A long while ago, someone emailed me to tell me that, as much as they wanted to like my work, they just couldn’t read another goddamned fairy tale. It was too much, they said. Everyone’s doing it. There’s no there there. It’s tired and trite and they just couldn’t be part of it anymore. Look at your life, look at your choices. That sort of thing.
Everyone has a right to cry uncle on a genre every once in awhile. I’ve done it myself. Sometimes you just can’t bear another gear or pair of wings or vampire teeth. You go on a fast and sometimes you come back and sometimes you don’t. I get that on a basic level. And there is less than zero chance that folks are going to stop retelling fairy tales any time soon. But I’ll never forget that moment. Not because of the sting of it—though of course it stung—but because I was still in the flush of fairy tale love, so surely everyone else found them as thorny and interesting and worthy as I did. Not everyone does. Which meant it was my responsibility to bring the awesome when I showed up on doorsteps with a retelling in tow. And not just the blue light special fair trade organic 2% milkfat awesome. The real stuff, the mountain to the prophet love it like you stole it cut-the-cream-off-the-top-of-the-glass-bottle awesome. I took it as a challenge.
The rest lives here at Tor.com.