Fairytales and fantasy

Dragon_DuererThe first books I can remember loving are all fantasy. From Alice in Wonderland to the Arabian Nights, Baba Yaga and her chicken hut to knights and spells and dragons, these stories inspired my imagination.

There’s something wonderful about a genre which is replicated all over the world, with each cultures’ specific monsters and heroes. These folk tales, handed down over the generations and told to small children everywhere, do more than just entertain; they carry social information about certain norms and expectations as well. I always loved a story with a moral.

While I still thoroughly enjoy ‘grown-up’ fantasy – with their twists and turns, more characters than I can remember, and always magical – fairytales for a younger audience have a more enduring appeal. They simply form so much of my reading history.

The idea that animals could think and talk (Redwall), or that women can do traditionally male work (Alanna). That anything is possible.

But it wasn’t until fairly recently that I tried to write something like this myself. And it seemed to happen so naturally that I wondered why I’d never considered it before. When I write, I’m aiming for something that I would enjoy reading. It’s why my previous attempts at a full-length novel have all aligned with themes I’m interested in; disability and perception, mental health, island adventure.

I’m not posting any of it here just yet, but watch this space!

Do you still read fairytales? What are your favourites?