July 10, 2020– Have you read Unfrogged by Tamara Botting (cover art by Christopher Botting) yet? If you haven’t you should! Unfrogged is not your average fairytale and is perfect for middle-grade readers who love adventure. Here is an excerpt from the book, available at Pandamoniumpublishing.com/shop
The carriage lurched and shook as it worked its way over the dirt-packed road. Even though it was one of the best carriages in the kingdom, there was no escaping all of the dips and bumps. Meredith and Frog were well-cushioned, though; the inside of the carriage was, as Frog described it, “like being in a pillow.” Meredith looked out the window eagerly, hungry for a view of the world outside the castle walls. She didn’t realize before now how badly her shyness had crippled her ability to see the world around her; to go on a trip like this, even back to the first home she had known, was an adventure. …They stopped for lunch and gave the horses a rest. Meredith and Frog were happy for a chance to stretch their legs; Frog took a short, refreshing swim in a happily chattering brook. As Madame Lench and the guards were some distance away, Meredith dared to leave her silken stockings bunched into her shoes on the bank and dip her feet in the cool water.
Unfrogged was the second book ever published by Pandamonium Publishing House, and it’s still one of my most favourites! If you don’t have this book in your collection, you’re missing out on a wonderful story and thrilling adventure.
May 4, 2020– Anyone who had European grandparents growing up, knows that fairytales aren’t always fluffy and feel-good stories; we were read the Grimm’s version of fairytales as children and the stories were edgy and downright scary at times. They were anything but Disney-fied. I remember hearing the story of Little Red Riding Hood and my grandmother glancing over her glasses at me and saying, “Why would anyone go into the forest wearing a bright red cape unless they wanted to be stalked?” That sent shudders through my whole body as a child and makes me grin from ear to ear as an adult. Turns out that my grandmother was on to something! She had a different perspective entirely.
The Grimm’s Fairytale version of Little Red Riding Hood sounds more like the plot of a Hollywood horror, and some versions of the fable say that Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, both sat down to eat Grandma…disturbing, yes, but also very intriguing. Fairytales were created to teach children lessons that were scary enough to keep them on the straight and narrow.
We can take insight from fairytales that are a little more dangerous and risque than the typical type-we can use them as inspiration to push the envelope in our own work. Take risks, write a darker version of your work to see what it feels like, what it sounds like, and how it makes YOU feel. It’s empowering to write books with less than a happily-ever-after ending. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it at least once, you’ll be surprised as this simple exercise can open your creativity and allow you to see your characters and themes in a whole new light. Happy writing! X LLB