here in the beginning of the year to introduce her debut novel, Desperately Ever After (reviewed here), which is the kick-off to her three-book series. She's back now to take us deeper into the woods with book two, Damsels in Distress. Since her last visit, she became a mom for the first time and while she's not getting much sleep at the moment, she's really happy with her little "princess."
Today, Laura is here to talk more about her "Desperately Ever After" series and she has a copy of Damsels in Distress for a lucky US reader (winner's choice of print or Kindle). You can find her at her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
What inspired you to write the "Desperately Ever After" series?
The idea actually came to me decades ago (the result of a Disney-obsessed kid growing up) and was continually fueled by life experience and shows like Desperate Housewives and Sex and the City. I loved the happily-ever-after Disney films, but couldn’t stand how quickly the characters always fell madly in love. The implication was that because they were physically attracted to each other, they were perfectly matched in every other way…and their lives were going to be filled with butterflies and rainbows and infinite happiness forever after.
Real life just doesn’t work that way. So I began to imagine what happened next. I wanted the untold story. Would Cinderella be happy ten years down the road, when she had four kids, could no longer fit into her ball gown, and was responsible for running a kingdom? How long would it take “Beast” to go right back to his old, selfish ways after Beauty broke his curse? And for Book Two, how would Sleeping Beauty fare being uprooted from the life she knew, tossed centuries into the future, and ushered into marriage with a stranger who went about kissing comatose women in the woods?
You feature a lot of authors at your blog. What is something you learned from one of them that you could apply to your writing going forward?
Despite my initial fears that this industry would be filled with cutthroat competitors only looking out for themselves, I've found nothing but encouragement and guidance from the authors I've met. Hazel Gaynor, author of The Girl Who Came Home, is truly my inspiration because she turned a self-published book into a reprint-plus-one deal with HarperCollins. She also gave me loads of wonderful advice while I was gearing up to publish Desperately Ever After--including the importance of making your product as professional as possible, connecting with other writers, being proactive about spreading the word, and never ever ever giving up the dream.
What is the best compliment you received about Desperately Ever After?
One reader said she smuggled the book into the bathroom at work because she couldn't wait to find out what happened to Belle. I thought that was fantastic!
With all this Frozen craze going on, do you think you'll get on board to feature the Snow Queen in a future book in the series?
Right now I intend to end the main series with Book Three, and I want to focus on developing the characters I already have. But it will be hard to let go of this world entirely, so I've planned a few DEA novellas (the first spotlights the "witch" who kept Rapunzel in that tower), and there are tons of spinoff options. So there's always a chance you might see a modernized take on The Snow Queen ... but it would draw from Andersen's tale, not Disney's.
Now that you're a mom, what is the first fairy tale you plan to introduce to your daughter?
Oh this is a fun question! Well, I loved the Little Mermaid movie, but the actual story by Hans Christian Andersen is just horribly depressing--and the message isn't all that great either, now that I think about it! Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, teaches some very valuable lessons about the importance of inner beauty, the dangers of vanity, and the eventual rewards of humility/sacrifice. I think that will be her first.
Thanks to Cinderella, midnight has come to signify the end of the fairy tale--whether that's the quest to marry a prince, win the NCAA tournament, or achieve a seven-figure publishing deal (hint hint). It's the moment when reality sets in and all the magic/hope comes to an end. In Book One, the fear of this is a recurring theme, but there's a key scene in which one of the characters (I'm being vague to avoid spoiling!) realizes her fairy tale isn't over after all. The metaphorical midnight never came, and she can't imagine it ever will. I really liked that sentiment. I named my blog "Skipping Midnight" because I never intend to give up on my dream. I never want to reach midnight. It's also the name of Book Three, by the way, which will come out in 2015.
Thanks to Laura for visiting and sharing her book with our readers!
~Interview 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
US only. Giveaway ends August 25th at midnight EST.