I was going to ramble on about the history of this tag, and where I've seen it, etc. etc. but I don't think I shall. Takes up too much time. Look it all up yourself, if you're interested.
1: What is the working title of your book? The Twelfth Kingdom
2: Where did the idea come from for the book? Oftentimes I chew on old fairy tales, wondering how the story would change when a "what if" was thrown in. It's great fun, imagining new endings and plot twists to Cinderella and whatnot (ahem*especiallywithoutanymagicinvolved*), but for a while I was most puzzled over how to change up the story of the twelve dancing princesses. Although the idea of twelve sisters intrigued me, I thought for the main line of the story it would be best if the girls were all near the same age. But how to do that? Ah, ha! The king would adopt them! Brilliant! Hmm... but why would he adopt them? And how? That's the real question. And that's how plans for TK came into motion.
3: What genre does your book come under? Fantasy, mostly. You could tag on some other small genres, but I really put it with fantasy.
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Tough, tough, tough question. I love envisioning my characters, but I have the hardest time trying to pinpoint them in certain actors and actresses. But, ahem! I will do my best!
Writing about the oldest princess, Reuthellen, the only thing I imagined was Buttercup from The Princess Bride. Not my absolute favorite movie, mind you, but there was just something about Robin Wright that reminded me greatly of my Reuth. Of course, Reuth has brown hair and brown eyes, and by now Robin Wright is much too old to play Reuth, but there it is. You asked.
Ever since I saw this picture on Pinterest, I knew I had found the second princess, Simeanna. Some research led me to discover that the actress is a French girl named Melanie Thierry, but I've never seen her act in anything before, nor do I know how old she is. But, to me, that's Simeanna.
Justine Waddell would probably make an excellent Princess Aleevity, even though Aleevity is only 18 years old. Yet, Aleevity's character is vastly different than that of our favorite, dear sweet Molly Gibson. And with a lot less curls. Josette describes her as a cat, so apply that knowledge to Justine W. and you get Aleevity.
Finding someone to play my fourth princess, Judalily was difficult, and it involved no little research and snooping through my friends' boards on Pinterest. Judalily (or as she's fondly known among her sisters as Juely) is a soft-spoken, romantic girl with a great love of happy endings, and I thought Lucy Griffiths might do the job, but I'm only going here by face.
My fifth-in-order and most likely my second favorite princess is Danyelle, and for the longest time, I could see no other picture of her than that of the image that Shirley Temple presented in my mind. Graceful and kind, proper but energetic, Dany is everything you'd want in a princess.
Another difficult picture. If I'm right, I think this is Reese Witherspoon in The Importance of Being Earnest, which I've never seen. Nattalaris is my favorite princess, so I shan't let her go to just any actress. I'm not entirely satisfied, but so far this is the closest I can find to Laris, my wild, tomboyish princess.
Princess Gadrienne is spoiled, selfish, and vain, and finding her actress match was not an easy task. Renn's very much like Ida Glenshaw from The Inheritance, although I think Brigid Brannagh is a little old to play a 16 year old princess. I discovered Holliday Grainger while browsing through some of my friends' Merlin boards (yes, I'm back on Pinterest again!), but her hair would have to be a deep red, which if I recall correctly, I think I might have seen some pictures of her with red hair.
Princess number eight is another redhead. Ashrynn tends to be quiet and keeps to herself, though she has a temper hidden behind her otherwise somber personality. The actress in the picture above is Dakota Blue Richards, and I really think she could be Ashrynn.
Imogen Poots as Princess Issachella. This one wasn't so hard, and I must say I'm more satisfied with her playing Issie than with some of the others I'm putting here as her sisters. Issachella (that's Is-ah-kella for pronunciation, if you want to know) is an animal lover through and through, and as a princess, she would have nothing less than a score of pets, including two horses, a few dogs, and even a goat!
The tenth princess is black haired Zelburna, quiet, shy, and a plant lover. She hates being in company, but she does her best to act properly in society because she is, after all, a princess, but she'd much rather be in the greenhouse or reading a book of foreign floral. I don't know this actress, Zooey Deschanel, but she looks very much like what I imagined Zelburna.
Now we come to the main character of TK: Princess Josette. Her picture drives me to the brink of insanity more than any other picture. I shall be picky with her as I was with Laris. The closest I can find is the character of little Charley Neckett from Bleak House played by actress Katie Angelou. Of course, Josette has slightly darker hair, still blonde, but not the bleached look.
And last, but not least, the twelfth princess... little Bethjasmine. I've known who she is for a long time now, actress-wise, so this one's a cinch. May I present to you Genevieve Bujold, the actress from a long time ago, whom I personally think would make an excellent Bethjasmine?
Well, that question took a lot longer to finish than I thought it would take. Sure, I s'pose I didn't have to look up pictures for every one, but I like having the visuals along with the descriptions. Ahem! Moving on!
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? When Josette and her best friend are rescued off the poor streets of Tellorn to become princesses, Josette thinks it the best day of her young life... until she learns her father's true character.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? I'm thinking self-published, with which I am most content, as I have no experience/hopes/promises/etc. of anything else; however, if the Lord provides another publishing venue, I shall rejoice.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Still writing, I'm afraid. I've been working on it for, I think, a year now, and I've only just over 20,000 words to show for it. I have the whole story just about entirely plotted out, the entire skeleton, if you will. Now I just have to flesh it out with descriptions and dialogue and whatnot. I'll admit I was rather distracted in working on CoaL, and quite forgot about TK.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmmm.... I really don't know. I would like to be compared to LOTR and Narnia, but unfortunately, TK isn't really an adventure/epic journey story. It's fantasy, obviously, about royal life, grudges, promises, betrayal, secrets, schooling, arranged marriages, and family. There isn't any magic in it, so it would be difficult to compare it with other fairytales. Really, I can't think of one off the top of my head that I would say it's like. But that's a good thing, right? Not to have lots of books to compare it to and worry about it being too much like too many other books?
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? A love of writing, a desire to put my own spin on classic fairy tales, and... well, a weird inspiration to combine Charles Dickens with the Brothers Grimm.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? How about a snippet? :)
At the end of an hour, Doctor Guériron reentered the room and announced that his patient needed to rest. Reluctantly, Josette followed the princesses out of the room and cast one last, longing glance at Bethjasmine. Her pallid face was very white against the pillows, and the rosy pinks of the bedding did little to lend their cheerful color to her cheeks. Josette was reminded again how delicate Bethjasmine was, and the thought left a painful sting in her heart.
As the doctor closed the door, Josette reached for his arm. “Is she...” The sting grew in intensity and she couldn't finish the sentence.
Guériron gave a solemn nod. “She is very weak. Her lungs especially.”
Josette had thought all the princesses had left, but she was proven wrong as Dany appeared at her elbow, Laris right behind her. “But she will get better, won't she?” Dany looked entreatingly at the doctor. “Now that she's here, she will recover.” Her voice held a tiny quiver in it as if she wanted to believe what she was saying but needed to hear the doctor confirm it.
Josette tensed. She wanted to hear Doctor Guériron say that Bethjasmine would get better. She wanted to know that her best friend would recover and become strong again. But the doctor shook his head mournfully.
“There's not much I can do for her, Your Highnesses. I am sorry. The air of our beloved kingdom is cold and harsh on her weak state. If she remains this way, even with all the care I can give her, I...” Guériron coughed as he caught sight of Josette's pale face. “Well, let us just say that I am not very hopeful for her health. Good day, Your Highnesses. I will return in a few hours to check on Princess Bethjasmine.” Bowing once, he strode away without another word.
Not very hopeful for her health? Josette's legs went numb and she swayed slightly. Laris quickly caught her elbow to steady her. Her warm hand felt comforting and supportive.
“I'm sorry, Josette,” Danyelle said softly.
“I don't care what that Doctor Guériron says,” Laris stated, her green eyes flaring, “I think he's wrong. Doctors usually are, you know. They have to make people expect the worst so that when the best happens, everyone thinks of it as a miracle and thinks more highly of the doctors.”
“Laris,” Dany's voice was gentle and scolding at the same time.
“Oh, fine!” Laris scoffed. “But I wish he'd just stick to setting broken bones. At least he knows how to do that! Cheer up, Josette! I'm sure Bethjasmine will be right as rain in a day or two. Just you wait and see!”
And to continue the furthering of this tag, I hereby declare and cordially request that both Kathryn and Melody take these 10 questions off to their own respective blogs.