{Guest Post} Michelle Davidson Argyle: A Darker Collection of Fairy Tales – BONDED

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Michelle Davidson Argyle lives and writes in Utah, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. She loves the seasons, but late summer and early fall are her favorites. She adores chocolate, sushi, and lots of ethnic food, and loves to read and write books in whatever time she can grab between her sword-wielding husband and energetic daughter. She believes a simple life is the best life.

Her latest novel, THE BREAKAWAY, releases with Rhemalda Publishing this coming Tuesday, May 1st.  In January, I reviewed her novel CINDERS for A Week of Cinderella and Michelle shared another guest post with us.  Rhemalda Publishing will released Michelle's upcoming fairy tale trio in BONDED this November.  It will feature CINDERS, and two new stories, THIRDS and SCALES.

Michelle Davidson Argyle:
A Darker Collection of Fairy Tales – BONDED

To begin, let me explain what exactly Bonded is. It is a collection that will be published November 1, 2012, and contains three fairy-tale themed novellas. The first novella in the collection is CINDERS, a novella with a past, so to speak. CINDERS started out self-published, but was later picked up by my publisher, Rhemalda Publishing, along with the other two unfinished (at that time) novellas. Bonded contains three standalone novellas that are also connected. I suppose you could call them companion stories “bonded” by certain themes and characters. The three novellas are Cinders (inspired by “Cinderella”), THIRDS (inspired by “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes”), and SCALES (inspired by “Sleeping Beauty).

When I was growing up, I loved fairy tales. The interesting thing, however, is that I wasn’t always so keen on the happy endings or princesses getting their happily-ever-after. Those were not the reasons I read the stories. It was more like me reveling in some dark, magical world that felt so different from my own, but real at the same time.

One of my favorite fairy tales was called, “One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes.” My parents had this Grimm’s collection with little illustrations, and that one always caught my eye (pun intended!). At the beginning of the fairy tale was a pencil drawing of a girl in front of a tree, and the girl had three eyes. The picture never bothered me, but it did stick in my imagination so deeply that over half my life later, I recalled it when I was trying to come up with an idea to follow-up my self-published novella, CINDERS.

“Cinderella” has always been a favorite of mine, but I’ve often wondered what happened after she married her prince, so that is where  CINDERS came from. “Sleeping Beauty” contains my husband’s favorite villain (Maleficent in the Disney version), and I knew that would have to be my third novella. It is my most personal of the three I’ve written.

All three novellas feel gritty to me. Not edgy, I suppose, but I tend to lean toward a more realistic approach in my writing. For me, that usually means a darker feel. I think where this comes from is my childhood when I grew up reading those Grimm’s and Anderson fairy tales. Many of them are not happy and light. Many of them, I’d say, are disturbing. You reach the end and sometimes you’ll think what the …??? Then you’ll think. And think some more. It was always in those moments of really thinking about the fairy tales that I found the magic inside them. That is what I’ve aimed for in my novellas in BONDED. They are exciting and entertaining, in my opinion, but the most important layer to them is one that I hope will stick with readers long after they read them. I hope that most important layer captures what I always felt growing up. I believe that kind of a layer is what makes us keep coming back to fairy tales over and over.

Thank you so much for having me here today!


  1. I'm so excited about Bonded and can't wait for it to come out. I have always been a little obsessed with fairy tales, particularly their darkness and mystery. I enjoyed Cinders and so am sure I will enjoy Thirds and Scales.

  2. Fascinating. I have Cinders but I've never heard of One Eyes, Two Eyes.


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