Posts Tagged ‘Fairy Tale’

My Books

Once Upon A Fairy Tale

I’ve found myself taking a journey down memory lane the last few days, thinking about the origins of my least-appreciated series, the Fairy Tale books. It was at about this time in 2009 that I took my research trip to New York to prepare to write the first book. I guess I started thinking about that this week because there was all the talk in the news about a tropical storm approaching (now it’s a hurricane), and a tropical storm hit New York while I was there. The first day of my trip was gorgeous — warm and sunny. I spent the afternoon wandering Central Park. It rained the rest of the time I was there, something that found its way into the book. I didn’t mind so much because I love rain, but it did get heavy at times, and one downside of rain is that it doesn’t offer many opportunities to sit down and rest while you’re outside, unless you want to sit in a puddle on a wet bench, so my feet and legs were killing me by the end of the day.

A Fairy Tale

I do hope to write more books in that series. I know some character arcs I want to do, but I’m not quite yet clear on a big-picture plot, and since those books make the least amount of money for me, and they take me a lot longer to write, they’re lower on my priority list.

Still, I really do love them. I think part of the reason that they’re hard to write is that they come from a dreamlike place in my brain, and that makes translating them into words difficult. The character of Sophie came to me in a dream around the time I was right out of college. She had a different name (the name she had in the dream ended up being the name of a main character in a TV series that I saw not long before I started writing the book, so I had to rename her), and she didn’t have all her traits, like being a dancer or having an unusual heritage, but the personality was what was in the dream. I’d been auditioning that character for a leading role in every story idea I came up with, but she wasn’t quite right until I had another dream of a woman in a floaty floral dress walking a bulldog down a city street and disappearing into the mist. This woman was the character who’d been living in my head all that time, and I wanted to figure out the circumstances of where she went and what was going on. I woke up in the middle of the night one night and wrote down the scene in which Sophie wakes up, realizing that something has happened to her sister and she needs to go to her aid (before I knew what happened to her sister). Another night, I woke up and wrote down an early phase of what would be the back-cover copy. The book changed a lot after that, but the central concept was a Southern belle queen bee type taking on a fairy queen. From there, I started researching fairy folklore and related literature. There was the Tam Lin story about rescuing a lover from the fairies, but I also loved the Christina Rossetti poem “Goblin Market,” which was about sisters. That’s probably what influenced that midnight waking scene about having to rescue a sister. Other story fragments, like the elderly sisters with a shop, attached themselves to that image, and then it took me ages to tease the plot out of all these pieces.

Before I took that trip to New York, I already knew about the dual worlds, but the weather helped me with that because it really was like two different worlds, the park I saw my first day when it was warm and sunny and the park I saw the second day when it was dark and pouring rain. The colors were different. The first day, the park was full of people, and later it was almost deserted. The sounds were different. I noticed the lampposts, since the lamps were all lit, and that made me notice things around the lampposts that I hadn’t seen on a sunny day.

I think I was in the middle of writing the book when I first heard a song that I felt perfectly described Sophie, and I took a detail from the song to add to the character — the mismatched eyes, which ended up being a perfect metaphor for her nature. The song is actually supposed to be anthropomorphizing the month of August, on the cusp between summer and autumn (well, in northern Europe — here, it’s the height of summer), but it still seems to fit this mercurial character.

Hmm, I may have to bump up brainstorming another book on my priority list because I’ve realized how much I miss these characters.

My Books

Status Update

I’ve had some reader questions about when we’ll be getting new installments in various series and what I’m working on. So, here’s an update on what I know about now. Of course, it’s subject to change, based on inspiration and reality.

What I’m working on now:
I would like to find a publisher for my young adult books. Those don’t seem to sell as well as independently published books, and school visits and library visits are a little easier to get with books from traditional publishers. So, I’m working on a new concept for a potential YA series, and because I want it to be a book that has publishers getting excited enough to actually remember that they’re publishing it, I’m taking the time to make sure it’s just right. So that’s getting the bulk of my writing time right now.

I’m also working on a fun little treat for the holiday season. I love those made-for-TV Christmas movies, particularly the ones with little fantasy elements. A few years ago, I wrote a screenplay for one. I figured that romantic comedy with some magic in it was right up my alley. But selling a screenplay is kind of an ordeal, and I wasn’t even sure how to start. I did love this story, though, so I’m turning it into a holiday novella that should be coming out sometime in November. It’s not related to any of my other series, but maybe it’ll be just the thing if you want a light, shortish romantic comedy read with a touch of magic and some holiday spirit. Stay tuned for specific release date, title, etc.

Now, for the series status updates:

Enchanted, Inc.
I’ve got a new Enchanted Universe short piece coming out August 15. It’s another Sam story, but this one is a direct prequel to Enchanted, Inc., giving some insight into what was going on with the magical people before Katie became aware of the magical world.

I also have a rough outline for a ninth Enchanted, Inc. novel that I hope to start writing when I finish that YA book. We’re looking at a tentative release date in March of next year, but I haven’t written a word of it, so this is all subject to change.

Rebels
There will be a fourth Rebels book. I have some general ideas for it, and I think that will be my fall writing project after I finish the Enchanted, Inc. book, which means a release maybe in late spring or early summer, depending on how long it takes me to write it.

Fairy Tale
I do want to write more books in this series, since I haven’t finished all the character stories I want to tell. But these don’t sell quite as well as my other books and are much more difficult to write. I’m thinking of trying a new approach with them, but at the moment I don’t have a firm plot in mind. I’m hoping something will come to me by the time I finish these next two books so I can do more. I really love this series, but the effort/reward equation is so out of whack that they tend to fall lower on the priority list. Since I do this for a living, I need to focus on work that will earn money. If you love this series, you can help change that by telling people about these books, reviewing them on the various retailer sites, etc.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of other ideas I want to play with but that I’m not ready to talk about. So I guess I’d better get to work so I can get all these ideas written before I get even more ideas.