Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Fairy Tales

on April 29, 2011

One of the blogs I follow, From Blah to Basically Amazing, has been doing a series of posts called, Fairy Tale Fortnight.   One of the early posts is an interview with Zoe Marriott who talks about Why Fairtytales are Magic.  Zoë is the author of The Swan Kingdom, Daughter of the Flames and the upcoming Shadows on the Moon, which is a retelling of Cinderella, set in Feudal Japan.

Zoe Marriott says:

Why are some writers drawn back to fairytales again and again, even when they also write original fantasies and books in other genres, like Shannon Hale (The Goose Girl, The Book of a Thousand Days, Rapunzel’s Revenge)? Why do some writers love a particular fairytale so much that they retell it more than once from different perspectives, like Robin McKinley (Beauty, The Rose Daughter, Sunshine)? Why are writers able to pull a fairytale to pieces, take the bits they like, discard the rest, put everything back in an entirely different order, and still call it a retelling, like Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red, Sweetly)?

Now, I admit. I’ve never been a big reader of retold fairy tales. As a child, my Dad read the Grimms Fairy Tales to me and I enjoyed those nightly reading sessions, but as a teen and adult I tended to walk past the books with girls in Princess dresses or castles on the covers.  (Probably also the reason why I am not into the Royal Wedding either…although I do love writing and reading romance but the Royal Weddings don’t grab me).

However, after reading the last two week’s of the posts on Fairy Tale Fortnight, I have to admit, my “to read” pile has grown to include some retold YA and MG retold fairy tales. A lot of this new interest is due to Ashley’s incredible knowledge and her great interviews with a wide variety of authors who write YA books based on fairy tales….which also just goes to show you that if something is done well, how it can become a topic of interest.

My favorite fairy tale is Beauty and the Beast. I’ve always loved the idea of seeing beyond the mask to the truth inside. I think a lot of the juvie poetry workshop is about seeing beyond the mask which sometimes isn’t so pretty, and finding the heart of the person inside.

Some of the YA retellings of this fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, which have been mentioned in Fairy Tale Fortnight include: (If you click on the links, you can read the great write-ups about each book or interviews with the author)

Beauty by Robin McKinley

Beastly by Alex Flinn

Beast by Donna Jo Napoli (Interview post with Donna)

Heart’s Blood by Juliet Marillier

So, now I ask you…which fairy tale speaks to you, and which fairy tale(s) would you consider retelling?

2 responses to “Fairy Tales

  1. Ashley says:

    Mindy, it is SO wonderful to have brought a new person into a love of fairy tales!! 🙂 I hope that you fall in love with them, just as I have!

    I’m so excited that you enjoyed the event! It will be back next year, so if you do read some retellings, and wanted to be a guest for the event, we would love to have you!

    (I do want to mention that the question you posted was taken from Zoe’s guest post, so they are her words, not mine.)

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