My Crazy Top Five List
The kind folks here at Books Like Breathing asked me for a guest blog. The topic? My top 5 fairy tale heroes—or my top 5 fairy tale baddies.
Oh, dear. I thought and I thought. Because what I do when I read fairy tales is that I wonder what the real story is. I don’t believe the stuff that became the legend. I believe the stuff that never saw print.
Must be because I used to be a reporter. I know the official version isn’t true.
So…honestly, seriously, my top five fairy tale heroes are all women. (Which I know isn’t what the kind folks meant when they asked me to write this-No it wasn’t but the feminist in me is rejoicing.) I adore the mermaid in The Littlest Mermaid—the real version. I love the stepmothers from Snow White’s (who is the heroine of Wickedly Charming—not Snow White, but her stepmom) to Hansel & Gretel’s (who shows up in both Wickedly Charming and the upcoming Charming Blue).
I make bad guys heroes as well—in Charming Blue, my hero—hero, mind you—is Bluebeard. Yeah, my mind is a bit twisted, and a bit off.
So I’m going for fairy tale baddies—the top five, in reverse order:
5. Snow White’s Prince Charming. Um…he was attracted to a girl he thought was dead? Really? Ew. (I plan to use him as a villain in an upcoming book.)
4. Ealswith. You’ve never heard of Ealswith? Well, she’s the bad guy in Utterly Charming, and she is, indeed, a wicked stepmother. I don’t write a lot of wicked stepmothers, but Ealswith is one.
3. The Big Bad Wolf, not the one who went after the pigs, but the one who ate Grandma in Red Riding Hood. I mean, really. Who kills Grandma?
2. Walt Disney. Have you looked at the women in those Disney fairy tale cartoons? Either good or bad, and when the women are bad, they are very, very, very bad. Unredeemably bad. Still, in my crazy fairy tale world, he has given a lot of the fairy folk work in his films, so he’s not entirely bad (no matter what Mellie of Wickedly Charming says).
1. The Brothers Grimm. Everyone in my fairy tale universe hates these guys, because they visited the Fairy Tale Kingdoms, appropriated the history and people’s life stories—and then got it all wrong. These guys are the ultimate bad tourists. They saw everything through their own eyes.
Okay, I know, I’m not playing fair. I’m playing in my fairy tale universe, not the real world’s. But if I really liked the fairy tale universe of the real world, I would have left the fairy tales alone. Instead, I’m retelling them, and debunking one little myth at a time.
Take that, Brothers Grimm. (G: I love your fairy tale world so much more than I love any other. I will be waiting for Charming Blue because I had a semi-major crush on Bluebeard in the first book )