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.