Yesterday, Sam and I hid away from a chilly, drizzly afternoon in the countryside with the beautiful, warming Kate Forsyth. We devoured hours talking fairytales, courage, and flowers.
Every English summer since 2014 when Kate and I met in London, we’ve managed to meet again somewhere on this tiny island, together away from our big island home. In 2015, I was lucky enough to have a sponsored place on Kate’s extraordinary week-long History, Mystery & Magic writing retreat in Oxford and the Cotswolds, where I found time, space, and the flint I needed to spark Alice fully to life. In 2016, we reunited at Manchester Art Gallery, gazed at pre-Raphaelite paintings together, and Kate gave me a box of Frida’s prints for my birthday, which I later plastered all over my office walls. Often while I was writing, Frida (and Kate’s spirit) would stare me down, crack me open a little bit more, ask me to dig a little bit deeper. What would Frida/Kate do?!
This year however, raising our glasses of prosecco together with Sam in company, was particularly special. “To Alice,” Kate beamed.
To women, who empower each other.
HOLLY RINGLAND grew up barefoot and wild in her mother's tropical garden on the east coast of Australia. Her interest in cultures and stories was sparked by a two-year journey her family took in North America when she was nine years old, living in a camper van and travelling from one national park to another. In her twenties, Holly worked for four years in a remote Indigenous community in the central Australian desert. Moving to England in 2009, Holly obtained her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. Her essays and short fiction have been published in various anthologies and literary journals. She now lives between the UK and Australia. To any question ever asked of Holly about growing up, writing has always been the answer.