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Friday, April 25, 2014

Interview with Danielle L. Jensen, author of Stolen Songbird!

Later in FTF, I'll be sharing my thoughts on Danielle L. Jensen's debut, Stolen Songbird, via a very enthusiastic vlog. But until then, Danielle has dropped in to chat with us about building the world of Trollus, her writing process, and how she'd probably end up having to wear a crusty donkey skin if she were in a fairy tale.
Check it out below, and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

Cécile's world and the world of Trollus have an apparent French influence - is the story in any way based on a French tale/folklore, or was this just a personal choice? Did you do any research to capture that "Frenchification," and then build the world from there, or was it a natural evolution?
It wasn’t influenced by any particular story, French or otherwise. The “Frenchification” was not so much an influence as a tool I used to create the atmosphere of Trollus - an opulent, excessive, and privileged aristocracy, and a underclass on the verge of rebelling against these injustices. Because Stolen Songbird isn’t based on a story or part of history, I let the plot guide my need to research rather than the other way around.

Tell us a bit about how you went about building the world, history and peoples of Trollus, and crafting Cécile's reaction to them.
I’m a pantser, so all of those things came swimming out of my imagination as I wrote. As far as Cécile’s reactions go, I did my best to make them realistic. She’s imperfect and makes mistakes, but I hope that makes her more relatable.

If you could actually visit Trollus, what would you do there? Which part of the city would you most want to explore? Which characters would you most want to meet? etc.
I would like to go to the glass gardens and to the lake, but I’d probably spend most of my time with the twins, because they’d be the most fun.

Without spoilers (if this is at all possible), give us a small idea of what to expect in the second Malediction book.
Much more of Tristan’s point of view. Which, as you might guess, involves a fair bit of scheming.

Book in a Tweet: Give us Stolen Songbird in 140 characters or less.
Girl is kidnapped by trolls to break curse. When she fails, she joins a revolution led by the troll prince to overthrow the tyrannical king.

Quickfire Qs:
This or That?

Trial by fire or trial by water?

Talking animals or talking inanimate objects?

Magical harp or magical flute?

Glass slippers or Seven League boots?
Seven League Boots

Would You Rather...
 - go about in the emperor's "new clothes" (ie nothing) or wear a smelly, crusty donkeyskin for the rest of your life?
That would depend on where I was living. I’m always cold, so unless I lived somewhere very warm, I’d have to wear the stinky skin.

 - lose your ability to walk, or lose your ability to talk?

- Marry a man cursed into the form of a bear, or a frog?

- Sleep for one thousand years (Sleeping Beauty) or tell stories for 1001 Nights (Scheherazade)?
Tell stories

Word Association - Say the first thing that comes to mind when you hear...
1. Magic - Harry Potter
2. Hair - Head
3. Happy - Coffee
4. Queen - Bee
5. Potion - Witch
6. Shoes - Feet
7. Trees - Shade
8. Evil - Demon
9. Frog - Slimy
10. Food - Hungry
11. Grandmother - Love

Thanks for stopping by, Danielle! 

And there you have it! Make sure you keep an eye out for both my and Bonnie's thoughts on Stolen Songbird (hint: I lurved it), and leave your thoughts for Danielle in the comments!

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Get It | Add It
Fantasy, 469 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Strange Chemistry
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

Click here to go back to the Fairy Tale Fortnight Main Page, where you can access the schedule or find out more!


  1. I'm excited to read her book, bought it this week! I started reading the amazon excerpt and didn't want to stop, so I'm sure I will enjoy it! :D

  2. Yay! I lurve the concept of it, and can't wait to pick up a copy.


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