Interviewing BITTER GREENS Author Kate Forsyth!

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BITTER GREENS will be coming to the USA in September!
It's currently available in Australia and the UK!
(In fact, Amazon UK is selling the e-book 
for only £1.79 on Kindle!
I'm jealous!!!)

BITTER GREENS has been shortlisted for the 
2012 Ditmar Award for Best Novel, the 2012 Aurealis Award, 
and the 2012 Norma K. Hemming Award, 
for which it received an Honourable Mention!

An interview with 
Kate Forsyth

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel at the age of seven, and is now the award-winning & internationally bestselling author of more than 20 books for both adults and children. 

Her books for adults include THE WILD GIRL, the love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world's most famous fairy tales; BITTER GREENS, a retelling of the Rapunzel fairytale; and the bestselling fantasy series Witches of Eileanan. Her books for children include THE GYPSY CROWN, THE PUZZLE RING, and THE STARKIN CROWN.

Kate is currently studying a doctorate in fairytale retellings at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Follow Kate on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest!

I didn't even know Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force and her tale Persinette existed until finding out you entwined them into BITTER GREENS. What made you decide to go this route when creating your own version of Rapunzel?

I began by wanting to retell Rapunzel as a historical novel ... as if it had really happened. So I began to wonder about the source of the tale ... who first wrote it? 

I began to research the sources and and so stumbled upon the life of Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de la Force, one of the most fascinating women ever forgotten by history. Her story was just a gift to a novelist. It had everything ... romance, intrigue, drama, black magic .... 

I ended up doing my doctorate on Rapunzel, all my research was so interesting and no-one had ever really looked at it in so much depth before.

What kind of research do you do when creating historical fiction?

I read a lot, as you can imagine. I like to know everything about the period, from what kind of underwear they wore to what they did with their pee. I read both primary and secondary sources, as well as lots of novels set int he period. BITTER GREENS was hard as I had three separate narrative strands and so essentially three different periods of history to research.

What was your favorite part of writing BITTER GREENS?

I loved writing every word! Except perhaps for the really dark and difficult scenes ... I had to grit my teeth and endure those!

How would you keep from going crazy if you were locked in a tower (or satellite!) with finite resources?

Tell myself stories.

Today, you're Rapunzel's hair stylist. She's come to you for a new look and wants to be surprised. What do you do?

A buzz cut!

If you were sentenced to life alone in a tower (or satellite!), what is the one thing you'd make sure to smuggle in with you?

An endless supply of paper and ink. And chocolate.

What kind of craving would you risk a witch's wrath for?


Thank you so much, Kate! 
I've been excited to read BITTER GREENS for a long, long time, and upset at how hard it is to import Australian books to the USA!

I'm hoping to see you back here this spring for Fairy Tale Fortnight,
and again in the fall when we can talk more in-depth about BITTER GREENS once it's come State-side!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Kate Forsyth
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Publisher: Random House / Vintage Australia

An utterly captivating reinvention of the Rapunzel fairytale weaved together with the scandalous life of one of the tale's first tellers, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. 

Charlotte-Rose de la Force has been banished from the court of Versailles by the Sun King, Louis XIV, after a series of scandalous love affairs. She is comforted by an old nun, Sœur Seraphina, who tells her the tale of a young girl who, a hundred years earlier, is sold by her parents for a handful of bitter greens... 

Selena is the famous red-haired muse of the artist Tiziano, first painted by him in 1512 and still inspiring him at the time of his death, sixty-four years later. Called La Strega Bella, Selena is at the centre of Renaissance life in Venice, a world of beauty and danger, seduction and betrayal, love and superstition, retaining her youth and beauty by the blood of young red-haired girls. 

After Margherita's father steals a handful of parsley, wintercress and rapunzel from the walled garden of the courtesan Selena Leonelli, he is threatened with having both hands cut off unless he and his wife give away their little red-haired girl. And so, when she turns seven, Margherita is locked away in a tower, her hair woven together with the locks of all the girls before her, growing to womanhood under the shadow of La Strega Bella, and dreaming of being rescued... 

Three women, three lives, three stories, braided together to create a compelling story of desire, obsession, black magic and the redemptive power of love.


  1. This was one I hadn't heard of, but now that you mentioned it I'm so excited to read it. I love Rapunzel retellings.

    1. Tell me what you think when you read it! I really want to hear! <3

  2. I hope you love it then, Rachael :)

  3. I really love this review. Now need to check out these books. Thanks.

  4. Sounds like another one to add to the list. I love the idea of Rapunzel getting a buzz cut :)


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