1. What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
In late August/early September 2014, K-pop band Super Junior released a trailer for two new music videos: 'This is Love' and 'Evanesce', and then a few weeks later the music videos themselves dropped. I watched the trailer three times the day it came out and it implanted the idea fully grown and armored in my brain... no wait, that's myth not fairy tales. Well anyway. In sprang the idea more or less fully formed, along with the theme message of Owl City's song 'Wolf Bite'. And I've sat on the idea for two years now until this was finally the year to write it.
2. Describe what your novel is about!
Though too poor to afford a teacher, Belleza still dreams of becoming a shining star under gleaming lights. When the masked lead singer of a popular band offers to tutor her, she eagerly accepts, too caught in the spell of his voice and her dream to heed the warnings of those who tell her he's dangerous; not even her childhood playmate, now an intense, popular singer himself.
A rash choice of her father's shatters her budding happiness, and she sacrifices herself for him, becoming an inmate of the Mansion of the Beasts. Amid the turmoil of preparing for her first concert, a web of brooding secrets from every corner of her new home threatens to choke her as a bizarre curse takes shape before her eyes, terrifying her with its reality in a world where it shouldn't be possible.
Torn between brilliant, passionate light and fiery, alluring darkness, impelled to find the truth in a sea of masks, held captive by her own code of duty... if Belleza does not make a choice, she'll doom not only her life, but her soul.
Beauty and the Beast meets Phantom of the Opera under glittering music stage lights in this tale of love and sacrifice vs. lust and selfishness.
3. What is your book's aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
Rooms silent because no one has laughed in them for years, teal, snarling cats, black, brightly lit stages, screaming fans, dark red, morose, tiny gleam of hope, dark purple, blood red roses, lightning, midnight, rain, gray.
4. Introduce us to each of your characters!
There are too many to introduce them all but the main characters, in a single word, are:
5. How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)
For this book I didn't have to do a lot of research. I already know the k-pop world from 3+ years of listening to kpop and reading news articles extensively and I've loved Beauty and the Beast for most of my life and know the story well.
I did read Phantom of the Opera and re-read several different incarnations of Beauty and the Beast, including Cupid and Psyche.
6. What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
Retelling a fairy tale I've loved since I was 3 years old with some new twists and setting it in a place and an industry close to my heart.
7. List 3 things about your novel's setting.
8. What's your character's goal and who (or what) stands in the way?
Saving her father from further disgrace. There's a lot standing in her way.
9. How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
I... can't say anything about that. Spoilers, sweetie.
10. What are your book's themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
Love. Hope. The dangers of selfishness and not learning or practicing self-denial. I can't really say how I'll want them to feel until I'm done writing it.
ALSO, I'm opening up this book for beta this year, so if you'd like to read it while I write it, leave me a separate comment with your email address and I won't publish it.