Guest Post: Elisa Ludwig on Retellings

I'd like to welcome Elisa Ludwig, author of Pretty Crooked, to the blog today to talk to us about retellings and the influence of old myths and legends on contemporary literature:

About Elisa Ludwig
Elisa Ludwig studied writing at Vassar College and Temple University. She has been pick-pocketed twice, and once caught someone mid-pocket. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and her cat Beau. Pretty Crooked is her first novel. You can visit her online at

Since there is nothing new under the sun (or so they say), it only makes sense to look back to the enduring stories of our civilization for inspiration. If we believe in Joseph Campbell's theory, these stories are universal, appearing across cultures and eras for a reason. So drawing from an older story can be a wonderful framework or starting point for thinking about plot, and what makes a story satisfying.. It can also be a great way to introduce the ancient story to a new generation of readers. In the case of Pretty Crooked, the Robin Hood theme is a very loose one—the story itself is very different from the original legend (I mean, Willa and her friends would probably never be caught dead in those hats). But people are always excited to hear it described as a modern Robin Hood—it's something they can relate to instantly.

There are so many great retellings of old legends in current day YA. Everneath, Cinder, A Breath of Eyre and Scarlet come to mind as examples of some great and intriguing retellings of older tales by my fellow Apocalypsies. We've seen Shakespeare, Greek myths, 18th century literature and fairy tales retold. The fun part is observing how authors twist the original story to amp up the drama, give it a contemporary feel or make it relevant to today's audience. I'm no publishing prognosticator but I do think we'll continue to see more of this. The reinterpretation bar is being raised, and that's a wonderful thing.
Thanks so much, Elisa, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

You can find Elisa on: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
You can find Pretty Crooked on: Amazon | Goodreads

Thanks for stopping by! You can check out all of the other stops on the Pretty Crooked blog tour for more fun.

Thanks to The {Teen} Book Scene for hosting the tour.

1 comment:

  1. I love retellings! And I love Robin Hood. Can't wait to read this one!


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