head and not notice. That’s when I could believe in magic and hope that my readers do too. I’ve included photographs of the key locations in my author blog.

LSQ: Are there any other projects you’re currently working on? If so, could you tell us a bit about them?

Alex: I’m committed to writing short fiction and poetry. I came back to writing a few years ago. I was fortunate to find a fantastic writing group and am making up for lost time, having made the huge mistake of abandoning my fiction writing in favor of a “proper” career when I was in my early twenties. I’m enjoying experimenting with different genres though my heart lies in fantasy, sci-fi and dark fiction. I’m generally working on around five or six new pieces every month. However, I have two bigger projects in the pipeline – a collection of short stories which bring fairy godmothers into the 21st century and a collection of dark poetry – I’m hoping to get those finished this year then the hard work of finding a publisher starts.