Over the past few months, I’ve fielded dozens of questions about my book, the writing process, and what in the heck I’ve been doing with my life besides freelancing, baking, and taking care of my overgrown puppy. Over the last week, since turning my online portfolio site into a brand spanking new blogsite, I’ve also gotten loads of good wishes, messages of support, and much prodding for more details about the story behind Desperately Ever After.
First off, I want to thank everyone who’s shown interest. It’s simultaneously thrilling and terrifying to finally be putting this story out there, but your support makes it a heck of a lot easier.
Second, since I could go on (and on and on) about Desperately Ever After, I’m going to break the explanations into a series of blog posts. This way you don’t go blind from staring at the computer screen too much, Shadow (the aforementioned overgrown puppy) gets to drag me outside for a little bit, and I delay carpal tunnel for a bit longer. Everyone wins.
You’ve probably read on my Fiction page that my debut novel is a mixture of Desperate Housewives, Sex and the City, and the Brothers Grimm. But what exactly does that mean? Does it have Ariel? Does it take place here? Are there dragons?
Perhaps it’s best to start by telling you what Desperately Ever After is NOT.
1. It does NOT draw on anything that began with Disney. It was far more interesting (and legal) for me to base my characters on the centuries-old tales by people named Grimm, Anderson, Perrault, and de Villeneuvre. (Trust me, if you think you know fairy tales because of Disney, you have NO idea!) So no, Sleeping Beauty is not named Aurora, Cinderella has lizard footmen instead of mice, and Belle (whose name comes from de Villeneuvre’s 1740 story, not the 1991 Disney film) does not fraternize with talking candlesticks or plump, grandmotherly old teapots – as delightful as they may be.
2. It is not a modern retelling in which Prince Charming is the heir to Condé Nast and Cinderella is scraping by in the mail room until one lucky night. Rather, Cinderella IS actually a queen – as are her friends Belle, Dawn (Sleeping Beauty) and Snow White. They live in the United Kingdoms of Marestam (picture New York City’s five boroughs), which is broken into five kingdoms. And like the leaders of NYC’s five boroughs (yes, there is actually a president of Brooklyn) and Queen Elizabeth II, their royal power pretty much stops at cutting ribbons and giving their citizens something to obsess over.
3. It is not a young adult book. There are so many fantastic YA authors that expand on fairy tales (Robin McKinley, Marissa Meyer, Melanie Dickerson, to name a few), but I had to assume that at some point, those young adult readers grow up. And at the moment, the offerings for adults in this genre are limited to a few names like Maguire and Turgeon. I wanted to change that.
4. It is not a dark retelling of the old fairy tales from a minor character’s point of view. These have been done, and done greatly in many cases. But I wanted Desperately Ever After to do something I hadn’t seen before. Plus, I love the fun, witty tone of authors like Jennifer Weiner, Sophie Kinsella and Allie Larkin. So I got the best of both worlds 🙂
I’ll expand on this more next week. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment or ask a question.
Also, my super official Facebook author page is up, so head on over to check it out!