Margot from Team Epic Reads posted a tag recently: The Sleeper & the Spindle Tag. I read The Sleeper & the Spindle when it was first published as a short story in Trigger Warning, Neil Gaiman's third collection of short fiction. There was an edition published a little bit ago that was fully illustrated by Chris Riddell, the same artist that illustrated Gaiman's children's classics in the UK: Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Fortunately, the Milk. It is a lovely book with a see through dust jacket and a binding with scenes taken straight from the book.
What would you change about your favorite fairy tale?
My favorite fairy tale is actually Beauty & the Beast, but the ending works out alright for the characters in that story, so for this question I'll go with my second favorite: The Little Mermaid.
In the original version of the story, the Ariel character gets a raw deal in the end. She sacrificed everything for her prince, who ends up marrying someone else. She ends up dying and although she is given the chance to earn a soul, that didn't sit well with me. She shouldn't have had to go through another 100 years or so as an angel figure to get her supposed happy ending. Why couldn't the prince have just been happy with her as she was: loving and faithful, albeit voiceless?
If you were cursed to sleep forever, where would you sleep?
If I'm going to be cursed to sleep, then a peaceful place like Snow White's forest seems like a good choice. I assume the sleeping curse is something like being in a coma and it's been said that people in comas can sense what is going on around them, even hear their loved ones speaking to them. I'd be protected here by my family of dwarves and the woodland animals, and maybe I'd even sense the changes in the forest through the seasons. There are worse places to be than this.
If you could live in any fairy tale, which one would you choose?
I'd choose something like the show Once Upon a Time. A haven of magic in a world without magic, this series of stories has all the best fairy tales mixed together, but I confess, there is one pairing that I would want to be a part of more than all the others.
Rumple and Belle are my favorite pairing from this work and I hold the highest of hopes that they'll find their happy ending someday.
What is the worst curse a witch could bestow upon you?
The absolute worst would be blindness. I could not take the feeling of helplessness at not being able to see anymore, not to mention the fact that I wouldn't be able to read anymore. Listening to audio books, learning Braille, that's all well and good, but losing the ability to pick up any volume and flip through it at will would crush me.
Would you choose to be Snow White or Sleeping Beauty?
I would choose Snow White. While the original Disney movie versions were on the same level (didn't do a whole lot in the grand scheme of things), other retellings have made me more Snow White than Sleeping Beauty. She becomes a stronger character than that of Sleeping Beauty and I'd rather take a chance with a poisonous apple than with a "poisonous" spindle.
What fairy tale would you want to read as a YA retelling?
There are so many retellings out there already that it's hard to choose something that hasn't been done. I'm always up for a Beauty & the Beast retelling, but I have a feeling that a YA version might come across as too shallow, especially if it were set in modern times. I would love to see more Snow White retellings. I can't think of one off the top of my head that I've read recently.
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