I was just wondering if what we read as children influences what we read or write as adults. I believe in my case it does. As a child read (and was read ) Grimm's fairytales and I loved them. They were filled with beauty and magic but there was always a dark and disturbing element to them. Oh, there were the obvious choices such as Cinderella, Snow White and Red Riding Hood; but I liked the more obscure stories. The Goose Girl, Jorinda and Joringel, the Seven Swans and the Twelve Dancing Princesses were among my favourites. There were really dark bits in all of them; for example in The Goose Girl, the princess’s confidant is her talking horse Falada. The evil maid usurps the princess’s position and has the horse beheaded – but even that doesn’t stop him from talking.
In the Seven Swans to save her brothers who have been transformed into swans; the princess cannot speak for seven years even though hideous things happen to her in that time period. The story has echoes of Chaucer’s, Boccaccio’s and Petrarch’s versions of Patient Griselda.
The Twelve Dancing Princesses is a visually beautiful tale, with the girls running off to dance each night away with twelve handsome princes. Yet the darkness of the story is ever present – the King decrees that whoever can discover the girl’s secret will marry the one of their choice. However if the secret is not discovered in three days the suitor will be put to death. Needless to say this doesn’t stop the princesses from their sport, no matter how many men die.
The list of my favourite fairytales can go on and on. I think it’s not very hard to see why I like to read and write paranormal stories – Obviously, I read too many damn fairytales as a kid!
If your mother knew your fate,
Surely her poor heart would break.