Q: What kind of research did you do for The Hazel Wood? In particular, what legends and myths did you draw from to create the enchanting fae world?
A: Though I didn’t do research explicitly for The Hazel Wood, it’s definitely a product of my lifetime of reading. As a kid I devoured the Grimm Brothers’ tales, Andrew Lang’s colored fairy books, the Thousand and One Nights, all the fairy stories I could get my hands on, as well as wonderful fantasy novels like Ellen Kushner’s Thomas the Rhymer and Monica Furlong’s Wise Child. All of these books gave me the grounding in fantasy literature from which I worked in creating my own first book, a mashup of contemporary and second world fantasy. Some of my personal favorite fairy tales include the very creepy “The Juniper Tree” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses,” which, for me, remains the most visually evocative of the classic canon. Though The Hazel Wood isn’t a retelling of anything, it’s definitely informed by all the stories and books I’ve loved since I was a kid.