Author guest post: For the Love of Fairy Tales by Adrienne Clarke

Hi everyone

Today I’d like to welcome Adrienne Clarke, author of To Dance in Liradon, a young adult fantasy novel in many ways inspired by the Scottish (and very fairy tale-ish ballad), Tam Lin, to my blog today.

I’m particularly excited about today’s post, because it’s all about one of my favourite book topics of all time: Fairy Tales.

I supposed I could go on about how much I love them and have been reading them since I was a little girl, but I think Adrienne captures the very essence of fairy tales in a much better fashion than I could ever dream of doing.

Everything she loves about fairy tales is everything that has always appealed to me, and I could hardly believe my good fortune when she approached me with her idea to write about her love of those tales of yonder.

But, before I hand over the reins to Adrienne, here’s some more info about To Dance in Liradon, her YA fairy tale which releases on the 19 September.

About the book: 
To Dance in Liradon
Seventeen-year old Brigid O'Flynn is an outcast.

A chance encounter with the Faerie Queen left her tainted in the eyes of the villagers, who blame the Faerie for the village’s missing women and children.

Desperate to win the village’s acceptance Brigid agrees to marry her childhood friend: Serious, hardworking, Connell Mackenna.

But when Connell disappears before their wedding Brigid's hopes are shattered.

Blamed for her fiancé’s death, Brigid fears she will suffer the same fate as the other village outcasts, the mysterious Willow Women.

Lured into Liradon by their inhuman lovers, and cast out weak and broken, the Willow Women spend their lives searching for the way back into Faerie. 

When Connell suddenly reappears Brigid is overjoyed, but everything is not as it seems. Consumed by his desire for beauty and celebration, Connell abandons his responsibilities, and Brigid soon finds herself drawn into a passionate, dangerous world of two.

When Brigid discovers the truth behind Connell's transformation she’s forced to choose between two men and two worlds. Brigid’s struggle leads her into glittering, ruthless Liradon where she must rescue her true love from a terrible sacrifice or lose him forever.

You can add the book to your Goodreads TBR pile here.

Over to Adrienne:

My Love Affair with Fairy Tales 

My love affair with fairy tales began at the age of four.

I used to sit beside the swamp near our house, catch frogs, kiss them, and wait impatiently for them to turn into princes.

Unfortunately, the much wished for transformation didn’t happen, but I remained entranced with the idea of magic, filled with the certainty that somewhere out there magical spells, curses, enchanted princes and happy endings were regular and delicious occurrences.

As I grew older I continued to devour fairy tales: The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault and other folk and fairy stories from around the world.

I was struck by the powerful dichotomy of good and evil, the intensity of emotion that drove people to wicked deeds and selfless sacrifices.

Overflowing with jealousy, fear, greed, desire, and most of all true love, fairy tales are a study of the human condition.

When I began to write To Dance in Liradon I knew that my story would draw on fairy tale themes, but with a twist. I wanted to create two distinct but intimately intertwined worlds, Faerie and human. Both have the power to lure and enchant, but in very different ways.

The story unfolds when my heroine, Brigid, finds herself torn between these two worlds as she struggles to understand who she is and where she belongs. I love naming heroines, and I chose Brigid as a nod to the Celtic Goddess of Fire.

Some of the story elements in To Dance in Liradon were inspired by the Scottish ballad Tam Lin. What I love most about this story is the fact that the girl rescues the boy. There should be more stories, I think, with female rescuers, and I’m proud to say that To Dance in Liradon is one of them.

Why do fairy tales continue to inspire? 

I think one reason is they appeal to our desire for fair play. In a world rife with injustice of all kinds, fairy tales satisfy our desire to see evil punished and virtue rewarded. There is very little ambiguity in fairy tales.

The reader is never left wondering about the outcome. Endings are meant to be clear and satisfying. And yet...the fairy tale world is not as simple as it seems.  Although celebrated for their happy endings, fairy tales’ darker elements are what make them so compelling.

Most fairy tales evoke a feeling of unease; a sense that once you’ve broken through that wall of thorns, bitten the poisoned apple, or donned that pair of glass slippers you’re never quite the same.

Like Sleeping Beauty you’ve woken from a deep sleep into a new world full of light and shadows.

In my opinion, the best stories are those that drive us to look deeper into the magic mirror and ask: Who am I? They show us ourselves, in all our flawed, uncertain beauty.

While trends in art and literature are sure to come and go, I’m convinced of the enduring power of fairy tales. Whether set in a land far, far away, on the streets of modern day New York, or in an alternate steampunk reality, fairy tales have the power to twist themselves into new and exciting forms, and I for one will still be reading.

Do you have a favourite fairy tale? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

You can catch Adrienne:
On Goodreads
Her Website

To Dance in Liradon will be released from Soul Mate Publishing on September 19th.

Available at:


Janna Shay said…
Great post. I've always liked fairy tales. I think it's because of the fair play you mentioned. I love to see good triumph over evil.

To Dance in Liradon sounds fascinating. I'll have to put it on my TBR list. Congratulations on your upcoming release. Wishing you much success on your book and your writing career.
Mandi Casey said…
Great post and I also love fairy tales. I love the magic, the whimsical and even the darker parts of the stories. Researching fairy tale origins is something I consider a lot of fun and inspirational for future projects. Good luck with your upcoming release! Can't wait to read it :)
Mandi Casey said…
Great post and I also love fairy tales. I love the magic, the whimsical and even the darker parts of the stories. Researching fairy tale origins is something I consider a lot of fun and inspirational for future projects. Good luck with your upcoming release! Can't wait to read it :)
Adrienne Clarke said…
Thanks for your comments! I think fairy tales offer something for everyone. That's why people keep retelling them in new and different ways.
Wendy Darling said…
I love fairy tales, and I love what the author has to say about why we still feel connected to them. Great post! I haven't heard of this book before, but I am definitely adding it to my TBR list.

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden
Adrienne Clarke said…
Thank you Wendy! The funny thing is I actually sent a review request for To Dance in Liradon to The Midnight Garden.

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