OOOooooo! Retellings! I know it’s a fad, but I’ve read some really good ones. I love seeing old fairy tales in new settings. Today we’re welcoming Shonna Slayton to talk about her brand new retelling: Spindle
I’ve been a fan of fairy-tale retellings since reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. And lately, there seems to be an explosion of retellings. It’s been wonderful to see!
I know right? They are so much fun to read! What did you do with yours to make it different?
My particular twist on a fairy tale involves taking a fairy tale object (the dress and shoes in Cinderella; the spindle from Sleeping Beauty) and moving it into another time and place.
What do you mean?
I think of the fairly-tale objects like family heirlooms that get passed down from one generation to the next—for good or for bad. And my characters are somehow descended from or connected to the original fairy tale.
Ooooo that’s a neat idea. But your book doesn’t take place where the original stories are from, right?
I tend to have immigrants in my stories as the fairy-tale objects start out in Europe, but I have to get them to America somehow. An immigrant on the move makes that happen. Also, I’m an immigrant myself so I suppose that’s a subtle bit of my own experience slipping into the tale.
That’s a great way to add a neat twist!
Yup. With this basic set-up, I’ve already changed the trajectory of the narrative. The story is no longer in a fairy-tale land, the characters reside in a real-world historical setting, and they are descendants instead of the actual fairy-tale characters. Well, except fairies. We all know they transcend time.
After that, it’s a matter of fleshing out the new story. It’s also fun to drop hints and parallels to the original fairy tale for readers to catch. That way you get a mix of the known and the unknown. A fresh read that feels right.
Awesomeness! I can’t wait to read Spindle later on in the year. I’m really looking forward to this one. [She slips SPINDLE into her “To be reviewed” page]
Thanks for stopping by!
Thanks for letting me hang out!
She finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.
The best way to keep in touch is by signing up for her monthly newsletter. She sends out behind-the-scenes info you can’t read anywhere else. Sign up is on the sidebar of her website Shonna Slayton
In a world where fairies lurk and curses linger, love can bleed like the prick of a finger…
Briar Rose knows her life will never be a fairy tale. She’s raising her siblings on her own, her wages at the spinning mill have been cut, and the boy she thought she had a future with has eyes for someone else. Most days it feels like her best friend, Henry Prince, is the only one in her corner…though with his endless flirty jokes, how can she ever take him seriously?
When a mysterious peddler offers her a “magic” spindle that could make her more money, sneaking it into the mill seems worth the risk. But then one by one, her fellow spinner girls come down with the mysterious sleeping sickness…and Briar’s not immune.
If Briar wants to save the girls—and herself—she’ll have to start believing in fairy tales…and in the power of a prince’s kiss.
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• One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Cinderella’s Dress and Cinderella’s Shoes (US and Canada)
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