Welcome back to Delusions of Sanity. Today, I have another interview to offer to you, my dear readers. Today’s interview is particularly awesome because not only is the guest one of my writer friends, but she says she has an announcement to make. I’ll be honest that I’m a little hesitant–I know what my writer friends are like, and God only knows what she plans on announcing.
Ok, ok, I jest. However, my interviewee does say she has some exciting news, so I’m looking forward to hearing about the latest information.
So, without further ado, let me introduce to you our guest, Allie May.
Allie May fell in love with fantasy and the impossible at a young age thanks to Disney, superheroes, and fairies. She began reading at the age of four, and started writing as soon as she could hold a pencil. In high school, she won two Creative Communication contests and had her poems published.
After visiting the magical city of Paris, Allie fell in love with France, which inspired the setting for “Rose & Thorn”. When she’s not at Disneyland, she’s working on her two fantasy novels. On the weekends, you might catch a glimpse of her in the shadows as a lightsaber-wielding superhero.
Delusions of Sanity: So, Allie, welcome to Delusions of Sanity. Thanks for taking the time to join us.
Allie May: Hi, Melion. *waves* Thanks so much for having me.
Delusions of Sanity: By the way, I’m going to start this off by saying that I like the shirt you’re rockin’ today. It’s very “you”.
Allie May: Star Wars, amirite? *high fives Melion who’s confused how that happened through the monitor*
Delusions of Sanity: All right, so I’m on tenterhooks here. You tantalized me with news about a big announcement, are you able to tell us what that announcement may be?
Allie May: I’m really excited because I’m going to be published!
Delusions of Sanity: Seriously? That’s awesome! Can you tell us more about this publication? Details, my friend, I demand details.
Allie May: My writing group, the Just-Us League, is publishing an anthology of short story fairytale retellings. The anthology is titled From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings and my piece is called “Rose & Thorn”. My particular story’s based off my old project, Rose, that I worked on a couple years ago. Turns out there just wasn’t enough story to fill a whole novel, so I condensed it into an action-packed short story! It’s still set in France with all the same characters my blog readers met before, but the plot’s been tweaked a bit and now it’s shorter.
Delusions of Sanity: This sounds very cool. Now, you said your story is a retelling, so I’m curious what inspired you to undertake this project.
Allie May: As I said, it was originally going to be a novel, or possibly a novella published with two other fairy tale retellings. All of the characters interacted and had some effect on each other’s stories, though their individual stories were still unique. The idea for that came from a dream I had (like all my story ideas) because I cannot stand the Happily Ever After endings where the princesses did nothing and the princes did almost nothing as well, and they barely knew each other and still got married. Nothing bothers me more than poorly written romance. So I took the story into my own hands and I gave the characters strong personalities and backstories, and placed them in modern day France because I believe that fairytales can happen in real life, not just storybooks.
Delusions of Sanity: You know, I have to admit that part of why I didn’t get into fairytales when I was a little kid was because the characters seemed so lackluster (I wouldn’t have used that word as a kid, I’d have just said “boring”, but the point stands), so it’s neat to see writers approach the stories from a fresh aspect.
What would you say was the hardest part about writing your retelling?
Allie May: Originally, it was too hard to find enough plot to fill in and flesh out a whole novel, but when I decided to turn it into a short story, I had the exact opposite problem! There wasn’t enough space for everything I wanted to fit in, so I had to cut and condense over and over again until it fit and everything still made sense. And I’m still not sure everything does make sense. *glances around uncomfortably*
Delusions of Sanity: Well, I’ve had the privilege of seeing this story and I’ve also gotten to see how dedicated you’ve been about having “Rose & Thorn” proofed and edited, so I can testify to how fantastic the story is.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer, if you don’t mind my asking such a mundane question? It’s something I’m still curious to know about authors.
Allie May: I’m still not sure I want to be a writer. Just kidding.
I’ve always loved books. I’ve been reading since I could pull books off the shelves. My mom always tells the story of my older sister and me taking them all off, but my sister would just make a big pile on the floor, while I’d sit and flip through each page, then gently place them off to the side. My mom says she always knew that this is what I would do. It took me a little while longer. I think I was twelve when I finally realized that I could do this as a living. And I’ve been writing ever since.
Delusions of Sanity: Since you say it took you a little while to figure out that you wanted to follow the path of a writer, was there something you dreamt of doing first?
Allie May: I originally wanted to become a fashion designer. I was obsessed with sewing back when my mom helped me with it. Then it got to be too expensive and time consuming, and no longer relaxing for me. Plus, I’m not that good at drawing either.
Delusions of Sanity: So I joke about being, uh, let us call it “quirky”. Do you have any quirky writing habits?
Allie May: I can’t write sitting at a desk. I have to have my feet up either in a recliner chair or in bed. Sitting at a desk is boring.
Delusions of Sanity: When you’re not writing, what do you do with your time?
Allie May: I’m usually sleeping, playing with my puppy, wishing I wasn’t working, or at Disneyland.
Delusions of Sanity: Ha! Why am I not surprised Disneyland would somehow be involved? Actually, I’m kind of jealous.
Allie May: Well, Disney is in my blood! My grandma was an animator for Walt Disney 60 years ago, my dad has worked for them off and on over the past 20+ years, and now my husband works as a Ride Engineer for Walt Disney Imagineering! It’s hard to get away!
Delusions of Sanity: Ok, someday I’m gonna have to ask about your grandmother, because that sounds amazing. I might invite you back just for that, because I’m the curious sort.
But now I have an all important question about you: outside of the upcoming anthology, are you writing anything else?
Allie May: I’m currently preparing my first novel, Powerful, for beta-readers. It’s young adult with some relevant political issues from our modern society thrown into a fantasy world. Here’s the quick synopsis:
“Her parents are in prison, her brother is on the run, and her powers are out of control. Now Crown Princess Kylanore has to restore balance to the government her parents corrupted.
Under the watchful eyes of the Council of Four, Kylanore is sent to Floures Academy to control her water powers and study government and economics in preparation for her ascension to the throne of Tykra. While struggling to fit in there, she accidentally reveals her extra powers, powers that were an unfortunate side effect of her parents’ alchemical meddling.
When her brother reappears, he unveils secrets about the Council of Four that could destroy the Four Kingdoms. Will she keep quiet to protect herself, or will she join her brother on his renegade attempts at justice?”
Delusions of Sanity: That sounds excellent! You’ll let me know when it comes out, right? I’m always looking for fun books to read.
Ok, now I’m going to try something a little different for the interview. What do you say to a rapid fire round? I’ll toss out some questions and you fire back with your first response. You up for it?
Allie May: Sure! Let’s do it!
Delusions of Sanity: All right! What’s your favorite genre to read?
Allie May: Fantasy!
Delusions of Sanity: Favorite genre to write?
Allie May: Fantasy!
Delusions of Sanity: Favorite writing drink?
Allie May: Dr. Pepper!
Delusions of Sanity: Favorite reading snack?
Allie May: Anything chocolate!
Delusions of Sanity: Favorite writing spot?
Allie May: In my recliner!
Delusions of Sanity: Favorite reading spot?
Allie May: In bed!
Delusions of Sanity: Writing or editing?
Allie May: Editing!
Delusions of Sanity: Sweet or salty?
Allie May: Sweet!
Delusions of Sanity: Nuts or no nuts?
Allie May: My life is nuts enough already! No nuts!
Delusions of Sanity: And last, but certainly not least: Oxford comma, yes or no?
Allie May: ALWAYS USE THE OXFORD COMMA!!!!
Delusions of Sanity: Hmm, the Oxford comma for the win, then? Well, I’m not going to argue with my guest since I think the Oxford comma has its place, but my sixth grade English teacher will hunt me down and compel me to diagram sentences until my vision blurs if she catches me using it all the time.
Anyhow, comma wars aside, this has been a fun interview. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to answer some questions. And I want to wish you luck with your anthology.
For my readers here at Delusions of Sanity, I have to say I’ve gotten to peruse some of the stories in the upcoming collection, and they’re a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a book to enjoy with a cup of tea as the weather turns cold, From the Stories of Old: A Collection of Fairy Tale Retellings would be an excellent choice.
Here’s the official blurb for the anthology:
In this international collection, new life is given to fairy tales, both classic and obscure.
Mythical creatures put the fairy in Fairy Tale. Mermaids, selkies, and ocean guardians experience the best and worst of humanity; sisters encounter an unusually friendly bear; a brave bride meets a silly goose; and a spinner of gold sets the record straight.
Urban fantasies modernize classics: a Frenchman learns the truth about magic, his past, and his girlfriend; a girl sets out to find love but receives a curse; and today’s naughty list makes Old Saint Nick not-so-jolly.
New worlds bring a fresh sense of wonder! In the future, a young woman fights for her people and herself; a bastard son finds acceptance in a world ruled by women; and a farmer’s wits win the heart of a frosty king.
Discover unexpected twists on old favorites, and fall in love with new tales and worlds to explore!
If you’re interested, check out “Rose & Thorn” along with thirteen other fantastical fairytale retellings. The collection will be released on December 7th and you can find it on KDP Select.