Book Alette Willis
Alette Willis is drawn to stories about the natural world in which we dwell and our relationships with it. She loves creation stories about plants and animals, and traditional tales about trees. While she draws mainly on folklore and myths, Alette has also developed original stories in collaboration with scientists, which aim to communicate the wonder available through contemporary scientific thought. She has even been known to tell a tale or two about quantum forces and the origins of the universe!
Alette welcomes the opportunity to tell to anyone of any age. She is particularly interested in using stories to help re-enchant the world and heal the divisions between people and the environment. Where possible, she likes to combine storytelling with creative activities that enable audiences to explore how stories relate to their own lives. As a lifelong member of the guild of tree-huggers, Alette’s favourite venues are ones with trees and she often takes part in storytelling at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.
Alette was born in Oxford, England, but did most of her growing up in Ottawa, Canada. In 2008, she moved to Edinburgh with her husband and their big black poodle. Part of what attracted her to Scotland was its rich tradition of storytelling and the depth of continuing support for the art here. Alette holds a PhD in human geography and environmental studies and currently works part-time at the University of Edinburgh. Alette is also an award-winning children’s fiction author. Her first book, ‘How to Make a Golem (and Terrify People),’ which draws on Scottish and Yiddish folklore, won the 2011 Kelpies Prize.