We are very lucky today to have a guest post from Keith Austin, author of Snow White, which came out last week....
By Keith Austin
1.The Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen) Oh, what couldn’t you do with this tale of yearning, transgression, love, and death? Yup, suck on all that, Disney. And then there’s the wonderful character of the sea witch, who lives in a house made from the bones of shipwrecked sailors and lets toads feed from her mouth “the way people sometimes feed a canary with a piece of sugar”. I can see something wonderfully grotesque coming out of all that in a modern setting.
2.The Princess and the Pea (Hans Christian Andersen)At first glance this short tale of the disguised princess whose royally sensitive skin detects the smallest of peas under 20 mattresses might not seem ripe for twisting but what if someone decided they wanted to ‘own’ that skin?
3.The Little Match Girl (Hans Christian Andersen) A 1944 version of this classic tale changed the ending so that the match girl didn’t perish in the cold but survived to find a loving home and live happily ever after. Which rather takes the fun out of it. Frankly, I’d have her come back and turn everyone who ever did her wrong into blazing, life-sized matches. Fire!
4.Vasilia the Fair (Alexander Afanasev) This Russian fairy tale is a mash-up of Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel – but much more vicious. To be honest it doesn’t take much fracturing, so twisted is it from the start (abandoned child, a house made of bones and teeth, a magical alter ego doll) but what fun could be had from translating the horrible, cannibalistic Baba Yaga ogressinto the modern idiom?
5.The Happy Prince (Oscar Wilde) A princely statue which, with help of a swallow, gives away all histreasures and is, for his troubles, scrapped. The swallow, of course, dies. A sad little tale from the master storyteller in which no good deed goes unpunished. I’d make sure the good burghers of the town got theircommeuppence.
6.Rumpelstiltskin (Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm) Awonderfully, morally bankrupt tale of gold, greed, bizarre names such as Balthazar, Melchior,Spindleshanks and Ribfiend, and an antagonist who eventually tears himself in half in a rage – what’s not to like? The power of names looms large in fairy tales and is ripe for twisting.
Pop back tomorrow to find out how you can enter the giveaway to win an exclusive copy of the book!