On The Ledge with Chris Roberson
Don’t tell him I said this, but I sometimes think of Bill Willingham as my very own Fairy Godmother. A few years ago, with a dozen novels to my name and not a dime in the bank, facing the prospect of returning to the dreaded DAY JOB, I got a call from Bill one day, offering me the chance to write a miniseries featuring Cinderella, Fabletown’s greatest spy.
Of course I said “YES!” right away. Isn’t that what you do when wishes are granted?
See, what Fairy Godmother… erm, Bill, I mean… what Bill didn’t know is that I had wished that Cinderella miniseries into existence. A year or so before I’d mentioned to fellow Tick Tock Man (as we members of the Clockwork Storybook writers group call ourselves) Matthew Sturges that I thought Cinderella was a fantastic character, and that I wished she’d get her own miniseries. What I didn’t tell Matt was that, if Bill ever did do a Cinderella miniseries, I was going to trick him into letting me write it somehow. I didn’t know HOW I would trick him, of course, but that was a minor detail.
So I got to write CINDERELLA: FROM FABLETOWN WITH LOVE, and to work with Shawn McManus and Chrissie Zullo and Shelly Bond and the rest of the gang. It was a blast to write, a dream come true. But all good things come to an end, and as much as I wished I could keep going, eventually my time with Cinderella was at an end.
Then, a few months later, my wife and I were watching a movie featuring another fairy tale character, and I suddenly realized that they would make a perfect arch-nemesis for Cinderella. I emailed Bill that night, handing him the idea and insisting that he use it in FABLES sometime.
The next morning, I awoke to find the response from my Fairy GodBill in my inbox. He wanted me to write the idea up as a formal proposal and send it over to Shelly Bond, pronto. I outlined a story in which a simple murder investigation quickly spirals into a much larger mystery, and as her search takes her from Russia to the Caribbean and all points in between, Cindy is brought face-to-face with her arch-nemesis, an assassin long thought dead. But if Cindy’s nemesis is still alive, that is serious bad news for Cindy, for the rest of the Fables, and the whole world.
And now I’m writing CINDERELLA: FABLES ARE FOREVER. Another wish granted.
So Bill? Fairy GodBill? Have I mentioned that I also want a pony, a jetpack, and a functioning lightsaber?