Today I'd like to welcome Cyn Balog, author of the magical debut novel Fairy Tale, which was released in June. We talked about the book as well as her upcoming novel, Sleepless which is scheduled to be released July 13th 2010.
In a market saturated with fairy stories, your debut novel Fairy Tale is unique. Instead of having the main character as a young girl who evolves into a fairy, you chose to write about a boy named Cam instead. What inspired you to take this fresh approach in your writing and how did the idea evolve from a tiny spark to publication?
Well, I don’t think any idea out there is truly unique, so I always laugh when someone says, “I have a great idea for a story but I’m not going to tell anyone because they might steal it.” Any idea can be done a million different ways, simply by tweaking one little piece of it. I knew I’d wanted to write a fairy story but I thought the idea of a girl learning she is a fairy was overdone. I realized I hadn’t seen anything about a guy learning he is the fairy—and to me, that journey would be far more interesting! After all, how would he explain that to his friends? So I started writing and it just flowed; it was done within 3 months, and sold six weeks after that.
In many interviews, you’ve been asked the question about what your favorite fairy tale is, to which you’ve given the answer of Cinderella. But what I’m wondering is if there’s anything in the plot line or character development that you’d alter if given the opportunity to rewrite the story?
I’d give Cinderella some more backbone to be like, “Hey, stepmom, you’re treating me like crap. I’m outta here.” And then she’d go off to the city and start her own business and really show her step-family up. And then later she could meet her true love, the prince, once she was self-sufficient. I hate that most fairy tales are all about the guy saving the girl, which is why I like that Morgan conspires to save Cam.
Do you remember writing the first words of Fairy Tale and are they still in the novel today? Is there a certain line, scene or passage from the book that is a particular favorite of yours as well?
Yep, I think the first words are the same as I wrote them. I didn’t do much revising of the book, honestly. My favorite scene is probably the one with the fortune cookie, which is pretty obvious because part of that scene is on the back of the book.
If you could go back and give your teen self one bit of advice, what would it be?
Don’t give up! I’d wanted to be a writer since I was a kid and I kept listening to everyone who told me it is impossible. Nothing is impossible, unless you believe that it is.
Being a debut novelist, can you share with us the moments that have been both the most exciting and also the most nerve wracking in the road to publication for Fairy Tale?
Most nerve-wracking—getting reviews. I wish everyone in the world would just read and love my book, or if they hated it, just go on their merry way. But no book is loved by everyone, and it took me awhile to realize that even the most celebrated books have their haters. The most exciting moments so far have been seeing the cover for the first time, and seeing FAIRY TALE at a bookstore for the first time.
Your next novel, Sleepless, is about a “Sandman” from another world named Eron DeMarchelle who falls in love with a mortal girl. Can you discuss the inspiration behind this unique idea and perhaps tantalize us with a teaser for Sleepless?
Every morning I wipe the sleep out of my daughter’s eyes, and I’d say, “Oh, the Sandman visited you last night!” and then I realized that was a pretty interesting idea. A guy who would visit a girl to lull her to sleep, but accidentally falls in love with her.
He shook his head, rubbed one temple with his free hand, checked the seat beside him again. Nothing but his baseball glove and a grease-stained fast-food bag. I definitely need more sleep, he thought, as he sped out of the neighborhood. He was halfway down Peasant when he felt a slow, warm caress run up his neck, down his chest —twinge— his whole body lurched forward. It was almost like he skipped forward a few moments in time. He must have driven right through that stop sign on Peasant, because he couldn’t remember coming up to it. Instead he found himself at an amber light on Main Street, which normally he would speed through, but, sensing something was off, he slowed. Suddenly—twinge—he blinked and it was green again, without ever having turned red.
“What the . . .” He gripped the wheel tighter.
He thought about turning back, but only for a second. Griffin Colburn didn’t have the reputation for spinelessness.
Just a few more minutes. Just a few more minutes and I’ll be in bed. He pressed down on the accelerator, thinking of home.
He blinked again. Twinge.
And she was there.
This time, clearer.
Beckoning to him.
Do you have any other upcoming projects we can look forward to? Anything else you’d like to say to readers?
Oh, yes, I am working on several projects right now, all of them paranormals. GIMME FEVER, I’m hoping will be my next one, and it’s complicated, but based on the ancient belief that the flu was due to the influence of the stars. I have so many ideas right now… I’m going to be very busy for the next few years writing them!
Thanks for taking the time to stop Cyn!
Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne are a match made in heaven. They've been best friends since birth, they tell each other everything, and oh yeah- they're totally hot for each other.
But a week before their joint Sweet Sixteen bash, everything changes. Cam's awkward cousin Pip comes to stay, and Morgan is stunned when her formerly perfect boyfriend seems to be drifting away.
When Morgan demands answers, she's shocked to discover the source of Cam's distance isn't another girl- it's another world. Pip claims that Cam is a fairy. No, seriously. A fairy. And now his people want Cam to return to their world and take his rightful place as Fairy King.
Determined to keep Cam with her, Morgan plots to fool the fairies. But as Cam continues to change, she has to decide once and for all if he really is her destiny, and if their “perfect” love can weather an uncertain future.
Witty, original and unexpectedly touching, FAIRY TALE will captivate fans of TWILIGHT and WICKED LOVELY.
To learn more stop by Cyn Balog's official website or blog.
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