Friday, May 23, 2014
Fairytale Tropes - What's Your Favorite?
Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
I say it that way because it's the first novel I've had published that's designated purely as fantasy. Carina Press usually calls my Covenant of Thorns books "fantasy romance." It's been more fun than I thought to have this new book, The Mark of the Tala, available in trade paperback as well as ebook. The cover has this lovely, buttery feel to it, making it ideal for petting. :-) I had copies at the RT Booklovers Convention last week and watching people hold copies, flip through them and read gave me all kinds of delightful shivers.
Even better, some people were reading during the week and talking to me about the story and characters. One reviewer even handed me her copy, so I could see all the sticky notes she'd used to annotate what she saw as the important sections. She thought I might get something out of seeing those and - wow! - did I ever. Truly fascinating.
She and I had a great conversation about the story, too, and the fairytale tropes I explore in it. See, when I wrote this book, I called it "The Middle Princess." The blurb goes as such:
The tales tell of three sisters, daughters of the high king. The eldest, a valiant warrior-woman, heir to the kingdom. The youngest, the sweet beauty with her Prince Charming. No one says much about the middle princess, Andromeda. Andi, the other one.
Andi doesn’t mind being invisible. She enjoys the company of her horse more than court, and she has a way of blending into the shadows. Until the day she meets a strange man riding, who keeps company with wolves and ravens, who rules a land of shapeshifters and demons. A country she’d thought was no more than legend–until he claims her as its queen.
In a moment everything changes: Her father, the wise king, becomes a warlord, suspicious and strategic. Whispers call her dead mother a traitor and a witch. Andi doesn’t know if her own instincts can be trusted, as visions appear to her and her body begins to rebel.
For Andi, the time to learn her true nature has come. . .
I've long been fascinated by the concept of the three princesses, which symbolizes the power of three in the subconscious. Magic works on the construct of three, as in seed, soil, manifestation. Very often stories focus on one and three, but two is a bridge, the intermediary, the incubation.
A very interesting place to start.
And FUN. I mean, I got to write about princesses! They live in castles - and there's even one on the cover! I got to add in magic, draw a map, and have a very noble, handsome Prince Charming. Of course, the *real* fun comes in turning the story on its ear. My princesses are more than icons - they're real women with hopes, sorrows and heavy responsibilities. Nobody is who they seem.
That's the best part of playing with fairytale tropes - taking those shining childhood ideas and reinterpreting them as an adult.
So I have my stories about the three daughters of the High King, each more beautiful than the last. What's yours?
Jeffe Kennedy is a multi-award-winning and best-selling author of romantic fantasy. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and is a member of Novelists, Inc. (NINC). She is best known for her RITA® Award-winning novel, The Pages of the Mind, the recent trilogy, The Forgotten Empires, and the wildly popular, Dark Wizard. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is represented by Sarah Younger of Nancy Yost Literary Agency.