How fairy tales can fight slavery and say No More!

treading on needles quote oct 2018Retreat West published this image on Instagram last week. The quote is from my short story ‘Treading on Needles’. It’s included in The Word for Freedom anthology which is being released on 1st November 2018. I’m really excited about this for three reasons. First, I’m one of the ’emerging authors’ they talk about in the blurb below. Secondly, I’ve done something I’d always wanted to do: re-tell a fairy tale with a better message for people. And lastly I’m excited because it’s all for a really good cause.

I love the magic of fairy-tales and the style of the story-telling, but so often the message behind fairy-tales is often a wee bit twisted. Take Cinderella, what’s it telling girls- if you are submissive and poor, you will be swept into a life of luxury by your good looks. No wonder girls want to be pretty. But the reward for this beauty, the escape from poverty in Cinderella, is based on unequal views of gender and marriage. Maybe in the days when women weren’t allowed to own their own property or earn their own money, maybe beauty could help them find a better position, but these days? I mean, who in their right mind would really want to marry a prince just to repopulate an antiquated hierarchy? How many tales talk about the power of using your brain or working hard to make your dreams come true? Or simply just saying, ‘You know what, I’ve had enough of this, I can and will go my own way.’ That’s why I wrote my tale, I wanted to change the way the story goes.

Treading on Needles is a re-telling of the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Little Mermaid. In my version, the mermaid has a sense of self and equality. She’s still young and in love. She still nearly gets swallowed whole by the world of her prince, but in my re-telling, my mermaid princess always remembers who she really is. By knowing who she is, she has the power to recognise what is happening and to make her own choices about what happens to her.

I’ve used some of the key elements of the original story and then played around with them, but my readers who hadn’t read the original tale told me my version works as it stands. So you don’t need to know the original version. But treat yourself and read the original version first, after all it is nearly Halloween and it’s a great horror!

The third reason I’m so excited about this book is because it was created to celebrate women’s suffrage. If it wasn’t for women’s suffrage I wouldn’t be sat in a room of my own writing this post right now. I’d probably have been burnt at the stake a long time ago! Also, as it says below, the book will help raise money for the UK charity Hestia. Hestia fights against modern slavery and they also have the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign that is focused on ending Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence. So if you buy the book you are adding to the power of all these things, changing the world for better in a small way, and getting a whole book full of great stories too.

This is the link and info from Amazon.

The Word For Freedom: Short stories celebrating women’s suffrage and raising The Word For Freedom covermoney for Hestia

A collection of 24 short stories celebrating a hundred years of women’ suffrage, from both established and emerging authors, all of whom have been inspired by the suffragettes and whose stories, whether set in 1918, the current day or the future, focus on the same freedoms that those women fought for so courageously.

The Kindle ebook is now available to pre-order on Amazon

And the paperback too, just click this link. Amazon Word for Freedom Paperback

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