November 1, 2008

Being a Female Writer: Author Annette Marie Hyder

The Author

Annette Marie Hyder is a freelance journalist; an editor, artist and author. She selfishly—yes, selfishly—involves herself in issues and causes that she feels will impact the life of her daughter, issues such as: feminism, global conservation/ecology, human rights, literacy and education, empowerment and identity and just plain fun (she admits to being interested in these things on their own merit too.)

She is the founder and curator of the international feminist project Facing Feminism: Feminists I Know and the Literature Editor for INTHEFRAY Magazine. Her poetry has been translated into German, Italian and Spanish, included in numerous anthologies and published in book form.

Her book "The Consequence of Wings (On Angels and Monsters and Other Winged Things) has been praised by Larry Jaffe (Co-Founder of the United Nation's DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS THROUGH POETRY program) and has been reviewed by the United Kingdom's premiere arts and literature magazine, AESTHETICA MAGAZINE. Her articles appear in print throughout the United States and internationally while her publishing credits encompass both print and electronic World Wide Web publication.

Learn more about Annette Marie Hyder at her website, her MySpace and Facebook pages.

The Book

Annette Marie Hyder’s signature attention to metaphor—metaphors that "ring all the bells in the kingdom"—leaves the reader resonant long after the last page has been turned and the book has been reluctantly put down.

Her latest book, The Real Reason the Queen Hated Snow (and Other Stories), is a collection of short stories, poems and mythos miscellany inspired and informed by Fairy Tales, Folklore and Mythology. With influences such as Jung, the Brothers Grimm, Marina Warner and Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the collection's voice is modern and feminist in nature.

Click the cover above to order THE REAL REASON THE QUEEN HATED SNOW (and Other Stories) today!

The Question: Reflect on the stories you have written – the stories waiting to be written. What themes, topics do you find your writerly mind pushing you to write? How do these themes, topics portray themselves through you as a female writer?

Stories are the promise of fire in a winter tundra land. Passion, exploration, discovery, and adversity are the huskies that draw my sled.

I am drawn to stories about passion, exploration and discovery. Adversity captures my imagination as well. Myths, fairytales and legends are woven throughout my work as reference, allusion, retelling, and mirror.

My heroine’s grow wings – are forbidden to fly – but flaunt their feathers anyway, lose their voices to Winter but find new ways to speak, meet the Big Bad Wolf and tell his tale with sympathy, pluck truths like fruits from fairytale trees and sink their teeth in. They fill their aprons and offer these fruits to others, make delicious dishes of them, preserve them, candied and canned but always with the essence remaining.

My heroines, whether walking through the shadows of adversity, running through avenues of fear, or pausing at intersections of indecision, have shod their feet with winged sandals and wear passion as a blade to pierce mysteries and conundrums alike. They search for the bridge that spans a void which has, on the one side fear, and on the other side discovery.

I am intrigued by not only the process of crossing that divide – but also what moves us to cross it in the first place. Some individuals by their very inquisitiveness, their looking around corners and into shadows, drive themselves forward in discovery. Other individuals need some sort of outside impetus – loss or danger – before they can be brought to the pathway of change to face and conquer fears.

Storytelling can be the narrative of change as well as the impetus of change. I hope for that with much of my writing, as when I illustrate modern evils through ancient motifs, such as the representation of abusive child labor with the poem, Batuk and his flying carpet, and reveal the ways that real life contemporaries can achieve things so phenomenal that they seem as far-fetched as any fairy tale as in my story, The Strength of Stones. In, Flowers: an essay, I hope that by using allegory I can open eyes and change minds.

My mind immediately makes connections between pin pricks (of the distaff in Sleeping Beauty or of the voodoo doll pins in Queenies Best), conscience pricks, the pricking of desire and the pricking of one’s thumbs when ‘something wicked this way comes’. It’s the way that I think and I think it is a feminine way of thinking – to connect so many things and be able to make common cloth of all of the connotations that converge.

As a woman writer, if I am a tree lining a bank – the bank to a river of stories which inspires and flows through me – you won’t find me just leaning over that bank. I am a tree with roots that curl and unfurl, take steps and walk. Not entirely rooted when my will takes me that way – I am a mangrove tree.

I am also interested in defying stereotypes and breaking down barriers to communication. In addition to my writing, my work, as the founder and curator of the Facing Feminism: Feminist I Know project and as the Literature Editor for IN THE FRAY Magazine, allows me to do this in a rewarding and meaningful way that incorporates the telling of stories.


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

I lOVE her! She is a true modern woman. I like women who think about other women and how to raise them up and raise their consciousness.

Thank you for bringing us a smart and intelligent writer who cares about the world and writes it!

Shonell Bacon said...

Hey there, Lady! Thanks for the comment. I participated in Annette's FACING FEMINISM project a while back and thoroughly enjoyed it; one of the reasons I dig Annette so much is her broad view of women and including that in her work.

Annette Marie Hyder said...

LOVEBABZ:Wow -- thanks! And why not answer this question yourself? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

SHON:Thanks! And thanks for inviting me to blog on this month's question -- it's a great topic.

That photoem of yours is still one of my favorites!