This retelling of the classic Cinderella story will resound with readers of young adult fiction who love paranormal fantasy, fairy tales, and a splash of romance.
Title: Cursed Beauty
Series: A Fairytale Retelling
Author: Dorian Tsukioka
Release Date: 15th November 2014
BLURB supplied by author
A pair of glass slippers that can change her life? When something is too good to be true, it usually is...
Adelaide has lived her entire life cursed with a birthmark that makes people shy away. When an invitation to the Elder Prince’s ball falls in her lap, she knows attending would only cause people to shun her more.
A fairy godmother feels her pain and offers her a pair of glass slippers that not only transform her ragged dress to an elegant gown, but also removes the mark that covers her face. However, Adelaide soon learns that the beautiful slippers can steal away more than just her birthmark, leaving her cursed in a far worse way.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Yes, I've always wanted to be a writer. But, I also wanted to be a jet fighter pilot, runway model, US President, and brain surgeon. So far, being a writer is the only profession that I've seriously worked on from those beginning aspirations of my youth. I'm also a full-time elementary school teacher, in addition to being a writer.
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I think the first time I considered myself a writer was in high school. I wrote a horror story in one of my language arts classes, and a boy I had a crush on read it, and said I should be a writer. Who am I to argue with the hot guy? From that point on, I knew I had to write.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I teach 5th grade at the moment. Although I love kids, I'd be very, very okay with being able to write full-time. That's the plan someday!
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have several stories lined up for A Fairy Retelling series. Each story will take place in a different time/country, and will focus on different fairy tales. I also have written the first novel in a series about a girl who can read and manipulate other people's minds. I'm hoping for that to be at least a three book series...maybe more. Then, I have a time-traveler series in mind...and a horror series in mind as well. There really aren't enough hours in the day to get all the stories out of my head and into the computer!
[The whole fairytale re-tellings was something I originally steered clear of thinking why would I want to read the same fairy tales over and over but after reading the fantastic Jana Oliver's re-telling of "Sleeping Beauty" which is called Briar Rose totally changed my mind. I've also read a few of Cameron Jace's re-tellings too. I do also plan on reading your Cinderella re-telling novella Cursed Beauty!]
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I'm just about finished with the second novella in my series A Fairy Retelling. This story is titled Ai of the Mountain, and is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but set in feudal Japan. I lived in Japan for three years (and brought back a life-sized souvenir - my husband!), so I'm excited to relive my memories of my quiet, mountainside town in southern Japan as I write this book. It should be out by the end of 2014!
What genre would you place your books into?
I love writing (and reading!) young adult fiction, especially fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal romance. I think it's because I'm still an 18-year-old in my head. I have written a couple of non-fiction books, but YA fiction is my fave!
Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
For A Fairy Retelling series, I was inspired by a friend to enter a writing contest. We were to create a new retelling of Cinderella, and I loved doing it! I didn't win the contest, so a year later, I decided to revise the story and publish it myself. That story inspired me to start a whole series based on fairy retellings.
A novel that I'm revising right now, and will hopefully publish soon, was inspired by my then six-year-old daughter. As we were traveling down the highway, a truck was in front of us. Every time I changed lanes, the truck changed lanes first. My daughter shouted out, "Mommy, that truck is following us!" I told her it couldn't be following us, because it was in front of us. That lead me to think WHAT IF (the 2 most powerful words in the world!) the driver was reading my mind and was following us? That scene is actually an integral part of my novel, thanks to an observant six-year-old.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I am a laptop writer. I don't mind where I work, but I prefer to use the same laptop, wherever I am. I usually write on my sofa after my kids are in bed, or I beg my husband to watch the munchkins for a few hours while I take the laptop on a date to a fast food restaurant. I grab a drink and get to working!
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I always re-read my own books several times, and usually aloud. Then, I reach out to friends and family members who love to read YA, to see if they would be beta readers and give me feedback on the story. I always make sure to ask a lot of guiding questions when I hand my story out to beta readers, so they can focus their responses more clearly.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, I think that would be out of line. I'm just happy if someone took the time to read my book, much less give it a review. Plus, if I get a really negative review, it's probably for a reason. I should probably look into that, and see what I can take away from it to help make myself an even better writer.
The only time I can see myself ever asking someone to change their review is if they give a 1 star review, but their review is all about how much they liked the book. I've seen that happen sometimes...and I think sometimes the reviewers who do that are just confused, and think 1 star is good, or something. I might reach out in that case, but if it's a scathing review about how much they detest my work, I might as well move on.
[I think no matter how many stars a book is given, it is the reviewers obligation to explain the hows/whys about both the positive and the negative aspects and their opinions. I always try to give reasons where ever possible for my thoughts~Jeanz]
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I have the hardest time with titles. I hate them! They're so hard. I have to write the book first, and hope that the title comes to me. Sometimes I have to sit with my writer friends and bounce ideas off of them before I find a good one.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I usually do a loose outline of the story first. I like to know which large plot points are going to happen, anywhere from 5-10 in the story. I have to know how the story is going to end before I start writing, too. However, my story often changes and morphs as I write. My brain does funny things when I write, and I'm grateful for it.
Sometimes, I'll get stuck, and I find that if I stop writing the narrative, and create a more detailed outline, that helps me to focus my story back on where I want to go.
I'm more of a "discovery writer" with outlining tendencies, but I'm strongly considering creating a very detailed outline for the next story. I think it might help me to write faster, so I'm not staring off into space as much wondering, "What's going to happen next."
One thing I do like to do, is to create a fairly detailed character sketch before I begin writing. I come up with each character's name, and fill out a questionnaire on them, just like I'm interviewing them. I also scour the internet for photos that help me picture what each character looks like, as well as the various settings. These really help me get a feel for my characters and place.
Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
I loved Madeline L'Engle's books as a child. They really influenced my love of science fiction, fantasy, and time travel. I also lovedThe Giver when it came out, as well as The Girl With the Silver Eyes. I was a sci-fi/paranormal reader from the beginning! I still am!
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I'm reading Reached, the 3rd book in the Matched trilogy by Ally Condie. I'm reading the ebook on my iPad. I love my iPad. My husband loves that my iPad doesn't make it as hard for him to fall asleep by being as bright as my itty-bitty-book light.
Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I love my ebooks, but I hope that print books will never go away. There's just something about the smell and feel of paper that is magical. I can't imagine that printed books will ever go away, but people probably thought that about the horse and buggy when the automobile was first invented. Not too many horse and buggies strolling down my street today.
Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
As a teacher, I have mixed feelings about this. In my classroom, I try to give as much time to reading and creative writing as I can. However, there are so many things we are mandated to teach, that there is less and less time every year for reading for pleasure and writing creatively. The big push now is to read/write in non-fiction, which is fine, but I hope the powers that be that are making all of these curriculum decisions don't throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to allowing kids freedom and expression in reading and writing.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep on keeping on. Keep writing. Keep reading. Keep creating. Don't give up. Don't compare yourself to others. Someone will always be better than you, so just concentrate on being your own personal best. If you have to choose between TV, sleep, eating or writing - choose writing.
Where can readers follow you?
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/dorianwrites
[I just wanted to say thank-you for taking the time to take part and for giving such depth and detail in your answers~Jeanz]