Just giving a shout out today to a Kickstarter that I think is worth looking at. It’s called Spellbound and Spindles and they’re trying to fund a couple of fairy tale anthologies (one for kids and one for adults) featuring a more diverse cast.
I’m all about fairy tales and reworking them for today’s world (if I can, I’ll probably look at submitting something to them in the future. My love for The Little Mermaid knows no bounds – even aside from the steampunk retelling in Womanthology, I had at one point envisioned it as a gay story as well, so maybe I’ll take a look at that soon.)
The archetypes present in fairy tales – the Good Mother, the Terrible Mother, the Wise Old Man or the Hero – are components that we see in nearly every story – again and again and again. At their core, they are ideals – and these lessons obviously touch people or such stories wouldn’t have lasted throughout the ages like they have.
However, my particular fairy tale pet peeve is the way women characters are often sidelined to become nothing more than a reward, dangled as prizes to be won with no agency of their own. There’s so much room for fleshing these characters out.
Details like skin-color or sexual orientation are the dressing to those traditional archetypes, but ones that can enrich a traditional piece into something so much more. Why not utilize that and give a new spin on a familiar subject? Today’s readers deserve a chance to connect with them in ways they might not have been able to before.
Seeing as my children are biracial, this project definitely speaks to me on a deeper level – it only makes sense that I want to see more stories and characters they can relate to.