Authors Answer 75 – Re-imagining Fairy Tales

This week’s question is really interesting, and for the first time I’m sitting here wishing I didn’t write these on the fly, but had instead prepared for it, because I don’t think I can really come up with a good and proper answer without thoroughly mulling it over first.

For the record, the question is this: If you could take any fairy tale and rewrite it as a full-length novel, which would it be and how would you change it to suit your style?

Let me start by saying I adore fairy tales. My parents had a big book of fairy tales which I read and re-read so many times as a child that the book is falling apart. My aunt had three or four books which were collections of fairy tales from all over the world, including African, Inuit and Japanese fairy tales. I loved those so much that when I went into the big antiques-and-second-hand-bookstore in my home town and found a stack of nine of those books, I immediately bought the lot. I cheated on my university degree by asking if I could fill part of my literary requirement by reading Russian fairy tales. Baba-Yaga on her chicken-leg house became part of my store of general knowledge.

Maybe this illustrates the problem – I have read too many fairy tales in my lifetime to be able to pick just one without any preparation. Do I pick the story of Lizina, who gained the love of the cats in the cat house, so they helped her marry the prince instead of her evil sister Peppina who kicked and starved the kittens? Do I pick the story of the boy Neki, who bargained with the wizard Baiame for the return of the flowers? There are simply too many to choose from.

Actually, I have sort of already done this once before, and I even posted it on my blog.

There, I think that covers the requirement. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll pick another fairy tale and put my own twist on it.

To see what other people chose, here is the original post on Jay Dee’s blog.



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