About cmariebissett

Carina Bissett is a writer, poet, and educator working primarily in the fields of dark fiction and fabulism. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in multiple journals and anthologies including Arterial Bloom, Gorgon: Stories of Emergence, Hath No Fury, NonBinary Review, and the HWA Poetry Showcase Vol. V and VI. In addition to writing, she also teaches online workshops at The Storied Imaginarium.

Author Spotlight: Chelsea Mueller

Q. Tell us a little bit about your background, and your evolution as a writer. If you’ve taken more than one workshop at the Storied Imaginarium, what is it that keeps bringing you back?

I’m a writer who loves to try new things, which means you’ll find my stories shelved throughout the store. My debut novel was a gritty urban fantasy called Borrowed Souls (Skyhorse, 2017). It’s set in a contemporary world where people can rent souls and has a reluctant soul repowoman has its main character. It’s the first in a series. 

Photo Credits: Lauren Bethany Photography

From there I moved to writing young adult novels—both horror and thrillers. I’m best known for Prom House (Delacorte/Underlined, 2021), which is a throwback to ’90s Fear Street and Christopher Pike with 10 teens renting a house prom weekend and one by one they start to die. Very fun. Lots of kissing.

My short fiction has been all over the place, too, but I’m delighted that my most recent published piece is one written in the Season of the Bear workshop at Storied Imaginarium. It’s titled “Hibernation Heirloom” (Sunday Morning Transport, 2023) and features a touched-out new mom seeking self care the hard way. 

Q. Can you tell us what inspired your Season of the Bear story? 


I’m only half joking. I have a three-year-old and still live in a state of perpetual fatigue—as most parents of littles do! The Season of the Bear had a module that examined bearskin stories as well as hibernation. While many Bearskin tales feature daughters fleeing gross fathers, I focused on the act of donning a bearskin as an act of freedom. Expectations were shed when fur appeared. 

So who needs hibernation more than a postpartum mom? Those early days of sleep deprivation and hypervigilance around your kid are real. The added layer of some lactating parents becoming more aggressive only added to the story of my mama bear who needed her own mother and a sense of peace and an excuse to let her husband take care of the baby while she rested. 

All of that came together in “Hibernation Heirloom.”

Q. How did you come to writing and who are some of your influences?

I’ve always been a writer. (Does everyone say that? Probably.) I had a career in journalism for many years, writing mostly pop culture, music, and lifestyle pieces, but when newspapers became an unstable workplace, I switched careers and became a marketer. Marketing is a lot of fun, but doesn’t have near enough writing to sate me. That’s when I began writing fiction. 

Q. Can you give us an insight into your writing process? Any habits when you sit down to write?

I find time whenever I can to write, so I’m much less focused on ritual and more on routine. I love to sprint in 20-minute bursts, because I can make my brain focus on the one thing for that long. Then I allow myself five minutes of checking email or scrolling Instagram, and back in until I hit my goal for the day. 

All that said, if I am at home, I’m likely to have a coffee on one side and a lit candle on the other. Right now it’s Alchemy & Ink’s “The Darkling” scent. It’s almost gone and I’m very sad because it’s a perfect moody candle. They describe it as “winter wind, night, bare branches,” and that feels about right for the domestic horror I’m working on! 

Q. What is next in store for your readers?

I’m working on several new things: a new atmospheric horror novel and a trio of fantasy short stories centered on women bending the world. 

My latest novel, Cloud Nine, released in March and is the first in an explosive new YA dystopian series. It’s breakneck pacing with a big mystery plot and buckets of sexual tension. Bonuses of women in STEM and friends you’ll love. I’m writing the sequel this summer!  

Alison Colwell Receives Canada Council Grant

One of the best parts of working with writers is celebrating their successes. Over the last few years, Alison Colwell has published several stories that started in workshops at The Storied Imaginarium including Eight Reasons for Silence” (Tangled Locks Journal, October 2022), “The Frog Prince’s Reluctant Bride” (Daily Science Fiction, July 2021), “Hindsight” (The Drabble, May 2021), and “Regrets” (The Drabble, April 2021).

Recently, Alison was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts Grant to work on a series of interconnected essays that weave fairy tales with memoir. For a sneak peek at these stunning essays, check out “Fairy Tale Fathers,” which was released earlier this month in The Humber Literary Review.

What are the Canada Council Create grants?

The “Explore and Create Grant” funds Canadian artists, and organizations committed to the creation of innovative, vibrant and diverse art. The program advances Canadian artistic practices by encouraging artists to investigate creative processes and take risks that lead to the development of unique works destined to connect with the public.

In the fall of 2022 I submitted a proposal for Ashes & Daydreams, and asked for time to write. In the spring of 2023 I received a Canada Council Grant.

Where did the idea for your project come from?

I’ve always written fiction and memoir, but it wasn’t until Carina’s “Intersections: Science Fiction, Fairy Tales and Myth” class in the spring of 2021, that it occurred to me to combine the two. We were studying the Rapunzel Fairy Tale, and reading about the witch locking Rapunzel in the tower in order to protect her from the dangers of the world, really resonated with me. Two years earlier, my daughter had been diagnosed with anorexia, and the doctors had placed her on bed rest, restricted to her hospital room on the seventh floor, against her will.

That juxtaposition of ideas led to the creation of the essay “Arriving on the 7th Floor” which considers what happens when we are the villains of our own story? In Rapunzel, it’s the witch who cruelly imprisons the young girl in the tower. But that had been the only way I could keep my daughter safe. What if “villain” is the role circumstances force you to play?

After the Rapunzel essay, I wrote another in that used the East of the Moon, West of the Sun Fairy Tale to reflect on my abusive first marriage. Suddenly I had a thrilling new way of looking at my world. I started to use words to make sense of my world, my story, my life, and the act of shaping experience into narrative helped me to see that an arc existed. Just like in old myths, narrative helped me to see that while there are dark nights of the soul and moments where all seems lost, there are also high points where the hero returns with the elixir.

Carina has been a huge supporter of my hybrid essays from the very beginning and encouraged me to seek publication and consider what a collection might look like.

What do you envision the finished project will look like?

The working title for the collection is: Ashes & Daydreams. It is a series of interconnected essays that weave fairy tales with trauma narrative and memoir. Using the framework of familiar fairy tales to ask questions about how we see ourselves, what archetypal characters we play in our own lives and forces us to examine the stories we tell ourselves about our own lived experiences.

Writing memoir through the lens of fairy tale forces us to examine both the stories of our own lives and the fairy tales, both Disney and Grimm, which for many of us, fulfill the role of myth and have unconsciously shaped the structures of our lives. The myth that true love will reveal the Prince Charming hidden inside every beast can be incredibly damaging to women. Ashes & Daydreams is an invitation to look at those fairy stories in the context of real life.

Ashes & Daydreams delves into issues of intimate partner violence, addiction, mental illness, anorexia, parenting, and poverty. I can speak to these from my own lived experience, which is why I believe it’s important to tell these stories and provide hope and insight to others battling the same limiting trauma narratives.

Each essay is a self-contained story, mirroring a traditional book of Fairy Tales. The shorter format allows readers to step in and out of the trauma narrative. However, the essays are all drawn from my own life therefore the essays in the collection are interconnected. The final section of the collection retells the original versions of the tales, to give context for anyone unfamiliar with the source material.

The first draft of Ashes & Daydreams will be complete in the fall of 2023.

Takeaways? What are the obvious benefits to receiving the grant?

I’m a single mother of two teens – both of whom have had serious mental health challenges. Making time to write, while working full time to support the three of us, means making sacrifices. The Canada Council Grant allowed me to not take on a second job this summer, and has enabled me to dedicate more of my time to writing.

And the hidden benefits to receiving the grant?

Like most writers, I suffer from imposter syndrome. When you are writing alone at your desk, it’s hard to really believe that what you have to say is important to others. Receiving the Canada Council Grant was an incredible boost to my writerly ego. It means that a jury of professional Canadian writers believes in what I’m doing. They believe I’m my ideas are unique and worthwhile. That’s pretty magical!

Alison Colwell spends her time creating imaginary worlds, crafting memoir from fairy tales and learning how to blur the lines between creative non-fiction and fiction. 

When not writing she can be found teaching kindergarten kids how to bake bread, or grown-ups how to cook stinging nettles, or caring for her two teens, three cats and one old dog.

Connect with Alison at https://www.alisoncolwell.com/.

Salon Series: A Chat with Lisa L. Hannett

The Storied Imaginarium is pleased to announce the reboot of our Salon Series with an online chat with award-winning Australian author Lisa L. Hannett. Join us live on Zoom on Tuesday, June 20th at 6 pm (MDT) for an hour of conversation about sea myths, coastal folklore, and ancient strongholds in a celebration of the recent publication of her mosaic novel The Fortunate Isles.

With an introduction by Kirstyn McDermott, this collection of 14 stories was published in a limited edition, hardcover run of 325 copies by Egaeus Press in May 2023. A copy The Fortunate Isles will be given to one lucky person in the audience, so be sure to mark your calendar!

In addition to fairy tales and folklore, we will be discussing Lisa’s work in medieval Icelandic literature and the culmination of her research presented in the ground-breaking nonfiction book Viking Women.

The salon will end with a chance for you to ask Lisa questions, so come prepared!

Seats are limited. To reserve your spot, email cmariebissett@gmail.com. The link will be emailed to registered participants on the day of the salon. See you there!

Author Spotlight: Wailana Kalama

Q. Tell us a little bit about your background, and your evolution as a writer. 

I’ve been writing since I was a kid, fantasy was my jam, I’d create these worlds and languages and civilizations to go along with them. Honestly I spent more time world building than actually writing, hah. Then I fell in love with creative nonfiction, spent a few years doing that, and travel pieces. In the past 2 years I’ve been diving headlong into the wonderful world of dark fiction and finding it makes me deliriously happy most days.

Q. Have you published any stories that have come out of the generative workshops at the Storied Imaginarium? If so, what inspired your pieces, and where can we read them?

I took the Storied Imaginarium’s Season of the Hare in the Spring of 2022, and now have published two stories that came out of that. “The Sea-Hare” was inspired by the eponymous Grimm fairy-tale. The image of a girl trapped into a tower while all these suitors swarmed her was just so striking. I just thought it’d make more sense if she had a way to defend herself against all that smothering love. So I gave her a rifle, the same one that Simo Häyhä used in WW2. You can read that story in Apparition Literary Magazine’s April 2023 issue: https://apparitionlit.com/issues/

“Kill Switch” is another piece I wrote during that workshop. We read a BBC article about the dangers of seeing your own doppelgänger. Obviously, my story doesn’t have any doppelgängers, but it did get me thinking about alternative modes of reality and identity, and how technology can affect your body’s perception of what’s real, what’s yours and what’s virtual. You can read it in Dark Matter INK’s Monstrous Futureshttps://darkmattermagazine.shop/products/dark-matter-presents-monstrous-futures

Q. What advice do you have for writers working with fairy tales and myth as well as combining them with current science and social issues?

Read as much as you can and don’t be afraid to brainstorm. Inspiration is a diving board, not a prescription. Pay attention to what stories and themes you gravitate to the most. If you have unanswered questions while reading an article/story, write them down and think how you might solve them creatively.

Q. How did you come to writing and who are some of your influences?

Probably my biggest influences are the short stories of Stephen Graham Jones–his Father, Son, Holy Rabbit alone inspired me to pick up the dark fiction mantle to begin with.

Others whose work shakes me include Oshimi Shuzo, Brian Hodge, Nathan Ballingrud, Gemma Files, Paula D. Ashe, Josh Malerman, Iain Banks, Algernon Blackwood, Angela Carter, Marguerite Duras, Albert Camus, Joe Sacco, Brian Doyle, Joan Didion, Tom Stoppard.

Q. Can you give us an insight into your writing process? Any habits when you sit down to write?

I guess the only thing I really do habitually is turn on my playlist. I have a playlist per story I’m writing and it helps me sink back into the world almost instantly.

Q. What is next in store for your readers? I have two upcoming pieces later this year, a coming-of-age short in Rock and a Hard Place magazine and a paleohorror piece in Dark Matter INK’s Monster Lairs

Wailana Kalama is a dark fiction writer from Hawaii, with credits in Weird Little World’s Mother: Tales of Love and Terror, Pseudopod, Dark Matter INK’s Monstrous Futures and Monster Lairs (upcoming), and more.

Author Website: https://linktr.ee/whylana

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/27720197.Wailana_Kalama

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/stores/Wailana-Kalama/author/B0C1MDZJH5

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Whylana

What Roni has to say about the workshops at The Storied Imaginarium:

Carina Bissett is a knowledgeable, kind, and honest instructor who provides invaluable feedback, as well as collaborative brainstorming to help participants through places they may be stuck. I highly recommend The Storied Imaginarium workshops to anyone looking to get quality writing done in a supportive and creative community with a fantastic instructor. The Storied Imaginarium workshops have helped me generate many stories, poems, and story ideas. While being primarily generative, I have learned more from Carina and my fellow workshop writers, through discussions and critiques, than I have in more instructionally focused workshops. The modules cover an expansive and in-depth selection of retellings, research, and related articles. I’ve come back to them again and again when looking for creative sparks. — Roni Stinger, author of “The Ground Shook,” Dark Matter Magazine and “Worm Bagging,” Unnerving Magazine.

Registration is currently open for the Season of the Bear (March-May). For more information, click HERE.

Workshop Update: The Season of the Bear

There are only TWO seats open for the Season of the Bear! Both openings are for the Tuesday night section. (Note: This translates to Wednesday morning/early afternoon in Australia). The course will begin in three weeks with the first meeting scheduled for March 7. The Season of the Bear meets for twelve consecutive weeks with the final class (portfolio presentation) scheduled for May 23.

This course won’t be offered again, so make sure to secure your seat before the workshop fills up!

Currently, the proposed schedule is as follows:

SECTION II: Tuesdays from 4:30-7 pm (PST), 5:30-8 pm (MST), 6:30-9 pm (CST), 7:30-10 pm (EST); Wednesdays 10:30 am-1 pm (AEDT)

Daylight Savings Time starts on March 12 on November 6 in the United States in Canada and on March 26 in Central Europe. Daylight Savings Time ends in Australia on April 2. For conversion check https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/. If there is enough interest, we may add an additional workshop on Friday afternoon or on the weekend.

Note: All sections are limited to six participants plus the workshop facilitator. Inquire for additional times & days.

THE SEASON OF THE BEAR workshop is twelve weeks long and includes five modules. Participants are encouraged to write a poem, short story, or essay (3K maximum word count) for each module. Alternating weeks are dedicated to study, discussion, and writing prompts. At the end of the course, writers will present one revision (5K maximum word count). The price to join THE SEASON OF THE BEAR is $600 with a 10% discount for returning participants.

Materials for THE SEASON OF THE BEAR include:

  • MODULE 1: Bear Tales & Hibernation
  • MODULE 2: The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf & Extremophiles
  • MODULE 3: Baba Yaga & Fairy Tale Architecture
  • MODULE 4: The Boy Who Did Not Know What Fear Was & The Science of Fear
  • MODULE 5: Hades and Persephone & Sinkholes

REGISTRATION: To save a seat for The Season of the Bear, send an email request for an invoice to Carina Bissett at cmariebissett@gmail.com. The fee to attend the workshop is $600, payable to cmariebissett@gmail.com via PayPal. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit required to hold your spot with payment in FULL prior to the first class. Returning students receive a 10% discount. Space is limited. Payment plans available.

This series of interactive and generative workshops offers and opportunity to explore fairy tales and other traditional tales, paired with strange and marvelous concepts. You’ll have an opportunity to workshop five new stories or poems, and a portfolio piece you’ve revised based on the workshop discussions. This is a supportive and generative workshop that combines reading, discussion, writing, and feedback.


Week 1 (3/7): Retellings: Into the Dark Woods & Discussion of Module 1 reading material

Week 2 (3/14): Module 1 Story Workshop

Week 3 (3/21): Discussion of Module 2 reading material & prompts

Week 4 (3/28): Module 2 Story Workshop

Week 5 (4/4): Discussion of Module 3 reading material & prompts

Week 6 (4/11): Module 3 Story Workshop

Week 7 (4/18): Discussion of Module 4 reading material & prompts

Week 8 (4/25): Module 4 Story Workshop

Week 9 (5/2): Discussion of Module 5 reading material & prompts

Week 10 (5/9): Module 5 Story Workshop

Week 11 (5/16): Revision & Submission Strategies

Week 12 (5/23): Portfolio Presentations

What you get:

  • An introductory lesson exploring the history of the fairy tale, and various approaches to creating new works that draw on this rich and strange tradition.
  • Five lessons that combine a tale and a scientific or cultural concept, each of which includes traditional and contemporary tales, writing prompts, and stimulus information about the paired concept.
  • Twelve face-to-face workshops, delivered via Zoom and facilitated by The Storied Imaginarium’s passionate writers and teachers.
  • Access to a private Facebook group where you can interact with your facilitator and fellow workshop participants.
  • Access to a shared drive to upload your stories for workshopping.
  • An opportunity to share and discuss five of your original stories, plus an extra week when you can resubmit one story you’ve revised on the basis of the workshop discussion.
  • Written and oral feedback on the five stories + portfolio that you submit from both your peers in the workshop, and your workshop facilitator, including advice on potential markets for your work.

Publication News: Dark Matter Presents

It is publication day for Dark Matter Presents: Zero Dark Thirty, and we are excited to cheer on Roni Stinger for the inclusion of her story “The Ground Shook” in this highly competitive “best of” compilation. We enjoyed this story in its early workshop stages at The Storied Imaginarium, and we loved it even more when it appeared in its final form in Dark Matter Magazine (May 2022).

Rob Carroll included a little tidbit about Roni’s piece in the May issue’s letter from the editor: “‘The Ground Shook’ declares two truths: 1) the world is often cruel and uncaring; and 2) choosing to carry on amid such circumstances is heroic.”

Trust us. This is a story you want to check out. Order your copy HERE.

Every story published in Dark Matter Magazine is a best-of story to us, and that’s why we had to do something different when choosing stories for the magazine’s first ever trade paperback anthology. Enter ZERO DARK THIRTY, a curated collection of the 30 DARKEST stories to haunt our magazine’s pages during the first two years of publication (2021-2022). These are the most depressing and deranged tales the magazine has to offer. Enter if you must, but beware.

Dark Matter Editor-in-Chief, Rob Carroll.

Roni Stinger lives in Vancouver, Washington. When she’s not writing strange dark stories, she’s wandering the forests, beaches, and streets in search of shiny objects and creative sparks. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Dark Matter MagazineMetaStellarHypnos Magazine, All Worlds Wayfarer: Through Other Eyes, and The Molotov Cocktail

Author Website: www.ronistinger.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20885227.Roni_Stinger

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Roni-Stinger/e/B07ZBLJRGK/

Facebook: Roni Stinger

Twitter: @roni_stinger

Instagram: @roni_stinger

What Roni has to say about the workshops at The Storied Imaginarium:

Carina Bissett is a knowledgeable, kind, and honest instructor who provides invaluable feedback, as well as collaborative brainstorming to help participants through places they may be stuck. I highly recommend The Storied Imaginarium workshops to anyone looking to get quality writing done in a supportive and creative community with a fantastic instructor. The Storied Imaginarium workshops have helped me generate many stories, poems, and story ideas. While being primarily generative, I have learned more from Carina and my fellow workshop writers, through discussions and critiques, than I have in more instructionally focused workshops. The modules cover an expansive and in-depth selection of retellings, research, and related articles. I’ve come back to them again and again when looking for creative sparks. — Roni Stinger, author of “The Ground Shook,” Dark Matter Magazine and “Worm Bagging,” Unnerving Magazine.

Registration is currently open for the Season of the Bear (March-May). For more information, click HERE.

Nomination News: “Fracture” by Mercedes M. Yardley

The Storied Imaginarium wants to congratulate Mercedes M. Yardley for her recent presence on the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards® for 2022! Her story “Fracture” is featured in the category of Best Short Fiction. Mercedes wrote this workshop story in response to the module “The Princess on the Glass Hill” & Glassworks (Season of the Hare), and we are super excited here to see this lovely piece about a glass girl get the attention it deserves.

“Fracture” was originally published in the anthology Mother: Tales of Love and Terror by Weird Little Worlds (October 2022). The publisher has made it available to read online for free HERE. Enjoy!

NOTE: Active members of the Horror Writers Association can cast their votes on the preliminary ballot no later than MIDNIGHT US West Coast time on February 15.

She was safe and she was loved, but that wasn’t enough. One night when the moon was full and the air was as clear as Crystal herself, she donned her warmest cloak and fled into the night.

She ran like a rabbit. She ran like a stream. She ran like her mother so many years ago, her human heart thumping against her fragile ribs, her legs shining in the dark. While her mother had carried a precious unborn child of glass, Crystal carried her fragile, human heart.

It wasn’t easy for a glass girl in a city. There were cobblestones to trip on and carriages that run past. Crystal’s pinky finger was caught in a door and broke off in the jam. Her tears plink, plink, plinked as they fell and shattered on the ground. Children hurried to collect them before they broke, sucking on them like candy.

Mercedes M. Yardley is a whimsical dark fantasist who wears stilettos, red lipstick, and poisonous flowers in her hair. She is the author of many diverse works, including Darling, Beautiful Sorrows, the Stabby Award-winning Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, Pretty Little Dead Girls: A Novel of Murder and Whimsy, Detritus in Love, and Nameless. She recently won the Bram Stoker Award for her story Little Dead Red, and was nominated for “Loving You Darkly” and the Arterial Bloom anthology. Mercedes lives and creates in Las Vegas with her family and menagerie of battle-scarred, rescued animal familiars. Mercedes is a member of the Horror Writers Association and co-chair of the Las Vegas HWA Chapter.


“The best writing career money I ever spent was on the Storied Imaginarium Monstrous Women writing course presented by Carina Bissett. We studied together, wrote stories based on that week’s module, and then critiqued each other’s work. I immediately sold two pieces that I had written in the workshop, and made dear friends that I still associate with. I’m planning to sign up for another one of Carina’s classes next time they open. It was astronomically helpful and inspiring.”


Registration is currently open for the Season of the Bear (March-May). For more information, click HERE.

Guest Post: Foxes & Fairy Tales by Allison Pang

Back in 2011 (holy hell, has it been that long??) I was a fledging author with a book deal and a burning urge to explore the world of writing for comics/graphic novels. But I knew it was a tough field and I hadn’t ever really considered how I would go about it.

Enter Irma ‘Aimo’ Ahmed. Aimo was what you might call a BNF (Big Name Fan) in the world of BioWare fan art (particularly Dragon Age/Mass Effect) and I had been a huge fan of her work for a very long time. I reached out to her on a whim, knowing that I absolutely wanted to work with her in some fashion, but we had never met each other, or even connected online, which makes it a bit difficult.

In the meantime, my first book had just been published (A Brush of Darkness), so I sent her an inquiry about doing some custom sketch card art for my series and hired her to do just that. (Said cards are currently framed in my upstairs hallway and I smile every time I see them.)

From there, I asked if she might be interested in a collaboration of sorts, split the profit and see what we could do. By a stroke of luck, she agreed, and we started brainstorming. In the meantime, we wanted to make sure we could actually work together – after all, we still hadn’t actually met, and she lived half-way around the world from me. (And we did manage to meet up in 2015, and again in 2019 – but we keep up in almost daily contact via LINE.) We started a mini series of illustrated fan fiction where I wrote *her* characters and she conjured up some lovely vignettes to go with the prose, posted on Tumblr and a few private ones just for fun.

Based on that, we decided to write a short comic. A one-shot. Something small, to see if I could write a script that she could capture with her art.

10 years later…

*insert hysterical laughter here*

Yeah, so, it turned out the small story erupted into a huge story and here we are, somewhere in our 5th  arc and counting. (And really, this is no small feat. Collaborations can be touchy at the best of times – the fact that we’re still here and creating is something of a miracle, and one I’m grateful for.)

So what is Fox & Willow all about? Well, when we were playing around ideas and concepts, we thought fairy tales would be a fun thing to work with. After all, there are so many out there, and on the surface they often don’t give female characters as much agency as we might want. At the time, I was more interested in possibly exploring Asian folklore – but Aimo is from Malaysia and was all about the European tales that I grew up with.

In the end, we compromised with Asian characters placed into the backdrop of European fairy tale settings. Essentially, we follow the adventures of Willow, a runaway princess and Gideon, a fox-spirit/kitsune who has had a curse placed upon him in the form of a collar that cannot be removed. The longer it remains around his neck, the more he loses himself, eventually dooming him to become nothing more than a fox, even as Willow has to come to grips with her own past and what it is she really wants.

Although each volume of Fox & Willow is a separate, stand-alone fairy tale, the overall arc of redemption and finding out who they are and what they mean to each other is a constant theme throughout. The volumes include references to Twa’ Sisters, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood and currently the Snow Queen, exploring a number of potential concepts. (What if The Little Mermaid actually *does* kill the prince? What if the tower is an erupting volcano in Rapunzel? What if Red Riding Hood is in a poly relationship with the woodcutter and a shape-changing wolf?)

There is something intrinsic about fairy tales that touches people. The possibilities to change them up are endless –and old as they are, somehow references to them are still a deep part of the modern society hive mind. (Case in point – Aimo sent me a slew of limited edition Hello Kitty fairy tale plushies that were Malaysian specials from her local McDonald’s – the Snow White, I would have expected. The Singing Bone, I would not – but now I have a Singing Bone Hello Kitty plush, and It. Is. Amazing.)

Fox & Willow has been a long work in process and a labor of love – over ten years now, of two pages a week, all for free, with the occasional hiatus. The world has changed so much in the last decade, but we’re still here and we’re still writing this fairy tale. Now we’re getting a chance to bring these tales into physical hardcopy thanks to Outland Entertainment and KickStarter, and we look forward to continuing to do so.


Allison is the author of the Urban Fantasy Abby Sinclair series, the steampunk IronHeart Chronicles series and also the writer for the webcomic Fox & Willow. She likes LEGOS, elves, LEGO elves…and bacon.

To learn more about Allison, go to https://www.heartofthedreaming.com/.

To support Allison and Aimo, preorder your copy of Fox & Willow: Blinded by the Light at KICKSTARTER. The book will be a 140 page, full color, hardcover at 6″x 8.5″. This KICKSTARTER ends on February 8TH.