…wishes are children! Today, on the inspirational blog of Omar Kiam, I took the time to ponder the power that fiction has– for good or ill- over our lives. A trigger warning: I discuss domestic violence in this post.
Since ‘Till the Last Petal Falls is a sort of re-telling of one of my favorite fairy-tales, the Beauty & the Beast, I thought it might be nice to talk to other authors who had taken on this classic story. Here to tell us about her version, Sub Rosa, which features a male ‘Belle’ and a female ‘Beast’, is Mia Darien, author of more than seventeen titles in Sci-Fi, Romance, Mystery and Thrillers.
Elizabeth Rose: Tell us a little bit about the title of the book. What does it mean?
Mia Darien: Roses are a prominent theme in both the original “Beauty & the Beast” and my own. The phrase ‘sub rosa’ is Latin for ‘under the rose,’ which has come to mean secrecy or confidentiality. (This is according to Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub_rosa.) As a beast under a magical spell in a castle hidden in the woods has something of a secret going on, and many a tie to the rose, it seemed appropriate for the title of the story.
ER: What made you decide to switch the genders of the main characters?
MD: I like mixing things up, and it hadn’t been done before. At least, I’ve yet to see it or find it, so I figured… Why not?
ER:Is there any special difficulty writing with an opposite-to-author gender character?
MD: There always is, to some degree, but I’ve been told that my female characters tend to be a little more masculine, so I guess not as hard for me as for some. *lol* I’ve always had a bit of the tomboy to me, so that helps when trying to write guys. And I always try to have some male beta readers to help make sure my guy sounds like a guy. I think if you write enough, you would really hinder yourself to only write characters of your own gender.
ER: Without giving the story away, what do you think is the main thing that really changes in the story when the roles are flipped?
MD: The Beast, I think. In most of the versions, the Beast is more angry and aggressive. This is a typical male reaction. I tried to make my Beast different than that. I find she is sadder and a little more melancholy.
ER: Who was your favorite character to write?
MD: I liked writing Beast, but through Beau’s eyes. I think it was more fun to do that than to try to write from her perspective. That’s the standard for a Beauty & the Beast tale anyways, but with the new genders, it felt like fun.
ER: There are many different versions of Beauty and the Beast, even just as the original tale, floating around. Which version would you say most inspired you to write your version?
MD: I grew up watching the Disney version, so that one probably did it. I don’t know that it actually “inspired” me so much as I just liked the story.
ER: What, in your opinion, is the hardest part about writing a re-telling?
MD: Trying to be true to the tale and still original in some way. For this one, I tried to stay closer to the original story than I plan to in the future of the series.
ER: It says that Sub Rosa is the first Turnabout Tale. Could you tell us more about the series? Where do you plan on going with it, do you have any more installments in the works?
MD: My plan is to take all the fairy tales that strike my fancy and turn them on their ears, more so than I did with Sub Rosa. The story of Rapunzel is next, which will feature a Female/Female romance, and then Sleeping Beauty, with the same gender swap as Beauty & the Beast. But aside from their themes, they won’t be interlinked at all — characters will not cross over or carry through different stories. Each one will be independent, just linked by their mixing-it-up.
Mia Darien has lived in New England all of her life and knows that no matter where she goes from here, New England is always going to live in her. Presently, she still lives in the land of snow and fast talkers, with her husband, her son and her pets. She writes a bit of everything genre fiction (horror, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and thinks it sounds like an odd joke: a unicorn, a space monster, and a pair of zombie lovers walk into a murder investigation…
To purchase an ebook copy of Sub Rosa by Mia Darien for $0.99 visit:
In honor of one of my personal favorite holidays, have some Beauty & the Beast themed Valentines on me!
[Disclaimer: I did not make these, I found them. If you would like to be credited for the making of any of these images, and are the original source or know the original source, let me know in the comments so I can credit you!]
So, so far this week:
I’ve gotten one brick-and-mortar bookstore to agree to carry ‘Till the Last Petal Falls
Jaime and I have decided on the book trailer to be rolled out later this evening on all social media streams
My Goodreads is now set up, getting ready to put together a nice launch giveaway when dates are set
Still talking to representatives to settle on what organizations will receive the 10% royalties from me (there are a lot of really good programs/ shelters in Colorado, it’s hard to choose! But I want to make sure most of my donation will be going directly to help battered women/children and not to administrative fees, so I’m being cautious)
Still talking to reps from other bookstores to figure out their consignment policies- will be possibly looking into placing consignment at the Boulder Bookstore and a couple of feminist bookstores around the country. If you have any suggestions on what stores I should look into, or if you would like me to ensure that the book will be available in an independent bookstore near you, feel free to comment suggestions!
Also looking into any book clubs who might want to tackle discussion of domestic violence and how it is portrayed in woman’s fiction, using ‘Till the Last Petal Falls as a reference point. I would always be up to join these discussions, whether that is through being there physically (in-state or reimbursed travel) or by other means (Skype, e-mail, video recording). Comment or e-mail email@example.com to see if I can get you an even bigger deal on a bulk book club order.
Don’t forget to place your pre-order for 15% off the retail price through firstname.lastname@example.org, lasting only through the third week of February, and friend Elizabeth Rose on Goodreads (look under ‘Till the Last Petal Falls) to check for when I will be holding the launch giveaway.
[Again, only posting the princesses that I have storylines plotted out for… but look how gorgeous and glamorous these women look! Dang, I want to be a princess now!
And in other news- Happy birthday to my little sister, Franny, who turns 16 today! I love you princess.]
[I’m only putting up the images for stories that I’ve planned on writing for the ‘Once Upon a Reality’ series… for Jeffery Thomas’ full portfolio of Twisted Princess, why not check out his blog? He’s got some more great ones- including Esmerelda, Nala, Tiana etc.]
Hope you’re ready for Halloween festiveness everybody! I’m personally going as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s girlfriend- what are you all going as? Maybe genderbent princesses/princes?
I hope you’re looking forward to the first release of Chapter One of ‘Till the Last Petal Falls, coming to you in November!