Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cinders - An Interview with Author Michelle Davidson Argyle

Cinderella's happily-ever-after isn't turning out the way she expected.

With her fairy godmother imprisoned in the castle and a mysterious stranger haunting her dreams, Cinderella is on her own to discover true love untainted by magic.

I am very pleased to be kicking off the blog tour for Michelle Davidson Argyle, author of the recently released novella, Cinders. I was intrigued by this book. It looks at the story of Cinderella from a point of view that I had never thought of before, and answers a question I've had since I first read the fairy tale...what happens after Cinderella marries her Prince Charming? You'll have to read it to find out :D

Michelle joins us today to answer a few questions about her book.

MM: Your book is a darker twist on Cinderella than the usual “mice friends, fairy godmother, and happily ever after” versions that we normally see. What inspired your version of the tale?

MDA: I’m a big sucker for turning things over to look at them from a different angle. That, and the regular Disney princess stories have always bothered me. I’ve never been a big believer of true love at first sight, nor have I believed that things ever end happily-ever-after, and if they do, much sacrifice and work is probably behind it. I wanted to tell a story that showed these things, and I think I accomplished what I set out to do. I’ve also wanted to write a darker tragedy-type story for a very long time, and this one seemed to fit the bill so I ran with it!

MM: While this book is more fantasy than historical, it is set in a realistic-feeling past. Did this story require a lot of research?

MDA: Technically, Cinders isn’t set in any specific time period. It may feel that way, but I never intended a specific time-period to be attached to it. I do mention France, though, and imply that Cinderella lives in an English or Scottish countryside. It did take a lot of research to get the feel of this just right. I researched everything from castle life to clothing to politics to food. It was a lot of fun, and I think that part of writing is often my favorite part!

MM: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating this book?

MDA: This was the first book I’ve ever written that was a longer piece where I sustained my more lyrical, poetic voice. It was also the first book I completely outlined before writing, and I was amazed at how quickly I flew through the writing. I will try this again with future books, but I do know that every book tends to be different, so we’ll see what happens.

MM: Your book is self-published and you’ve had several interesting blog posts on the subject lately. Why did you decide to self-publish?

MDA: I wrote Cinders specifically to self-publish it. At first it was going to be a novella I wrote for a project Scott and Domey and I were thinking of doing on The Literary Lab, but then I decided the book would sell better on its own and I went in that direction. We have a lot of readers on The Literary Lab who have asked about self-publishing, as well, and I thought actually self-publishing something would be a good way to share information about the subject. Also, Cinders is a novella, and I was afraid no publishers would be interested in it because of the length or they would want me to change too much. It really has been a project where I wanted complete control over everything. It has been a lot of fun!

MM: Can you tell us about any upcoming projects you may be working on?

MDA: Sure! I’m currently working on my suspense novel, Monarch to submit to a small press publisher. I think it may be a good fit there. I’m also planning to publish two more fairy-tale themed novellas. I’ve begun the second one titled Thirds. It’s based on a little-known Grimm’s fairy-tale about three sisters, a goat, and a magic tree. It also may end much more happily than Cinders, but I haven’t completed the outline yet so I don’t know for sure. The third novella will be based on a fairy-tale I create out of my own head. That should be interesting. Thanks so much for the interview! These were some fun questions!

Thanks so much for sharing part of your journey with us Michelle, and congratulations on the release of Cinders! Scroll down for a chance to enter some incredible Cinders prizes!!

View the book trailer - 

Click HERE to purchase Cinders

You can find Michelle:

On her website
On her blog
On The Literary Lab blog
On Facebook
On the Cinders Fan page

PRIZES!!!!! This is SO easy! Just fill out the form below for each time you comment on one of the blogs involved in the tour. Each entry is a chance to win one of the prizes. Only one entry per blog, thanks!



Christine Fonseca said...

Congrats on your release Michelle - and great interview both of you!

Kaelin said...

Great interview - I can't wait to read this! I've read her articles about self-pubishing and they are really insightful

The Newlons said...

Very cool! Definitely something I want to read! Thanks for the interview!

Janel said...

My copy of Cinders should be here in a few days. I can't wait to read it! I loved learning some of the background on how this book came to be. :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

I adore Michelle and I'm so impressed with what she has done with Cinders. Great interview!

Jaimie said...

Check out Cinders, guys! It really is an awesome read.

L.T. Elliot said...

Props to Michelle on this book! I'm so impressed with how true to herself and her vision she was and look forward to seeing what else she comes up with. =]

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Don't forget to enter yourself for the prizes, everyone!!! Michelle just added that link to the bottom of the post. :)

Dawn Embers said...

This is an excellent post with good questions & answers. While I'm not planning on self publishing, I think it is the perfect choice for some people. And it's the people who make sure they know what they are getting into with it that do the best.

Can't wait to buy the book and answer the question "what happened after ever-after?"

Laura Hartness said...

Re: The comments about outlining the book before writing... There are so many writers who don't do this, who let it flow out of them. As I'm not an author, I can't imagine how they do this. Or at least how they do it and not come out with a directionless story with 1,000 pages of rambling.

Now watch...20 years from now I'll eat those words...

Can't wait to read Cinders!

Laura Hartness
The CalicoCritic

Lavanya said...

I knew Cinders was a darker take on a fairytale (which is intriguing enough) but I hadn't realized that it was tragedy- now I am even more intrigued!

Vampires and Tofu said...

Great interview...and I love the cover tagline!

Judy Croome said...

Oh dear. I like my happy ever afters...! But I was so interested that this was the first long piece on which you sustained your lyrical voice - that's a skill I'm still practising!


Jackee said...

Thanks, Michelle and Michelle, for a great interview! Congrats on the novella. :)

Nisa said...

I've just started Cinders, but I'm loving it. You have a great voice and I can't wait to read more. Great interview!

alice priday said...

i absoultly loved cinders, cant wait for your next book. keep up the good work michelle

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Thank you, everyone!!!

C. N. Nevets said...

One of the the things I loved about Cinders was that by keeping the setting general but authentic-feeling, the reader didn't get trapped into any particular geographic and historical expectations but was still able to relate to the story and buy into it.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I really enjoyed the interview! I think the original versions were much darker before they were disney-fied :)

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! You've made this tour a lot of fun for me. :)