Blog 1 - 16 Sep 2022

How I came up with "Fairy Tale"

“Fairy Tale of A Mexican Family” didn’t just happen overnight. It was an idea that popped in my brain back in 2013, nearly ten years ago. The idea was that I wanted to share my family story. As I started writing, I became a bit obsessed with being too literal to what happened in real life. The thing is you can’t mimic real life because sometimes it’s kind of boring. Writing a book requires a dedication to the art, hard work, and for the story to be interesting enough that people want to read it. I looked at the first chapter and scrapped the whole thing. I rewrote another forty pages straight from my imagination, accompanied with loose interpretations of stories of my ancestors. What resulted is “Fairy Tale” in the works, but I wasn’t happy and life got in the way and I stopped writing.


Life became a whirlwind of drastic events–-from a divorce to a political campaign to a political campaign loss to depressive episodes. It was too hard and after some therapy and talks with friends and family, I decided the best way to go back into writing was to tell stories that loosely resemble what happened to me. I wrote a few novels that I never published. In December 2020, my grandfather, the patriarch of my mom’s side of the family, passed away. He was ninety-seven. Like a second father to me, he heavily influenced how I thought, my love for French culture and Europe in general, my interest in politics, among other things. That single moment in my life fueled what would end up being the beginning of the “Fairy Tale” trilogy (in case I hadn’t said it, yes, this novel is part of a trilogy).

I started writing in chronological order about a fictional Thackeray family. You may ask why the last name Thackeray, which is not a Hispanic surname, you’ll find out in another blog. But to make things short, a lot of European and American foreigners moved down to Mexico at the turn of the century and married Mexicans, which in turn created Spanish-speaking Mexicans that had last names like Smith, Hussong, Rudametkin, or like mine, Macfarland. I eventually completed a loose version of a book that I thought could be Book 1, but decided to shelve it and make it Book 3, a prequel after the events of the first and second books. Hence, I started writing this novel—from ideas from nine years ago, family stories, and my very vivid imagination.


I wanted to tell a story that I have never heard of and had never been written. Taking place mainly in San Diego, Chula Vista, and Ensenada, it’s a unique tale of a cross-border, American influenced Mexican family. With themes that can be hard to talk about in Mexican families, I wanted to portray what it was like for a gay kid to come out to his family or what it was like to be a woman wishing to break free from the traditional values hovering over her. Please note, the characters from “Fairy Tale” aren’t real. They are characters I created out of thin air. Many of these characters, much like humans in real life, are flawed, but good individuals. And interestingly enough, a part of me learned to love them as I wrote this novel. 

This entire trilogy is an ode to my family. They mean so much to me. In particular, this trilogy is dedicated to several key people in my life that really influenced me in my formative years and all the way up to my adult life. I won’t mention anyone, but you know who you are. 

Until next time.


© Copyright 2022, Patrick Macfarland. All rights reserved.