An Interview with Mrs. Tavish from YA Fantasy Novel ‘Under A Fairy Moon’ by TM Wallace
Yes, I am Elizabeth Tavish, aged forty-two. Some people in town call me eccentric, primarily because I keep to myself and some of the nosy townsfolk here in Windy Falls can’t understand why anyone would like peace and quiet! I happily live alone in the house I grew up in. I grow herbs and have a few cats, so the kids around town have started calling me a witch. I find that amusing – I don’t really discourage the idea. It keeps them away.
I have a distinctive clothing-style which some others (who are lacking in flair and imagination) can’t understand. I like to wear long flower-print dresses and broad-rimmed sun-hats trailing ribbons and lace. I also wear these with big black boots, because I am always out gardening – if you can call it that. Half the time I’m just trying to push back the wild tangle of plants that encroach on the exotic garden I have carved out for myself.
Tell us about your garden. What makes it so special, after all?
The garden … or the Garden (as I like to think of it, with a capital “G”), is a real enigma. It is an enchanted place … haunted, even. From time to time, as I plant azaleas and pansies along the borders of the forest in the back, I hear things … ghostly laughter … sudden far away shrieks. My mother (God rest her soul) used to tell me I had fairies or the “little people.” My mother was originally from Wales and had a lot of old stories about them. I’m still not sure if she really believed them or not.
Of course, there is an “old world” feel about the garden. It’s probably those statues she had made when we first moved over here from Ireland. I was only three at the time, but I still remember the kafuffle about the statues. My mum commissioned the statues made by a local artist, but was very insistent on having them made from Dublin granite – very expensive to import, as you can imagine. No one could understand why she didn’t use Canadian granite which is plentiful and a lot less expensive. Maybe she hoped those fairies would follow that stone across the sea to live with her … or maybe was just homesick.
What is the significance of the statues? What do they represent?
Well, the statues are both light and dark … like chess pieces, only as tall as some of the trees. My mother had a huge fascination with chess. She commissioned the statues to be made, not like regular chess pieces, but like the pieces in Fairy Chess. Your readers may not be familiar with Fairy Chess – it’s any game of chess played with pieces that are different from the usual. Usually in chess you have a King, Queen, Knight, Bishop, Rook and pawns. In Fairy Chess you could have different animals, or mythological creatures, or just about anything you can think of. My mother had hers made like fairy creatures she was fond of from the old stories – there’s a centaur, a troll queen, a witch, a unicorn, a panther … and many other unusual creatures, too.
What is your relationship to Addyson Marten, the main character in Under A Fairy Moon?
Addy is the fourteen-year old daughter of my new next-door neighbours. She’s always nosing around the garden, when she thinks I’m not looking. It’s okay though, I remember what it was like to be that age. I was one to explore, too. Only … I get worried about her sometimes. Whatever is in that forest, be they fairies or ghosts or whatever … they seem malicious at times. There’s been a child lost in that tangled bush before … but I don’t talk about that.
Do you believe there are fairies?
Well … I’m not saying there’s not. There’s strange things happening in the Garden. I try not to ask too many questions. I leave well enough alone, and they – whoever they are – leave me well enough alone too.
T. M. Wallace lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and four children. At eight years old, she won a short story contest and was published in a local newspaper. She wrote her first book at ten years old called “The Adventures of Pinkstar,” about a stuffed rabbit who magically comes to life. T. M. Wallace received her Master’s degree in English Literature from Carleton University and a degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. In 2010 her latest book, Under A Fairy Moon, was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel awards. Under A Fairy Moonwill be published by Brownridge Publishing in June, 2011.
You can visit her website at www.tmwallace.com.T. M. Wallace lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and four children. At eight years old, she won a short story contest and was published in a local newspaper. She wrote her first book at ten years old called “The Adventures of Pinkstar,” about a stuffed rabbit who magically comes to life. T. M. Wallace received her Master’s degree in English Literature from Carleton University and a degree in Education from the University of Ottawa. In 2010 her latest book, Under A Fairy Moon, was a quarter-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel awards. Under A Fairy Moon will be published by Brownridge Publishing in June, 2011. You can visit her website at www.tmwallace.com.