Greetings, all lovers of myth and magic. Today I’m pleased to welcome fellow-writer Allie May to Quills, Quotes, Queens and Quests for interview. Here she is, pausing before flying off in pursuit of more enchantment.
Allie May is a dog lover, mom, and Dr. Pepper addict who turns her caffeine-fueled dreams into believable fiction. She fell in love with the impossible at a young age and has been telling stories (some fiction, some mostly non-fiction) ever since.
In high school she won two poetry contests, and in college she started the blog, Hypergraphia to combat her uncontrollable impulse to write. She has been published in three fairy tale retelling anthologies, From the Stories of Old, Of Legend and Lore and A Bit of Magic.
She married her high school sweetheart because he takes her to Disneyland (oh, and because she loves him). Together they have a dog child and a human child. On the weekends, you might catch a glimpse of her in the shadows as a lightsaber-wielding superhero.
Lynden: Hi Allie May, welcome to Quills, Quotes, Queens and Quests! We both have stories in the latest fairy tale retelling anthology A Bit of Magic. Yours is called ‘Cursed Winds.’ Tell us more about it. What inspired your retelling?
Allie May: When I was watching Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast, I kept wondering why his servants cared so much for him, and I realized it must be because there was some sort of love there. But that wasn’t enough to break the curse? So I played with a bunch of ideas about different types of love that would break the curse, and after my son was born, I decided to go in the direction of parental love.
Lynden: Interesting idea. What was the hardest part of writing it?
Allie May: My story idea was almost too long for the word count! The first draft was around 11,000 words, and I had to cut around 2,000 words to get everything to fit in the anthology. It was really hard to get in all the backstory from five years earlier into my shortened story.
Lynden: I can imagine! What short stories have you participated thus far in the JL anthologies, if any?
Allie May: I wrote Rose & Thorn, a Sleeping Beauty retelling for From the Stories of Old, and Swapped, a Prince and the Pauper retelling for Of Legend and Lore.
Lynden: You’ve had a story in every one of the JL fairy tale anthologies, then. That’s impressive. How did this experience differ from your previous JLA stories?
Allie May: This experience was very different from before. Swapped was always a shorter idea, and I had no trouble making the word count fit. This time, I had to meticulously choose each word I kept and deleted so that the story would still make sense while not dragging on too long. I also had an extended supporting cast, which I usually try to avoid. It was hard for me to keep track of everyone for such a short story.
Lynden: So what made you choose Beauty and the Beast this time?
Allie May: I’m not sure. I decided that there were too many little details of Beauty and the Beast retellings that I didn’t like, so I wanted to fix them. I also wanted to rework a romantic tale into something slightly different because so many well known fairy tales have been overly romanticized and I don’t like love-at-first-sight type stories. I want stories with deeper relationships and meaning.
Lynden: And did you stick closely to the fairy tale you rewrote?
Allie May: Hahahahahaha….no. Not really. At all. Definitely not. I stripped the story down to its most easily recognizable element–the curse–and changed just about everything else. Though, I did pay homage to Villeneuve’s curse in the backstory, but that’s about it.
Lynden: So you really have made a lot of changes. I wonder what your ending is like? Do you prefer a happy ending, and did that affect how you wrote your story?
Allie May: I prefer my stories to have a cost to the happiness, but this time it ended more cleanly than normal. I tried to keep the ending close to the original tale, though.
Lynden: Oh, I hope that means it’s a happy ending. I do like a happy ending. How long have you been writing, then, Allie May?
Allie May: Since I could hold a pen. I love telling stories. I’ve wanted to be an author since I was 12, and I’ve been actively writing stories for publication since then as well. Of course, most of those stories will never see the light of day because they are…weird. I started writing Rose & Thorn, my first publication, about 3 years before it was published.
Lynden: I like weird. Don’t hide those stories just for that reason! What projects are you working on now?
Allie May: I’m currently working on the third draft of Powerful. It’s kind of an “Avatar the Last Airbender at Hogwarts” type world that challenges segregation.
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?
I’m also working on a novella series of fairy tale retellings in a Greek-inspired world.
Lynden: Fairy tale retellings in a Greek-inspired world? That’s an interesting idea. And your novel Powerful sounds very dramatic! All the best in your writing journey, Allie May, and thanks for dropping by!
Want to know more about Allie May? She can be found on:
A Bit of Magic was released on 31st May. You can find it on Amazon here.
Follow the rest of the blog tour:
Melion Traverse hosts Mae Baum — 18th May
Heather Hayden hosts B.C. Marine — 21st May
Allie May hosts Rebecca Mikkelson — 24th May
M.T. Wilson hosts Lynden Wade — 27th May
Louise Ross hosts Heather Hayden — 1st June
Authors4Authors hosts Katelyn Barbee — 6th June
Elise Edmonds hosts Louise Ross — 12th June