Guest Post: Fairy Tale Retellings by G.R. Mannering

I’m handing the blog over to the lovely G.R. Mannering today! She is the author of YA Beauty and the Beast retelling, ROSES and children’s picture book, THE SPOTTY DOTTY DAFFODIL. ROSES is her debut novel and will be released with Sky Pony Press on 6th November (tomorrow!). THE SPOTTY DOTTY DAFFODIL, written under the name Rose Mannering and illustrated by Bethany Straker, will be released with the same publisher in March 2014. Many congratulations to Rose on the release of her wonderful novel, which I’ve been lucky enough to read early and loved to pieces! ROSES takes a well-known story and twists it into a fresh, unique tale with all the charm of the original. Over to you, Rose…

Fairy Tale Retellings by G.R. Mannering:

When I was younger I loved fairy tales and as I moved into my teenager years, this grew into a *cough* obsession with retellings. A few of my favourites were Beauty by Robin McKinley and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. I couldn’t get enough of these reworked stories and it was not necessarily the stories themselves that drew me (some of them, as we know, are a bit ropey – I’m thinking the original version of The Twelve Dancing Princesses), but it was the way that the plot had been twisted and reworked that fascinated me.

Since promoting my own retelling, ROSES, I’ve come to find that I am not the only one who loves reworked fairy tales (phew). Just like me, there are many other people out there who will buy and read a book purely because they have found out that it’s a reworking. In fact, there are whole groups on Goodreads dedicated to fairy-tale-lovers – woohoo! In the same way that science fiction has a cult following, it seems that fairy tale retellings do too (which is great news for me).

But why do people like retellings? When I published ROSES, I wondered if I would be met with allegations that I had taken ‘the easy road’ since I hadn’t fashioned the plot myself (this brings up theories like A Hero With A Thousand Faces, but we’re just going to ignore that). However, for me and – I think – for other fairy-tale-retelling-lovers, the whole enjoyment of the story comes from the challenge of reworking it into something new. The reason I loved writing ROSES is because I found putting my own stamp on the tale so very appealing. I liked bending it and moulding it and – hopefully – making it different.

Besides, fairy tales almost beg to be retold. Orally passed down through generations, Grimm set down a few in their famous collection, but there are many, many others in different forms and guises that live in various cultures. There is no definitive version of a fairy tale – they are a tale and therefore they are whatever the teller wants them to be. Over the years there’s been stage versions (Swan Lake) and then, of course, the giant powerhouse of Disney.

Fairy tales are so loved that they have changed and evolved with our society, which is why they are still present today, and I hope that I have managed to do justice to one of my favourites – Beauty and the Beast.


A dark rendition of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast! ‘As the gates clicked shut behind them, she heard the distant roar of a beast.’ She bears no name. Her silvery appearance is freakish to the numerous inhabitants of Sago, the cosmopolitan capital of Pevorocco in a fantasy realm. With her mother vanishing at the instance of her birth, she is regrettably sent to live with the nouveau riche Ma Dane, where she is punished daily for something, though she knows not what. Tauntingly named Beauty, she flees Sago in an violent uprising that sets out to massacre all Magics and journeys to the furthest point of the country. But Beauty cannot hide in the grassy Hillands forever. Before long, the State officials find her and threaten to take her back to war-torn Sago where death surely awaits. In a midnight blizzard she escapes them, running into a deep, enchanted forest to a great and terrible beast who will bargain for her life. But can Beauty accept Beast? Eternity is a long time. G. R. Mannering’s eloquent style and creative retelling of a timeless classic illuminates the plight of Beauty and the Beast, bringing a new layer to this beloved tale.


G. R. Mannering is an English writer and international author. She signed up with literary agency Creative Authors when she was eighteen and secured her first UK publishing deal when she was nineteen. To learn more about her first fantasy novel, ROSES, please see

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