Thanks to the Nine Naughty Novelists for
Hi, my name’s Candice, and I write romances, all across the board. My latest book, Rescuing Rapunzel, was inspired by reading the original Grimm’s fairy tales to my daughter—we would read one a night (most were pretty short) for a little bonding time, but mostly because I wanted her to know that the Disney versions weren’t the originals.
I remember clearly the night we read Rapunzel—we were sitting on my bed, lost in the short story, when I started to realize something.
Rapunzel was alone in her tower.
In the original story, Gothel would leave Rapunzel alone for weeks, sometimes months, in the tower. And in one of these treks where Gothel was gone for months at a time, a man found her there.
He wooed her.
And got her pregnant with his twin children…
All without her leaving the tower.
The details, of course, are left to the imagination, but still, my first thought was “Wow, what were they doing up there?” Because, really, Rapunzel wouldn’t even know what a man was. He’d have to tread carefully, so he didn’t scare her, then charm her, and later they’d have to have…
Well, you know. That thing that makes babies.
That’s an awful lot to be going on in that tower.
That tiny seed began to bloom as I started my own fairy tale, wondering exactly what they were doing up there in that tower for all that time.
I mean, I knew what they were doing—how could I not?
But the idea, the “what if” was there—what would it take for a man to woo a girl who’d never even laid eyes on a living, breathing man? How could he get her to trust him, to lower her hair so he could climb?
So when I wrote Rescuing Rapunzel, I kept that very much in mind—how would my hero, Nick von Hohburg, get Rapunzel, a girl he’d only seen from the tower window, to lower her hair and let him in? And what would it take to get her down?
Oh, and of course, what were they doing up there, all alone, un-chaperoned?
It certainly had the makings of a very interesting story, which of course, spawned the idea of doing not just one, but a trilogy of fairy tale retellings, this one being the first in the series. (Darn stories, they just get bigger and bigger…)
Here’s a short excerpt, with Nick and Rapunzel, in her tower:
Nick stood, adjusting his cloak around him. He stared at me for a moment, and his eyes were dark and deep.
I do not want you to go.
Nick walked across the room to the window, and glanced back at me. “Rapunzel?”
I leaped off the bed, hoping beyond hope he would not leave. “I…”
“I need your hair.”
My shoulders dropped and I took a few steps toward him, my hair uncoiling perfectly behind me. “Of course.” I reached down to grab part of the braid to start lowering the hair out the window.
Nick touched my hand. “Do you want me to come back, Rapunzel?” His hand was hot against mine, and goose bumps stood all over my body. His breath caressed my cheek and it was only then I realized how close I was to him. I twisted but only managed to bump into his hard chest. My heart raced.
When I met his gaze, I could feel the heat there. I licked my lips nervously. His eyes darted down, ever so slightly, and again, his stare felt like a physical caress over my skin.
“Yes,” I whispered. “Please come back.”
Nick smiled. “I will.”
Thanks for hanging out with me today. Do you have any favorite fairy tales?
Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between diaper changes and boo-boo healing, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.
Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.
When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee while her husband hunts ghosts with Wichita Paranormal Research Society. All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Well, maybe a little less children’s television.
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