The Story Behind the Story: Red Moon Rising

Red Moon Rising is the fourth and final story in my Smashwords collection, Philosophy and Fairytales.
I honestly don’t remember where I read the comic-strip that kicked this one off, or who drew or wrote it (this was at least six or seven years back). What I do remember was that in passing, the writer mentioned how in every Red Riding Hood story, it’s always a male wolf who wants to eat her.
The thought immediately hit me that she was right—so what if the wolf was a she-wolf?
As Catherine Orenstein’s Red Riding Hood Uncloaked shows, the male/female dynamic in the story had sexual overtones as far back as when Perrault first wrote his version. That continues into the present day, in versions such as Tex Avery’s 1943 cartoon Red Hot Riding Hood, in which Red’s a nightclub singer and the Wolf is, well, a wolf (slang of the day for a womanizer).
Turn the he-wolf into a she and the dynamic changes. And so I had my core concept: a flirtatious, restless Red, convinced she can tame any beast she meets … and mortally embarrassed when she actually meets the wolf.
Only what happens then?
Here credit goes to my friend Dori Koogler, who made the suggestion that shaped the rest of the story (but if I say what it was, I give too much away).
Then, however, came the task of selling it. And that proved a challenge, probably because there are a lot of Red Riding Hood fantasies around (nothing new: One of the jokes in Red Hot Riding Hood is that Red and the Wolf have been “done” so many times in cartoons, they’re bored silly).
Happily, Drollerie Press was soliciting stories for an anthology of Red stories, Straying From the Path, so I submitted. They liked it, and it came out in 2009. Unfortunately, the company closed almost immediately after that, so I think my total royalties were around .01 cents. And now, of course, it was published, so I couldn’t send it to markets that wanted new stuff.
Philosophy and Fairytales gives me a chance to give new exposure to the story of a hot-headed teenage girl in a world where the sun is a myth and the moon stays frozen in the sky … So that alone makes the effort worthwhile

1 Comment

Filed under Short Stories, Story behind the story, Writing

One response to “The Story Behind the Story: Red Moon Rising

  1. Pingback: Atlas Shagged is a go! | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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