I've really enjoyed the new TV series "Once Upon a Time." The premise of the show is basically this: the fairytale world has been trapped by the evil queen (of Snow White's story) into the town of modern-day Storybrooke, Maine. No one remembers who they are. Before the curse took its effect, however, Snow White managed to send her daughter Emma into the "real" world, where she's grown up in foster care and now works as a bailer.
The only one who knows the truth is a boy named Henry, Emma's birth son, and adopted son of the evil witch. Emma is the only one who can break the curse, if Henry can ever convince her it exists.
The show takes a lot of twists on fairytales, and even introduces new stories such as how Jiminy Cricket actually became a cricket. (Great episode, even if the motivation for the guy staying with his parents was more or less nonexistent.)
I absolutely love Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (Cinderella tale) and Daughter of the Forest* by Juliet Marillier (Seven Swans tale), but I've never written a twisted fairytale novel myself (unless you count TDSF, though Chicken Little is more of a fable). This show gets me thinking about them. If I had to start a book with the cliched "Once upon a time," what would my story be?
Have you ever written or wanted to write a story based off a fairytale? Read one you just couldn't put down? What fairytales do you think have been left out of the circle, or overused? (Cinderella has been done to death, we can all agree on that...)
*If you haven't read this book, you need to. Right now.