Fantasy Fiction

ARTEBY Author Interviews 2016

A Modern Fairy Tale for Baby Boomers

This Author Interview on Magical Realism was conducted by Arteby Publishing (AP) on 17th January, 2016, based on a series of 10 questions. Here’s question 4 – we recommend you listen to the author’s response and thoughts on the video, and, if you wish, you may follow along on the transcript below. If you missed it, here is Author Interview 3.


AP: A reviewer called your novel “A Modern Fairy Tale for Baby Boomers” – is this the audience you’d like to address?

BG: Yes – I’d specifically like to address baby boomers – I’m one of them – but not only! Thank you for asking.

First of all, I’d like to differentiate a little, if I may.

Probably, most readers assume that ‘magical realism’ and ‘fairy tales’ – in other words fantasy fiction or fantastic literature – are identical, but they’re not the same. It’s a matter of ‘belief’ or ‘believability’.

Fairy tales are part of the realm of the fantastical – new worlds are being created, supernatural events take place, making our imagination as readers spin. We are drawn into a fantastic world – ONE world – with fairies, trolls, monsters and witches and so forth. In a way, we actually escape into another – unreal – world . . . and while we get our lessons, and we recognize certain archetypes – the queen, the innocent girl, the courageous knight, the evil dragon or whoever they may be – the story itself remains ‘outside’, meaning it’s not part of our daily, normal life. It remains in the domain of our imagination. We’re always aware that it’s unreal and unbelievable. “It’s just a fairy tale…” people often say.

I don’t say that this is correct. I believe there’s much more to fairy tales, myths and legends than we as ‘grownups’ dare to admit as we are such masters at suppressing our subconscious . . .  while  little children definitely see this differently . . . but that’s just as it ‘normally’ is, as we’re conditioned to be.

As discussed previously, in magical realism we are also firmly rooted in one world, but this is the REAL world, as we know it from our everyday lives. Then, however, and through what most of us perceive as MAGIC or a fantastical element, something ‘unlogical’ happens as another reality – the so-called MAGICAL REALITY – becomes part of it. What we perceive as supernatural blends perfectly with our familiar, real, mundane world. So as a writer I don’t invent a new world; I just show the magical within the world we live in, the world we know. The way I see it, personally, however, is that magic IS part of our normal world – we just have to open ourselves up to it to see it. “What you are the vibration of, appears. The rest remains invisible to you.”

Magic redefined

I also believe that MAGIC – as a term – will have to be redefined as more and more people open themselves up to and understand their own spiritual dimension – something that’s possible for you, me, everyone. The difference between this, our physical world, and the non-physical world – the so-called ‘non-local’ domain as Dr. Deepak Chopra calls it – appears to be a matter of frequency and vibration. Gifted seers, psychics, and spiritual masters seem to have the ability to adapt to that frequency at will. Like changing a radio station. There’s fascinating and scientifically proven evidence of this out there. We’re living in very exciting times…

So are baby boomers my target audience? Also – but not only!

I often find that mothers pass on my book to their daughters – or best friends. I love that! We all know about the surge of interest in the survival of consciousness after death as over 100 million baby boomers begin to face their own mortality. That’s a lot! Baby boomers have always shaped the Western world quite significantly, and they will continue to do this as they decide on a dignified, peaceful, conscious transition mode. All this is reflected in popular movies and television shows such as Afterlife TV and Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul Sunday, as well as trailblazing programs on YouTube and TED that are watched all over the world.

This is where the magical realism love story ‘The Immortal Life of Piu Piu’ comes in: Set in a land of shifting realities – South Africa, between Nature’s paradise and a ruthless world – and based on true stories and human-animal bonds, this fascinating tale reveals how one powerful girl and the wild creatures who are her constant guides, join in the ultimate adventure: to unlock the mystery of life after death.

This was my logline – but I like to quote from my PRESS RELEASE:
“Each life is a leap of faith. You leave ‘home’ and you venture into the Unknown. And while you discover a world brimming with darkness and light that seems to toss you around, you realize who you are. This is your chance to realize your own true greatness and turn fear into faith . . . and freedom. Real freedom!”

This is – so-to-speak – the ‘solution’ I offer to my fellow baby boomers who rarely took time for themselves, time to come to terms with what’s lying ahead, to free themselves from fear – a fear that easily gives rise to physical and mental illness as I have witnessed so many times. As I’ve laid it out in my ‘NOTE TO THE READER’ in my book, all is rooted in my own search and experience, it’s not a fairy tale. But yes, I understand that one might call it ‘A Modern Fairy Tale’ due to its magical angle. Helping people to find peace and strength within themselves has always been a passion of mine, and the magical realism perspective in my novel allowed me to transport what may be perceived as extraordinary concepts in an ordinary way.

Here I’m just the storyteller . . .

AP: Thank you for your openness – it needs courage and we appreciate that.  Let’s move on to question 5.

Please stay tuned; the transcript of part 5 of our Interview with Bianca Gubalke on the literary genre called ‘Magical or Magic Realism’ will follow soon!