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Fairy Tales-The Darker, The Better

I love fairy tales! When I was about nine or ten I went through every fairy tale book I could lay my hands on. My mum had to take me to the library and the book store on a regular basis. In the end I had a lovely collection.

The Disney films were okay, but I usually found them a little boring and too sweet, especially if I’d read the original version.

Brothers Grimm and Hans Christina Andersen were a regular staple. I loved the adventures and the fact that evil always got its come-uppance. No matter what, good would always triumph. I think my need for a HEA started there;). Then I received a copy of a book of Russian Fairy Tales. It had cloth binding and black figures were stencilled into the red cover. It also had a red ribbon as a bookmark. I was in heaven. I also realised the stories were quite violent and scary, but in an abstract manner. Family members would die, limbs would come off and the hero would sometimes reach the heroine only moments after something horrible happened.

And it didn’t matter!

I still went to bed reading fairy tales. I mentioned it to my mum and she wore her concerned face. I had to reassure her that it didn’t have bad dreams.

Unfortunately I grew older and fairy tales moved more and more into the background. Reading all these great posts has reminded me how much I loved fairy tales. It has also made me dig out my e-reader and the free copy of Japanese Fairy Tales. Looking at the fabulous stories from an adult point of view I believe a country’s fairy tales shows some of the attitude and way of life of a culture.

I love it when someone takes a well-known fairy tale and reinvents it.

Fairy tales are amazing and great for every age. They are available all over the place. Take a moment, sit down and read a tale, either one you remember fondly or try something completely different.

And above all: have fun!

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates and have a great weekend.

Tina Christopher Writer of Sexy Steampunk and Sensuous Sci-Fi available at Ellora’s Cave and Amazon.

Palpatine and Palpitations

I know we’re supposed to blog about villains this week, but damn, is my head in a whole ‘nother world.
I spent the most glorious four days in Canton, Ohio, at Romanticon last weekend. Can you tell I had fun?!?

This was POSED. For a mock romance novel book cover. I didn’t pick the pose!! (But I’m not going to tell you I didn’t enjoy it!)

But life must go on, the blog must go on, and oddly enough, so do the villains.

When I put my brain on the mission to discover the villain I loved to hate the most, I was stumped for a while. The villains aren’t the characters that I think about in my favorite books and movies. I’m way to interested in the hero and heroine, and getting them together in hopefully naughty positions. I’m a little sick like that. 😉

But then it came to me. The creepiest-looking, most evil, power hungry guy I could think of. I have always despised him, and he creeps me out to this day.

Emperor Palpatine from the GOOD Star Wars movies.

There are three things that strike me about him, and they’re what I think makes a great villain that I love to hate.

1. His appearance. Have you SEEN wrinkle-bag? Holy shit, he’s terrifying. Saggy McRedEyes gives me nightmares when he smiles. Add to that the creepy cult-like robes and cackling evil laugh, and you’ve got a recipe for terror before he does a damn thing.
2. His power. His command of the force is brutal, so much so that the hero, Luke, can’t overcome Palpatine’s strength without help from Vader. This guy is in charge for a reason. He can kick EVERYONE’s ass. And without a villain who’s stronger than the hero, you don’t have much of a story.
3. His insidiousness. He knows Luke’s weaknesses, and doesn’t hesitate to attack them. He threatens Luke’s friends, offers him power and their lives, all to add Luke to his arsenal. He’s driven, he has no limits, and he’ll stop at nothing to extend his control over the universe. (Hello, Death Star anyone?)

A story is only as good as its villain. Would Star Wars be the same without Palpatine? No way. Because even though Vader is the one you immediately think of when you picture Star Wars (I don’t count those three abominations that have come out so recently. *shudders*) Vader wouldn’t be Vader without Palpatine. Think about it. This guy freaking CREATED DARTH FUCKING VADER.

How much scarier than you get?

What do you think of Palpatine? Do you love to hate him too?
(Just don’t mention those prequels to me. They make me slightly sick. I’m a purist, what can I say.)

A Down and Dirty Hero

It’s raining here in the Pac NW – like crazy.  So, besides writing, we’ve taken in a few movies lately.  I just went to Snow White and the Huntsman, and I enjoyed it.  Okay, I really enjoyed watching Chris Hemsworth in down and dirty warrior mode.  And Charlize Theron was amazing as the villain.  There’s nothing I love more than a good villain—well, except for a down and dirty hero.  🙂

But I did get to thinking…how has this story survived for so long?  The original Snow White was a German fairy tale from the early 1800s!  And yet, it’s on the silver screen yet again.  Is it the symbolism?  The red of blood and the white purity of snow?  Or is it the everlasting theme of good vs. evil?  Or is it the hero/heroine’s quest?

Maybe it’s all of the above.  You have large themes, horrible consequences if things go wrong…and hope.  And, good wins over evil. 

I mean, really.  What more could we want?

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