Monday, March 25, 2013
Guest Post: Anna Staniszewski
When I first started writing about Jenny the Adventurer several years ago, I discovered that her opinion of magical creatures was very different from mine: she thought they were pretty darn annoying. As I started sending Jenny on adventures, I realized why these creatures drove her nuts: they were nothing like fairy tale creatures were supposed to be. Unicorns that like to stab you, gnomes that only think about candy, brave knights that won’t stop saving you from absolutely everything. No wonder they made Jenny crazy!
If I had to choose which creatures I liked re-imagning the most, I would have to say the villains. In the first book, My Very UnFairy Tale Life, the bad guy is a sorcerer…and a clown…and a mouthless one at that. Don’t ask me where the idea for his character came from (perhaps from a nightmare?) but I loved taking readers’ ideas of what a sorcerer is and twisting them.
I used the same approach in the second book, My Epic Fairy Tale Fail. The villain in that story is an evil witch. I bet you’re imagining warts and all, right? Well, Jenny is surprised to learn that the witch in this story wears sparkly sweaters and gaudy earrings—in fact, she totally reminds Jenny of her math teacher.
And finally, in the third book, My Sort Of Fairy Tale Ending—which I’m working on right now—the villain is a fairy queen. Wings? Nope. Wand? Nope. I won’t spoil too much, but let’s just say her character was influenced by her obsession with a particular Disney cartoon.
Working on this series has allowed me to combine my love of fairy tales with my wacky sense of humor. I love traditional tales because they feel so comfortable and familiar, but when it comes to Jenny’s stories, I enjoy twisting her (and our) expectations and seeing what happens."