Today I’m celebrating the launch of BONDED—a collection of three fairy-tale inspired novellas from the incredibly sweet Michelle Davidson Argyle.
That’s right, three fairy tales! Retelling lovers, take note.
I first became aware of Michelle and her writing over a year ago when I would look up something on Cinder’s Amazon page and end up on a different book’s page instead: Michelle’s Cinderella sequel “CINDERS.” Then Michelle came out to one of my signings and said the same thing kept happening to her and we, well… bonded.
“CINDERS” is now one of the stories included in BONDED, along with two brand new novellas.
The book came out yesterday and I’m thrilled that Michelle agreed to be interviewed here as a part of her book launch blog tour!
1. I absolutely love the premise behind your BONDED collection of fairy-tale-based stories, and how it ties together one prequel, one retelling, and one sequel. How did you choose which fairy tales to include in the collection and which parts of the stories to (re)tell?
I came up with the idea for CINDERS after watching a trailer for Disney’s Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. I thought, huh, what kind of story would I tell about Cinderella after her happily-ever-after? CINDERS was planned as a single standalone novella, which I self-published in 2010 (later, it was picked up by my current publisher for BONDED). After the successful debut of CINDERS, I decided to write two more fairy tale inspired novellas, and started digging around for ideas. For the second novella, I decided on one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, One-Eye, Two-Eyes, Three-Eyes. Not many people know of this fairy tale, so I thought it would be a fun one to retell. I ended up weaving it into the same world of CINDERS. I titled it THIRDS. I decided the only conclusion after a retelling was to write a prequel, so I had to figure out what would work best for the world I had already built, and what would inspire me most. I ended up choosing one of my husband’s favorite fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty, and decided to tell the story of the evil sorceress and how she came into being. I thought focusing on a different POV would give me a lot to play with and twist the story in unexpected ways. I was right! SCALES was the most difficult, but fun novella of the three to write.
2. What are some of your favorite retellings or spins on fairy tales?
I have to admit that yours is one of them! CINDER was so fresh and unique that I had a lot of fun reading it. Honestly, though, I haven’t read a whole lot of fairy tale stories. The past few years, as I was writing my three novellas, I tried to stay away from fairy tale books, movies, and television shows so I wouldn’t be influenced by them. Yes, I’m one of those writers who doesn’t read in the genre I’m writing (when I’m drafting and revising, at least). I tend to get burned out or swayed into going certain directions with my writing. Now that I’m no longer working on fairy tale stories, I’m really looking forward to Disney’s Maleficent movie coming out in 2014. Ever After is one of my all-time favorite movies based on a fairy tale, and I’m wanting to read Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl soon.
3. Who would you choose: The prince from Cinderella or the prince from Sleeping Beauty?
I think, looking at fairy tales in general, I would choose the prince from Sleeping Beauty because of how he braves his way through a thorny forest with a sword (I’m partial to sword-wielding princes …)
4. What do you love most about being a writer?
What I love most is the creation process. I took a 5-year break from writing after college because I was so burned out. By the end of that time frame, I was going nuts because I was so starved to create something … anything. That’s when I finally started writing again. I haven’t stopped since.
5. In addition to BONDED, I know you’re also working on a series of contemporary novels. Can you tell us a bit about THE BREAKAWAY?
Here’s the idea in a nutshell: When Naomi Jensen is kidnapped, her plan for escape is to convince one of her captors she is falling in love with him.
The Breakaway has captured a lot of interest with a specific group of readers, it seems. I had no idea there were so many readers out there who love kidnapping stories! So The Breakaway has done really well. When it was released in May, I started getting emails and messages about a sequel. I received so many that I seriously thought about writing the rest of the story. I hadn’t considered it before because I honestly didn’t think anyone would want to read the rest of the story, so I was setting my sights on other projects instead. I was wrong! I wrote the sequel, titled Pieces, and recently signed it with my publisher. It will be released February 2013. Getting it written, revised, edited, etc. in time for the release date has been really crazy, but I’m happy I decided to write the sequel. I’m super excited for its release!
That makes two of us, Michelle! Thank you so much for coming on the blog and answering my questions.
In celebration of the BONDED launch, I’m giving away a Cinderella prize pack with an ARC of BONDED and a UK (paperback) edition of CINDER!