As children, we are warned to steer clear of addictive influences. But I can blame my eventual affliction on something on the shelves in my family’s library, two doors down from my room: a book of fairy tales by Hans Christian Anderson.
Much of my reading as a child was unsupervised. At night, my grandparents slept two floors above, innocent of my night childhood insomnia. The spine read Fairy Tales, but inside, the stories weren’t like anything I’d been read before bedtime. The endings to Christian Andersen’s signature stories, ranged from the merely unjust to the downright macabre. How could I avoid dreaming adaptations and futures for swan princes and mermaids? My addiction to reshaping narratives has comprised a large part of my writing for many years. But perhaps no other retelling cemented the sort of stories I wanted to write than C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces, a retelling of the Psyche and Eros myth.