We’ve all been enchanted with fairy tales. When you examine them at their core, fairy tales are intensely human. The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith tries to tap into this humanity and answer the question, “What happens when ‘happily ever after’ has come and gone?”
The author’s background
I am an educator, a writer, and a doctoral student. I also spent nearly a decade living and teaching in rural, Northern Japan, which had a profound impact on not only my writing, but my worldview as well. In trying to adapt and thrive in another culture much different from the one in which I was raised, I feel like I developed a certain introspection and empathy for others as well as a desire to ponder and understand the motivations of people quite different from myself. I attempted to apply this sort of deep emotional analysis in The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
The original versions of most fairy tales were pretty brutal, (especially compared to the highly sterilized Disney variety). They were not traditionally the light, fluffy children’s tales we know today. In spite of the fantastical elements they invariably contain, fairy tales are at their root, very real. They speak to our deepest desires, darkest fears, and greatest flaws, but they are also aspirational. They provide examples, regardless how improbable, of how we might overcome desperate circumstances to achieve greatness and contentment in a world where such things often seem rarified and elusive.
Why did you write on fairy tales?
In most modern retellings, fairy tale princesses in spite of horrible trauma and tragedy seem largely untouched by it. They just simply don’t appear to have the same weaknesses and failings as regular people and do not generally suffer any long term impacts of those traumatic experiences. I find this to be inauthentic. If you regard the story of Snow White as a tale about a horribly abused and neglected child, one has to suppose that anyone going through this kind of toxic upbringing would retain certain persistent emotional scars.
In my approach, I try to more accurately examine the likely impacts a life of neglect and abuse would have had on a person’s psyche and relationships in real life. It’s the sort of thing that could break someone and I wanted to explore that struggle and the triumph over it more thoroughly. The Reflections of Queen Snow White essentially de-sanitizes the familiar story and tries to look at Snow White as a real woman, real victim, and real survivor of trauma, abuse, and depression.
About the book
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, in fact, 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.
Why do you think readers will love the book?
Compared to some of my other work this story came to me rather quickly. Originally, it was a short story that I composed around 2006, shortly after both of my grandfathers died unexpectedly. As I observed how hard my grandmothers took their deaths, it led me to wonder on their behalf – “So… Now what?” I mused, “When your life has been so closely tied up with another person’s for so long, how do you pick up the pieces and move forward?” It was this thought that guided the plotting for The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
The original short story got so much positive feedback I decided to expand it. I finished the first draft in about three or four months and then spent another six or so editing and revising. The reviews have been very positive and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. If you enjoy emotionally impactful tales and are interested in exploring a beloved character in a more realistic, authentic way, I hope you’ll consider The Reflections of Queen Snow White.
Advice to aspiring authors
-Be confident in your craft, but open to criticism.
-Read lots of different writing styles to expand your writing toolbox.
-Be pleased with your work but never satisfied – Always strive to be better on your next piece of writing.
-Enjoy the process – Writing should be about process first and product second.
If you fail to enjoy or attempt to rush the process, your work will likely suffer for it.
About the Author:
David Meredith is a writer and educator originally from Knoxville, Tennessee. He received both a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts from East Tennessee State University, in Johnson City, Tennessee as well as a Tennessee State Teaching license. On and off, he spent nearly a decade, from 1999-2010 teaching English in Northern Japan, but currently lives with his wife and three children in the Nashville Area where he continues to write, teach English, and is pursuing his doctoral degree in educational leadership.
Author: David Meredith
Publisher: David Meredith
Release: January 2014
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
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