The Troll’s Toll is a Retailored Fairy Tales novella following Princess Lilly, the ultimate middle child. She’s lost in the crowd with nine siblings and her father struggles to even remember her name.
Her father’s disregard goes far deeper than that though. She discovers how unimportant she is to him when there isn’t enough money for the bridge toll, so he pays the toll with her – giving her over to the troll that runs the bridge.
From princess to housemaid, Lilly’s got a lot to deal with, and she even has to learn how to do the chores that are now her job. When your boss is known for grinding peoples bones to make his flour you sure don’t want to keep him waiting for dinner. And yet, the troll is not the most dangerous thing in the forest.
Set in the same world as Charming (readers of Charming will get to enjoy a few cross over moments), The Troll’s Toll is slightly more a ‘cozy’ adventure, as compared to Charming‘s galavanting around the countryside style adventure, but there’s just as much fantasy, wonder, and adversity.
You weren’t planning to sleep tonight anyway, were you?
I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at ludicrous o’clock in the morning and my brain was all ‘Hey Gurl, let’s get up and do something’. There’s no point even trying to sleep at that point because my suddenly active brain will start to dwell on less pleasant things if I don’t get up and do something with the unexpected/unwanted energy.
So I decided to do another read-thru edit of The Troll’s Toll. By the time I finished I was tired enough to go to bed, and excited enough to dream myself into the world and the futures of Lilly and Gramble.
Today, doing some catch up TV viewing I watched the most recent episode of Face Off (which you know I love thanks to this post) and what’s this weeks challenge?
And even better it featured Doug Jones (who played Abraham Sapien from Hellboy among many other wonderful creature roles).
None of the make-ups quite looked like Gramble to me, but there were quite a few that I almost want to make him into.
All this makes me feel really excited about The Troll’s Toll again. Which is awesome, but I kind of need to be striving towards my primary goals with my baby deadline so close. Ah, the troubles of a creative life ;p
Yesterday I finished off two more of my mythpunk short stories, so now I’ve a total of six short stories. I keep referring to them as my ‘mythpunk anthology’ even though I’ve no plan to make an anthology of them just yet. You may be asking right now, what is mythpunk?
To be honest, I’d never heard of the genre ‘mythpunk’ before reading Chuck Wendig’s flash fiction challenge a month (or so) ago – though I have noticed a fondness out there for ‘punking’ eg/ steampunk and dieselpunk, both of which are awesome.
Mythpunk is apparently what I have been writing recently in my short stories, Groundskeeper, Charming, The Wyvern’s Sting and The Troll’s Toll. Mythpunk is a form of speculative fiction which takes elements of myths, fairy tales, and folk tales and mixes them with more modern ideas, like feminism and multiculturalism or twisting it in an unusual direction.
An illustration from Beauty and The Beast, artist Angela Barrett. This picture inspired a whole new tale and an unorthodox ending to another.
Sassy girl who tends a labyrinth designed to trap princess inside, check. A princess sold into captivity fighting for freedom and to gain back her throne instead of just sitting around and waiting for her prince, check. A broke prince rescuing princesses for the bounty money, check. Sounds like this is one of my new favourite genres.
Of course I’m not sure that my work has quite the edge that deserves a word like ‘punk’, but then again a lot of writers feel themselves inadequate in regards to certain aspects of their writing, so perhaps this is mine?
Regardless, I’m having a lot of fun toying with the mythpunk genre(another idea recently popped in my head to be a fun follow-up to Charming that would actually tie a few of the stories together) and don’t see myself abandoning it any time soon.
Kirstie Olley is an award-winning speculative fiction author and the full-time wrangler of her children Xander and Harlequin.
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Read The Troll's Toll: A Retailored Fairy Tales Novella now.
Read 'Charming' (Honorable Mention in the Writers of The Future contest Q4 2014) in Leading Edge Magazine issue 68.
Read 'Short Circuit' (finalist in the 2013 Aurealis Awards Best Fantasy Short Fiction category) in Oomph: A Little Super Goes A Long Way from Crossed Genres.
Read ‘Hanabi to Kitsune'(Fireworks and Foxes) now in Tales of the Sunrise Lands from Guardbridge Books.
Read ‘Glass Bones’ now in WARRIOR an anthology choc-full of LGBTQIA warriors all across space, time, and imagination.
Read 'Gaps' in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #63. Click the cover to buy.
Read The Beauty of the Dance(Honorable Mention in the Writers of The Future contest Q41 2015) in Myriad Lands vol 1: Around the World.
Read 'Nightfall' for free now in 18. Click the picture to decide where to download it from.
Read ‘God’s Chosen’ for free now in Darkest Depths – the Vision Writers 20th Anniversary anthology. Click the picture to decide where to download it from.
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