A Fairy Tale Life
When I was a little girl, I wanted a fairy tale life – a handsome prince, an enchanted castle, gourds that would turn into inexpensive and convenient modes of transportation. I watched the Disney versions of the classic fairy tales without knowing that the Little Mermaid traded her tongue to get on land and then ended up dying alone because the prince didn’t love her or that Rapunzel’s real parents traded her to the witch in exchange for a head of lettuce. Blissfully unaware, I danced around the backyard singing “Someday my prince will come.” I waited for the shiny apple that would bring true love’s kiss running to revive me as I lay – surrounded by extremely short men and deeply asleep – in my very own glass coffin.
When I was a teenager, I was surly and angry and much too smart to believe in happy endings. Fairy tales were stupid – especially the Disney versions. Cinderella and Rapunzel were chumps for cheerfully putting up with everyone’s crap. The Little Mermaid was a fool for giving up her life for a man. Snow “I take candy from strangers” White was too dumb to live. I didn’t want to be like any of those stupid, useless princesses. I wasn’t going to waste my time trying to catch the eye of some guy who wore more lip gloss than I did just because his father owned a castle.
Now I am a grown up and although I am no longer quite so keen on eating poisoned apples, neither am I in such a hurry to discount the appeal of an eager to please handsome prince. I find I want fairy tales again – stories about magic, about destiny, about the power of true love and the triumph of good over evil. That’s what draws me to urban fantasy; the genre takes the best elements of the fairy tales I grew up on, shakes them, and makes them into something better. Maybe the princess has a knife collection and a snarky attitude but she is loyal and brave. And maybe the prince has traded in his too-red lips for a facial scar and a past he’s not proud of, but he’s loyal and brave too. Together they’ll win and lose and bleed. They’ll find danger, fight the bad guy, and ultimately save the world. And when they get to their happily ever after, they’ll have earned it.
Where do you stand on the issue of fairy tales? Are they little girl soul crushers or imagination builders? Do you favor the sweetened versions or do you prefer your stories bitter and dark? If anybody has any comments or questions, I’d love to hear them! I’ll check in to reply throughout the day.
Princess of Twilight and Dawn Book Two
By Jes Young
Six months ago, when her long-hidden heritage came to light, Tab Bennett reluctantly let go of her past and embraced her future as an Elvish princess on the cusp of her gifts and the edge of her destiny. She never wanted a fairy tale life, but as the daughter of the Dark King and the Light Queen, that’s exactly what she got.
Raised in exile away from the kingdom of the Inbetween, Tab has never even met the parents who ruined her life. Her mother is dead, but Tab’s father, Daniel, is alive and well, the mad ruler of the kingdom of the Underneath. He’s made it clear he wants to meet her and now that she knows all the sadness and heartache in her life can be traced directly to the Dark king’s door, Tab wants to meet him too. After all, it's because of him that the first twenty-five years of her life were a lie. It’s his fault she gave her heart to Robbin when she should have been saving it for Alex, the prince who is destined to be her Homecoming. But, most importantly, King Daniel is the one responsible for her mother’s suicide and her sisters’ murders.
Now Tab wants justice – but she’ll settle for revenge and Finnegan Blackthorn, an Elvish warrior with secrets of his own, is going to help her get it. Together, they’ll embark on the dangerous journey to her father’s stronghold in the kingdom Underneath. Once she's there, far away from the Light in which she was raised, Tab will be forced to confront the seductive nature of Darkness and her own potential to truly become her father’s daughter.
After graduating from Emerson College with a BFA in creative writing, Jes Young was a copywriter at Random House (Ballantine Books and Crown Publishing Group) for nearly ten years. Currently she is the development manager of a small non-profit and the mother of two children under the age of ten. Her writing is done primarily between the hours of 11 p.m and 3 a.m.
My blog: http://www.JesYoung.com