Guest Post by Author Naomi P. Cohen
Guest Post by Author A. J. Bakke!
* What was your inspiration for your story in the anthology?
My cats already think catnip is magical. :)
* Tell us about the cat(s) in your life.
I currently live with five cats. Ginger the calico queen, Pumpkin the orange cat celebrity wannabe, Breve the spazzfluff, Molasses the fluffy clutz, and Tapioca the quietly adorable.
Guest post by Paws, Claws, and Magic Tales author:
Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
What was your inspiration for your story in the anthology?
Back in January of 2017, I participated in a writing contest for Speculative Faith. The challenge was to write a piece of flash fiction between 100-300 words that started from the prompt: “Kendall didn’t care if the other candidates thought he was power hungry — nothing could stop him from going after his destiny.” “Destined for Greatness” started its life as my entry for that contest. When the fairy tale and cat anthologies were announced, I had a burst of inspiration for how I could make Kendall’s life even more miserable than I already had and potentially tie it in to the fairy-tale series I’m planning to write after I finish my fantasy/gaslamp series. Thus, the story expanded slightly and became a strange blend of humorous cat story and original fairy tale.
Tell us about the cat(s) in your life.
There are no cats in my life currently. Unless you count my brother’s cats, which I enjoy petting when we visit them. I had a cat when I was younger, an enormous gray-striped cat I named “Tigger.” He was the epitome of an independent cat with a mind of his own. He was the sort of cat who would meow to go out, then change his mind halfway across the threshold. If I really wanted him to make up his mind, I’d have to hold the door open and stand there as though I really didn’t care what he did.
My 4-year old son is quite allergic to cats, so it doesn’t look like there will be any cats in my future… which honestly only bothers me because cats are a great marketing tool for authors. I like cats okay, but I’ve always been more of a dog-person… which is probably why my cat story has a bit of a strange/somewhat dark sense of humor to it!
On August 3rd, the Fellowship of Fantasy launches Tales of Ever After, a fairy tale themed anthology. To prep for it, we put out a call in our author group asking people to tell us THEIR favorite fairy tale. Here are the results!
I've loved Sleeping Beauty since I was little, but my favorite character has always been Maleficent. Even as a little girl I wished I could turn into a dragon and chase people.
I love Beauty and the Beast because it’s a stunning picture of a God who loved me while I was still beastly.
Sun, Moon, and Talia, because it is one of the oldest versions of Sleeping Beauty available. It reminds me of a Stephen Sondheim musical, where it stars light and cherry and then takes a quick, dark, turn.
Jonathan M. Lazar
If I had to pick - Beauty and the Beast. It's one of the few original fairy tales where the woman actually controls her fate. No one beats Belle!
My favorite fairy tale is, and will always be, The Little Mermaid. I love mermaids and am obsessed with them. As someone who has been a competitive swimmer since middle school, I've always wanted to be a mermaid. And though I don't understand the mermaid's desire to join the human world when she could live underwater forever, if I was given the chance to become a mermaid, I would totally do it.
I'm personally a huge fan of Rapunzel - even more so, what happens AFTER her story. There's something about exploring the world through the eyes of a girl who's only ever lived in a tower.
Beauty and the Beast, espec. Disney 1992 version. I love how the film shows that true beauty lies beneath the surface, and demonstrates the power of genuine transforming love.
Randall Allen Dunn
"Little Furball" because, unlike most fairytales, it's about a girl who goes out and saves herself.
Cinderella. It's a classic. I used to pretend I was Cinderella when my mom told me to clean my room. I still sing the Sweet Nightingale song, especially when I'm trying to put them to sleep.
Beauty and the Beast. I grew up with the Disney version of this fairy tale, and despite its flaws, it resonated with me the most. Belle was a brown-haired bookworm from a small town--just like me. She inspired me so much as a kid!
Scheherazade's story: the framework story for The Thousand and One Nights. I love it because of how unashamedly Scheherazade owned her intelligence. She figured out a plan and acted on it, and in so doing, she saved at least a thousand of her countrywomen. The sheer ingenuity it must have taken to keep spinning stories every single night for almost three years is incredible, not to mention the skill to know what was the crucial point at which to stop to keep the Sultan interested and the courage it must sometimes have taken to continue going while knowing that she could be executed any morning. I don't often see intelligence as a primary or lauded trait of protagonists (whether male or female) in fairy tales, and it's fantastic to find it here. That's why I love her story so much.
Beauty & The Beast for two reasons: 1) I identify with bookish Belle and 2) I find it sweet how she begins to fall for the Beast due to his personality rather than the way he looks.
Beauty and the Beast is my favorite because it is the only one with a character arc.
C. O. Bonham
Cinderella has always been my favorite fairy tale. I've always considered her to be a quiet hero. She has been put in a tremendously unfortunate position, but she handles it with grace and dignity. It is because of her good heart and kind ways that she is wishes and winds up in a better, happier life. I like that in the original fairy tale, it isn't Cinderella that 'gets back' at her stepsisters and stepmother, but the magical birds who are her defenders. My takeaway from this story has always been to strive to be a kind person, even in the face of adversity or when dealing with awful people. Kindness will win out in the long run.
D. G. Driver
My favorite fairy tale has always been the Twelve Dancing Princesses. I love the mystery and adventure of it. I also love that it isn't your typical fairy tale in which someone needs to be rescued - while in some versions/retellings the dancing is a curse, in the version I read as a child, it was portrayed as a secret adventure that the princesses were going off on each evening. I always loved that the young man who solves the riddle was portrayed as clever and good and obedient... he doesn't make the mistake of getting great advice and then decides not to take that advice, or forgets about it as soon as the opportunity arises. I also love the endless possibilities it presents for retellings!
Jenelle Leanne Schmidt
Beauty and the Beast- mostly because it beautifully shows how the masculine and feminine natures compliment each other.
Was your favorite fairy tale mentioned? Are you excited to read 16 new fairy tale inspired stories?
A blog about all things fantasy from the elements we all love to how to write it. Posts are from our very own Fellowship of Fantasy authors.