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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

CLOSED Blog Tour: Interview + Giveaway with Maureen McGowan

You may recall the Fill In the Blank guest post we had from author Maureen McGowan during Fairy Tale Fortnight.  Well, Maureen is back and answering the serious/silly mix of questions we asked during FTF!  Be sure to stick around to the end for a giveaway of one of Maureen's "Twisted Tales"!

~Hi, Maureen; thanks for stopping by (again!).  Can you tell us a little bit about the series and what inspired you to turn the typical damsel in distress heroines into ninjas and vampire slayers?
My main objective was to create adventurous, fast-paced versions of the traditional tales, with heroines who were capable of saving themselves. As for the inspiration for the actual stories, the title for Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer came to me in a lightning flash that I can’t really explain. Once it hit, I instantly loved the idea of adding elements of paranormal and adventure stories into fairy tales. The ideas developed from there.

~Why fairy tales? What is it that calls to you, personally, as a writer, and why do you think readers connect to them the way they do?
To be perfectly honest, the editor for these books came to me with the idea of doing choose-your-own-adventure fairy tales. I’m not certain I would have gravitated to fairy tales otherwise, mostly because I do find the heroines in the traditional stories too passive. But as soon as I started thinking about it, I realized that there was no reason I couldn’t change what I didn’t like about the traditional stories. That’s what got me excited.
I think readers are connecting because the core stories for traditional fairy tales are a part of our common culture. Most readers can see elements or winks to the familiar stories, but with heroines, I hope, they can cheer for. While the Twisted Tales are far from “issue books”, I did try to incorporate positive and relatable themes in each of the stories. Both stories have the tried and true fairy tale themes of true love and good triumphing over evil, but Cinderella: Ninja Warrior is also about seeing the true person inside, and believing in yourself. Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is also about prejudice, what it’s like to be a child of divorce and learning not to blame yourself for other people’s problems. I believe those are themes that readers of almost any age can relate to.

~What’s your favorite scene you’ve ever written?
I really enjoyed writing the magic competition scenes in Cinderella: Ninja Warrior. I gave my imagination free reign and those scenes practically wrote themselves. It’s like magic when the action in the scene unfolds as quickly as my fingers can type. Pure magic.

Quickfire, Silly and Random stuff:
~Rapunzel is named after lettuce; what odd thing would you be named after if you were in a fairy tale?
Chick peas.

~ Mmm, delicious.  Using that name, give us a line from your life as a fairy tale:
Chick pea delivered a decisive side kick into procrastination’s gut. “Take that!”

~Best fairy tale villain and why?
As a kid I was terrified of Disney’s queen in Snow White. Not only was she depicted in a terrifying way, her motivation of wanting to kill anyone who outshines her beauty is pure evil. I’m looking forward to writing my own version of Snow White.

~Favorite tale from childhood? Favorite tale as an adult? Least favorites?
I didn’t love fairy tales as a child. I had an intense fear of witches and fairy tales were a bit too intense for me. (I was a wimp.) Now, I like Sleeping Beauty best, because it has such a positive theme that relates even in modern times.
In terms of the traditional stories, I think Cinderella is a least favorite, because I don’t like the message it sends to young girls. I think that’s why I most wanted to “fix” Cinderella. That said, I did love the story of Cinderella when I was little. Who doesn’t want to be swept away from all her chores and problems by a handsome prince?

~If you could be any fairy tale character, or live through any fairy tale "happening," who/what would it be?
I’m going to answer this based on my own adaptations, rather than the traditional stories.  I’d love to participate in the magic competitions in Cinderella: Ninja Warrior. Particularly if I had her skills, courage and agility. Those competitions would be dangerous, exciting and fun. The ultimate extreme sport.

~Would you rather:
-- eat magic beans or golden eggs?
Beans. But both seem suspect as food products. ;)

-- live under a bridge with a troll, or all alone in a high tower?
I’ll take the troll. Who knows, he might be misunderstood.

-- be forced to spin straw into gold for hours on end, or dance every night until your shoes are worn through?
Dance. I love dancing and probably have come close to wearing through shoes in real life.

Thanks so much, Maureen!  
You can check out my review of Sleeping Beauty, Vampire Slayer here on The Book Rat later today.  And right now you can enter to win your very own copy of Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer!

Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer (Twisted Tales)
In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun.

Leave some love for Maureen, and tell us why you want to read the book.  
+1 for commenting on my review (goes up later in the day) or for spreading the word.
US only
Ends May 31st


  1. Sounds like a great twist, and a fun way to spend the afternoon.
    The magical tone sounds like a lot of fun :)

    +1 spread here

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  2. These book look like so much fun! I love fairytales, especially when they have been twisted into brand new stories. :)

    tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/LiederMadchen/status/72924730054819842


  3. I'll be honest I haven't heard of the book till now but I'm so glad I did what a wonderful idea. Sounds brilliant.

    + 1 commented on review and also tweeted


  4. I'd love to get a chance to read this book. It's a completely new way to look at a fairy tale retelling, and I'm excited to get the chance to read it (eventually...)
    I commented on your review (which was awesome!)
    debzbookshelf @ gmail . com

  5. I love love love fairy tales! This looks like such fun. Please count me in.

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

  6. I really love the idea of twisting a fairy tale to make it more modern. I think its going to make for some really freaky reads! I can't wait to see how this one is spun.

    +1 spread here http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/119937-blog-tour-interview-giveaway-with-maureen-mcgowan

    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  7. I am a follower and email subscriber. I would love to read the books because I love fairy tales. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  8. I want to read Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer because I love literary mash-ups, and Sleeping Beauty is my favorite fairy tale!

    +1 Spread the word: http://twitter.com/#!/bookishinabox/status/73173268990935041

    whatinabox at gmail dot com

  9. The book just sounds fun! I love fairy tail re-tellings anyway. :)
    wolfluvr420 at yahoo dot com

  10. Great interview. This is one of my favorite type of books. Looking forward to reading it.

    +1 tweet - http://twitter.com/#!/DonnaS1/status/73247221381996544

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  11. I'd want to read it because I think it sounds like a fun twist on the traditional fairy tale!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  12. https://twitter.com/#!/tessaa99/status/73258488108826624

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  13. Love the interview! I love that you used the random FTF questions again! Ahh, the memories! ;)

    I'd definitely be interested in seeing how this one differs from Cinderella! :)

    (Oh, and I commented on your review too. :) )

  14. Great giveaway
    follow via gfc

    I love mashups!

  15. Fairy tail with a twist...would love to read it

    gfc follower



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