Holly Kingston offers a new take on the classic Cinderella fairy tale.
Any story can have a different interpretation, depending on the reader. But I thought it’d be nice to share what my novella, A Cinderella Christmas, means to me.
First things first! I love a good Cinderella story. And it’s not just the frocks and the handsome prince with the giant castle and the penchant for partying. Although all those things hold a definite appeal! Nope, predominantly it’s the underdog thing. I adore the underdog! I always want the unlikely hero to succeed. Whether it’s The X Factor or a sports game, I’m getting the imaginary pom poms out for whoever is losing! (Although I have to admit, it’s a smidge more likely that I’m watching X Factor than sports.)
And I’m not alone in supporting the unconventional champion. From the Tortoise vs the Hare, to Harry Potter, and not to forget the Jamaican bobsled team in Cool Runnings (awesome film), the least likely winner always manages to achieve a huge supportive fan base.
I can only assume that’s why the Cinderella tale has had numerous retellings over time. The story resonates with so many people. Cinderella overcomes her bobbins hand in life to get a classic fairy tale ending. (And a gorgeous huge dress…but I digress.)
For me the novella A Cinderella Christmas has a lovely subtext.
In the book, the slightly Machiavellian character Charmaine has the lead role of Cinderella in the Christmas pantomime.
But… in my head, main character Lucy Tilley is Cinderella. Her fear and lack of confidence is her Wicked Stepmother, stopping her from reaching her potential. Charmaine is a bold enough character to make for all the Ugly Sisters out there in the world. And although she doesn’t possess any magical powers, Helen acts as Lucy’s reassuring Fairy Godmother, looking after our heroine when yet another catastrophe has reduced her to a wobbly mess.
It’s why I wanted to write the last few chapters in the book as acts in a play. When arriving at this point in the story, I wanted it to be Lucy’s opportunity to go to the Ball. Even if her carriage is a car, and her glass slippers are shop-bought sparkly shoes!
I don’t want to say too much about Lucy’s Prince Charming as I don’t want to spoil the ending. But I really enjoyed transforming the Cinderella story into a novella about a Cinderella pantomime. I think a lot of people are like Lucy, a bit too scared to stand out, happy to hide behind the Charmaine’s of this world. But there’s a time and place for everyone to have their chance to shine bright like cubic zirconia. And this Christmas, it’s Lucy Tilley’s moment! I hope you enjoy reading A Cinderella Christmas, as I loved every moment of writing it.
Have a fantastic Christmas. Holly xx
Lucy Tilley dreams of a career in show business. But this isn’t quite what she had in mind…
This year’s Cinderella pantomime is the hottest production in town. What’s more, Lucy is starring alongside Ryan Aspall: famous TV actor, sex symbol and potential love of her entire life. One teeny problem – Lucy is tripping the light fantastic as… the back end of the comedy cow. Surely nothing kills a flirty moment quite like wearing a massive set of udders? At least she has the support of glamorous (if potentially flammable) Charmaine; a reality star diva of a Cinderella, who Lucy is completely fascinated by. But behind the fame and beauty, Charmaine is not all she seems. With more drama off the stage than on it, and everyone wanting to be star of the show, will Lucy find the confidence to make it out of the cow suit and into the spotlight this Christmas?
Holly started her life as a child. When she grew substantially taller and learnt how to read she decided that she’d jolly well like to write books herself. Whilst at college Holly had a slight change in her career focus and decided to become a marine biologist. On discovering that she sucked at science and that her future job was unlikely to involve monitoring anything larger than sea plankton, Holly went back to the drawing board and got a Bsc in Psychology instead. She studied with Scriptwriting North and wrote her first film, along with a number of shorts and a sitcom pilot. After several years of writing, rewriting, and hiding stuff for posterity on her hard drive, she sent her first novel to The Marsh Agency where she is now represented by Hannah Ferguson. She is currently working on a full-length novel and wondering how to lose the weight she’s put on whilst writing her last book. Her first novella A Cinderella Christmas was published by Novelicious Books in November.