The last thing I want to address re: Cinderella is Cinderella’s step family. I’ve been thrilled with the feedback I’ve gotten about my change of taking them from antagonists to reserved and somewhat reluctant family members. No one has complained about the change, in fact most people seem to enjoy it. But why did I make that particular change?
Mostly, I made the change because I feel step parents (and step siblings) have a bad rap in fairy tales. In Wild Swans (both the original and my version) it’s the step mom who transforms the sons into swans. Snow White’s step mom orders her to be killed, Hansel and Gretal’s step mom makes their Dad lead them into the forest to die. I know a few step mothers and step dad’s, and I get miffed on their behalf that fairy tales make them all out to be monsters. Cinderella was my chance to change that. Thanks to the Erlauf/Trieux tensions, it wouldn’t take much for Cinderella to see her step family as even a partial antagonist. It also wouldn’t take much for them to reveal that they do care for her.
So thank you, step parents, for loving your step kids. And thank you, step siblings, for loving your fellow step siblings and step parents!
Now that I’ve got that over with, there was a little extra I wanted to share with you. Before C&C was titled Cinderella and the Colonel, it was just plain Cinderella. It was always the plan to make it just plain Cinderella. But Myrhlynn designed the cover and said it looked pretty empty with just the word “Cinderella” on it, so she asked if I could expand the title. We went back and forth, suggesting Cinderella and the Prince, Cinderella and Friedrich, Cinderella and the Colonel, but nothing seemed to fit the cover perfectly. (You can tell Myrrhlynn is a true cover artist. It never occurred to her that the title shouldn’t be designed specifically for the cover. The mark of a creative genius, I’m telling you!)
While discussing the possibilities I lamented that we couldn’t do a title that pitched Cinderella and the villain together–you know, in St. George and the Dragon style. Myrrhlynn asked why not, and I said a title of Cinderella verses the taxes was pretty ridiculous. As we still hadn’t come up with a respectable title (Myrrhlynn hadn’t changed fonts–which is what sold us on C&C) Myrrhlynn went back to the drawing bored. In a twist of humor she pitched this as a possible cover:
Pretty fitting, don’t you think?
That’s all for this week. Next week we’ll take a look at the various fairy tales I’ve alluded to in the first three Timeless Fairy Tale books. I’m curious to know how many you Champions have caught. Until Then!
I just finished Cinderella and the Colonel today, and I have to say, this is hands-down one of my new favourite fairytale retellings. I honestly don’t know what I loved more – the way you developed Cinderella’s personality and blind spots, the relationship with Friedrich, emphasizing kindness without making it seem like being a pushover – it just ticked every box I look for in Cinderella stories. I can’t wait to start in on the rest of the series, if they’re all as wonderful as this book, I’m in for quite the treat!
It’s nice to hear you enjoyed it so much! Fairy Tales are something of a delicate balancing act, so I’m highly gratified to hear you thought I had the perfect combinations. 🙂 I hope you like the rest of the series!
i have to say I have read nearly all of your novels. I LOVE ALL OF THEM. you have such a wonderful take on classic fairy tales. I look forward to your up coming novels
Thank you, Zenna. 🙂 I’m honored you like my stories so much! I hope you find my future stories just as much!