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"There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes." ~William Makepeace Thackeray
Her terrifying dreams are nothing compared to the all-too-real nightmare that awaits. . . .
Ever since sixteen-year-old Rose DuBois woke up from months in a coma with absolutely no memories, she’s had to start from scratch. She knows she loves her two aunts who take care of her, and that they all used to live in France, but everything else from her life before is a blank .Rose tries to push through the memory gaps and start her new life, attending high school and living in Boston with her aunts, who have seriously old world ideas. Especially when it comes to boys. But despite their seemingly irrational fears and odd superstitions, they insist Rose not worry about the eerie dreams she’s having, vivid nightmares that she comes to realize are strangely like the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. The evil witch, the friendly fairies, a curse that puts an entire town to sleep—Rose relives the frightening story every night. And when a mysterious raven-haired woman starts following her, Rose begins to wonder if she is the dormant princess. And now that she’s awake, she’s in terrible, terrible danger. . . .
When Rose Wakes is a story about a teenager who wakes up from a coma and realizes she is connected to the Sleeping Beauty of fairy tales. Can you tell us a little more about the book, and perhaps share with us a favorite line, scene or passage?
Rose doesn't realize anything right away. When she wakes from her coma, she has lost her memory. Though the doctors tell her she should recover it, basically the only thing she recognizes is the two women who are her aunts. She knows them. They take her home and enroll her in school and tell her that her memory will return in time. Meanwhile, without her memory, she has to discover a great many things about the world and about herself and what kind of person she is. But Rose is also plagued with wonderful and terrible dreams about an endangered kingdom and a fairy forest and a dark power that bears her dreadful malice, and over time, she begins to wonder if there might be some truth to her dreams. As for my favorite line, probably the very first line in the book: "Rose woke with the echoes of bad dreams like cobwebs in her mind and the memory of a kiss still upon her lips."
What three words do you think best describe your novel?
Cruel! No, not the novel...you, for asking such a question. :) Let's see...Intriguing. Thrilling. Surprising.
What was your inspiration for When Rose Wakes-- can you give us any insight into that first spark that formed the idea for the novel? Did the book grow and change tremendously from that initial first draft?
Like a lot of modern writers, I revise as I write, so by the time I'm done with a "first draft," it's really more like a third draft. But what happened on WHEN ROSE WAKES, and what nearly always happens with my books, is that I discover new things, new elements, new plot twists as I write. It's like an archaeologist discovering the top of an artifact and carefully excavating it. That always requires me to make significant changes to the first half of the book to reflect changes in plot or character that I've made in later portions. It keeps the storytelling process interesting when you can keep discovering new facets of your own story. As for the inspiration...I can't honestly say. It's propitious that the book is coming out at a time when these fairy tale reimaginings are growing popular again, but my inspiration had nothing to do with that. I wanted to do something fantasy, but that took place in the real world. So often with my work I like to take myths and legends and turn them over and examine them from a different perspective, to ask the question, "What if this was real?"
Numerous retellings of classic fairy tales and novels continuously pop up in books and movies with ever increasing popularity. As a writer, why do you think this genre is so appealing for so many people?
There's a comfort that comes from our shared familiarity with the classic stories. At the same time, they are SO familiar that they allow for storytellers to come up with riffs on them that rely entirely upon that familiarity. You could come to WHEN ROSE WAKES with no knowledge whatsoever of Sleeping Beauty and totally understand the story. But knowing Sleeping Beauty, at least the basic tale, makes the twists of the novel much more intriguing...at least to me, and I hope to readers. It's also just fun to warp the classics, and readers enjoy that sense of playfulness.
What was the most challenging aspect of bring When Rose Wakes to life?
To answer that truthfully would be to give too much away. All I'll say is this. Anytime you're writing urban fantasy, you have to make a decision about magic. If you want the book to feel real, you have to be very careful about how much magic you include, and what kind, and how it is portrayed.
If When Rose Wakes was to be made into a movie, do you have certain actors you envision in the lead roles or do you think unknowns would be best suited to play them?
There's actually some conversation about that going on right now, though nothing I can officially report. As for actors....that's always a tough call. But given how long it takes to get a movie optioned, written, and put into production, I think Chloe Grace Moretz would be old enough by then to play Rose. She's fearless. A very talented girl.
From your Body of Evidence series for adults to Buffy The Vampire Slayer books, you have written numerous novels and contributed to comics and anthologies in a wide variety of genres. Out of your collective works, is there one book or character that you had the strongest connection with and enjoyed writing the most?
It's funny, actually. Partially because I wrote her more than any other character (of my own), my strongest connection is to Jenna Blake, the main character of the Body of Evidence series. I've been teased for saying so, but of all of my characters, Jenna is probably the most like me. Yes, she's an eighteen year old girl. But other than that! :)
Of all your novels, if you had to become one of your characters and be transported into their world for just one day, who would you choose and why?
Cool. No one's every asked me that before. I'd want to be Oliver Bascombe, the main character in my Veil trilogy of fantasy novels (THE MYTH HUNTERS, THE BORDERKIND, THE LOST ONES). He lives in world of wonder and adventure. Sure, it's also a world of great danger, but it would be worth it to be able to see the things that he gets to see, the monsters and the creatures of myth and legend, the impossible places, the grand ambitions, the lost civilizations. Yeah. No question.
What types of feedback do you receive from readers? Is there one comment in particular that has really affected and stayed with you?
The best are the ones that have written to tell me that they never read for pleasure (just for school assignments) before reading my books, but now they love to read. Once a girl wrote to tell me that her mother wanted to thank me, because after reading my books and getting invested in reading, she went from a D+ to an A in English class. Those things will stay with me my whole life.
What can we look forward to from you next? Do you have any new series or projects in the works?
My next YA books are a series called THE SECRET JOURNEYS OF JACK LONDON, which I'm writing with the wonderfully talented Tim Lebbon. The first book in the series, THE WILD, will be out in hardcover from HarperCollins in March, with beautiful illustrations by Greg Ruth. Fox2000 has just optioned the movie rights, and Tim and I are writing the screenplay while we work on the second book.
Christopher Golden is the award-winning, bestselling author of such novels as Wildwood Road, The Boys Are Back in Town, Of Saints and Shadows, and the Body of Evidence thriller series. He has cowritten a number of novels and comic books set in the worlds of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. There are more than eight million copies of his books in print. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.
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