Monday, 27 June 2011

Guest post: Good to Be Bad by Bettie Sharpe + Giveaway



I would like to start off the Spotlight on Fairy Tales Retold 2 week-long event with a guest post by Bettie Sharpe, author of the freshly released Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold. Bettie's novel enchanted and surprised me: until now Puss in Boots wasn't a fairy tale I was particularly fond of, but her story most certainly changed that! You can read my review of Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold here, and in this post Bettie tells us about heroines who are not so good. Please give a warm welcome to Bettie, read on, tell us your thoughts and you could win a copy of the novel! 


Good to be Bad 
by Bettie Sharpe

When I was little, my favorite fairy tale was not Cinderella or Snow White, or some other story where the virtuous heroine suffers trials and tribulations before she’s finally rewarded with marriage to a handsome prince and the simplistic six word epilogue “and they lived happily ever after.” No. My favorite fairy tale was a story of deception, avarice and death once described by one of its illustrators as unfit for children because it portrayed a “succession of successful falsehoods—a clever lesson in lying!—a system of imposture rewarded with the greatest worldly advantages.”

I am speaking, of course, of Puss in Boots.

Academics who study fairy tales and folk tales have claimed that Puss in Boots has no real moral because the story does not teach honesty or present a world in which virtue is ultimately rewarded. But just because Puss in Boots doesn’t encourage virtue doesn’t mean the story has no moral. As kid, I always knew there was a moral to my favorite fairy tale. It was something no responsible grown-up would ever tell a child, but which every child learns in the process of growing up: Sometimes it’s good to be bad.

After I decided to retell the tale of Puss in Boots as a first-person fantasy romance in my novella, Cat’s Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold, I knew the title character would have to be someone who knew how good it was to be bad—and perhaps knew it too well.

When we first meet the beautiful Lady Catriona, she is feline in all but form—she is cunning and conceited, indolent and immoral. Cat’s clever conniving catches up with her when she runs afoul of an evil ogre’s plan to steal the throne. The ogre turns Cat into a cat, leaving the less-than-likable lady to find a way to regain her true form and save the princess without the beauty she has always used to get her way.

Looking for human hands to carry out her clever plans, Cat enlists Julian, the disinherited son of the late local miller. As their friendship grows, Cat finds herself falling for the handsome and honest Julian. Though she tries to teach Julian the advantages of being bad, her new friend’s good nature and true heart leave Cat longing to be a better woman—the type of woman with whom Julian would want to share his happily ever after.

Can two unlikely allies win against an evil ogre? Can a good man love a bad woman? And can that bad woman learn to be at least a little bit good?

Do you have a favorite fictional character who knows that it is sometimes good to be bad? If you’d like a chance to win an ebook copy of Cat’s Tale, leave a comment describing that character, the lessons they learn (if any), and the work in which they appear. I’ll pick a random commenter at the end of the Spotlight on Fairy Tales Retold event.

By day, Bettie works as a researcher, exploring all facets of fact. In her free time she spins fantasy and fairy tale into slightly skewed stories featuring protagonists who are rarely perfect, but always earn their happily ever after.

You can visit Bettie and learn more about her and her books on:

Her website - Her blog - Twitter - Facebook


GIVEAWAY RULES

Bettie generously offered an ebook copy of her novel Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold to a lucky commentator.

Cat's Tale: A Fairy Tale Retold

All you have to do is:

1) answer Bettie's question above: Do you have a favorite fictional character who knows that it is sometimes good to be bad? Leave a comment describing that character, the lessons they learn (if any), and the work in which they appear.

2) leave me a way to contact you (e-mail address, Twitter handle, etc.)

Giveaway is open worldwide and ends on Wednesday 13 July 2011.

Good luck!

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