So, true confessions time. I don’t really care for fairytale retellings. Somewhere between Disney and Robin McKinley, I kind of lost my taste for them. I guess because it’s always the same plot? Like, I know Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast are good stories, but … there’s really only so many twists you can put on those stories to freshen them up. Believe me, I’ve read a few. All paranormal romances are Beauty and the Beast, pretty much without exception.
Anyway, I had the bright idea to stick tieflings in space and frame it as a Beauty and the Beast story. I can’t even remember why I thought this was a good idea. It was a week before Christmas, and the folks on my writing Discord were writing stories to swap on Christmas Eve. So I bashed out this little story in a few days about a human girl and an alien guy living in the same house as political hostages to ensure the good behavior of their politicians during peace talks. Naturally they fall for each other, and naturally a bad guy interferes.
My writing group loved it and begged me to expand it into a book. I liked the story, and I had some ideas about how to expand the worldbuilding, so I took a month or two and rewrote it into a nice novella. It became The Song of the Rose.
Well, once I’d written one story in this universe, I wanted to write another one. A Cinderella plot began to write itself in my head. What if, instead of the prince seeking Cinderella because of a glass slipper, he was seeking her because she’s the pilot of a living warship nobody else can tame? And what if, like, she and her ship have to fight really bad aliens? And what if the prince is kind of useless and lovable? So I wrote it, just to see if I could. It became Of Stars and Ashes.
Then I took a year off to write some other stuff. In the meantime, people read my two fairytales and asked for them in paperback. But the books are so little, I didn’t want to make paperbacks of teeny tiny books. So I promised that I would write a third one, and then make a paperback of all three books together.
I knew I wanted to do Snow White, and I wanted to do it as a political assassination story. (Think about it–the wicked queen trying to murder Snow White over and over? It’s political assassination attempts!) But I couldn’t come up with a guy to be the prince who rescues her. It took me the better part of a year to figure out how I wanted to frame this story, and to figure out the personalities of both the guy and Snow White.
Two different things made it click. The first was reading a book with an introverted healer character. The second was a discussion on my writing discord about how all women are written as spunky, bratty chicks who don’t need no man. Where are the gentle, soft-spoken girls who are genuinely nice and kind of shy?
I instantly knew that I had my male lead and my Snow White. The introverted human medic and the shy alien girl who is the target of a vicious political assassin. So I present to you the latest installment in the Celestial Fairytale series: Fairer than Snow!
I’ve also got an omnibus with all three books in it. By the time you read this, the paperback should be available here.
Anyway, I already have another story in mind that I want to write. It will be based on Snow White and Rose Red, except it will be a brother and sister who help out a Rox guy in trouble.
Help, I’ve fallen down the fairytale rabbit hole and I can’t get out!
One thought on “The fairytale books I never meant to write”
Aw cute!! I always liked fairy tales, yours are very nice.
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