Madeleine Shade writes erotic fairy tales and cross-pollinated mythic fiction drawn from her extensive studies in folklore and mythology. In addition to her steamy short stories, she is also the author of the interconnected novellas in the Shady Lady Fairy Tales series. Madeleine can be reached online at http://shadyladyfairytales.com.
Here's what she has to say about her gripping story and its inspiration:
“The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen is one of my favorite fairy tales, so when the submission call went out for Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms: Erotic Lesbian Fairy Tales, edited by Sacchi Green, I jumped at the chance to tell the tale of the relationship I wanted to see between Gerda and the robber girl in the fifth story of Andersen’s epic tale – “Little Robber Girl.”
I never much cared for the original fairy tale where Kay is taken away by the Snow Queen and Gerda travels north, always north, to save him. In my version, “Robber Girl,” Gerda is no innocent girl hoping to bring her beloved childhood friend back from the coldness piercing his heart. In my take on this tale, Kay is the monster, not the Snow Queen, who was Gerda’s first lover. Shackled by marriage at the demand of her grandmother, Gerda is locked up and abused by Kay. When the Snow Queen comes to take Kay as her consort, Gerda is finally free. But instead of fleeing back to her southern homeland, this girl with the blood of wolves in her veins, tracks Kay with the intent to kill him for the crimes committed against her. On her travels north, Gerda meets Alice, the robber girl who also shifts with the moon.
While writing “Robber Girl,” I kept returning to the stories “Wolf Alice” and “The Company of Wolves” by Angela Carter. The entire collection of stories in The Bloody Chamber features strong women, which was something I wanted to speak to in my own work. I know “the carnivore incarnate.” I’ve lived with the wolf that “cannot listen to reason.” I’ve known more than one man with “a wolf’s heart.” And I think Carter did too. I think she knew the wolves intimately. But, instead of letting the company of wolves devour her, she picked up a pen and wielded it like a knife. “Since her fear did her no good, she ceased to be afraid.” And with that, Carter let the forest close “upon her like a pair of jaws.” I like this image.
“Robber Girl” is about forbidden love and strong women. It’s about lust and longing. It’s about revenge and determination. But above all else, it’s about staying true to your heart. I think we should all be a little more like Carter’s version of Little Red Riding Hood, more like Gerda and Alice. After all ladies, we are “nobody’s meat.”
THE GIVEAWAY and LINKS
Anyone who comments on any of these blog posts will be entered in a drawing for a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms. Each blog you comment on gives you one more entry.
Here’s the lineup of blog posts—the links may be adjusted as we go along, so check back here every now and then.
June 14th: Sacchi Green-“Trollwise” (plus the Introduction)
June 15th: Cara Patterson-“Steel”
June 16th: Michael M. Jones-“The Miller’s Daughter”
June 19th: H.N. Janzen-“The Prize of the Willow”
June 20th: Annabeth Leong-“The Mark and the Caul”
June 21st: Brey Willows-“Penthouse 31”
June 22nd: Salome Wilde-“The Princess’s Princess”
June 23nd: Emily L. Byrne-“Toads, Diamonds and the Occasional Pearl”
June 26th: A.D.R. Forte-“Warrior’s Choice”
June 27th: M. Birds-“Woodwitch”
June 28th: Madeleine Shade-“Robber Girl”
June 29th: Lea Daley-“The Sorceress of Solisterre”
June 30th: Allison Wonderland-“SWF Seeks FGM”