Updating the Fairy Godmother for the 21st Century
Taking a familiar trope and reimagining it is one of my favorite ways to find writing inspiration. What if you take an old western and put it in space? You get the original Star Wars. What if you take a Jane Austen novel and set it in modern day? You get Clueless. When it came time for me to write a new series, I looked to the fairy tales and decided to reimagine one element: the fairy godmother.
We’re familiar with these ladies. We’ve wished on candles or stars or dandelions. We’ve read the Grimm’s Fairy Tales. We’ve seen Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or Shrek. The fairy godmothers in these stories are from a different world—the past. But what happens in the modern world? What would fairy godmothers do in today’s world? We’ve invented so much real magic—iPhones (don’t have one yet; maybe I should make a wish), televisions, airplanes—that give us the capacity to travel, talk to our loved ones over distance, see stories. And, yes, that is a sort of magic if you think about it. As we get older, reality challenges our capacity to believe in the solidity of rainbows, or the possibilities of wishes, or the power of dreaming. So what role would a fairy godmother play in today’s world?
In my novel Wishful Thinking, I have created a world where the role of the fairy godmother is slightly different from the one in the stories and films we’re familiar with. Oh, they still grant wishes, mostly to children, but their main purpose is to protect the boundary between the magical and non-magical worlds. Imagine if the magical world existed. Do you think we non-magicals would ever leave them alone? Most of us would be polite, but too many of us would demand favors or spells. In my world, magic costs energy. Use too much, and an Arcani (that’s someone with magic) might die. I’m also sure not all of us would welcome people with powers. Look at our history of witch hunts and our portrayals of witches in the past. Lest you think the bad relations would be all one sided, many in the Arcani world might believe they were superior to mere Groundlings and seek to enslave them.
There is precedence to this role. In Sleeping Beauty, both the original fairy tale and the Disney reimagined version, a wicked fairy godmother curses a human child. In the story, one fairy godmother steps forward to protect the child with a counter spell. In the movie three other fairy godmothers take in the child to save her from harm. So here we have both aspects of my fairy godmothers represented—the first is that fairy godmothers protect humans from those with magic, and the second is a lesson to humans not to disrespect those with magic.
So my fairy godmothers live between worlds, providing enough magic to distract the Groundlings from seeking out the Arcani and also having special abilities to prevent Arcani from hurting the Groundlings. They have no powers for the first twenty-seven years of their lives, so they understand how Groundlings think and live.
And the women themselves? Well, they’re modern, intelligent women, who learn to balance family and work. They fall in love, face problems, and make decisions that can affect multitudes.
Because I didn’t make it easy for my heroine. Stormy Jones-Smythe is a free-spirited woman before she discovers she’s a fairy godmother. Now the Arcani Council has assigned a Guard to protect her and keep her from joining two other fairy godmothers who have gone rogue. Hunter Merrick is a top member of the Guard. He’s sworn an oath to Council, but Stormy’s exuberance has charmed him. Unfortunately trouble has arrived, and Stormy has to decide whether to follow the Council or her heart, and Hunter must choose between Stormy and his oath. And for both, the cost of the decision is immense.
I hope you’ll check out my take on fairy godmothers in Wishful Thinking and in my two previous novels, The Wish List and As You Wish.
Now tell me: what magic have you found in your life?
About Time of Transition
Wishful ThinkingTime of Transition 3
Tor Books, April 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Free-spirited artist Stormy Jones-Smythe was raised by two talented Wizard fathers but never showed the slightest hint of magical abilities. Which is why she’s totally surprised when three famous fairy godmothers show up at her door to tell her she’s one of them.
Surprised, and none too happy. The godmothers are fugitives, framed for treason, and the last thing the magical Council wants is another fairy godmother going rogue. Hence Stormy’s new full-time Guard, Hunter Merrick.
Stormy quickly realizes she’s not going to escape Hunter’s watch…and before long, she’s not sure she wants to. But her freedom depends on her ability to expose the plot against the godmothers, and that means getting control of her magic. Despite the growing chemistry between them, Hunter is fiercely loyal to the Council—and duty-bound to keep Stormy from doing either of those things.
But he didn’t count on Stormy’s irrepressible exuberance and passion for life. Before long, even Hunter isn’t sure which side he’s on, and he can’t contain Stormy either way.
As You WishTime of Transition 2
Tor Books, April 26, 2011
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 320 pages
Born into a magical family, Reggie Scott is content to live out her life as a normal human until the moment she’s informed that she’s a newly appointed fairy godmother. Left struggling to deal with powers the never thought she’d have, Reggie faces a curse, a plot to overthrow the Arcani, and an entirely too enthusiastic mother—all in a matter of days.
Jonathan Bastion is a man of power and wealth—and a dangerous secret. He desperately hopes that Reggie's new powers will hold the answer to his problem and he isn't above using her to achieve his goals. What he doesn't expect is how much Reggie will affect him. Her honor, her honesty, and her strength quickly make cracks in his ruthless exterior.
As danger from the Arcani swirls around them both, Jonathan realizes that what was once a ploy to get Reggie to assist him has become a battle to keep her safe and protected…in his arms.
The Wish ListTime of Transition 1
Tor Books, April 27, 2010
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
Kristin Montgomery is more than a little shocked when her aunts inform her they’re fairy godmothers. Worse, after dropping that bombshell they hand her a wand and head off on a world cruise. Now Kristin’s uncomplicated life as a CPA in San Diego has disappeared like magic and she not only has to deal with her burgeoning magical powers, but also a reluctant—and distractingly sexy—magical arbiter.
Tennyson Ritter is a historian. A scholar by choice, he is yanked from his studies to act as arbiter for the newly chosen fairy godmother. He doesn’t want to waste his time with a woman who doesn’t know anything about magic or the magical world, but soon the beguiling Kristin draws him away from his books and into her life.
But before Kristin can hone her skills and pass the tests necessary to fully claim her powers, she and Tennyson must work together to defend the world – both magical and human – against those that would claim her powers for their own.
ww.GabiStevens.com, www.GabiStevens.blogspot.com, at Facebook, http://facebook.com/gabi.stevens, or on Twitter.
Discover the magic:
THE WISH LIST
AS YOU WISH
What: One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Wishful Thinking (Time of Transition 3) from The Qwillery.
How: Leave a comment answering Gabi's question:
What magic have you found in your life?
Please remember - if you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted.
You may receive additional entries by:
1) Being a Follower of The Qwillery.
2) Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.
3) Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.
There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.
Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. You MUST leave a way to contact you.
Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.
*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*
Congrats Gabi on this release, it sounds great. I just need to read the other two :-) What magic have I found... right now not so much. Hoping to find a few sparks soon!ReplyDelete
Hmmmm, I don't think I have found any magic, though I do I have a "lucky" angel pin. If I wear it to an interview, I get the job!ReplyDelete
I've just added these books to my wish list.
booklover0226 at gmail dot com
Thanks for the good wishes. For me reaching out to lovely readers via the Internet is a sort of magic. That we can converse from wherever we are is amazing.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your new release, Gabi! I agree that the internet is magic, although I'm still blown away by my "magic" kindle! Books mysteriously appear on it, while my checkbook magically shrinks. So bizarre...ReplyDelete
+1 Tweeted (https://twitter.com/#!/RebeLovesBooks/status/194801213307498497)
The magic of books and how they can change your life.ReplyDelete
+1 gfc follower
Congrats on the new release! Thanks for a fun post and giveaway!ReplyDelete
I'd have to agree w/ Rebe. My Kindle Fire has been "magic" and I loves it!
+1 gfc: erin
I definitely agree with Kindle magic. Good stuff.ReplyDelete
Well, books have always been magic for me, so I discovered magic when I was a kid. Also, book blogs are magic for me!
aliasgirl at libero dot it
The magic in my life comes from my kids. My youngest is in college and they are all magical to me.ReplyDelete
debby236 at gmail dot com
To me nature is magic. Watching vegetables (or any plant, really, but veggies are more dramatic) fruit is just amazing. Looking every day and seeing visible changes without physically seing the change happen - it is magic!ReplyDelete
april dot vrugtman at gmail
Oops, forgot to add that I'm a follower!ReplyDelete
april dot vrugtman at gmail
I think being able to read and visit all sorts of different places and times is definitely magic and I'm so glad I get to do that. I feel pity for those who either don't read or can't read, they're missing so much more than they know.ReplyDelete
Barbed1951 at aol dot com
GFC: Barbara E.
I've got the magic to be the most reasonable and sensible sibling out of 8 kids. They come to me when they need to break up fights and drama:)ReplyDelete
+1 Follower of The Qwillery
+1 Tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/yadkny/status/194956134753370113
Winning a contest! =) I've always been the most unlucky person; so winning something was quite a surprise.ReplyDelete
+2: follower & tweeted:
I don't think I have found anything magical, yet but when I do i'll tell you.:3ReplyDelete
+1 Tweet at https://twitter.com/#!/rogue484/status/195003118126239745
LOVE is a kind of magic I always feel.ReplyDelete
GFC: Mary Preston
Congratulations on your new release, Gabi! The internet is magic, with internet, i have a lot friend and same hobby:)ReplyDelete
GFC: Filia Oktarina
Twitter : https://twitter.com/#!/FiliaTsuki
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/filia.oktarina?ref=tn_tnmn
Email : filiafantasy at gmail dot com
I haven't found anything magical yet.ReplyDelete
I follow the blog.
Thanks for the giveaway.
that would have to be my husbandReplyDelete
The magic of love. It is amazing how one can and wants to do everything for the people they love. Love is truly unconditional, and it is humbling and truly awe-inspiring.ReplyDelete
Thank you for the chance, I enjoyed the 2nd book in the series and since I heard the 3rd was maybe even better I'm curious! :-D
+1 follower as Stella (Ex Libris)
+1 tweeted: https://twitter.com/#!/Stella_ExLibris/status/196993196641894400
stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com