Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hippoty Hoppity Bloggity

Becoming Beauty is weeks from its release date! I'm living in a constant state of crazy ecstasy waiting for the blog tour, the release, and my book launch. However, while I'm twiddling my thumbs (not really), I'm happy to have the Blog Hop to distract me.

The baton was passed to me by the illustrious and incomparable Jo Ann Schneider (a.k.a. The Ninja Novelist). Jo writes a little bit of everything, from sassy Super Secret Agents to YA Sci-Fi/Fantasy, all of which is amazing, engaging, and fun. Pop over to her website to learn more about her. You won't regret it, she's hilarious.

Anyway, Jo invited me to participate in the Blog Hop and chat about myself and my current projects. And what writer would say no to that? (Also, saying no to Jo can be bad for your health. For a petite blonde, she packs a punch.) So, off we go!

What are you working on?
My current work in progress, like Becoming Beauty, is a twist on a fairytale classic. Twelve Dancing Princesses is less well known than Beauty and the Beast, but its story is nonetheless endearing. Recreating a tale about twelve sisters required the development of twelve distinct personalities (okay, eleven, because my identical twins are so identical no one can tell them apart). As you might imagine, this creates some interesting family dynamics. I consider Twelve my ensemble cast piece. The entire tale is told from a man's perspective. (I figured growing up with five brothers made me uniquely qualified for this project.) 

Here's a truly beautiful version of the traditional tale:
If I send some of you scurrying to bookshelves, libraries, or Google to familiarize yourself with the original tale, I'm happy!  Fairytales are powerful!

How does that differ from other works in the genre?
In life and literature, I always put a unique spin on things. In my stories, I'm adamant about creating a realistic setting where events in the story might have occurred. In the traditional fairytale--and in most of the rewrites I've read--the twelve princesses escape their father's watchful eye via magic to dance the night away in a fantastical underground land. However, in my tale, the sisters rely on their own wits to get out from under their father's thumb. Gifting the girls with the brains, sass, and sneakiness necessary to achieve this task was a lot of fun.

I added another element to the tale by expanding upon the kinship between Jonas (narrator/assistant to the head gardener) and Braden (obnoxious upstart/under gardener). There's something else concerning these two that's new, but *SPOILERS* you'll have to learn about that yourselves when it's released.

Why do you write what you write?
Quite simply, I'm a fairytale junkie. Since my girlhood I have been obsessed with all things fairytale, and after years of devouring Once Upon a Times, I crafted my own original fairy story in my teen years and I have never looked back. To read more about my obsession with fairytales and all things dorky, read Fan Fiction & Fairytales or Embracing the Fangirl Within where I explore these topics in more detail.

What's your writing process?
I admire writers who plot everything out beforehand. They have well-developed characters listed name, trait, and prominence in a character bible, an outline of events that will transpire in a specific sequence, and carefully plotted story and character arcs before they even sit down to write the first sentence.

I'll be honest. I only learned what half of those things meant after I landed my publishing contract. I'm the writer who sketches out characters and develops a basic idea. Then, I fly with it. I let the characters lead me where they will. This means that sometimes I write myself into a corner and have to delete or rewrite, but it also means that cool things pop up mid-story that I never would have expected. At the beginning, I'll never be able to tell you exactly what journey I'm sending my characters on, but I guarantee you'll have as much fun reading it as I did writing it.

That's it, my friends! Now I get to pass the baton to Misty Dawn Pulsipher, author of the modern Austenian classics Pride's Prejudice and Persuaded. Can't wait to see what she's working on!

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To read more about Twelve, peruse Interlude in the Rose Garden featuring Jonas and Ariela, the eldest of the Twelve daughters. Following the links at the bottom of the post will send you to more excerpts of Twelve.


  1. Congrats on the release! My book Flipka was also based on the fairytale Twelve Dancing Princesses only my "princesses" were inmates at a girls' reformatory! Great minds must think alike, hey? Jan

  2. So excited for you! And I can't wait to read your book :)

    1. Thanks! I'm so excited/terrified. I love the whole process!

  3. Very excited for you--an upcoming book release and another book in process. It's encouraging to read an author who follows the stories she's passionate about.

    1. Thanks, Charli! What's the point of pouring your heart and soul into something you don't truly adore? I am a big time fairytale addict! Thanks for stopping by!