Who doesn't love a good fairy tale?
We think they are for kids, but I disagree. I think they are full of treasures for the one willing to look. I think that's why they are told again and again in various ways.
For a couple of years, I've felt nudged to write some fairy tale retellings, and I'm glad that I listened to that inner nudging. Like parables, these old stories have a way of reaching through time with some hard truths that resonate even today.
I started with Wikipedia on what a fairytale actually is... (In case you were wondering)
A fairy tale, fairytale, wonder tale, magic tale, or Märchen is an instance of a folklore genre that takes the form of a short story. Such stories typically feature entities such as dwarfs, dragons, elves, fairies, giants, gnomes, goblins, griffins, mermaids, talking animals, trolls, unicorns, or witches, and usually magic or enchantments. In most cultures, there is no clear line separating myth from folk or fairy tale; all these together form the literature of preliterate societies. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described)
Clear as mud, right?
Not all fairy tales are short stories. And not all involve creatures or beast. Almost all, do have some kind of moral hidden in them.
I love stories that have something to say. Stories that linger after I've closed the cover and make me think about ... things.
What about you?
Not all fairy tale books are even fantasy stories. Not really.
When I jumped on the Billionaire bandwagon, I wasn't on comfortable ground. That kind of lifestyle sounded like a fantasy to me. Ha! So, when I came up with a series about a billionaire family, I decided to loosely fashion each one after a favorite fairytale.
Beauty and the Beast, with a little bit of Cinderella mixed in is Duncan and Elisa's story - The Beastly Billionaire. Snow White is Jeremy and Melody's tale in My Charming Billionaire. And finally, My Wayfaring Billionaire is a Little Mermaid retelling featuring Colton and Cilla.
They were fun to write. I didn't stick exactly to the original tales, but you know, they have the flavor of these favorite tales.
Quick Note... My Charming Billionaire will be on sale for only .99¢ starting this weekend. Learn more about his story HERE.
Returning to Alburnium took a lot of thought and coaxing.
Eventually, I had the idea of going back in time and over the course of a few short mini-series, I'd show Darnel's rise to power and what life was like before he ruled Racah.
It all started when I was thumbing through my big book of Grimm's fairy tales, looking for one to pop out at me. I was in one of those talking/praying modes where I'm bouncing ideas off to the Lord. (Most of the time, I'm sure He's the only one honestly interested in hearing about my story world ideas--Ha!)
So, a number popped into my head, along with, read that one. I took out a pen and began number the stories, because the Grimms didn't bother to do that. I came to a story titled, The Handless Maiden.
My first response? Ew. Really? But I did read it.
My second response? "Good grief, that was cheerful. NOT!" I slammed the book closed and tossed it on the table. Enough of that silliness. I went to do something else.
I don't know. Maybe the Lord was prodding me. I consider him my bestest friend and I do go to Him a lot in prayer with my stories and writing business decisions. So, yeah, maybe. Except, I was not a fan of this semi-morbid tale. (I mean, the girl has her hands chopped off!! It was a little dark for me.)
In the middle of the night, around 2 AM, I woke up and that blasted story was running through my head again. Ugh!
Except, I was seeing it take place in Alburnium. I was seeing the land divided into Provinces, like mini-kingdoms. I saw the king in the Maiden story as a young Regent who had been thrown into a position he wasn't ready for, or didn't think he was ready for.
And the kindhearted maiden? She became the golden-haired Kardia, a Sano who can mend broken things.
Truth is, the story came alive for me that night and all three books played out in my mind from start to finish. No kidding. The next morning before anyone else got up, I was out of bed making notes, trying to grab all the story magic before it dissipated with the morning light.
They can do that sometimes. Storytellers have to be quick about catching the stories that come their ways.
Needless to say, that crazy story about a girl who loses her hands, then is given them back because of her kindness has now become the first three-book series in the Chronicles of Alburnium. I'm currently halfway through book three - Gold and Fire.
After this? I have a two-book series that I'm hoping to have out later this year that I plan to call the Phoenix Duology. It's a Cinderella retelling... of sorts. At this moment, I believe it will only be two books, but we know how I can be about big books. And big books series.
If you'd like to keep up with what's happening in my Fantasy Story World, sign up for my monthly or bi-weekly newsletter. (This really depends on how much news I have to offer you.) When you sign up, you can get Veiled Blossoms for free. This is a very short retelling of a story that was only three paragraphs long. Milty appears in Blood and Water, this is the story she avoids telling about her trip to Aloblase.
Do you enjoy fairytales? What are some of your favorites? Leave a comment and maybe I'll be able to turn your favorite into a new series sometime soon.
Thanks for stopping in.
Jackie Castle is an author, artist and dreamer. She lives in Texas with her husband, two grown children and her dog, Banjo. She looks for the extraordinary in the ordinary in everything she experiences.