Archive | August 2017

The Classical Kingdoms Collection Novellas

I have a list of fairy tales I want to retell. This list is so long it gets kind of ridiculous. Most of those are being saved for full-length novels, but there are some fairy tales that would be difficult to stretch into a longer book. They deserve their own retellings…explorations if you will, but they just don’t quite qualify for 130K word books.

This got me thinking. Would people really want to read shorter fairy tales? I know some authors, like my friend Melanie Cellier, are doing fantastic jobs with their novellas. But what about my readers? Would they be interested in shorter works when I usually write long ones? So I asked, and to my astonishment, my readers said yes!

I’m not sure how often I’ll be putting the novellas out for publication, but they will continue. Since our son is due in September, my goal is to put the first novella (The Green-Eyed Prince: A Retelling of The Frog Prince) up just before he’s born. I’m also working on a new series, The Autumn Fairy Trilogy, and I have plans then for several more fairy tale retellings after the trilogy is done. So there’s no set date planned for the next one, but I do think it will be enjoyable to be able to put out shorter works between the larger ones as I get the time.

If you’ve got any ideas that you’d love to see turned into a novella (or novel), let me know in the comments section! I’m always looking for new ideas, and hearing what you think helps me make my choices in what I write. As always, you guys are awesome! Also, if you haven’t joined my mailing list yet, you should! You’ll get access to the bonus content that I write for all of my books, such as secret chapters and short stories. As always, you can contact me at (Just know that if I don’t contact you back immediately, it is possible that I’m having a baby. I’ll get back to you eventually…lol.)

Behind the Scenes of My Frog Prince Retelling, The Green-Eyed Prince

I’ll admit that I’m excited and nervous about putting out a retelling of The Frog Prince. The Green-Eyed Prince has been a labor of love for several months now, and the goal is to have it published in September (provided my little prince doesn’t decide to make an early entrance).

This story was challenging to write for several reasons. (1) Short stories are hard for me to write. Seriously, I keep getting all these little threads of ideas that would be cool to put in, and sure enough, I’ve soon wound up with something that’s twice as long as what I meant to write. (I have this issue with my novels, too.) So writing a full-fledged love story that was not only believable but intriguing as well took a lot of writing and rewriting.

(2) I write clean love stories in my novels, and I always will. But this story just smacks of underlying inferences. I mean, a frog who wants to sleep in a girl’s bed? I know I’m probably missing quite a bit of the author’s intent just because I’m not from his time period or culture, but the concept of an amphibian that wants to sleep in a young girls’ bed not an easy thing to retell without at least making the protagonist of marriageable age.

In truth, I never really loved either of the characters from The Frog Prince, even as a child. The princess was immature and spoiled, and the frog had the audacity to demand what he demanded. And the king? Let’s just say that my dad would have ended up in jail for animal abuse if some random talking male forest creature had demanded to sleep in my bed as a teenager. So my challenge, I felt, was to discover why these characters were making the choices they did.

Why would the princess so resent the “frog?” even after he kept his end of the bargain? I mean, she was the one that said yes…

Why would the “frog” make those particular demands?

And why the heck would the king allow it?

I will say, because the older nature of the fairy tale in its original form, this story does refer a little more to the marriage bed than most of my other books, but I assure you, everything is kept clean. There was really no way to retell the story without giving the bed some significance. But in the end, I felt like our characters still get their happily ever afters without having compromised their moral standards…despite the odd origins of the story.

P.S. It should be noted that Kartek and Unsu will be appearing again in a future full-length novel…one that might or might not have to do with a street thief, a princess, and a genie in a lamp.

The Classical Kingdoms Collection Novellas

This new series is still written in the world of The Classical Kingdoms Collection. I’ll be posting a more complete article about the particulars of the series, but as it applies to this particular story, I really wanted to explore Queen Kartek after getting to know her in Blinding Beauty.

Since I already have multiple (long) projects in the works for future fairy tales, however, and won’t be touching Hedjet in a full-length novel for a little while, I wanted a place where I could publish fairy tales that weren’t necessarily full-length novels while still exploring the tales themselves. This gave birth to the idea of having a novella series. And thus was born The Green-Eyed Prince.

In Cinderella’s Defense…

I recently a video tonight objecting to Cinderella. I won’t go into the entire thing (because it was reeeeally long), but the premise was that we wouldn’t read our sons a book about “Cinderfella,” a man who allowed his family to abuse him and then waited for a princess to save him. So why would we read our daughters the same story about a woman?

Now, I’m not objecting to this video because I write fairy tale retellings for a living and it’s bad for business. I simply felt I needed to address the video’s objections to the story.

I recently read a book on how to interpret fairy tales called, Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian. Guroian emphasizes the fact that many of the stories we know as fairy tales have lost much in translation. We lack the cultural understanding to really know what the originals meant. A lot of the (admittedly strange) little details are nonsensical to us because we don’t understand the world and language they were written in and for.

I think this holds a lot of truth for Cinderella.

Here’s my take on Cinderella (my favorite fairy tale, btw). Cinderella isn’t about a woman waiting for a man to save her. It’s about enduring cruelty and not growing bitter. It’s about waiting on God’s time when the world feels like it will crush us. It’s about trusting that God will give us our “happily ever afters” even when evil seems like it has won.

Cinderella’s character is kind, generous, and has the heart of someone who gives of herself to others…even those who don’t deserve it. With her actions, she loves those who hate her, and she refuses to give in to hate.

That doesn’t sound like a weak character in the slightest.

If you want to put it in even more perspective for those of us who believe in God, we as the Christian church are the Bride of Christ, aren’t we? Aren’t we waiting for our Bridegroom to rescue us from this darkness? And while we wait, we are to love those around us even when they hurt us. We are to keep the soft hearts of servants, and we’re to trust that God in His goodness has our perfect ending planned for eternity. Our bridegroom will come, and we will rejoice in His presence forever.

Cinderella isn’t about the slipper. It’s not about a helpless woman. It’s about love, self-sacrifice, and faith. Does that make us weak in the eyes of some? Yes. But read 1 Corithians 1:27.

“But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong”

So yes, I will encourage my daughter to read and enjoy Cinderella. I will teach her to be a strong woman who loves God and others. And I will encourage her never to give in to bitterness, hate, or despair. I will encourage her to be like Cinderella, for those who put their trust in God will truly find their happily ever after.