I was at an event in Kensington last week with Alex von Tunzelmann and Hallie Rubenhold and we were asked if we ever came across people in our research we would love to write about, but can’t use. We all answered in a chorus that we do so all the time. I had another of those moments today reading this article about the writers of French Fairy Tales by Terri Windling. Madame d’Aulnoy sounds worthy of several volumes of biography, but as I don’t have time to do that, I shall just read some of her stories. And my justification for that? Well, when I’m thinking about a character I often find myself wondering what stories were important to them as a child, and I believe that one of the people I’m thinking about at the moment would certainly have read these stories. More than that, she’d have had them woven into her cultural DNA.
Also, if you are a crime writer and looking for some inspirations for terrible crimes, battles against the odds, abuse of power and lust for revenge then fairy stories are a good place to start.