Today, we bring you part 2 of our exclusive Q&A with The Stepsister’s Tale author Tracy Barrett. If you missed it, catch part 1 here. We’ll have part 3 on Friday.
I kept away from any specific era of history when writing The Stepsister’s Tale so it would keep its “once upon a time” feel. It’s vaguely northern Europe, vaguely seventeenth century.
Usually when we think of fairy tales, there’s an element of magic. But other than talk about “fairies,” the story is very much grounded in reality. What made you decide to leave the magical element out of THE STEPSISTER’S TALE?
I like making the existence of magic (or fairies or whatever) ambiguous in most of my books. Right near the end of THE STEPSISTER’S TALE I threw in a possibly supernatural event (the voice that Isabella hears). But I was looking for a realistic explanation of why the people in Cinderella behaved the way they did, and it seemed like cheating to have any magic in there.
What are you working on now?
The working title of my work in progress is Fairest: The Stepmother’s Tale, and as you can probably guess, it’s a retelling of Snow White from the point of view of the stepmother. In my telling she’s not a witch, and in fact she’s Snow White’s ally. It’s set in the early thirteenth century and weaves in druids, the King Arthur legend, the Crusades, and all sorts of fun stuff. I’m also revising a contemporary novel about a skydiving girl (I used to be a skydiver).
Uh, anyone else extremely excited about Fairest? Tune in for part 3 of our Q&A on Friday!