I am famously fascinated by fairy tales – I love their wild beauty and their hidden claws.
Many of my novels draw inspiration from myth and folklore and fairy-tale. However, my books are not conventional retellings, in the way that Ella Enchanted is a retelling of ‘Cinderella’.
I am more interested in the history of fairy tales, and in their secret language, their symbols and metaphors and mythic structures. Marie-Louise von Franz, Jung’s closest colleague, wrote: ‘Of the various types of mythological literature, fairy tales are the simplest and purest expressions of the collective unconscious and thus offer the clearest understanding of the basic patterns of the human psyche.’ It is this idea of fairy tales as some kind of distillation of the subconscious which intrigues me.