Uncaged: Can you tell us more about your series, How To Be The Best Damn Faery Godmother In The World (Or Die Trying)?
Even though, they’re the ones with all the power, the fairy godmothers in old stories are never the heroines! I figured it was about time that they had a voice and I love the idea that there’s an office of fairy godmothers somewhere who are working flat out to grant wishes. Unfortunately, however, the office in this series is not a happy place, for all sorts of reasons. Think of it as The Office meets Mean Girls meets Cinderella. And then some!
Uncaged: You write mainly in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre. Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
I love the escapism of urban fantasy but the part that makes it enjoyable for me is that it’s rooted in real life. Usually there’s something from the real world that will set off a series of ideas for me – for example, I’m from Scotland originally and was brought up in a town that’s at the start of the imaginary line between the Highlands and the Lowlands. That sparked an idea about a series of books called Highland Magic, where the Lowlands are over-run by demons and only the Highlands are free. Or then there’s The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Magic, which came about from a chat with a friend where we agreed that we’d be useless in any ‘heroic’ situation because we’re both just too lazy at heart!
Uncaged: What are you working on next that you can tell us about?
I’m just about to begin a brand new series about a police officer who is murdered. She then wakes up in a morgue without any injuries – and realises that she’s just as magical as the vampires and werewolves she’s been hunting. But she has no idea who killed her or why and she’s determined to find out. I love starting a new series when everything is shiny and fun and all the kinks and details still have to be worked out!
Uncaged: Past or present, which authors would you love to sit and have lunch with and why?
Jane Austen! I’d love to talk to her about what it was like to write back then – and to see her face when she found out that her books and characters are still very much celebrated today. JRR Tolkien as well – I had a tutor at university who’d been taught herself by Tolkien at Oxford University and I’m still jealous all these years later!
Read the rest of the interview in the issue of Uncaged Book Reviews below
After teaching English literature in the UK, Japan and Malaysia, Helen Harper left behind the world of education following the worldwide success of her Blood Destiny series of books. She is a professional member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and writes full time, thanking her lucky stars every day that’s she lucky enough to do so!
Helen has always been a book lover, devouring science fiction and fantasy tales when she was a child growing up in Scotland.
She currently lives in Devon in the UK with far too many cats – not to mention the dragons, fairies, demons, wizards and vampires that seem to keep appearing from nowhere.
Muddled magic. Missing faeries. She’s having one spell of a day at work…
Saffron Sawyer has ambition by the bucketload and magic at her fingertips.
When she lands a position at the esteemed Office of Faery Godmothers, she thinks all her dreams have come true.
But it’s not all glitter and glass slippers, especially with emerald eyed Jasper, the Devil’s Advocate, who is looming over everything. And when Saffron learns that other faery godmothers have been going missing, she realises that she might just be in over her head.
Wishful Thinking is the first book in the refreshingly original How To Be The Best Damn Faery Godmother in the World (or Die Trying) urban fantasy series. If you love determined heroines, enchanting spins on old tales, and clever twists and turns, then you’ll love Helen Harper’s captivating story.
The monster was bloody massive. Despite the soupy fog surrounding us, his features were still clear. His angry red eyes glowed, almost laser sharp in their intensity, while his green skin glistened wetly in the drizzle. He opened his mouth, jaws yawning wide. The roar which ensued just after was in equal measures ferocious and terrifying. I beamed proudly.
The bolder of my three trainees raised his hand. Normally, I wouldn’t countenance questions in the middle of a client session. For now, however, I’d allow it. I had a few seconds to spare and I was feeling generous.
I nodded towards him. ‘Yes?’
He swallowed. ‘Isn’t it rather derivative? I mean, giving him green skin and all. It’s not very original.’
The kid deserved to go to the top of the class. I snapped my fingers at him. ‘Exactly! It’s not supposed to be innovative. You have to ensure that you are creating something which is connected in some way to reality. If you stray too far and let your imagination run riot, then you run the risk of either at worst turning your client psychotically crazy or at best making him completely dismiss your conjuration and forget about what he’s seen.’ I pointed at the hunched over figure in the doorway. ‘If he can believe that his own mind created that monster, then you’ll have more success in your endeavours.’
‘I thought that as dope faeries we are supposed to give them the best trip possible.’
‘We are.’ I explained further. ‘And the best trip possible is the one that your client can believe in. To a certain extent anyway. You can’t give them more than their own minds can cope with. When Duncan Smith here properly sobers up, he’ll believe that the mushrooms he ate were fantastic. He’ll think that he hallucinated a monster akin to the Incredible Hulk because last week he saw part of the film when he sneaked into the local cinema. He’ll be more inclined to have mushrooms again, instead of progressing to harder substances which will only lead to his eventual demise. And,’ I gestured to his expression, ‘he’ll continue to enjoy himself.’
All three trainees stared at Duncan’s glazed expression. His mouth was indeed curved up into a goofy smile, with his tongue lolling out happily. The trail of drool curling down from his bottom lip was somewhat off-putting but fairly par for the course.
Read the rest of the excerpt in the issue below