Thanks so much for joining me today Vanessa as we chat about her novel Fabled. I first became friends with Vanessa on a Facebook writers' group. She is a class act.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Always. When I was young, I’d draw
pictures and hang them on the
wall. I’d then escort my parents through the scenes, telling them my stories. I
won my first writing contest at six and was first published at thirteen. I’ve
never known a life without writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like using “O” instead of “Oh.” It just seems more appropriate. That large, empty letter sums up the sentiment behind the thought better, I think, and I always imagine someone pantomiming it when they read. See there, you just did it, didn’t you? J
Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
I studied the Grimms for nearly a year before I started Fabled. I wrote an academic paper “Fairy Tales Revisited: Cause and Effect of Adult Enchantment” and presented it at the PCAS Conference in 2012. Later, I attended a poster session at my university with my paper, “A Grimm History: Nazi Uses and Abuses of Fairy Tales.” It wasn’t until I understood the true purpose of folklore that I realized how pivotal and timeless it is. I hope in some small way to have contributed to the literature with Fabled by not retelling what’s already been
told but building on it with new stories and
What are you working on right now?
I’m currently drafting a young adult southern gothic novel about an orphan who finds her family in another time, and I’m working on Book Two of Fabled.
What does your writing process look like?
Lots of coffee and a touch of madness. In all seriousness though, I usually sit at the computer with my notebook full of index cards, scribbles, and post its and fuss with characters until we come to some compromise about what will be written.
I also do a lot of scene writing by hand. This ends up being more of a sketch so that when I type I’m more focused on filling in the gaps and adding details.
Favorite writing snack?
Skinny Pop! I am so addicted that I drive an hour one way to buy extra large bags because none of our local stores carry it.
I try to plot really well before I begin a new project, but I usually end up getting laughed at by my characters, who always do whatever they want.
If you could cast your book as a Hollywood blockbuster who would play the lead?
I love Adelaide Kane, the lead actress from Reign. If she could swing a slight southern accent, she’d be perfect.
Cat or dog?
Dog! Sorry cat people. I like cats, but as a mom of four dogs, puppy toes and breath have my entire heart.
Morning or night?
I am a night owl who wants to be a morning bird. I have the hardest time waking up. I don’t have conversations before the second cup of coffee.
Ever dreamed of a life that reads more like a book? Rowena did until she stumbled into a fairy tale that wasn't so friendly.
Fabled by Vanessa K. Eccles
Publisher: Bound and Brewed
Young adult fantasy/fairy tale
Rowena thinks the Grimm’s infamous podcasts are simply another teen fad until she finds herself trapped in a land of nightmarish storybook characters. She tries desperately to flee Mezzanine and return home, but Dresdem, Mezzanine’s wicked monarch, plans to use Rowena’s access to her world to bring dark magic and absolute rule into Georgia and beyond.
But when Rowena’s dear friend Madeline falls into Dresdem’s grasp, her battle with him becomes war, and all hopes of home are temporarily thwarted. With the help of an invisible hero, a beast, and an owl, she sets out to free Madeline from a deadening sleep. But Rowena must become her own hero when she finds herself bound by the kingdom’s darkest family. She must make the ultimate choice – align herself with her enemies or live on the run forever.
“Heads or tails?” Lil asked as she opened the door and stood in front of me.
“When are you going to learn that heads always wins?” She snickered and rolled her eyes in amazement of my apparent naivety.
“Not always. Besides, tales are more interesting.”
Not understanding my word play, she shrugged and searched her pockets for a coin.
I leaned into the porch swing, coffee and book in hand, and watched as autumn's first leaves sunsetted the deadening grass. I rested the mug on my knee and let the cool breeze sway me back and forth while I waited.
Trying to ignore my little sister's attempts to aggravate me, I looked down at the fantastical book in my hands and realized how beloved, yet unrealistic it seemed. Most of us lead relatively dull lives and are content but never satisfied. The “happily ever afters” they crammed in our minds as children were merely lies, but I couldn’t help but dream of an adventure like the one I was holding. I wanted my life to be epic. Who was I kidding? Only characters in our favorite stories experienced magical lives. Mine had already been planned out for me − go to college, land a mediocre job, get married, and have 1.8 perfectly groomed, smiling children. That was it. The end.
Meet the Author: Vanessa K. Eccles graduated Troy University with a degree in English. She currently serves as executive editor of Belle Rêve Literary Journal and is founder of the book blog YA-NASisterhood. When she’s not writing or devouring books, she enjoys the lake life with her Prince Charming and their four dogs.