a blog about dark inspiration
Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone serving currently, who has served, or who has family serving. Thank you.
How do we discover the dark side of fairy tales? The dark side of romance? Where do the villains come from in fantasy and fantasy romance?
I’ve always been a sleeper. I was the kid who went upstairs at nine o’clock and put herself to bed every night. Even in college, although I really didn’t get to sleep until ten. But now, even though I find myself falling asleep in front of the TV on my husbands shoulder sometimes as early as 8:30, I also find myself waking up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep.
It’s an odd feeling being the only one up, but it’s also a cool time to work. The house is silent, just me, the dog and the cat. I get on the computer and my muse is right there with me. That’s when the darker ideas come. The ones I haven’t really put into a book yet. I have a file of dark meanderings more suitable to horror or suspense than fantasy romance. Or are they?
Maybe I can work in the darker images, maybe I’ll move into darker heroes and more tortured heroines. Suicide, patricide, homicide. While I’ve alluded to these sorts of things in The Dark Huntsman, and the queen has taken out an entire tribe of people, tortured many more, and is increasingly going down the path to insanity, I haven’t delved into the depths of her personality yet. Or what brought her there. I’ve written it. Her past. What fractured her into a woman whose Gift is splintered powerful personalities. She wasn’t always this way. Once she was a little girl. A fairy princess in a corrupt court whose father only wanted power, even at her expense.
Should that story be published? A father’s betrayal, the princess destroyed, and her crawl back to something that could function? Even if her definition of functional is deeply flawed. And what about her right hand man, Haddon? I have a story for him too. A boy whose life started out as the whipping boy for a spoiled princess and what happens to him when she is gone from court and he is at the mercy of the king? What happens to him when she returns, broken and glued back together but with holes and cracks that leak her emotions through onto everyone around her? How could a boy survive that?
Yes, that’s what comes out of my computer when it’s dark outside and no one is around. Torture and depravity and healing that results in broken adults. And that’s what lurks behind the villains in my fairy tales. The ghosts of the witching hour.
Should I write those stories? Should I write about the way my villains formed? Or, more accurately, should I let you see what I’ve already written, the dark side of fantasy?