Washington Irving's classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has been one of my favorite stories since my early childhood, and it's no secret that it inspired my novel Haunted Passions, which tells the story of Brom Bones, Katrina Van Tassel and John Crane. (Yes, I'm calling him John instead of Ichabod -- I just couldn't imagine, let alone really write, someone sighing that name during a sex scene.) The story is set in that same legendary place that I've been imagining for years, but there are many differences between the original tale and my novel. Perhaps the most obvious is that in my story, Brom and John are in love instead of being at odds with each other. They're also both in love with Katrina Van Tassel, who returns their affections. This provides a lot of conflict since only one of them can marry her, of course. I thought the original quasi love-triangle aspect of the original story lent itself wonderfully to a ménage à trois romance. I also adjusted some of the characters' personality attributes to make them more, well, loveable, though readers will also see aspects of their original personalities.
But despite the glaring differences, writing Haunted Passions felt like going to a familiar place to me, because I'd visited it so often in my imagination. I think that's a mark of what a wonderful story the original Sleepy Hollow tale is.
It won't be long now before my version is released into the world, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm extra-fond of this book not just because it was inspired by a classic story I love, but because I feel like historicals, particularly paranormal historicals, are where I can really unleash my voice and enjoy writing the most. Not that I hold back in other sub-genres, but there's just something about historicals that really suits my natural writing style. And the paranormal theme of the story gives it a dark edge, which is another quality that I think brings out the better aspects of my writing. Basically, this story is my perfect cup of tea as a writer. Anyway, enough of me rambling about how excited I am to share it with readers.
What about you? Do you enjoy reading stories inspired by your favorite classic tale(s)? Does it feel like visiting a world you already know and love?
I've read some romances inspired by classic tales and really enjoyed them. If I feel it's done well, it's fun for me to see old stories I like brought to life in new ways (especially romantic ways). ;)
|That's Brom on the left with the dark hair, and John on the right with the longer hair. And of course, that's Katrina in the forefront.|