Official Biography

Kate Forsyth wrote her first novel aged seven & has now sold more than a million books worldwide.

Her most recent book, The Blue Rose is set in Revolutionary France and Imperial China, and was inspired by the true story of the quest for a blood-red rose. Other novels for adults include include Beauty in Thorns, a reimagining of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ set amongst the passions and scandals of the Pre-Raphaelites; Bitter Greens, which won the 2015 American Library Association award for Best Historical Fiction; The Wild Girl, the story of the forbidden romance behind the Grimm brothers’ fairy tales, which was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013; The Beast’s Garden, a reimagining of the Grimm brothers’ version of ‘Beauty & the Beast’ set in Nazi Germany; and The Silver Well, a collection of seven interlinking stories co-written with Kim Wilkins.

Kate’s books for children and young adults include the collection of feminist fairy-tale retellings Vasilisa the Wise & Other Tales of Brave Young Women, illustrated by Lorena Carrington, which came second in the Fairies and Folklore category of the 2018 Readers Favorite book awards in the US. It’s sequel, The Buried Moon and Other Tales of Bright Young Women, has recently been released. The Impossible Quest, her fantasy adventure series for children, has been optioned for a film; and The Puzzle Ring, named an ‘Unsung Hero’ of 2009 by international bloggers.

Kate’s doctoral exegesis ‘The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic History of the Maiden in the Tower’ won the Aurealis Convenors’ Award for Excellence in 2016 and the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism in 2017. She was recently awarded the prestigious Nancy Keesing Fellowship by the State Library of NSW.

Named one of Australia’s Favourite 15 Novelists, Kate has a BA in literature, a MA in creative writing and a Doctorate of Creative Arts in fairy tale studies, and is also an accredited master storyteller with the Australian Guild of Storytellers. She is a direct descendant of Charlotte Waring Atkinson, the author of the first book for children ever published in Australia.

She also runs a literary & writing retreat in the Cotswolds every year!

The Blue Rose

tells the story of an impossible love between a marquis’s daughter and a gardener, and was inspired by the true quest for a blood-red rose that blooms even in winter. The narrative moves from France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution to Imperial China, a mysterious and scarcely discovered land of mandarins with long curving fingernails and concubines with bound feet.

Beauty In Thorns

The extraordinary love story behind Edward Burne-Jones’s famous ‘Sleeping Beauty’ paintings.In 1890, the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne-Jones finished a monumental series of paintings inspired by ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Greeted with ecstasy by the public, it sold for a record 15,000 guineas and made the artist a rich and famous man.

The Beast’s Garden

is a retelling of the Grimm’s Beauty and The Beast set in Nazi Germany. Ava is a young woman who marries a Nazi officer in order to save her father, but she hates and fears her new husband and the regime for which he works.

The Wild Girl

tells the true, untold love story of Wilhelm Grimm and Dortchen Wild, the young woman who told him many of the world’s most famous fairy tales. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, ‘The Wild Girl’ is a story of love, war, heartbreak, and the redemptive power of storytelling, and was named the Most Memorable Love Story of 2013.

Bitter Greens

Kate is probably most famous for ‘Bitter Greens’ , a retelling of the Rapunzel fairy tale interwoven with the dramatic life story of the woman who told the tale as it is best known, the 17th century French writer, Charlotte-Rose de la Force. ‘Bitter Greens’ has been called ‘the best fairy tale retelling since Angela Carter’, and won the American Library Association Award for Best Historical Novel of 2015. It was also nominated for a Norma K. Hemming Award, the Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy  Fiction, and a Ditmar Award. It has sold more than a quarter of a million copies world-wide.