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Friday, April 22, 2011

How Twisted Fairy Tales Changed My Life, from Enna Isilee

Hey, y’all! I’m Enna Isilee from Squeaky Books and I’m SO INCREDIBLY excited to be guest posting here on Misty’s blog for Fairy Tale Fortnight. If you’re at all familiar with my blog, you know I’m a nut for a good twisted fairy tale. And if you aren’t familiar with my blog, you’re going to discover this for yourself very soon.

In my youth I was a big reader, but I never really understood genres. Everything I read went into two categories “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it.” It wasn’t until I got older that I began putting things into genre-categories such as “Fantasy” “Sci-fi” “Contemporary” etc. And it wasn’t until July 14th, 2006 that I discovered the “twisted fairy tale” genre. (Note that I will refer to “twisted fairy tales” as TFT from now on)

Sure, I had read a few TFT before this time. But again, I had just placed them into the “books I liked” category. But the reason why I remember the exact date my eyes were open to twisted fairy tales is because that was the day I met Shannon Hale.

I hope y’all have had the chance to go hear an amazing author speak. Shannon has such a bright personality, that you can’t help but be sucked in by her charisma. I laughed, I cried (from laughter), and I immediately went out and purchased all of her books.

In case y’all aren’t familiar with her work, nearly all of her books are some kind of twisted fairy tale, or fairy-tale like. That night I went home and stayed up ALL NIGHT devouring all 400 pages of her debut novel, The Goose Girl.

Suddenly my eyes were opened to a whole new world. If an author could make her mark exclusively writing fairy-tale books, certainly others must do the same, right? Suddenly my life had purpose and meaning! I began hunting down and devouring every twisted fairy tale I could find. And slowly, my “books I liked” category morphed into the “twisted fairy tales” category. I couldn’t get enough then, and I still can’t.

But this is a post about how they changed my life, not just how they changed my reading habits. After meeting Shannon I became obsessed with her blog. I could see what she was thinking online! Any time I wanted! (can you see why I call myself an author-stalker?) This was my first exposure to a blog. I’d never read one before.

Through a variety of various circumstances that I’ll omit for the sake of time, I made a bunch of online book-friends, many of which turned into real-life book friends, which is something I had never had before. These people are still some of my dearest friends, even after all these years.

About four years ago I listened to the full cast audio book of The Goose Girl, which features an interview with Shannon at the end of the book. When asked why she wrote TGG, she states “I couldn’t remember the last time I had stayed up into the squeaky hours of the night because I couldn’t put a book down, and that was a tragedy.”

And thus Squeaky Books was born! The very first ARC I received as a blogger was Hale’s Book of a Thousand Days, a twisted fairy tale based off of “Maid Maleen.” Since then I have reviewed over 200 books on my blog, and have become a reviewer for a number of publishers and Amazon.com. My name has been featured in books, and I was even paid to help with one of Shannon Hale’s books.

I’m not trying to brag, I just want you to understand how ASTRONOMICALLY changed my life was after discovering twisted fairy tales. It’s the genre that started it all, and it will always be my absolute favorite. It’s where I belong.

Well… now you know. I’m completely insane for twisted fairy tales. I hunt them down like a rabid dog, and once I love them they stay in my heart forever. I always know that I can wrap myself in a TFT and be safe inside its pages. I hope you all have found your reading niche. Maybe it’ll change your life too.

And just in case you still doubt my stalker-ness, especially when it comes to Shannon Hale, I took a picture of the "Shannon Hale" portion of my bookshelves. I own 32 copies of her books, and it's still growing!

Thanks for reading!


  1. I love this story of how you started blogging, Enna! Will definitely have to bump Goose Girl up in my TBR pile :)

  2. LOL! wow, it really did change your life! in a huge way. I would love to learn more about twisted fairy tales!

  3. It sounds like you are doing great I enjoy hearing about how others got into the reviewing business. I do a lot of product reviews on my blog but I'm wanting to do more books,dvds and cookbook reviews in the future. I'm also hoping for an Amazon Vine invitation sometime! Sounds like you're already in that.

  4. I loved this post! Enna, your story is awesome! I love Shannon Hale's books too, and I love that fairy tales have been so influential for you!


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