We Herts Folklorists 3!
Here is our third post for a special weekly blog series we’ll be running over the next few weeks, showcasing some of the wonderful talent of people who have recently completed or are currently undertaking the MA in Folklore Studies at the University of Hertfordshire. Throughout this series you will see some great folklore-inspired work, ranging from blogs to art.
My first degree was in history, from Bristol University, many years ago. More recently, after I retired from a career as a Government lawyer, I studied for an MA in Creative Writing at Middlesex University. I now write fantasy fiction. I am the author of two novels of historical fantasy, Spellhaven and Ghosts and Exiles. My short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies.
My favourite reading has always included myths, legends and fairy tales. I have a long-standing interest in folklore, as the raw material out of which fiction develops. This includes the stories people tell about their history and the places where they live, whether real or fantastical, but also the informal culture of everyday life.
Through the MA course at Hertfordshire, I have explored these interests in more depth and learned new skills, as a participant observer, for example. I have also become more alert to the way folklore expresses important aspects of our lives. My study of adult birthday customs helped me to think about the significance of events we usually take for granted.
You can see how Sandra applied her newly-developed skills in participant-observation in this blog post for the Clockhouse London Writers.