Yes, it’s a Rapunzel story. And let me tell you, I did my research.
Here’s a taste of what I read in my effort to strip the Disney version of Tangled down to the most basic version of the tale. It comes from an article on Flavorwire called, “The Disturbing Origins of 10 Famous Fairy Tales” by Emily Temple.
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Well, in the Grimm version, she does, a little too often, to a prince, and winds up pregnant, innocently remarking to her jailer witch that her clothes feel too tight. The witch, not to have any competition, chops off Rapunzel’s hair and magically transports her far away, where she lives as a beggar with no money, no home, and after a few months, two hungry mouths to feed. As for the prince, the witch lures him up and then pushes him from the window. Some thorn bushes break his fall, but also poke out his eyes. For all this extra bloodshed, however, there’s still a happy ending.
I had a lot of fun creating a very dark parallel version of Rapunzel (the original fairy tales were quite disturbing) that takes place in the modern universe. And I submitted the story to 2 YA publishers, one after another. I was told that In A Gilded Cage was just too dark. As in, way too dark. “Readers like their modern fairy tale retellings light and fun.” Maybe I could lighten it up a bit, hmmm? But I liked it dark. And Evernight Publishing said something similar when I submitted it to their Teen imprint, but they added suggestion to the tune of, In A Gilded Cage is AN AWESOME STORY! Have Lucci and Prin grow up a bit… add some heat… and it would fit our Naughty Fairy Tales line PERFECTLY! And so Lucci and Prin grew up enough to be New Adult characters, got a lot more intimate, as did the original Rapunzel characters (wink, wink), and my DARK version of Rapunzel found a home.
I can’t write a story without a visual image of my characters. So here you go…
My image of Lucci… the male Rapunzel.
And Prin… Lucci’s hero. His Prince Charming.
And Mr. Gotham, Lucci’s creepy guardian, who is largely responsible for the darkness of In A Gilded Cage.
In A Gilded Cage is on Amazon in Kindle Format, on All Romance Ebooks, and Evernight Publishing. See comments below for links.