Although fairy tales are doing quite well today, when The Charming Tales were first being drafted in 2009, the explosion of shows like Grimm, Once Upon a Time, and movies like Frozen and Maleficent (both of which were amazing), hadn’t happened.
When we agreed to write the book, one of the first things we did was to make sure that we both had a copy of The Annotated Brothers Grimm (although we didn’t have the 200th anniversary edition that’s in the link). We wanted to make sure that our novel was solidly grounded in fairy tale, rather than just being a fantasy. So, we both shared homework assignments of reading fairy tales.
It’s interesting to see the world through the lens of fairy tale. Many of the tales are precautionary warnings to little children to heed their parents or obey rules, but others deal with virtues such as honesty and show that vices such as greed lead to ruin. Common sense usually wins the day. There are undertones and messages in the tales for adults, implications of dark acts or events that can be interpreted as religious or political commentary. It’s fascinating to read them again as an adult and a parent and wonder, “What were Mom and Dad thinking when they let me read this?”
Anyway, if you see an old book of fairy tales on your shelf, consider picking it and reading a few. They might inspire you; they certainly inspired us.