Welcome to my stop on the Beyond Fairy Tales Blog Hop. Please remember to visit all the sites listed below for a chance to win great prizes at each stop.
The criteria for a great fairy tale is not all that different from the formula used for an engaging romance. Both require the following:
- A sensitive, brave, intelligent hero—preferably good looking, or at least confident in his appearance.
- A strong, beautiful, empathetic heroine who’s not afraid to kick a little butt should the situation call for it.
- A plot fraught with angst, danger and attraction. Whether the attraction leads to a chaste kiss or a steamy love scene depends on your audience.
- A resolution that is both enlightening and satisfying, not only for the reader but also for the characters.
- And, of course, the Happily Ever After required of all great tales.
My upcoming Beyond Fairy Tales story titled Do You Want Me is based on the Grimm tale, The Devil’s Sooty Brother. More macabre than romantic, The Devil’s Sooty Brother is the tale of a soldier who returns from war to find he’s lost everything he’d left behind.
In order to make a new life for himself, he agrees to work for the devil and earn the money he needs to begin again. The idea of creating a ‘devil’ gave me the perfect protagonist for my story. Do You Want Me also contains a king who has two daughters. While not a huge part of the original story, the idea of sisters fueled my naughty imagination.
So, how does an author of modern-day romances take a fairy tale written hundreds of years ago and make it current?
I started by finding some visual inspiration for my main characters. Outlining my hero was easy…it had to be the soldier from the fairy tale…complete with memories and scars. In most cases, the next character I’d work on would be the heroine. However, since in the original, there are no female characters present until the very end, I decided to flesh out other aspects of the story first before getting a handle on who would steal my hero’s heart.
There were also certain requirements set forth by the publisher. The biggest challenge among those was the inclusion of a narrator. Nicodemus, the storyteller, is a must for every book. I admit, I fretted over how to include this ‘outsider’. Then, two glasses of Baileys-over-ice later, I had it! (I do some of my best plotting under the influence of Bailey’s and crushed ice.)
I don’t want to give too much away other than to say, I have a sexy, battle-weary hero, a feisty tease of a heroine, a devil of a protagonist, and a father who holds an important position of influence (a king of sorts).
I’ve also done something I’d never attempted before. I wrote the entire story in the hero’s point of view…even the steamy love scenes.
I look forward to sharing my take on this fairy tale in the near future. The summer release date will be posted to my FB page and tweeted as soon as it’s available.
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