Sunday, November 6, 2011

Guest: Elise Hepner

Fairytale Retellings
For as long as I can remember I’ve been devouring fairy tales both old and new re-tellings. When I first got big into reading a book a day in middle school it was my go-to genre making my shelves lined with fairy tale goodness. It’s only natural that this fun and addicting habit would translate to my own work at some point. Now I can’t seem to beat the fairytale writing bunnies off with a stick—maybe not even a flame throwing. So for now, I’m going for it. I’ve released two fairytale re-tellings of my own with Ellora’s Cave and I have at least two more planned for this year.
In honor of my obsession I’ve decided to share some of my favorite fairytale retellings from middle school until now. Much of my middle school reading was more mature than it should have been anyway—I was determined and naughty. Not much has changed. Here we go:
Tanith Lee’s White as Snow
Francesca Lia Block’s The Rose and The Beast
Anything by Donna Jo Napoli
Alison Tyler’s  Alison’s Wonderland
 All of these books represent a special time in my life and I read a good deal of them over and over every year. Much of the content in these books changes meaning as I grow older, gains depth and emotion. It’s fun watching the same words evolve in my brain every year. Neat that books can change a person’s emotions while the words themselves don’t move or adjust. When I was a teenager, The Rose and The Beast was very angsty, dark, and full of twists. Now, I can see past it into the light spots, points where the every story evolves into a point of peace.
Even with the Sleeping Beauty Series, it’s not so much about titillation and eroticism as it is a journey for a woman who’s forced to find herself despite everything going on in her insane world. What are some fairytales that you’ve enjoyed with multiple meanings throughout your life?

White runs from her prison of a past and enters into a sexual deal with seven men that alters the course of her life for eternity. Caught between her need to take control and making up for her serious lack of good sex, she enters a wonderland of kinky possibilities with men who show her that Prince Charmings come in all shapes and sizes. For White and her men—once upon a time doesn’t cut it—three or four times sound just about right.

With each partner—not always one at a time—White beats back her trust issues. But the shadow of her past comes back to haunt them all. Now she must introduce them to her personal battle, hoping they’ll fight beside her as their sinful nights turn into hellish days. Happily ever after isn’t by the books anymore.

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