It’s always fun celebrating a new book release, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today!
Author and blogger Anna Tan published her collection of four short stories that are greatly unique and fun.
To celebrate, she’s stopping by to share a little more about herself and The Painted Hall Collection.
Check it out below and have fun partying with us!
About the Book
A curse binds the City of Winter and the Dragon’s prophecy holds the key to breaking it. But will a poor fisherman from the South have the means to fulfil the prophecy? Or will the foreignness of the North itself repel him and his efforts?
The Painted Hall Collection is a series of four short, old-school fairy-tales designed to open your eyes to wonder.
*When Winds Blow Cold*
Go north, little human.
Go north until the winds blow cold and you walk on water.
Go north, and there you will find her.
With the Dragon’s prophecy ringing in his ears, Danis travels from town to town, seeking a wife. But at every stop, he is turned away, until he enters the City of Winter itself…
* The Flame of the North*
Ten-year-old Mica hates the cold. Yet he’s bound by duty—and prophecy—to rule over the City of Winter as his grandfather’s heir. All signs seem to indicate that something is wrong and the reappearance of the Yuki-Onna in the Painted Hall is an additional worrisome detail…
*Beneath the Rumbling Earth*
In the Deep where none dare go
Beneath the rumbling earth
Before the Flame is doused
You must rekindle birth
Mica’s only comfort in the City of Winter is the once-cursed Painted Hall. When the deep sea creatures start speaking to him, he must decide if he should listen… or if this new magical event is related to the Dragon’s new prophecy.
*A Still Small Voice*
On her eighteenth birthday, Hono is to be crowned Queen of the City of Winter but the Dragon disrupts the coronation ceremony with a peculiar cry:
Listen. Listen. Listen!
There is one more task to free the City of Winter of all enchantment—and Hono must listen carefully for it.
*BONUS SHORT STORY: Shattered Memories*
For generations upon generations, Memories have been passed from mother to daughter in an unbroken line of Secretkeepers.
Not this time. When Nek Ramalan dies, her granddaughter, Rahsia, does not inherit the Memories. Instead, Iman struggles to fulfil a role she’s not prepared for… piecing together shards of Memories she’s not equipped to understand.
A sneak peek into the current trilogy Anna’s working on!
– Hi Anna! I’m SO excited to be chatting with you! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
Potato. Tea. Nando’s. I don’t know if that will make sense to those who don’t know me, but those were the first three that came to mind!
– Haha! I love that! On your website, you mention a few different productions you’ve been involved in. I had no idea! What was one of your favorite roles you performed?
Hmmm. Three Days of Rain, most likely. It was a difficult dual role, where I got to be Nan, a fussyish business woman in the 90s reuniting with her long-lost brother in the first act, before going back in time to the sixties in the second act, to be Lina, their slightly crazy mother. I also like to believe my Southern accent was somewhat believable (to Malaysians maybe…)
– Ooo! That sounds like a lot of fun! You also mention that you recently moved to London for your schooling in Creative Writing. What has been one of the big differences between living in London and Malaysia? Has the experience inspired any story ideas? 😉
The biggest (obvious) difference is the weather! The only winters I’ve experienced beforehand were in Australia and California, which doesn’t really prepare you for the sun setting at 4pm. I feel like I now understand why all the British kids in fiction eat dinner at five and sleep at eight, when in Malaysia we eat dinner at seven or eight and sleep nearer midnight.
What I really want to write about is clothes that automagically adjust between body temperature and external temperature so I won’t be constantly thinking of what coat to put on and then having to take it off halfway because it’s too warm, or sweating in my coat because I have to reach my destination before I can take it off. (I sweat really easily when I walk, so I find myself sweating in 2 degree Celcius weather when I walk to town, but if I take my coat off, I’ll be cold… Go figure)
– Wow! Yeah, that’s definitely a big change. Also, I am the same way and think it would be awesome if we had clothes that really did do that. I’m so excited for the release of your book, The Painted Hall Collection! The cover is stunning! If you had a magical ability, what would you choose? What would you do with it?
Is teleportation a magical ability? Like I can make some magical door and just step through to anywhere I wanted? That would save SO much time and effort. And would probably result in me turning up at more events that I ended up being too lazy to travel to. (I also miss my car.)
– As my friend says, that totes counts. 😉 I would choose teleportation any day. 🙂 I didn’t realize until exploring your website that The Painted Hall Collection is made up of “old-school fairy-tales.” That is awesome! What are some of your favorite fairy tales?
I’ve always loved the Little Mermaid, though the version where she dies was really sad. The Snow Queen is another one–the image of dear Gerda following faithfully after Kai is one that sticks in my mind. I’m also half-remembering a fairy tale where a host of animals the prince was kind to helped him complete the three tasks to marry the princess. Google leads me to The Queen Bee which sounds about right, but I think the version I remembered had some fish… unless that was another fairy tale altogether. Apparently The Enchanted Princess is also almost the same!
– Wow! I definitely need to read some more fairy tales because I haven’t read any of these! 😮 I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with? What would you guys do?
I’d probably like to hang out with Mica. I’d be on the boat with a book and snacks and he’d be swimming and playing with dolphins. Then he’d come up for snacks and laugh at me because I don’t know how to swim. Everyone else is probably too busy to hang out anyway :p
– I totally wouldn’t mind hanging out with Mica either. I think it would be a super relaxing day. 😉 For my last question, you’ve shared some delicious looking Asian food on your social media recently. If you were to cook a dinner inspired off your book, what dishes would you make?
You know what, because I’ve only started cooking since I moved to London, I realised that I never really thought about food when writing. The only time food appears in The Painted Hall Collection is in the first story, When Winds Blow Cold, because that’s one of the tasks he has to complete. That said, there’s probably going to be some nice, warm fish porridge. Also, with the amount of campfires they have, there’s probably also going to be some burnt sausages and failed smores. Because I don’t know how to cook over an open flame.
– I’ve never had fish porridge! It would be interesting to try for a first time. Thanks so much for chatting with me, Anna! 😀
About the Author
Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. She has given up on annoying bean counters in general—she now counts money for the Malaysian Writers Society (MYWriters) and runs write-ins, though not both at the same time. She is the author of two fantasy books, and has short stories included in anthologies by Fixi Novo, BWWP Publishing, Bausse Books, and Wordworks.
Anna can be found tweeting as @natzers and forgetting to update her website. She is currently taking an MA Creative Writing: The Novel at Brunel University London.