Fairy Tale Friday: A Spotlight on A.F. Stewart, a Fairy Tales Punk’d Author

Welcome back for another peek into the mind of a Fairy Tales Punk’d author. Today’s guest is A.F. Stewart, who also contributed to Cogs, Crowns, and Carriages last year.

What is the title of your story in Fairy Tales Punk’d? Tell us a little about it!

My story is called The Girl in the Tower, and as you may have guessed from the title, it is a reworking of the Rapunzel fairy tale. If you are familiar with the original tale, it’s pretty dark, with Rapunzel being bargained away by her parents, imprisoned by a sorceress or fairy (depending on the version), and then seduced by some prince (and the prince doesn’t fare well either).

I wanted to play with those elements and twist them a bit, making the mother character more heroic and the prince character a bit more shady. Rapunzel herself, I kept naïve (although there are reasons for that) and she’s searching to discover her past. I ditched the hair, though, and replaced it with a rope ladder. Much more practical.

Did you start with an existing story and punk it, or create something from scratch? Did you discover any cool resources along the way?

As I stated, I reworked the Rapunzel story, making the original witch of the tale an inventor of clockwork mechanicals who knows magic and Rapunzel one of her creations. I had to do some background research on the original fairy tale and discovered that Rapunzel was named after a real edible plant (stolen from the witch’s garden). Rapunzel, or Campanula rapunculus (also known as rampion), is a biennial herb with edible flowers, leaves and roots, that was popular back in the day of the Brothers Grimm. The plant is the same family as bluebells.

Have you always been interested in fairy tales, or was this your first time working in the mythpunk genre?

I love fairy tales, although I’m partial to the darker original versions, and I’ve written a few other fairy tale stories. I have two continuations: one steampunk story based on the Six Swans and one based on the Snow Queen; you can find them in the anthologies, A Twist of Fate and Christmas Lites VI. I also have a story collection, Fairy Tale Fusion, which mixes fairy tale characters with the detective noir genre.

Have you dabbled in any of the punk sub-genres before?

I’ve written several steampunk stories and have two steampunk series in the works. Several of the stories have paranormal elements, and one of the book series crosses over into the dark fantasy genre so there may be some subgenres in there somewhere. And there’s the mythpunk story I mentioned.

What is your absolute favorite genre to write and why?

I love writing in fantasy, especially stories with darker mythological elements. I adore mythology, folklore and legends so I naturally gravitate to that type of fantasy. It’s also easy to combine with the other genre I write in: horror. 

Where can people find out more about you and your previous writing?

The best place to find me and my books are on my website: https://afstewart.ca/

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/scribe77

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/afstewartauthor

Or my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/348788975590362/

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