Greater Greensward and Back Again: The Road to the Fairy Tale World by E. D. Baker
A cloud of fairies dances in the moonlight with a twirling fairy princess. A unicorn rests his head on the lap of a frightened girl. Family and friends search for an infant prince turned into a tadpole and lost in a far-off swamp. A girl turns herself into a dragon to stop a fight between witches. A curse comes true and everyone in the castle falls asleep; everyone but one lonely princess. Is it obvious that I love fairy tales?
When I was young I read everything. My best friend and I rode our bikes to the local library. I returned home with my bike basket filled with science fiction, fantasy, adventure, and eventually romance. My mother shared her beloved mysteries and biographies with me. My father shared his westerns.
My desire to write books began in third grade—even then my essays were always longer than the assignment required and my short stories were novellas. All of my characters were quirky and my settings unusual. Eventually I focused on science fiction and fantasy. It wasn’t until years later when I took a class in children’s literature that I discovered people still wrote fairy tales. I was hooked!
I wrote The Frog Princess while we lived in a rented house in the woods. I fell in love with Emma then. Eadric was close behind. Greater Greensward was the fairy tale kingdom that I wished existed. I learned more about Emma and Eadric’s families in the next seven books. Quirky characters? Yes! Fun to write? Definitely!
I met Tamisin next. The daughter of Titania and Bottom had no idea that her human parents had adopted her. She was so much fun to write, as was Jak, her half-goblin boyfriend.
Seraphina was a girl who knew exactly where her life was headed until she became the next Baba Yaga. I loved her from the start.
Did you know that Sleeping Beauty had a younger sister? Neither did I until I met Annie, the princess who magic couldn’t touch. We have enjoyed four books together now. I’m really excited about the fifth where I’m doing something I’ve never done before: Annie travels to Greater Greensward and meets another of my favorite characters—Emma’s daughter, Millie.
I like trying something new, and that’s what I did with Cory, a tooth fairy who learns she’s actually so much more. Cory lives in the contemporary fairy world where ogres, satyrs, fairies, witches, and nymphs all deal with their own everyday lives in very special ways.
Over the years, I’ve discovered two things about writing fairy tales. I can’t write about a main character that I don’t love, and I can’t write a story that isn’t fun for me. As long as I am able to do both, I will stay with my fairy tale friends. Writing is something that I look forward to everyday. I get to visit characters I love in places I could never see in the real world. Who would have thought that my bike trips to the library would have carried me so far?
E.D. Baker lives with her family in a small farm in Maryland where they breed Appaloosa horses. She is the author of The Tales of the Frog Princess series, which inspired in part the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog. She has also written Fairy Wings and Fairy Lies as well as A Question of Magic, The Wide Awake Princess series and The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker. Princess in Disguise, the fourth book in The Wide Awake Princess series will be coming out on March 31, 2015. The fifth book will be out in the spring of 2016. The Perfect Match, the second book in the The Fairy-Tale Matchmaker series, is due in stores fall of 2015. You can visit E. D. Baker online at www.talesofedbaker.com.