"What can fans of Fairy Godmothers, Inc. expect from Beast Charming? Any new favorite fantasy or fairytale tropes you're riffing on this time around?"
Finding a Sidekick's Heart (In a Protagonist's Body)
It might not have been so bad if I hadn't loved them so much, but there would always be one or two things that would just drive me absolutely nuts about all my favorites. The supporting characters never got to say much – and back story was completely out of the question – and the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, pretty and ugly were always so clearly drawn. You were either one or the other, and there was no in-between.
Even as a kid I knew how stupid it was, much as anyone did who saw the teacher's pet dump one of their classmates off the monkey bars when no one was looking. Most people don't fit neatly into categories, and if they do it's usually because you're not looking hard enough.
So I was the kid who never really trusted Prince Charming, and thought that the dragon would have been a lot nicer if they hadn't broken into his house and tried to steal his stuff. If I ever wrote a fairy tale, I swore, I'd get the real story out of everybody.
In "Fairy Godmothers, Inc.," my biggest focus was on giving people who were generally supporting characters a chance to shine. I didn't get to really play with any character expectations for Kate, because the traditional story never really expected the fairy godmother to be anything at all. The same was true for Jon, the classic "second son" prince who was generally expected to fade into the background.
In the classic fairy tales, they would have both been consigned to plot devices. Simply giving them a voice, as well as the chance to propel the story forward, changed the story past all recognition (and hopefully made people laugh). Rellie, who would normally have been the star of the show, was happy to play backup – if nothing else, it took some of the pressure off.
But it got me thinking. I was usually dismissive of a story's "main" characters – they always supposedly fit so neatly into that black-and-white world I didn't believe in – but Rellie had turned out to be pretty cool. What if the main characters didn't believe in the labels any more than I did? What if they were secretly just as quirky as the supporting cast always got to be, and hated the fact that they were never allowed to show it?
What if they didn't even realize they were the protagonists, and just thought of themselves as background characters in someone else's story.
So I met Beauty. This isn't the good, sweet girl you know from the fairy tales – she's got a temper, is seriously awkward in social situations, and has failed at being the romantic lead so many times that she wants nothing more than to fade into the next available crowd shot. She's not looking for a happily-ever-after, and isn't in any shape to save anyone with the purity of her heart. All she wants is a place to hide from her father's unreasonable expectations, a steady paycheck, and maybe a friend who understands what it's like to not fit in.
Which, you know, a big, furry guy with claws might be able to do.
About Beast Charming
When Beauty and James start having feelings for each other, however, they determine their relationship is the least of their concerns. Beauty’s father re-enters the scene armed with lawsuits and threats. To add to the chaos, James’s mischievous ex-fiancee shows up to reclaim him. Beauty and the beast need to somehow control their tempers long enough to return the favors with schemes of their own.
About Jenniffer Wardell
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