Hey, everyone! Welcome to my stop on the “Scarlet” blog tour! I’m really happy to be apart of this tour, as this is definitely one of my favorite books of the year so far, and definitely one of my favorite series in YA right now.
Today, we have author Marissa Meyer talk about what it’s like to write about what it’s like to not only rewrite old tales into a new narrative, but how she feels about all of the very sudden rebooting of old tales in general like “Beauty and the Beast”, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, etc, and if that’s influenced her at all in her decision to rewrite certain tales. This might get a bit spoilery, so just in case, you’ll find the complete guest post beyond the jump!
And without further ado, here’s Marissa Meyer talking about rewriting old tales into new tales!
Scarlet Blog Tour
On the Resurgence of Fairy Tales
By Marissa Meyer
So, we can all agree that fairy tales—and fairy tale twists, riffs, retellings, re-envisionings, and satires—are about as far away from “new” as one can possibly get, right? Not only are the tales themselves hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of years old, but storytellers have been finding new ways to tell them for almost just as long.
Despite that long, long history, though, there’s been an obvious resurgence of fairy tales in popular cultures over the past couple years. Whereas for a while there the tales were largely relegated to children’s books and Disney movies, now we have everything from movies like “Mirror, Mirror” that offered a humorous, kitschy look at Snow White, to “Snow White and the Huntsman” which gave the same tale a darker spin with a romantic twist, to “Once Upon a Time,” which tossed Snow, her prince, and an abundance of other fairy-tale inspired characters into the modern world.
And the public appears to be eating it up. Which is darn lucky for me, given that my debut novel, CINDER tells the tale of Cinderella with a science-fiction bent, and her series will continue through the tales of Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and—yes, even the ever popular Snow White.
I wish I could say that I was smart enough to foresee and act on this trend when I first started working on The Lunar Chronicles in mid-2008. But honestly, at the time I was terrified that fairy tales were on their way out. After all, “Ella Enchanted” (the book and movie starring Anne Hathaway) had had its moment in the sun, and everyone had already lopped an abundance of praise on Gregory Maguire for his eerie retellings (including both Cinderella in “Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister” and Snow White, yet again, in “Mirror Mirror.”) Was the market fizzling out before I’d even had my shot?
But I knew in my heart that these stories were timeless. There had always been retellings and there would always be retellings, and I was bolstered by the idea that nobody, to my knowledge, had yet given a futuristic spin on these classics, which I hoped would help my books to stand out from a crowded market. But I had no idea that fairy tales were on the brink of explosion in our media, and that my books would hit the market at seemingly just the right time.
Of course I’m thrilled about it. Not just because it helps book sales or media attention or whatever (which I suppose it does, to a degree, but it’s impossible to pinpoint how different these things would be without the trend, so I’m not sure how much to attribute to it).
Mostly I’m a fan of this trend because, surprise surprise—I love fairy tales! I love how the stories are so simple and yet offer so much fodder for our imaginations. I love how they can be reworked to the point of being almost unrecognizable, and yet their central themes continue to speak to readers on such deep levels. I love their dark, gory, violent pasts, and I love the sweet, romantic, Disney-ized versions of my childhood, and I love seeing what writers, directors, and artists are doing with them in the present.
I certainly haven’t seen every movie or TV show or read every book that’s come out in the past years related to fairy tales, and I haven’t loved every one that I have seen. But I’m glad the trend is here, if for no other reason than it’s reminded us all of the power these stories can have and their long cultural history. I think it’s pretty clear from this trend that fairy tales are still going to be around for a long while. There is, after all, so much more we can do with them.
I’m quite pleased to be a part of that.
And that’s it for now! Remember, both “Scarlet” and “Cinder” are on sale now through Macmillan in North America – both are on my best of 2012 and 2013 lists respectively, so definitely check them out when you get the chance!