Welcome to YAlicious, David. It's great to have you!
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven's wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven's fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White's own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better...except for one thing:
The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old.
It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what "happily ever after" really means?
Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
The Author's Take...Faerie tales always end with the phrase “And they lived happily ever after”, but what does that really mean? What does happen after “happily ever after”? This is the question I attempt to answer in The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
The Reflections of Queen Snow White moves you 30+ years into the future after the conclusion of the original Brothers Grimm tale. Charming has died and Snow White just doesn’t know how to cope. It’s a story about dealing with grief and finding purpose and direction after the most important person in your life is no longer a part of it.
Back in 2006 when I originally wrote the source short story, in the space of about three or four months, both of my grandfathers died unexpectedly. During the same period, my wife also lost a grandmother and a grandfather, so there where a lot of funerals going on over a very short amount of time. Now funerals, by their very nature lead to a certain introspection about one’s own mortality, but particularly with the sudden passing of both grandfathers and, as a consequence, how hard my grandmothers took their deaths, it led me to wonder – “So… What now?”
They both had wonderful, loving relationships – many long, happy years together (over 60). In the case of my maternal grandmother and grandfather, they had never loved anyone else, having married straight out of high school. There was no question in my mind, nor indeed anyone who knew them, that theirs had most certainly been a real-life “happily ever after”. Now it was over. It made me wonder, “When your life has been so closely tied up with and centered upon one other person for so long, how do you pick up the pieces and move on?” That was the original kernel of the idea for The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
Now, the question was posed to me: “Why did you choose Snow White – why not Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Rose Red or any of a host of other faerie tale princesses you might have chosen to write about? Why kill the prince? Well, First, let me note that I understand upon initial examination, she might seem a little bit vanilla as a choice. After all, she is probably the first faerie tale princess that comes to our minds when we think of the faerie tale genre. She’s been nearly exploited and merchandised to death by the Disney Company. There have already been almost innumerable retellings and riffs on her story in modern media – TV, movies, other novels, short stories, and even an old Rammstein music video. Who doesn’t know Snow White?
However, I felt like this intimate familiarity we all have with her actually works perfectly in helping the reader connect with Snow White’s older self in The Reflections of Queen Snow White. To me, it felt rather like catching up with an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years and years. Just like those friends from grade school or university, I still care about her.
Another reason I gravitated toward her was that I felt like this scenario was a very likely and believable turn of events for Snow White’s life. All of us must deal with death and grief to varying degrees throughout our lives. Half of us at least will have to cope with the passing of a partner. Who better to demonstrate the idea that loss and the redefining of a life that necessarily must occur as a result happens to everyone – Even faerie tale princesses?
In addition to that, I also felt like Snow White had a particularly and mostly untapped potential (at least by Disney) for some really interesting darkness. After all, she had a pretty horrible upbringing – the tragic death of both parents, left in the care of an abusive woman who despised her, disassociation from her peers, isolation, loneliness, depression… I think these are all elements that really work to elevate the level of drama and move the story forward in a way that is especially gripping and impactful.
So far, The Reflections of Queen Snow White has gotten really positive reviews. In fact, it received a 5-STAR review from The Seattle PI newspaper and won a 5-Star Medal from Readers’ Favorite! I think you’ll enjoy it. I hope you’ll all check it out! It’s on Amazon available here:
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