Playing Well With Others. And Magic.
Krissie and Lani and I have been talking about our Fairy Tale Lies book for a long, long time. LONG time. We all have other obligations to get out of the way before we can work on a fun project, plus it’s hell finding a time when we’re all free. But we’ve met this month three times to talk about it . . . two of us have met, the other one keeps forgetting but we love her so we forgive her . . . because we all really love this world we’re building. And because we’ve had a scathingly brilliant idea: until we can write the novel where the Big Stuff in the Kingdoms happen, we’re going to write short stories and novellas about the world on our own.
All we have to do is stay within the rules of the world and pick a fairy tale character that nobody else has called dibs on, and then we can write whatever we want and show it to the others and tweak it to make sure we haven’t violated any world rules–it’s a complicated world–and we’re good. And the best part is, we’re having such a good time making up the world together that we’re sparking all kinds of ideas in each other. I even started three little collages for my first three stories, which I would take a picture of but it’s night and it’s dark, so no for that. Then because I am obsessive I found an old frame engraving and made a banner for the website and used it to mock up book titles which is when I really had fun.
I love the way we gravitate to the kind of fairy tale that fits us. We put Krissie’s name on Beauty and the Beast because we knew she’d want it and then she came back and asked for Bluebeard and the Robber Bridegroom; she loves a Dark and Dangerous Hero, and murder is no bar to romance in her world. She also wants to do Anderson tales even though they’re dark and Danish because she’s Danish and, uh, dark. I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do.
I had called dibs on Red Riding Hood right away because I wanted to tell the story I was originally going to tell in FTL, the one about the older (grandmother) Red who goes into the woods after her granddaughter to keep her from making the Family Mistake and runs into this wolf she used to know . . .
But then I started to play around with fairy tale titles for me and came up with “The Frog Principle.” I didn’t know what the hell that meant so I kept poking at it and there was this blonde princess–blonde in every sense of the word–who kissed a guy who turned into a frog, so she had to call the EMTs–Emergency Magic Technicians–but she can’t tell them she’s a princess because somebody is killing off the royal family (that’s in the back story for the novel), so . . . (The EMT are really Lani’s invention, a kind of a magic bomb squad who show up to defuse magical disasters. If the defusing goes wrong, the blowback turns them into chickens, so their mascot is not a dalmation, it’s a rooster. Named Geoffrey. Geoffrey wasn’t always a rooster . . .) Anyway, now I want to write “The Frog Principle.” I’m thinking Jane Horrocks for a placeholder.
Then I came up with Slow White for Lani, and she said, “Uh, probably not,” so I went downstairs and watched my favorite Leverage episode (“The Rashomen Job”) and there was “Sloe White and the Seven Alibis.” I think her name is Sloe Virginia Fizzwilliam White (hey, I can stoop as low as the next girl for a joke, although not if the next girl is Lani who is stocking up on chicken jokes as I type this), and then I looked up what “sloe” meant and got “the small, sour, purplish fruit of the blackthorn.” Except for the “small” part, that’s my Girl. I need somebody sort of . . . waspish for that. Maybe Claire Foy. She was fabulous as Adorabelle. Hmmmm.
I love brainstorming with the sisters.
Okay, your turn. What fairy tale title would you write?