What is the working title of your book?
The Princess Paradox
Where did the idea come from for the book?
About three or four years ago, I watched my daughter go through an "everything princesses" phase. She was so enamored by these stories and the romance of it all, I began to wonder if society wasn't somehow doing the future women of the world some kind of atrocious wrong. After all, how would any man, or any romance even, ever live up to the fairy tale? I thought about every book that I have loved, and how they all seemed to have one thing in common. That every story should end with the happy ever after, and most of the time, that meant love.
Also, I read and loved Emily Giffen's Something Borrowed and I realized that I loved the idea that as a reader, I was totally rooting for this girl who was totally after her best friend's fiancé. I thought that this was a challenge…to create a strong heroine who didn't necessarily make good choices. One who was always letting the wants of others supersede her own. And that ultimately, this would lead her to her own demise. Thing is…at the end of my book, I wanted the reader, the future women of America like my daughter, to understand that the reason we to fall in love with these princesses is not because of the romance…not because getting the guy is important, but because the journey to finding themselves is the real treasure. Being honest with yourself, and going against the grain…that was the real story of the princess.
So with that, I followed the exact story-line of the traditional princess fairy tale, then gave it a bit of a twist, making sure to highlight each fairy tale trope and cliché, and drop in the unexpected.
What genre does your book fall under?
Commercial Women's Fiction a.k.a. Chick lit.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I had this down before I ever began writing, although it would be the younger versions.
My apparent doppelganger (or so I've been told on more than one occasion)
America Ferrera as Nora Roseberry
Jason Lewis as Aidan O'Neill
Jaded by fairy tales, twenty-five-year-old Nora Roseberry's surprised to find herself caught between Prince Charming and Prince-Damn-He's-Charming, and when she does, she's unsure if she should stick to the story or change her fairy tale ending.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I really want an agent for this. I have been querying for about 5 months total.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
This took me about 3 and a half years to complete. There were times I wanted to give up. Times I wasn't sure where the story was going next. But ultimately, I couldn’t not finish it. So after about a year of totally abandoning it, I went back and wrote furiously. It has changed a lot since then, and been through a dozen CPs and betas, but it is finally where I think it has to be.
If I have to self pub, then I will. I just want it out there, for others to read.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I see it as a mix between Something Borrowed by Emily Giffen and Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella. My very first reader actually said it has the humor of Sophie Kinsella with the writing style more reminiscent of Emily Giffen. I could have kissed her.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My daughter for one. Also, a fellow colleague who happened to be a reading specialist for my school. She taught me to trust my instincts as a teacher and validated me. She inspired me to use my background in sociology to teach reading. Most teachers teach the specifics of teaching. That is what we are taught to do. And I struggled with it. When I started teaching the WHY of reading, the importance not because of the literary devices or plot or symbolism, but the WHY IT MATTERS of reading, that is when I began to love what I do. By doing this first, then analyzing how the author managed to get us there, that is when I really started to understand books. It's when I started thinking, I can do this. By taking a real critical lens at text, I was able to understand style, structure, purpose, and the beauty of books. I credit Alisa for that. If I ever get pubbed, she will be the first on my acknowledgment page.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It's funny, follows the traditional fairy tale arc, but begins with commentaries on all things princess. It is the critical piece…and the one that sets it apart from any book I have seen. Plus…there's a love triangle. Which apparently has my betas fighting over Team Aidan or Team Finn. Or as one reader put it, Team WTF? ;)
And just because I thought it would be cool…I have listed my Princess Paradox playlist:
Payphone Maroon Five
I Run To You Lady Antebellum
I Need You Now Lady Antebellum
Say Hey (I Love You) Spearhead
Whatever It Takes Lifehouse
I Don't Wanna Be Gavin DeGraw
Beautiful Disaster Jon McLaughlin
Fallin For You Colbie Caillait
Somewhere Only We Know Keane
Apologize One Republic
Stop and Stare One Republic
Rhythm of Love Plain White T's
Secrets One Republic
Breakeven The Script
If You Ever Come Back The Script
Marry Me Train
I Won't Give Up Jason Mraz
And now I need to tag 5 more authors. So here goes...