Friday, November 28, 2014

Echoing Fairy Tales

Today's reader question is: "I have been rereading Veiled Rose and Moonblood, and I can't help but notice how many 'Cinderella' and 'Beauty and the Beast' themes Rose Red's story has. Was this on purpose or something that just happened?"

Well, first of all let me just say I'm delighted to hear that you're rereading these books. I feel the Tales of Goldstone Wood are stories that should be reread several times over before readers will get everything out of them . . . particularly as each new book that releases sheds light on events and characters from previous books! One of my biggest hopes was to write a series that practically begged rereading, so your question makes me happy.

As to the fairy tale themes . . . my answer is "Absolutely!"

While the later books in this series are gradually taking on more of an epic and historical feel, my original plan was for each book to sound like a new fairy tale. Not retellings--but familiar stories that are so heavily grounded in the tales and myths we already know and love that they almost feel like retellings.

With this goal in mind, I crafted Veiled Rose and the character of Rose Red specifically to mirror both of those beloved fairy tales--"Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast." Despite the secret of Rose Red's veiled face, which harkens more to "Beauty and the Beast," I drew more directly from the "Cinderella" themes, casting my heroine in the humble drudge role and leading her on an exciting journey that eventually (and without the aid of a convenient marriage) landed her in a position of power. Like the classic Cinderella, Rose Red stands out from her circumstances by virtue of a kind and honest heart . . . and unlike the classic Cinderella, she doesn't have the added grace of beauty to help her along.

Throw in Beana as a sort-of "fairy godmother" figure, Leo as a must stumbling and reluctant Prince Charming, and you've got quite an interesting variation on those classic themes.

Simultaneously, however, you do not have a "Cinderella" retelling. The plot and story are completely original. They echo those classic themes, but they build on them in new ways.

I absolutely love a good fairy tale retelling (surprise, surprise!), but I rather doubt I will ever overtly try one myself. I find the challenge of echoing those themes while creating new tales to be more suited to my storytelling interests.

Another great question, making for a fun post. Be sure to leave your questions in the comments below (if you have any), and I will add them to my list of blog post topics! You Imps all keep me on my toes.


Anonymous said...

How fascinating! I didn't even notice those themes until you described it in the post! How cool!

ghost ryter said...

Beana as fairy godmother. I hadn't thought about it that way. Hehe.

I've always loved the traces of fairy-tales in your books. And you've absolutely succeeded in making your series something that demands rereading! My copy of "Heartless" is literally falling to pieces, the poor thing.

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Hannah said...

Beanna...the fairy godmother...OF COURSE! Why have I never seen that!

I love re-reading your books. I think I've read all of them at least four times, though the newest only twice. :)

Unknown said...

Haha, yay! Go fairytales!

Meredith said...

Oh my, yes! I remember thinking how very like Cinderella Rose Red was. I loved the scene in the Netherworld, a very frightening "ball". I suppose the Dragon could be seen as a commentary on the "Prince Charming" figure, how flattery isn't everything. Lets face it; the original Cinderella tale is very big on beauty being of utmost importance, and it has a very dimwitted prince that I, for one, would not want to marry. (I refer to the Grimm Brothers' version, Aschenputtle.). I love Beana as the godmother figure, too. Beauty and the Beast also fits in excellently. I love that the beast character is also the Beauty character. Definitely depends on how you look at things. Think that's why Rose Red is one of my absolutely favorite characters in the series thus far. You're so very clever.

I know in Dragonwitch that Imraldera was reading a manuscript about someone like her who fell into an enchanted sleep, a story that included a hedge of thorns. Is there a possibility we might hear that story sometime? Also, Snow White is one of my favorite fairy tales. Do you ever think one of your books might have echoes of that tale's themes? Poison Crown is a very intriguing title.

I have reread all the tales at least twice. Heartless, Veiled Rose and Starflower I've read at least four or five times. Probably more. Each time I read the stories, I pick up on something I missed. So eager for Golden Daughter. I know I'll reread it lots, too.
God bless.

Tracey Dyck said...

I remember being struck by the echoes of Beauty and the Beast found in STARFLOWER, at least around the end. That was brilliantly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I love re-reading The Tales!I have re-read several times!I was thinking of re-reading Golden Daughter but I am going to wait for Mum to read it so I don't get caught up with to many bookmarks. By the way, this may seem a little of subject but,have you been to Bethel church?

Esther Brooksmith (wisdomcreates) said...

Fun post!

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes! Anne Elisabeth, your books beg to be re-read! I've read Heartless five times, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch three or four times --I can't even keep them straight anymore--, Shadow Hand and Goddess Tithe twice, and I'm partway into reading Golden Daughter for the first time (I know, what's wrong with me? Why haven't I finished it yet? Lol! Too many other things to do.)

Wow! I must be rather slow, since I hadn't previously noticed the "Cinderella" and "Beauty and the Beast" ties in Veiled Rose and Moonblood. I'll have to be a bit more vigilant in spotting the fairy tale themes!


Merenwen Inglorion said...

I'm in the process of reading Heartless to my brother, and during the reading, there were many parts that provoked two reactions: "Oh, that's what that meant!" and "SQUEE-EAL!" And I'm only on the second chapter!!
So yeah, they make for a great re-read. This is the first time my brother is hearing it, and I'm hoping he'll be hooked :).

I especially loved the Beauty and the Beast parallel in Starflower. Imraldera's willingness to call a beast...(rather cliche, but nonetheless real, choke and dab at eyes ;) ). Looking forward to reading more of this lovely Maid of the Haven.

I also love the threads and increasing complication throughout the series! The last one I finished was Dragonwitch, which had me hanging right until the end!!! Love-love-love the Brothers Ashiun and their story.
I'm going to shut up now or I'll start geeking...

God bless,