Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Mark and the Caul: Origin Story


I'm participating in the blog tour for Sacchi Green's Witches, Princess, and Women at Arms, which includes my story, "The Mark and the Caul."

The idea of the book was to tell lesbian fairy tales, either original or adapted from classic stories. I sometimes enjoy going through my volume of Grimm classics and coming up with something fascinating and obscure, and that's what I did here.

"The Mark and the Caul" is loosely based on "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs." If you read the synopsis, you'll see some of the themes I picked up: a child born with a caul, and an associated prophecy; and a king determined to thwart that prophecy. My character, Sam, overlaps with this character. She's good at being in the right place at the right time, just like the character in the original.

My other main character, Lucinda, emerged as the flip side to this process. I mostly invented her in response to the questions the story seemed to ask.

I think that's a wild thing when it happens. For one thing, "The Devil With the Three Golden Hairs" is extremely dense. I covered only the beginning of the story in my rather long entry to Sacchi Green's book. On the other hand, it leaves so much mysterious and unexplained.

The character of the princess, who appears in the original, is barely fleshed out, and that left me plenty of room to find Lucinda, and to make her a perfect match for Sam.

I really enjoy the process of filling in gaps, and writing stories based on fairy tales is one of my favorite ways to do it. I find that those unexplained mysteries leave plenty of room for eroticism, queerness, and other elements of human nature.

If you'd like to see an excerpt, I posted one here.

And if you'd like to buy the book, you can find it here!


Anyone who comments on any of these blog posts will be entered in a drawing for a paperback copy (in North America) or an ebook (elsewhere) of Witches, Princesses, and Women at Arms. Each blog you comment on gives you one more entry.

Here’s the lineup of blog posts—the links may be adjusted as we go along, so check back here every now and then.

June 14th: Sacchi Green-“Trollwise” (plus the Introduction)

June 15th: Cara Patterson-“Steel”

June 16th: Michael M. Jones-“The Miller’s Daughter”

June 19th: H.N. Janzen-“The Prize of the Willow”

June 20th: Annabeth Leong-“The Mark and the Caul”

June 21st: Brey Willows-“Penthouse 31”

June 22nd: Salome Wilde-“The Princess’s Princess”

June 23nd: Emily L. Byrne-“Toads, Diamonds and the Occasional Pearl”

June 26th: A.D.R. Forte-“Warrior’s Choice”

June 27th: M. Birds-“Woodwitch”

June 28th: Madeleine Shade-“Robber Girl”

June 29th: Lea Daley-“The Sorceress of Solisterre”

June 30th: Allison Wonderland-“SWF Seeks FGM”

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