Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Laura Kenyon's not-so provincial life....plus a book giveaway

Confession...I made January Fairy Tale and Disney month because of Laura Kenyon's debut novel, Desperately Ever After. I had the idea to do it sometime in 2014, but once I found out about this book, I knew we had to feature Laura to talk about this theme!

One part Sex and the City, two parts Desperate Housewives, and three parts Brothers Grimm, Desperately Ever After picks up where the original tales left off—and reimagines them a la Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. With the wit of authors like Jennifer Weiner and the vision of ABC’s Once Upon a Time, the women of Desperately Ever After rescue each other from life’s trials with laughter, wine, and a scandalous new take on happily ever after.

Years after turning her husband from beast back to man and becoming his queen, Belle finds out she’s finally going to have a child. But before she can announce the wondrous news, she catches him cheating and watches her “happily ever after” go up in flames. Turning to her friends for the strength to land with grace, she realizes she’s not the only one at a crossroads:

Cinderella, a mother of four drowning in royal duties, is facing her 30th birthday and questioning everything she’s done (or hasn’t) with her life.

Rapunzel, a sex-crazed socialite and one-woman powerhouse, is on a self-destructive quest to make up for 20 years locked away in a tower.

Penelopea, an outsider with a mother-in-law from hell, is harboring a secret that could ruin everything at any moment.

Laura Kenyon is an award-winning journalist and graduate of Boston College. Her stories and articles have appeared in Kiwi Magazine, Westchester Magazine, Just Labs, Serendipity, The Improper Bostonian, and Westchester/Hudson Valley Weddings, as well as in myriad newspapers and at PrickoftheSpindle.com. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and their silver Labrador retriever. Desperately Ever After is her first novel and the start of a series. With her release day around the corner, she's here to celebrate early by talking about Fairy Tales and Disney and she has TWO e-books of Desperately Ever After for some lucky readers anywhere in the world! 

You can find Laura at her websiteFacebook and Twitter.

What is your favorite non-Disney movie based on a fairy tale?
Well, I did love Ella Enchanted, but Shrek was just so smart and funny, it has to win. And for a girl who can’t make up her mind about anything, it’s like a buffet of re-envisioned fairy tales!

What modern day situation or news story could you see being turned into a fairy tale?
Yikes, that is a tough one. In the conventional, Disney-fied sense, I suppose you could find a dozen real life “fairy tales” by browsing the engagement announcements in The New York Times. But the less glamorous Brothers Grimm-type stories were all about morals and warnings. I remember two stories from last year in which a homeless man found something extremely valuable and—despite his own needs—decided to find the rightful owner rather than keep it. In one case, it was an engagement ring that a woman in Kansas City accidentally dropped into his cup; in the other, a backpack in Boston containing $40,000. At the end of the day, an inspired public rewarded them both MANY times over for their honesty—donating more than $148,000 to each one! Just throw in a pair of evil stepbrothers who tried to stop them from returning the valuables in the first place (only to wind up being turned into toads), and you have your modern-day fairy tale!

What is a lesson you've taken to heart from any fairy tale?
“Looks can be deceiving” comes into play in almost every fairy tale I can think of—both to warn us not to trust someone blindly, and to show us that real love and goodness come from within. I’ve definitely taken that to heart—either from all those fairy tales or because I’m just innately guarded. Hmm…

Which fairy tale should Disney adapt into an animated film next?
The Twelve Dancing Princesses! I used to LOVE the Faerie Tale Theatre version of this as a kid—although, personally, I could have done without the soldier’s dangly mustache. I would love to see Disney make this into its next animated feature. I don’t know why they haven’t already.

Which Disney character can you relate to the most (doesn't have to be a princess)?
Having re-envisioned so many of the original characters in my book, it’s hard to remember what Disney’s are like anymore! In Desperately Ever After, I’d have to say Cinderella (I think a little too much and am constantly trying to anticipate what’s next), but as for Disney … let’s see. I’m curious like Ariel but could never leave my entire family to go and get legs. I’m a dreamer like Aladdin, but wouldn’t know what to do with that ego! Cinderella takes “turn the other cheek” far too seriously, and while I’m always late like the White Rabbit, he really needs to lighten up a bit. With three younger brothers and a desire to never fully grow up, Wendy Darling is close. But I think the Disney character I relate to the most is Belle. She would do anything for her family, loves books, makes the most of whatever situation she’s in (once she’s SURE there’s no other way out, that is!), and wants to have loads of adventures—even if they only pan out in her daydreams.

What is your favorite song from any Disney movie?
Oh, that’s easy. “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. No joke, I used to clap my ankles together and swim around pretending I was a mermaid, singing this song in my head and watching my red hair (I totally WAS Ariel!) whoosh through the water. Yes, my inability distinguish reality from fantasy began long, long ago.

Thanks to Laura Kenyon for visiting us and sharing her book with our readers.

~Introduction by Melissa Amster

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Worldwide. Giveaway ends February 2nd at midnight EST.


Nova said...

Would have to be 'The NeverEnding Story' or 'The Princess Bride'

Jessica said...

I'll say Princess Bride too b/c I really can't think of anything else.

-Jessica M

Tina said...

'The NeverEnding Story'

Connie said...

I have a difficult time answering this. However, the very early (1950's) version of the movie, Peter Pan, has always been my favorite. Don't know if it's considered to be a Disney one or not, but it's still my favorite.

Connie said...

Whoops! Forgot my email!


Glenda said...

Shrek. Loved the first one. :-)

Erica said...

Ever After! Love that movie!!

wordywon at gmail dot com

bn100 said...


bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

Anastasia, "a fairy tale set against the background of real Russian events"

Mary Preston said...

It would have to be EVER AFTER.


Leah L said...

Ever After

Maureen said...

The muppets in The Frog Prince.

cyn209 said...

definitely Ever After!!!
one of my faves that I always catch!!!!

Jilleen said...

Ever After! Thanks for the giveaway.

Jill at

seasidebooknook at yahoo dot com

rhonda said...

Princess bride lomazowr@gmail.com

susieqlaw said...

I am having trouble coming up with a non-Disney one...let me go with...Jack and the Beanstalk

susieqlaw said...

Jack and the Beanstalk