When we first began writing our sexy, gay twists on classic fairy tales, we deeply offended someone on the internet, who ranted that the children’s stories we all grew up reading should remain unsullied. We thought it rather amusing that this person was crusading to retain the purity of fairy tales when the original stories and folklore could aptly be renamed:
Fairy tales: “outside the box” pioneers
While most of us grew up on the sanitized Disney versions of fairy tales, the originals are pretty darn brutal. For example, Snow White’s nemesis was originally her mother, but the Grimms made her a stepmother in the second edition of their tales. Apparently a jealous mom having her daughter murdered and wanting to eat the child’s internal organs was a little much even for them.
But not to worry! Whether mother or stepmother, the evil queen is punished for her transgressions by dancing herself to death in red-hot iron shoes. Now there’s a visual of vengeance that’ll undoubtedly lead to peaceful slumber for young minds.
Meanwhile, the Brothers Grimm decided to make up for slightly softening Snow White by adding a jaunty dash of dismemberment to Rumpelstiltskin. In the original, the angry imp takes his ball and goes home, simply running away never to be seen again. But let’s face it — running away is for losers. No, better that he “in his rage drove his right foot so far into the ground that it sank in up to his waist; then in a passion he seized the left foot with both hands and tore himself in two.” Sweet dreams, kids!
Let’s talk about sex, baby
In original versions of Little Red Riding Hood, our plucky heroine realizes that grandma’s big eyes are actually those of the Big, Bad Wolf, and performs a striptease to distract the wolf so she can escape. This is just one example of how surprisingly sexual early fairy tales were. In fact, the end of some early versions of the tale read as, “sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf.” Bestiality and pedophilia has never sounded so romantic!
In the Rapunzel we heard as children, we don’t recall the prince knocking up our heroine with premarital sex. Forget happily ever after — more like wocka chicka bam bam! Meanwhile, in Giambattista Basile’s version of Sleeping Beauty, it’s a dashing king who comes across the titular heroine. Naturally he has sex with her while she’s unconscious (as you do), and carries on his merry casual-rapist way, having gotten her pregnant with twins. Oh, and he’s totally already married! The queen tries to serve him the babies for dinner (because cannibalism is always a welcome addition to fairy tales), but in the end she gets burned alive and the king marries Sleeping Beauty. He’s a keeper!
A gay twist on Jack and the Beanstalk
We’ve expanded and revised one of our novellas and are republishing it. Here’s a little more about Rise.
What happens when Jack meets a sexy man atop that beanstalk?
Rumors of treasure have long sent fortune hunters clambering up a magic beanstalk to a mysterious castle in the clouds. Survivors told of an evil giant who guards the gold and glittering jewels with savage strength. No sane man would dare risk the climb—but Jack has nothing left to lose. Shunned for his evil red hair and abandoned by his cruel lover, he’s desperate to escape his life.
Rion isn’t a giant, only a man bearing the burden of protecting his family’s legacy. It’s a lonely existence, but he’s duty bound. Then Jack appears, and Rion’s world is turned upside down. After a blazing confrontation, undeniable lust sparks. Isolated in the clouds, Jack and Rion give in to their desire and growing connection. But do they have the courage to let go of the past and follow their dreams?
Soon they must protect the treasure—and each other—from a new threat. And they have everything to lose.
This is a retold fairy tale with a twist. Previously published as Ascending Hearts; this version has been revised and expanded.
Buy or borrow Rise today from Amazon!
So, you can see why we don’t really consider our reimagined erotica fairy tales to be particularly offensive to the proud legacy of fairy tales. We love using the original tales as inspiration and a jumping-off point to create new fantastical worlds and erotic romances between two men.
What’s your favorite fairy tale? Did you ever read the original, darker versions as a kid? Let us know!
About the authors:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.” You can find out more about Keira and her books at her website, and on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter for news, giveaways and more.
Leta’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively, but her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting the romance stories that she would most like to read. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family. You can find Leta online at her website, Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter for news, giveaways and more.
2 thoughts on “Guest Post: Once Upon a Time — Reimagined Fairy Tales with Keira Andrews & Leta Blake”
When fairy tales started to be written down they were originally for adults – written for amusement of the upper classes in France. The Grimms, who came later, didn’t start making their work more suitable for kids until later versions of their collections. Too many people only know the Disney versions, which is a real shame.
Disney’s Little Mermaid came out when I was in my early teens, and I was totally turned off of it because I had read the original, and grew up watching an anime version of the story that closely followed the actual story.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, JN! I agree it’s a shame that the Disney versions have become the norm.
And thanks to TNA for having us! :)