OKAY, so I have been planning this for months, but unfortunate circumstances came up and it delayed this amazing new feature that I have been planning on Once Upon A Story. Let me introduce you to…..
Once Upon An Author is a new feature on the blog, which showcases an author every month. It could be pertaining to anything, from interview questions, to silly games. This feature hopes to let introduce more books and authors to the readers out there!
Yep, that’s right! The first author to be featured is Anita Grace Howard, who is famously known for her Splintered series, which is basically the dark and twisted version of Alice In Wonderland. If you have not read that series, go and read it right now, because it was definitely one of THE BEST fairy tale retellings I have ever read. Also, it helps that the fonts are not in their usual black color. In light of Anita’s new book, Rose Blood, I interviewed her to get her thoughts on it, and also find out the reason behind her writing this Phantom of the Opera retelling.
1. Most of your readers actually love how the Splintered series was a dark, twisted version of Alice in Wonderland. So I’m sure we would all be curious to know: would Rose Blood have that same dark and twisty feeling?
ROSEBLOOD definitely has that twisty feeling. But there is one major difference: where my Wonderland series is based on what has often been considered a children’s story, ROSEBLOOD is based on a romantic horror/ drama. So the mood is even darker. There aren’t any *whimsical* underpinnings or snarky netherlings in this book. Instead, it’s darkly romantic and Gothic with subtle elements of horror, and the relationships are more tortured / complex because it’s inspired by THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA — a book about the obsession to be accepted and loved, and unrequited passion turned to madness. So it will appeal to readers of SPLINTERED, but also hopefully to people who like an even more mysterious and haunting read.
2. Out of all the retellings you could have chosen, what attracted you to Phantom of the Opera? Or rather, what made you want to retell it in your own voice?
As for the move to Phantom, just like all things Alice, I’ve always been a huge PoTO fan. From the time I first discovered Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera in high school, I was captivated by the tragic, dangerous, and often sardonically humorous anti-hero, Erik. I can’t get enough of Leroux’s novel, the movies, and the musical. And since my AiW spinoff was so well received, it gave me the confidence to tackle the Phantom’s spinoff possibilities, something I had been toying with in my imagination even before I wrote SPLINTERED. I’ve seen other adaptations of The Phantom — a lot of them actually — and one prequel that I adore (Phantom by Susan Kay) but not many spinoffs or continuations. So after thinking it through — mentally twisting and twining the original backstory into the here and now — I fell in love with Erik’s maniacal brilliance and wit, broken soul, and talent all over again. I had to give him a modern stage on which to perform, so I could see what horrors he might stir up for one unfortunate occupant of an opera-themed boarding school.
3. With a finished series, and several more upcoming books, what would be the hardest part about writing, be it the Splintered series or Rose Blood?
Honestly, at this point, finding the time to write is the hardest part for any book. Sometimes I wish I was two people. Balancing edits, social media, traveling book events — along with everyday life with my family — while fitting in 1K or more new words a day toward a deadline, takes some juggling. But I’m not complaining, because I’m doing what I’ve dreamed of doing for years, and my books are being read. I couldn’t ask for anything more. However, if you know someone who’s close to successfully cloning a human, I’d be very interested in speaking to them. 😉
*Unfortunately, due to her busy schedule, Anita could only answer three of our questions.
I will also be putting up the links on where to get in touch with Anita Grace Howard below, if you’re interested to get to know more about her and her books. And as a bonus, I’m having a giveaway, in which the winner gets a pre-order of Rose Blood.