What if Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother isn’t her real grandmother? What if her two trueborn grandmothers are both Queens – where one is good, and the other one is evil?
Celsia is a ‘Red Hood,’ a young healer training under her grandmother in a small village deep in the woods. Life was ordinary and uneventful, until the fateful day a shocking truth is uncovered – Celsia’s grandmother isn’t her real grandmother.
Forced to flee her village, Celsia is soon on a quest to seek her two trueborn grandmothers – both powerful Queens of magical kingdoms. Accompanied by her childhood friend Quillon and the cheeky faun Pylus, her first destination is the fabled kingdom of Fallinor, which was destroyed over 60 years ago… or was it?
An Interview with Queenie Chan
What inspired you to write "Fabled Kingdom"?
To be honest, I watched a movie called "Girl with the Red Riding Hood", and I thought I could tell a better story about Red Riding Hood! It's an egotistical reason for creating a comic, but I felt that there should be more comics targeted at girls, and I also happen enjoy fairy tales as well. It seemed to me that Red Riding Hood seem to have a lot of potential, and being an icon as she is, you could steer the story in many directions and do a fairy tale mashup.
What was the hardest part about writing it?
Writing it wasn't difficult at all - the story came to me quite quickly, and I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with it from the outset. Drawing it was much harder - I did an unusual mix of prose and comics, and the end result was that 70% of the work was the art. The writing, in comparison, wasn't that hard, though with all stories it has its difficult parts where I struggled to express what I wanted.
If you met your hero in a bar, what would you talk about?
I think we would talk politics, economics and medicine! My Red Riding Hood's name is Celsia, and while she would probably slam back a few drinks, I don't drink at all, so maybe she can teach me a thing or two about drinking. She's a girl who has a natural curiosity about the world around her, so I imagine she'll ask me lots of questions about my world too.
If you met your villain in a bar, what would you talk about?
Probably the same things as what I'll talk about with my heroine Celsia. The hero and the antagonist in this story are actually closely related family members, and they're alike in ways they will never admit to. This makes for an interesting dynamic - I imagine Briar Rose will also slam back a few, but then start a fight in the bar with someone else.
What’s one of your interests outside of writing that might surprise people who have never met you?
Video gaming! I'm a big indie gamer, but a lot of people have stereotypical ideas about videogaming, so they're surprised that such a girly-girl like me is into games. The truth is, however, I'm into the quirkier side of gaming, not the more testosterone-drenched side, so it's not as strange as it sounds.
What’s the most challenging part about living in Australia?
The smaller market in Australia makes it harder to reach a wide audience with my work, and while social media has helped, it's not the solution to everything. There are also no major publishers in Australia that publishes comics very much, so I try and pitch my work to an American market. The distance makes that difficult too.
What’s the last film that blew you away and what was so good about it?
I loved the movies "Hidden Figures" and "The Martian". I've always liked well-made scifi and biopics, and these two are exactly that, but with interesting twists.
Imagine you’ve inherited a hippopotamus and one stipulation of the will is that you cannot give the hippo away or sell it to anyone. What would you do with the hippopotamus?
Eat it! It's not like I can afford to keep such a large and dangerous animal anyway! XD