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Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand
illustrations by Rebecca Guay

These aren’t your grandmother’s fairy tales . . .

About the Book

Edgy, dark and at times terrifying, these are the old tales of your childhood told in a way you’ve never heard them before. Author Louise Hawes has reimagined the staple stories of Rapunzel, Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and more in this haunting new compilation, Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand. Through vivid characterizations, vibrant settings and reinterpreted themes, Hawes has breathed new life into these stories of old and given us a glimpse into the darker human motivations behind our most beloved fairy tales. More likely to keep you awake at night than lull you to sleep, Black Pearls is a riveting and thrilling revamping of age-old classics for today’s reader.

About the Author

Louise Hawes, who lives in North Carolina, has always loved fairy tales and is currently at work on a fantasy novel. She says Black Pearls was written for “everyone who dances without looking at the clock.” For more on Louise and her books, check out www.louisehawes.com.

A Conversation with Louise Hawes

Why did you write this book?
I learned a long time ago that our world is such an intricate web and all our stories so closely tied to one another, that one person’s “happy ending” is often another’s tragedy. That’s why most of the stories in my book feature “secondary” characters from the old tales, in new starring roles. When you tell a familiar story from a new angle, it changes everything—including who you root for!

How did you become an author, and what interested you in the profession?
I’ve been “book crazy” for as long as I can remember. When we were pre-schoolers, my sister and I played “librarian” the way other little girls played dress up or house. Like most writers I know, I am an avid reader. At the age of ten, I looked up from the pages of one of my favorite animal books, tears streaming down my face, and decided, “Someday I will make people cry like this!” I’m still in awe of the power of story to help us shed our own ego skins and identify with others.

What do you want young readers to learn from this book?
I never sit down and say to myself, “I’m going to write a young adult book.” Instead, I take a journey I need to experience, go some place I need to be. So I wrote this book for readers like me, regardless of their age; readers who want common sense as well as fantasy, psychology as well as myth. And what I hope they take away from reading it is the discovery that the oldest magic, the kind from which all the rest was born, is inside each one of us.

What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?
That when you “humanize” a fairy tale, there are no villains left. I love every character in this book, and each one of them deserves his or her own story—giant, stepmothers, and witches, included. I hope I get the chance to tell them all!

Why did you and your editor decide the book should have illustrations?
Because years ago the best books, for readers of any age, included illustrations. And because eye candy, especially lush and lovely pictures like the ones in this book, won’t rot your teeth—it’s good for you!

What is your favorite fairy tale?
I love stories in which clever women outfox the world of men who were, when these tales originated, clearly in charge. The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a particular favorite, and I hope one day to give the story of those fun-loving “party girls” a happier, less traditional ending than the Brothers Grimm (or the new Barbie version) supplies.

Advance Praise for Black Pearls: A Faerie Strand

"Twisted, clever, and artfully written, these are a high-quality addition to the fractured fairy tale genre." —Booklist

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