Anne Ursu, on the importance of darkness, danger and challenges to fairy tale hero/ines.

From Cynsations:

The truth is not so terrible that it can't be told. Sometimes the world is completely outside of the child's control. Growing up is a process of change, all the time, and the rules change too. Friends fall away, people get sick, families break apart, other kids are cruel. Nothing is assured, least of all happy endings. But that doesn't mean the world isn't so terrible you can’t live in it. That you can’t thrive in it.

And, of course, everything she says can be extrapolated out to comment on non-fairy stories as well.