Besides book reviews and fairy tales, Once Upon A Week is playing host to a number of blogger interviews, with most (if not all) participants being interviewd, hosting an interview, or doing both.
I was paired up with Kelly (a fellow Canadian!) from The Written World, and the whole experience was just a ton of fun. We interviewed each other, and decided to theme our questions around fairy tales (since this week is devoted to them, after all).
Cait: What is the first fairy tale you remember reading (rather than having one read to you, or seeing a movie)?
Kelly: Wow, I really don’t remember. I have a collection of the Grimms’ Fairy tales that belonged to one of my parents. It has a lot of different fairy tales in it that they collected, so I imagine it was probably one of them. Other than that, I cannot really remember.
Cait: Which classic fairy tale is your favourite, and why?
Kelly: hm.. That’s a tough question, actually. I have read so many different versions of them over the years that they sort of run together. Plus, one fairy tale author might have a more well-known version than another. I really like ‘Beauty and the Beast’, though. I’ll go with that one.
Cait: Do you prefer fairy tales as they were originally written, or revamped versions? Any particular reasons?
Kelly: Original all the way. This is mainly because I used to be obsessed with analyzing them. I even took a course when I was in university about them. I have a bunch of collections of the classic versions, but I also will buy more modern ones whenever I see them. There are the Grimms’, Andersen, and Perrault, but there are also many authors from all over the world that are really interesting. One collection I have that comes to mind is ones that see women in a positive light.
Cait: If you were traveling and could bring only one fairy tale retelling with you, which one would it be? Why?
Kelly: This questions seem so simple, but I am really having to think about the answers here! Probably Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey. That was a pretty great book. It is a retelling of ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
Cait: What draws you to fairy tales? Is there something specific that appeals to you?
Kelly: The magic of them. They were my early fantasy novels, and now fantasy is my favourite genre. When I was a kid and things got a bit horrible I would pull out a fairy tale and pretend that I was anywhere else but where I was. Nowadays I think too much when I read them, but when I was a child I could pretend that their happy endings were mine. Who didn’t wish for a handsome prince or princess at least once in their life?
Cait: Have you read any fairy tale retellings this year? If so, which ones?
Kelly: Several, actually, but mostly FABLES by Bill Willingham. It’s a graphic novel series that I love! It retells all kinds of fairy tales in a modern setting. I am in love with it!
Cait: As a female, did the sometimes sexist nature of fairy tales bother you, or were you able to overlook it?
Kelly: When I was a kid I would read fairy tales for fun and never even thought about the fact that they were sexist at times. Some fairy tales I liked better than others, but I didn’t really think too hard about it, I guess. Nowadays, I still try to do the same, but it is harder to overlook some of the issues than it used to.
Cait: If you were going to write a retelling of a fairy tale, which one would you pick and what would you change?
Kelly: Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty. It is great they get their happy endings, but I always thought that after the life they lived through it was rather limiting that their happiness all came down to a man. And, not a man they know, but a man they have only met for a moment. I think it would be better if they had a bit more to live for. If they still marry the men in the end, that’s great, but I wish there was more to their lives!
Cait: What lead you to take part in Once Upon A Week?
Kelly: I love fairy tales and fairy tale re-tellings! A week dedicated to it was a really good idea for me!
Cait: Anything else you’d like to add?
Kelly: This was a lot of fun! It was very nice to meet you, Caitlyn! And, thanks to Vanessa for putting this all together. It was a great idea!