Author Interview: Sam Waterhouse

Today, Sam Waterhouse joins me as part of the Of Legend and Lore blog tour. This collection of fairy tale retellings by members of the Just-Us League takes a fresh look at both well-known and lesser known tales.


Sam Waterhouse is a part-time writer with a full-time imagination from Hobart, Tasmania. ‘Wishes Between Worlds’ is his second published story, a futuristic retelling of ‘The Enchanted Quill’ fairy tale. He enjoys writing unusual characters, so a trickster, genie-esque crow was an opportunity too good to pass on.

Sam also contributed to the previous Just-Us League anthology Between Heroes and Villains with ‘Like You’, an original story where superpowers are treated as a disease to be eradicated.

You can follow Sam on Twitter (@SW_Wordologist).

What inspired your retelling?

I chose to retell ‘The Enchanted Quill’ partly because I like a good anthropomorphic character and partly because of how it portrays the power of the written word. I took a few liberties in the retelling – such as changing the setting to a spaceship during a multi-generational interstellar voyage and having Corvo play the part of trickster – but those were the two qualities I liked most about this particular fairy tale.

What was the hardest part of writing it?

Ensuring that the retelling kept true to the heart of the original fairy tale. I found myself checking back regularly with the original to make sure that I didn’t go off on tangents.

Tell me about the story you wrote for the previous Just-Us League anthology.

I wrote a short story for Between Heroes and Villains, an anthology about being with super powers. ‘Like You’ is the opening story for this anthology. I was inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series where the people with super powers are considered the ‘bad guys’. The protagonist is part of the taskforce that hunts down these ‘Unnaturals’.

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That sounds interesting! How did this experience differ from writing ‘Like You’?

I knew what to expect this time, in terms of editing and finalising the story. My previous JLA story was my first ever published story and the whole experience was new and exciting. This time around I knew how long I needed to tinker with the plot and characters.

What other fairy tale would you like to rewrite?

I almost decided to rewrite ‘The Death of Koschei the Deathless’, a Russian fairy tale. It is a morbid story, but translating an old Russian story to a futuristic setting would have been a fun challenge.

Are you a fan of the Happily Ever After?

I don’t mind ending a story on a happy note but I like them to emphasize that the story is just one event in the life of the characters. Those characters could have lives after the tale is done. Basically, if it makes a reader wonder ‘what happens next?’ then I’m all for it.

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How do you combat writer’s block?

By not writing. What I mean is that if I can’t actually write anything, not even something that’s terrible, I should give it a couple of days break. I have never been able to beat writer’s block into submission. Everyday life grants enough inspiration that eventually I’m able to get back into it.

Are you a “pantser” or “plotter”?

Definitely a pantser.

Favourite original fairy tale?

Red Riding Hood. It’s dark, gritty and has a big monster.

Ooh dark choice! What about your favourite adapted fairy tale?

Fables comic book series. It’s not so much an adaption of one, but an adaption of all fairy tales and myths.

If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be?

It would have to be either J.R.R Tolkien or C.S Lewis. Not only did they write hugely popular series that are amongst the bestsellers today, but their non-fiction works show them to be wise and intellectual men.

What is your non-writer alter-ego (aka day job)?

Father (non-paying) and data researcher (paying).

What is your spirit animal?

I’ve never thought about this, but would probably be something like a bunyip.

Who is the biggest supporter of your writing?

My daughter. She is always asking me ‘what doing?’ though she doesn’t appear that interested in my answer.

What is the biggest obstacle to your writing?

I tend to run out of creative steam as I’m heading into the middle of the story. I would have created the narrative in my head and know where it’s going, but it is sometimes hard to actually find the words to describe the story I want to tell. This has lead to several stories being left half finished.

I have to remind myself frequently to make a habit of getting words on the page, even if I don’t think they are any good. Better to have something there than nothing at all.

What other projects are you working on?

I am currently working on a followup to the short story published in Between Heroes and Villains, returning to a world where powered individuals are considered enemies of the state.

Oxford comma, yes or no?

Honestly, I think it looks a bit weird, but happy to go along with it to keep the people happy.


If this has piqued your interest, check out the anthology, available to purchase now from Amazon worldwide!

Blog Tour Schedule

To meet other authors in Of Legend and Lore, follow the blog tour:

Allie May hosts Matthew Dewar — 8th February

J.E. Klimov hosts Kelsie Engen — 13th February

Louise Ross hosts M.T. Wilson — 16th February

Heather Hayden hosts Allie May– 19th February

Kelsie Engen hosts Renee Frey — 20th February

RELEASE DAY — 26th February

Kristen Kooistra hosts Louise Ross — 2nd March

M.T. Wilson hosts Sam Waterhouse — 3rd March

Elise Edmonds hosts J.E. Klimov — 7th March

J.E. Klimov hosts Heather Hayden — 9th March

Allie May hosts Elise Edmonds — 12th March

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