Cinderella romance stories have been popular for centuries, and they show no signs of dying out. Why do writers feel compelled to put their own spin on a tale that has been around for hundreds of years? Why do readers keep responding to these rags to riches books and movies? Members of the Glass Slipper Sisters share their thoughts on the subject below. The Glass Slipper Sisters is a group of fifteen authors of Cinderella-themed romance novels covering subgenres from chick lit and sweet romance, to steamy romance and fantasy. Readers are invited to download the Cinderella Treasure Trove, their free collection of excerpts, recipes, and party tips, as well as to interact with the Sisters on their Facebook group.
In the meantime, here are what some of the gals had to say:
Stacy Juba, Fooling Around With Cinderella (Storybook Valley series author and Glass Slipper Sisters founder) – For years I wrote mystery novels and that was mostly what I read, and while I still enjoy mysteries, lately I have felt compelled to write stories that are light and “sparkly.” I really wanted to focus on women finding their happily ever after, and I wanted to do that by writing about employees of a family-owned fairy tale theme park. I have always loved underdog stories and Cinderella is the ultimate underdog, so she was a “shoe-in” for the first book in my series about a marketing coordinator who first has to prove herself as a temporary Cinderella. I think readers turn to these kinds of books as an escape from their own daily stresses. Cinderella stories give them a reminder that the ordinary person can become extraordinary, and that dreams can come true.
Lynette Sofras, Wishful Thinking – One of our reviewers called Cinderella ‘the ultimate wish-fulfilment story’ – which I believe it is. It has held every little girl enthralled since it was first penned in the 17th century (though variations of it go back to 7th century BC). As an author, I try to capture a little of that magic in my romances and hold my reader entranced as my tale unfolds. A rags to riches story is the perfect way to do this. The title of my Cinderella or rags-to-riches story is Wishful Thinking. It concerns a struggling single mum who falls in love with a famous pop icon after a chance encounter and, like Cinderella, needs some special magic to make the unimaginable happen. I believe readers, like movie-goers, enjoy the indulgence of being lost in a story to which they can not only relate, but identify aspects of their own wish-fulfillment or childhood fantasies as they take the journey with me.
Amber Daulton, Cinderella’s Enchanted Night – I love to write Cinderella romance because there’s a little Cindy in all of us. Whether we’re self-conscious or unhappy about our bodies, jobs or lives in general, Cinderella is all about learning to love yourself and to work through your problems for a happy ending. Cinderella’s Enchanted Night is book 4 in the Cinderella Body Club series. It’s about Annalise Gallagher who falls in love with her prince, art restorer Elijah Burleigh, from afar. Like Cinderella from the fairy tale, Annalise takes drastic measures to turn Elijah’s gaze her way but she never realized he’s noticed her all along. I think readers like fairy tales because we’re all kids at heart, no matter how old we are. Dreams, hopes and wishes keep us striving for something better but we shouldn’t take what we have for granted. Things could always be worse. Cinderella stories, at least for me, has always brought encouragement and reminded me that just because things are bad now, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel.
PJ Sharon, Savage Cinderella (Savage Cinderella series) – I didn’t originally intend for Savage Cinderella to be lumped into a “fairy tale retelling” category. The main character is a kidnap victim who is left for dead as a child and who survives in the wild until she is discovered by a young nature photographer who convinces her to come back to the world (more a Tarzan than Cinderella retelling). The parallel with Cinderella is in the rags to riches theme, or the abused child winning out in the end against her oppressor and finding a HEA. Fairy tales are woven into our psyche from the time we are small children. We all want to believe that there is a happily ever after, and that we, too, can overcome great obstacles in life to find true love. The familiarity of the stories and universal themes of hope, redemption, and eternal love bring us back to the simplest common denominators that make us all human.
Joan Reeves, Nobody’s Cinderella and Cinderella Blue (San Antonio Two-Step series) – Everything I write from romantic suspense to romantic comedy has the underlying premise: “It’s never too late to live happily ever after.” Why? Because it’s my way of affirming optimism. I’m old enough and smart enough to know that life is often full of adversity and struggle. Why is my series called San Antone Two-Step? Because each book is set in San Antonio and because love is often like two steps forward and one step back. I think shining the light of optimism just may help a reader get through their own personal adversity, whatever it may be. These stories are optimistic, not pessimistic and negative the way general fiction–the kind that literary critics love–is.
Kae Elle Wheeler, Cinderella Series: The Wronged Princess ~ book i; The Unlikely Heroine ~ book ii; The Surprising Enchantress ~ book iii; The Price of Scorn: Cinderella’s Evil Stepmother; The English Lily – My sisters and I used to grab the box of Kleenex and plop down in front of the TV when the 1965 Rodgers & Hammerstein – Leslie Ann Warren/Ginger Rogers version came on once a year. I hadn’t even started writing yet when I saw this Google writing prompt “What if Cinderella’s slipper fit one of the evil stepsisters?” and voila! Now, I have 4 books in the series and one side book! I think Cinderella books are popular because we can all remember how it felt to be on the outside. No matter how “popular” you may have been in school, or where ever, no girl is ever without her own insecurities, and feels that they are stamped on her forehead for the world to see.
Cinderella Treasure Trove download links:
Barnes& Noble: http://ow.ly/WRYGh
Glass Slipper Sisters Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/482493158588214
Glass Slipper Sisters Amazon store (members Cinderella-themed novels) – http://astore.amazon.com/glassslippers0b-20
This was a guest post that came on a much needed day! It’s my birthday today, and between that and grading, my brain is not in a place to be terribly creative. So thank you to Stacy and the ladies for their contribution! I appreciate it greatly!