Today on the ol’ magical blog, I’ve got C.L. McCollum, an up and coming author who you need to put on your radar ASAP. She’s got a kickass anthology coming out, and has a few books in the wings that we’re all waiting for (get on it, agents).

Check out her guest post on the magic of retellings below!

The Magic of Retellings

I recently had someone ask me why I was so drawn to writing retellings. It’s a fair question: to date, I have written or am currently writing four short story retellings of fairy tales, one short story retelling of classic literature, one novel length fairy tale retelling, and one for a completely different fairy tale, as well as contemplating and doing a rough plot for another novel with a science fiction retelling of a different bit of classic fiction than I did for the other short story.

Wow, that list looks even more ridiculous now that I’ve written it out, doesn’t it? That’s eight retellings on my place just that I can think of off the top of my head, and I’m sure there are more buried in the infamous “Possible Story Ideas” folder.

So what is it that draws me to these types of tales? Part of it are the original stories, themselves. I grew up on fairy tales, as I imagine most writers likely did: on Grimm’s and Hans Cristian Anderson and The Blue Fairy Book and the (heavily censored LOL) kids’ version of 1001 Arabian Nights. There was magic to these stories, a magic that somehow the Disney versions never quite captured. I enjoy Disney, don’t get me wrong – Beauty and the Beast is still one of my top ten fave movies – but they never quite had the same feel for me that the original tales did.

Those were darker, with higher stakes and dangers that the heroes and heroines might not survive if they weren’t careful. People were cruel solely for cruelty’s sake, but kindness and goodness might be rewarded for their own sake, too.

And there was magic. Oh there was magic.

Those moments were the wonder for me: the gold spun from straw, the cat in a pair of boot who could talk, a prince transformed from a bear, a heart thawed from ice with tears or a kiss (depending on the version of the story). Those details thrilled me. What amazing possibilities those stories held, what chances for an ordinary person to become extraordinary.

That’s what stories are to me, as both a writer and a reader: sparks to the imagination, magic and possibility, wonder and a glimpse of the extraordinary. And sometimes the chance to add my personal version of magic to a story that everyone thinks they know is just too hard to resist.

Want a glimpse of one of my magical retellings? Check out “True Confessions of a Sea Witch,” a retelling of The Little Mermaid, in my writing group’s charity anthology, ONCE UPON A TIME.

Once upon a time, authors and artists gathered from the four corners of the globe, drawn together by the same vision. A vision of a happier ever after for abuse victims everywhere. Join those creative souls for the next installment of the Clichés for a Cause anthology series, as they take you on a journey through the land of fairy tales. While not all of these stories end happily, we hope you will find a little joy in knowing all proceeds from this anthology will benefit the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).


C. L. McCollum spends her time delving into the wonder of the world. She’s always been drawn to the “How” and the “Why” and the “Is this even possible?” While her debut novel is on the road to publication, C. L. has contributed to multiple anthologies, and also co-edits a charity anthology series known as “Clichés for a Cause” and is a founding member of the Herding Cats Press #MimosaThursday podcasts.  Currently, C. L. is keeping it weird in Austin, TX with the love of her life and their various furry roommates.

You can find her at home at, on Facebook at, and in the Twitter verse at You can find her stories on her Amazon Author page