I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, Champions, and Happy Holidays–though the New Year looms on the horizon. I’ve got some great goodies for you today, starting with a free ebook: Goose Girl! Goose Girl is part of the Entwined Fairy Tale series I did with five other authors, and actually the whole series is on sale right now! Click here for the series page.
Additionally, the final Snow White short is now available: A Picky Pegasus! It’s an extra scene from Angelique’s point of view. I hope you all enjoy it–and thank you so much for all the reviews! I’m so thrilled with the reception you’ve given Snow White. 🙂
Speaking of which, today we’re going to discuss Snow White the character–particularly one of her defining traits, her social anxiety.
This is going to be a bit of a repeat for those of you who attended my Atypical Heroine event with Lindsay Buroker, but since Snow White’s social anxiety is a key part of the story, I think it’s worth discussing again.
As you guys have probably noticed, most of my heroines are confident females who are capable of kicking butt on the battlefield or in the ballroom. I’ve written about a princess who excels at accounting, Elise; a woman who disguises herself as a legendary king and is able to lead an entire league of knights without getting discovered, Britt Arthurs; and a regular high school student who becomes an important figure in magical society because of her knowledge of normal humans, Morgan.
For my retelling of Snow White I was changing a few major components of the story (ie: Snow White’s stepmom actually loves her) so I decided to depart from my usual sassy heroines and tackle something I knew was important, but I also knew was going to be hard to write: social anxiety.
To recap, Snow White—a princess who is expected to become Queen of Mullberg—undergoes great anxiety whenever she has to speak in front of a group. Even if she knows everyone present, she fumbles her words, her palms get sweaty, her heart beats so loud she can barely hear, and she locks up.
Since Snow White lives in the world of Timeless Fairy Tales, no one can correctly diagnose her with what she has, social anxiety, and instead they call her shy.
I was purposeful in portraying Snow White’s anxiety because while there are a plethora of strong females who are confident and rougeish in fantasy, it’s far more rare to see quiet, bookish heroines right there with them. (And the only fantasy character with anxiety that I can think of at the moment is Bekka Cooper by Tamora Pierce.)
That might not seem like a big deal, but as a college student I struggled a little bit with social anxiety as well. (LOL, there’s a reason I was able to accurately describe the damp hands, pounding heart, ringing in the ears, etc.) And while books provide an escape so we can live through someone else, so to speak—maybe someone more clever or prettier–as a writer I wanted to portray a heroine who won despite what most would deem a social shortcoming, who perhaps was a little more like me.
Of course, it also worked great for the story. If it had been anyone besides Snow White who had been forced to flee–say Quinn, or Cinderella, or Briar Rose–any of those confident ladies would have rallied the troops and saved Faina by the end of the week. But Snow White’s struggle is a lot more personal, particularly because people don’t necessarily respect her as they should due to her anxiety, and even fewer people recognized the sharp mind hiding behind her stammer. (Yeah, move over, Severin. You’ve got competition now!)
And that’s all for today, Champions! Thanks for reading, and enjoy the extra!