There are dragons and ogres and gryphons and specters, oh my! And a dread disease, the Gray Death. How could I write about such awful things?
I didn't mean to! I meant to retell "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," a magical fairy tale with forests of silver, gold, and diamonds, a castle across a lake, the twelve enchanted princes. But I couldn't figure out the puzzles: why the king locks his daughters in at night; what spell is on the princes; and most of all, why the princesses allow several men to die.
I was in trouble until—gradually—the story changed. The sister count went down to two. The princes turned into a single young sorcerer, and the problems became monsters and disease. The best part of writing this book was in fooling the reader now and then. When you read it if you haven't yet - and if I do fool you - imagine me saying, "Hah! I got you!"