To paraphrase the beginning of her official bio: No, Alex Flinn was not born in a log cabin in the Big Woods of anywhere, although Laura Ingalls Wilder is among her list of favorite childhood authors. She was born in a small town on Long Island, New York. At the age of five, her mother told her she should become an author. She must have given some form of assent, because her mother took every poem written in school to submit to Highlights of Cricket magazine. Which means she was collecting rejection slips at seven!
Lucky for us, she kept writing! Here's Alex
You've written both Contemporary novels and fairy tale retellings. What inspired the shift in genre?
I didn't really think about shifting genres. If anything, I was nervous about it, as I already had a following in realistic YA. However, I really wanted to write about the Beast.
How does the writing differ between the two? Which do you prefer?
It's still all about story in both.
Can you give us any information about what we can expect from you next? Another fairy tale? More contemporary?
My next novel, Bewitching, will be released in Winter, 2012, and it revolves around the escapades of a certain 300+ year old witch.
As I mention in my review of your Beastly, it is one of my favorite Beauty and the Beast retellings, because it is told from the perspective of the beast. Too often, B&tB stories seem to be about Belle learning and applying the knowledge that beauty is only skin deep when in reality, the beast is the one who is being punished, and should be learning something. I love that we get to see the learning in Beastly. What made you decide to tell the Beast's side of the story? Was that challenging?
What attracted me to the story was the Beast's loneliness, the fact that he's a prince but seems to have no family. I was very lonely as a teen, and my stories are mostly about loneliness. This was just a different kind of loneliness.
I also loved that in A Kiss in Time, the two main characters didn't immediately fall in love. There was physical attraction, but they were definitely not in love. Was that a deliberate choice on your part, or something that just happened?
What made me want to write the story was how strange it seemed, in Sleeping Beauty, that the prince and princess would simply live happily ever after, when she'd been sleeping 100 years and she was awakened by someone she didn't know. I wanted to explore how it would really happen, which definitely wouldn't be love at first sight.
~Best fairy tale villain and why?
The stepsisters from Cinderella. I'm sorry, but I really understand where they were coming from. Who wouldn't be jealous of such a perfect girl, coming to live with you?
~Favorite tale from childhood? Favorite tale as an adult? Least favorites?
Sleeping Beauty or Rapunzel. Ditto. Snow White doesn't excite me.
~ If you could be any fairy tale character, or live through any fairy tale "happening," who/what would it be?
I don't know a woman who wouldn't choose Cinderella.
~ Rapunzel is named after lettuce; what odd thing would you be named after if you were in a fairy tale?
~ Using that name, give us a line from your life as a fairy tale:
When you name a girl Cinnamon, you have to expect her to be out-of-the-ordinary. And, of course, spicy.
~Would you rather:
-- eat magic beans or golden eggs?
Hmm, both sound like they'd have their disadvantages. I guess I'd take the beans, as long as I could cook them first, so they wouldn't grow inside me.
-- style 50ft long hair or polish 100 pairs of glass slippers?
Definitely the hair.
-- have a fairy godmother or a Prince Charming?
Fairy godmother. They can do more.
Thank you for being with us Alex! We loved having you!
Readers, don't forget to check out the reviews of Beastly and A Kiss in Time on Ashley's blog, and stay tuned for more upcoming reviews from Misty and our guests! And, make sure you stop by The Paperback Princesses for your chance to win a copy of Beastly!