Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Guest - Jessica Aspen

Good morning! Today's guest, Jessica Aspen, has some great hints for twisting our familiar fairy tales around.  Fascinating reading!


How to Twist a Tale
by Jessica Aspen

What do fairy tales, romance and werewolves have in common? A writer’s imagination.

Inspiration comes in many forms and I find my inspiration in fairy tales…with a twist. Since I was small I’ve loved fairy tales. And I’ve read many versions of both traditional and twisted tales. When you read them over and over you come to recognize their universal themes that appear not just in children’s books, but also in many books that are not fairy tales at all. But how does this happen? How do you take a story, like Little Red Riding Hood, and make it into something so different that, when readers pick it up, it resonates in their hearts with the traditional elements, but also contains something surprising.

You add the unexpected.

I’d twisted fairy tales before, but when a contest came up for Red Hot Fairy Tales, the one that stuck in my brain was Little Red Riding Hood. And since I love paranormal werewolves seemed a natural fit. That’s how Little Red Riding Wolf was born. And of course, since all paranormals need strong women, Red isn’t a little girl. She’s all woman, and she’s the werewolf.

But what about other tales? How do authors twist and turn old tales into something special, something different, something new? I think when we look at Snow White and the last year’s many twists we can see that the basics of a fairy tale lurk within the new stories, and as long as an author keeps some recognizable pieces, there are unlimited ways they can go. One of my favorites twists this year has been Once Upon a Time.  The TV show on ABC features Snow White as its underlying theme. Sure it uses other fairy tales, but the main characters from the original tales that show up the most are Snow, Charming and the Evil Queen. Now the twist.

The show’s plot is based on what happens after the HEA (Happily Ever After), ie. the happy couple’s baby is the only one who will be able to negate the oncoming curse. Once you twist the end result, it’s easy to go back and twist the back story. In fact, it is required. Why? Because, if you read the original fairy tale, the Evil Queen is danced to death in red hot iron shoes. In other words, she’s dead. So that needs to be remedied. And while you’re at it, why not make Snow a strong heroine who rescues the Prince. Have the dwarves be criminals. The Prince a commoner. Why stop?

Take Snow White, same basic story of a dysfunctional family with no dad and an evil stepmother, move it into the Colorado Rockies and add werewolves. That’s how I wrote my next book, Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Keep the commonalities and change the setting. Change the ending. Change the beginning. And while you are twisting the plot, don’t forget to hang on to something of the original story to make us feel the theme. Apples. The number seven. Innocence wronged.

With movies such as Julia Roberts, Mirror Mirror, and Snow White and the Huntsman, we see yet more ways to twist the classic tale, Snow White. Even the Three Stooges have a version, nuk, nuk, nuk! How many ways are there to twist a classic? As many as there are stars in the sky. Good thing, because I love fairy tales and I’ll be twisting them until they all have happy endings.

Come into the woods with Little Red Riding Wolf, Jessica Aspen’s spicy paranormal novella from Passion in Print Press. What if Little Red Riding Hood was a werewolf and a sexy forest ranger wandered into her woods?

Fraternizing with humans is taboo, but when feisty werewolf Red runs into hunky new forest ranger Evan Brewster, she jumps on the opportunity to let loose her desires. Evan is stoked when he meets the petite red haired hottie, and combined with his new discovery of wolves in Colorado, thinks his career and life are made. Then Red pushes him away, her hostile brother threatens his life, and things begin to spiral out of control. Caught between her sexy lover and her pack can Red trust Evan with her secrets, or must she sacrifice her human lover and her heart?

Discover an excerpt of Little Red Riding Wolf at Passion In Print Press HERE, or buy at Amazon HERE or Barnes and Noble HERE.
And coming in 2013, discover the second novella in the Twisted Tales: Come into the Woods series: Snow and the Seventh Wolf. Deep in the woods can Snow’s only hope really be a werewolf who thinks she’s the enemy?

Fleeing a murder attempt, Snow runs deep into the woods and straight into the arms of a mysterious dark stranger. Exiled werewolf Seth knows he should turn his back on the human, but he’s unable to resist the delicious temptation of Snow. Can Seth overcome his prejudices in time to save Snow from death at the hands of her evil stepmother?

BIO: Jessica Aspen writes paranormal romance near the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Her books are full of elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. She loves dark chocolate, walking the dog, hiking and is obsessed with her new lap-top. Jessica is also obsessed with writing and learning about writing. She is a member of RWA, CRW, FF&P and PRO. You can find Jessica at

Follow Jessica on twitter @jessicaaspen and on

Discover Little Red Riding Wolf at Passion In Print Press HERE, or Amazon HERE or Barnes and Noble HERE.
-- Lynda Again,
    Thanks, Jessica, for sharing these helpful hints with us. 
     Have a Blessed Day, everyone!


Victoria said...

I've noticed several authors doing their own take on fairy tales lately and I really enjoy it. Thank you.

Jessica Aspen said...

Love twisting fairy tales, and I've enjoyed reading them for years. Glad you find them a fun read. They seem to have hit their stride this last year, guess the fairy tales have knocked the vamps off of the top of the mountain. :)

Mary Frances Roya said...

I too find it fascinating with the upgrading of the fairy tales. I am loving the vamping up the fairy tales to more adult themes. Mary Roya