Monday, November 19, 2012

A Horrible Wager and Fairy Tale Reinterpretation: An interview with fantasy author Adrianna Morgan

1) Please tell us about your book.

Once Upon a Fairytale Princess is a 45,000-word paranormal romance novel that takes some of what we know about fairy tales and twists it. After all, the plot is simple. What if every fairy tale we’ve read were snippets of one girl’s life? Ella Fitzpatrick is a young woman trying to hold her family together after her mother and two aunts are killed. The only thing she has of her mother’s is a crystal pendant and a pair of glass heels. Her father, in his grief, makes a horrible wager, forcing Ella to prove herself or lose the only home she has ever known. Just as horrible are her conflicting feelings for Prince Ethan and his bodyguard—her childhood friend—Hunter Kirk. The only thing Ella wants is her very own happily ever after, but will she have to choose between the Prince and his Beastly guard?

2) Please tell us about your opening.

“My daughter is far more talented than any spawn that spewed from your loins!” While the lead in this case was a bit dramatic, I wanted Ella to start her story in the middle of what becomes the beginning of the end. Her father is drunk and after an argument, sets the boast which sends Ella’s life spiraling out of control.

3) What inspired this particular book?

I have an affinity for fairy tales and during a conversation with my mother while watching television, the idea came to me: what if Cinderella, Snow White, and all the other fairy tale princesses were actually one girl and the stories were all one adventure in which this young woman has to adapt and change her appearance and her mannerisms in order to survive? What would that tale be like? How would she change? Why? It seemed too good of an idea to let go, so I experimented with it and the book was born.

4) What separates a fairy tale, in your opinion, from just basic fantasy?

Fairy tales can be differentiated from fantasies in that the fairy tale world is one of magic and hope and love. There is always a happily-ever-after and a moral of some sort. In the fairy tale, the main character overcomes some great obstacle and learns a lesson in the interim. Fantasies can have some of these aspects, but there is something about a fairy tale, that tangible feeling, where as you read it, you just know. Fairy tales also seem to have the heroine as the main character; it is her life, her mistakes and her triumphs that you read about. She is the one who becomes the champion and essentially, the hero. Fantasies can focus on many different aspects of the story, but the love and what the heroine goes through in the fairy tale makes it different. And although you know how it will end, the journey and the message become an integral part of the story.

5) We're in a bit of a cross-media fairy tale revival. There have been multiple recent movies revisiting classic fairy tales, more scheduled to come down the pipe, multiple network dramas based on fairy tale themes, and many books. What do you think is behind this recent trend?

It is more than simply fairy tales. We are seeing a return to the past. What was once old has become retro and such, it has become interesting. In addition to the fairy tales, we are seeing remakes of movies and television shows from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The idea of ‘recycling’ the different stories with a twist or a modern update makes for a great change from the stories we read and loved as children and it endears us to the newer version of the story.

6) Although fairy tales have been rewritten and changed throughout the ages, many modern readers often tend to think of them as more a fixed quantity, due to certain particular interpretations (e.g., Grimm's fairy tales, Perrault, Disney, et cetera) spreading in popularity because of the role of mass media. Do you think that anything is loss by this gradual waning of fluidity in the stories, or do you think things are still just as dynamic as they've always been?

I think the Westernized stories have become too blasé. And this is why some people have issues with the “message” they believe fairy tales send to young women. But the original stories were truly gruesome in some regards. Think back to Grimm’s fairy tales. In the Cinderella we know, there are singing woodland creatures and a pumpkin and the glass slippers. However, the original story had the sisters mutilating themselves in order to present themselves to the Prince. They were horrifically fascinating. The message of the story is lost and instead of Cinderella being a story about perseverance and hard work, it becomes about beauty and fashion, which fits in fine with our materialistic society. But the beauty and intrigue of the story gets convoluted and eventually lost.

7) You also seem to have a writing interest in another mythic subject embedded in our culture: the werewolf. Please tell us a bit about your werewolf books.

Mythology has always been a huge part of my life. I have read myths from all over the world; Greek, Roman, Chinese, and Egyptian. Even my favorite story as a child was an Arab myth. My werewolf series “The Blue Moon Trilogy” is a look at my love for mythology. The series utilizes Native American myths from both Alaska and Florida in addition to the mysticism one expects from mythology.

Book 1 in the series is called Tala and is about a young girl who is attacked on her 10th birthday by a group of rogue werewolves. She manages to escape, but her mother is not so lucky. 19 years later, the young woman, Layla, is in college, trying to get her life together and starts to have disturbing experiences. And three strangers; an old man who knows more than he lets on, a guy who is more than he seems, and the werewolf who killed her mother, are back in her life. Now Layla has to decide who is friend and who is foe. The book is available now on, while books 2 and 3 will be out in December and January, respectively.


Thanks, Adrianna.

Adrianna Morgan was born in the Bahamas. Of both West Indian and African ancestry, she was exposed to the shadowy world of the supernatural at a young age. She was blessed with a mother that knew the importance of a good ghost story making her fascinated by anything that goes bump in the night. Adrianna is obsessed with werewolves, vampires and demons, oh my! A Marine Biology teacher by day, she is still intrigued by the weird and the unusual. Currently, she has 10 books on Amazon and has challenged herself to write one full novel per month this year, although she admits
she is ready to throw in the towel.

Visit her at for more of her books.

Once Upon a Fairytale Princess is available at Amazon.

No comments: