If we were to ask the Brothers Grimm, “What’s in a name?” they might not think along the lines of Sheakespeare’s rose with their story of Rumplestiltskin. Instead they paint a picture of a woman fighting for her life by spinning straw into gold, then fighting for her baby’s life by guessing a dwarf’s name.


Well, now this old tale takes on a modern twist in a manner similar to Harry Potter. In a new release called, “Rumpelstiltskin vs. Miller,” by Adlai Millier-Bonbour and Michael H. Brandt as editor, a child custody battle turns a kingdom upside down. Brandt discussed the focus of his book, answered some interview questions and offered a free mini-series online for interested readers.


In this compelling novel we pick up the Rumpelstiltskin story after the Queen guessed his name and avoided giving him her baby. But the legendary elf-genius doesn't give up and sues the Queen for breach of contract. She then was jailed for "disrespecting the king" (he felt her not telling him who produced the gold made him, the mighty monarch look ridiculous) and the King also planned to force Rumpelstiltskin to reveal the formula for making gold. At stake in this "Trial of the Millennium" is not only the custody of a royal baby but a country's future. Will the despot king get the baby and Rumpelstiltskin's gold formula or can the Queen and Rumpelstiltskin join forces to stop this tyrant?   - Michael H. Brandt


What drew you to this topic? It's a neat idea!


I first thought about the end of the Grimm Brothers story. Rumpelstiltskin had fulfilled his part of the bargain but the Queen didn't. That's obviously the kind of thing that results in lawsuits (hence the title of the book) and it struck me as funny that you'd have an unlikely plaintiff, this embittered elf filing suit in the equally unlikely setting of fairytale land. 


Then I thought about the interesting characters the Grimm Brothers set up. Alas they're sketchy in their story so I wanted to fully develop these individuals. Consider.......


The King---His marriage proposal to the miller's daughter was a "Gold or death!" ultimatum. What was behind such a twisted attitude?


Rumpelstiltskin---What a genius! He achieved the age old dream of producing gold. Yet he wasn't interested in wealth for it's own sake. Why?


The miller's daughter/Queen---A rare female fairytale lead. There's no Prince Charming for her and her story doesn't end with a royal marriage. Instead she encounters problems after the marriage and unlike other fairytale women, she has to find within herself the strength to overcome her predicament.


How did you manage the writing - -ie. from start to finish? Did you write certain chapters / characters first? Use pen / paper / computer?


I first dreamed it all up in my head. Then I eventually took it to a computer and wrote up an elaborate outline. The last step was to write it all out.


I did first write the parts that covered the ground of the Grimm Brothers tale except that I handled that story differently. After that I wrote the rest of the book in a linear way, first chapter to the last.

What tips can you share with fellow writers who want to complete their first novel?


I would say that........


1. You should feel inspired by your idea.

2. You should enjoy writing the book.

3. If you like what you're doing you can always find some time to do it, even if you've got a day job.

4. Before trying to publish your book, you should have absolute confidence in its quality.


This reminds me of a story of Detroit Tiger hero Al Kaline (I may be the only admitted Tiger fan left in Columbus) when a mechanic said that he was a great sandlot baseball player and was sure he could also do well in the minors. Mr. Kaline asked him if he was a major league player. The mechanic hesitated and Kaline told him to forget about baseball, because it was only worth pursuing your dream if you could make the majors. Therefore, you could have no doubts that minor league sacrifices would lead to a major league career.


So I firmly believe in the major-league quality of my book and stepped forward to get it published.

Can you share some of your favorite writers?


My book is not only an adaptation of a fairytale but a kind of historical novel so my model writers are outstanding historians like Winston Churchill, Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Robert Caro.

Have a mentor or two...?


No professional mentors but I can say that my father has been a great influence in my life.


 How about writing tools / writing resources: any special ones come to mind that you find helpful?

 For me, it was my computer, Microsoft Word and the outstanding research facilities and resources at the main library of the Columbus (Ohio) system. 




 Michael H. Brandt is a Detroit, Michigan native currently residing in Columbus, Ohio, where he has worked at Nationwide Insurance. Mr. Brandt holds a Bachelor's degree in history from the University of Michigan and Master of Library Science degree from Case Western Reserve University.


 A member of the American Library Association, the Society of American Archivists, and the Society of Ohio Archivists, the author is also an avid sports fan and an amateur historian. This is his first published book.


A little of Rumplestiltskin’s 'GOLD' is available at : gift wrapping is available at no additional charge if you mention this article at the time of purchase.


More information is available about, “Rumpelstiltskin vs. Miller,” including free online registration for a mini-series of part of the book. Visit: or or email: . Contact the publisher at: Dorrance Publishing Company, Book Order Department, 701 Smithfield Street, Third Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Toll -Free: (800) 788-7654.







This article may be reprinted in full. Interviews, readings, author signings, etc. are available by contacting Diana Barnum, Marketing Coordinator, , call: (614) 529-9459 or e-mail: .