I’m still hard at work preparing The Mirror of Rorrim for its Halloween release, but I’m also looking ahead to National Novel Writing Month in November.
NaNoWriMo. So. We meet again, old friend. This time I shall vanquish you and dance upon your remains! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA…
*ahem* Sorry, where was I? Oh yes, my project for next month. I’ve picked The Clawthorn Rose, the prequel to The Beast of Talesend that I announced a while back. Though I have it outlined (he said laughingly, using the word in its broadest possible sense), and I’ve scribbled down a few character notes and snippets of dialogue, I haven’t actually broken ground on the draft itself yet. So I figured NaNoWriMo would be a good time to do it.
Here’s the synopsis:
The Clawthorn Rose
Princess Anwen of Caradoc has no desire to be part of any fairy tale. She spends most of her time breaking spells and slaying monsters so efficiently that fairy tales don’t have a chance to get started in her land. But a plot by her power-hungry cousin to seize her throne pits her against something she can’t defeat so easily—a terrifying, utterly inhuman creature known only as the Beast.
Forgotten and alone, Anwen’s only solace comes from the young man she meets in her dreams. Of course, he’s not actually real…or is he? And how is he connected to the monster she’s fighting? Anwen must learn the truth quickly, before an enemy from her worst nightmares destroys everything she holds dear.
This is the story of Sleeping Beauty…and the Beast.
This post is part of a link-up started by Cait (a.k.a. Her Majesty The Great Paper Fury, Undisputed Empress of Goodreads, Long May She Reign). Here are my answers to the questions she came up with for the participants
What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I've had the idea for The Clawthorn Rose for about six months. It was primarily inspired by some backstory elements hinted at in my first novel, The Beast of Talesend. I decided I wanted to flesh those out further in a separate book. I was also inspired while brainstorming one day, when I noticed how many elements of “Beauty and the Beast” and “Sleeping Beauty” are similar. They both have a connection to roses. They both involve mysterious castles. They even both have elements pertaining to sleep. Dreams play a very significant role in the original BatB tale, even though this element didn’t make it into the Disney version. It forms a big part of The Clawthorn Rose.
Describe what your novel is about!
It's a combined retelling of Beauty and the Beast and Sleeping Beauty. It’s the story of a princess with magical powers in a world ravaged by war, trying to save her tiny kingdom from getting destroyed in the crossfire. She’s not looking for love or adventure. She’s just trying to survive and protect her people. But she finds herself in conflict with someone else who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect his own people. They have to find a way to see past the differences between them and confront a larger threat.
What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Crumbling castles. Wild forests. Nature reclaiming the earth as humanity teeters on the brink of destruction. Beauty in the midst of destruction and chaos.
Introduce us to each of your characters!
Princess Anwen of Caradoc: Think Merida dropped into the role of Belle. Except with a Welsh accent. Very methodical and cautious. A problem-solver rather than a fighter…though she can fight. She wants to fix everything, no matter what it takes.
Bastien of Villeneuve: He thinks his mission is over. He gave up everything to save his kingdom. Whether or not he made the right decision doesn’t matter to him. He considers himself to be, for all intents and purposes, dead. Anwen has to slap him out of this mindset—somewhat literally—and inspire him to fight again.
Roderick the Wicked: He’s evil, and he likes it. He doesn’t have a tragic backstory. He doesn’t have justification for being a villain, aside from the fact that he thinks the world would be better off under his rule. He’s Anwen’s cousin, and the two have an unusual “frenemy” dynamic. Similar to Jafar, only better-looking and not a perv. I’d cast Tom Hiddleston as him.
Taliesin the Bard: “Tal” to his friends. A bard/wizard/nerd. Apparently a teenager, though his true age is unknown. Would be far more useful if he’d stop making up epic poems and songs about everything. He may be human…but then again, he may also be an incarnation of Story Itself, personified in human form. Who can say? One day he’ll have a city named after him, but they’ll get it wrong.These are the only characters I can discuss right now without becoming spoilery. I imagine a lot more will crop up as I write the draft; that’s usually how it works.
How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
I don’t prepare. Preparation leads to procrastination. I dive in, write like a fiend, and hope for the best.
What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Spending time with the characters, as I already love them. I’m also excited about developing the mythology of the Afterverse further.
List 3 things about your novel’s setting.
- It’s a version of Medieval France devastated by a magical war.
- It’s got a wide variety of magical/mythical creatures.
- It’s the world of my Beaumont and Beasley novels, but two thousand years before they take place.
What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Anwen wants to destroy the monster that threatens her kingdom…but ultimately, she is the one who jeopardizes her own mission.
How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
She learns that she can’t force life to have a happy ending. Note: This does not necessarily mean that the book will not have a happy ending.
What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Redemption, heroism, sacrifice, and hope. I want my readers to feel like going out and buying all my other books once they finish. Just kidding. I mean, I do want them to buy my other books, but mainly I just want people to say, “Wow, that was a fun book. More, please.”
I’m really looking forward to starting on The Clawthorn Rose. For now, however, I have to get back to wrangling evil mirror creatures. Wish me luck. And if you’d like to buddy up with me on the NaNoWriMo website, my username is KyleRobertShultz (no spaces).