I’ve been thinking recently about the shift in genre that my ideas and writing have undergone. Spending so much time at Willow Cottage has probably had a very large influence on me, for my most recent ideas are all coloured, lightly or unmistakably, with the light fantasy of folk-tales. There’s ‘Ogle and Creake‘, which I finished last night, and there’s notes for a story about a lumberjack (who’s a very good listener) and more for gardener who has rather more than a green thumb. I’m enjoying this theme, and I hope it continues long enough to form a collection of short stories.
It’s also gotten me thinking about the stories I read and loved as a child: Robin Hood (of course); King Arthur; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – which was oddly terrifying for a children’s story; Jason & the Argonauts… The list goes on, I’m sure, but those are off the top of my head.
The books I had for Robin Hood and King Arthur (which I think included the story about Gawain’s and the Green Knight) were lovely illustrated books in a style that felt more for grown-ups than children. I’m sure they wouldn’t seem that way now, but hey, I was nine. They were scary and had scary pictures. Therefore, they were cool. I think I miss the excitement of a simple scary tale, set in a real world but that was tinged with fantasy, and that could be read alone or in groups, by a fire, with a flagon of ale. The kind of stories that remain unchanged and adored for generations, passed down by word of mouth or family books.
So I have a question: what were your favourite faerytales as a child? Which fables gave you shivers on Halloween, which myths and legends did you in awe ask to hear again and again? I would really like to hear about your favourites, and I’m sure it’ll bring up some fond memories for you, too!