Even so, I have been pretty productive, working hard on my next Fairytale Collection novel. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, it’s me putting my own spin on some of my favorite fairy tales. I’ve always been a sucker for fairy tales. Back in the 90s, during what I like to think of as the golden age of Disney fairy tale films, I was a teenager. That didn’t stop me from going to see classics like The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. I couldn’t get enough of these movies. They fed my princess passions and then some.
The funny thing is, my love of all things Disney princess is completely out of character for me. Why? Simply put, I am one of the least girly women imaginable. I have never met a pair of lounge pants or an oversized T-shirt I didn’t like. I’m allergic to the color pink. I don’t wear makeup ever because I don’t like how it feels. I rarely wear jewelry. Skirts? You’re joking, right? I do like the occasional trip to the salon, I enjoy manicures and pedicures (even though I keep my fingernails very short and never polish them myself), and I love shoes. Still, even when you consider those last three things, I think it’s fairly clear that I’m the last person on the face of the Earth anyone would expect to be a fan of all things princess-y.
I do have to add a caveat here, though. While I adore the frilly dresses, elaborate hairdos, and ball scenes, my princesses must be feisty. Belle is my favorite. She loves to read, has definite opinions of her own, and is completely unimpressed by the town hunk because she knows he’s a shallow jerk. I’m also a fan of Tiana, who’s goal-oriented and determined to realize her dreams, and Anna because, while she does agree to marry a dude she met, like, five minutes ago, that subplot is turned on its head. She’s ultimately driven by sisterly love, to the extent that she’s willing to sacrifice herself.
These women stand in contrast to the Disney princesses of old. I’m a huge fan of love stories and romance, but love and romance are one aspect of life. I want my princesses to be warriors or trailblazers, women who are motivated by love of country or family or the desire to right the wrongs of society, so I write about them. Mira in The Eye of the Beholder is determined to be true to herself and stand up to the beast. Jess in Asleep is a warrior who must rescue her true love. Enter my third princess: Lucinda.
Lucinda is the leader of a secret organization known as the Ashes. The Ashes are fighting to free Falloria from the oppressive power of the nobles, who threaten even the royal family. She lives as a servant at her own estate, which her stepmother inherited when Lucinda’s father died. Though chafing under her stepmother’s cruelty, Lucinda plays at being the perfect servant, all the better to protect her secret identity.
Disenchanted with the elaborate charade court life forces him to play, Prince Benicio slips into the city under an assumed identity, eager for one last escape before his father’s grand ball, at which the king expects his son to choose a wife. Having lived a life of gilded isolation, the prince has no idea how dire the peasants’ situation is, and he realizes he’ll have to make a choice: stand with the people or continue to try to placate the nobility in the hopes of clinging to the throne.
Drafting of the novel is just about finished, and I expect to complete it this week. It’s a good thing the heavy editing will happen in September as both of my kids will be in school all day, which means I won’t have any excuses for procrastinating. The book has run much longer than I expected and I’ll need to wrangle the beginning into shape. To me, writing sometimes feels like riding a bull. The story has no desire to comply and walk docilely along the path I’ve paved for it.
After the Fairytale Collection novel, I have no idea what will be up next. I have some ideas for women’s fiction, and I’ve also made preliminary plans for an epic new adult fantasy series that will require serious world-building before I even think about starting to draft. Oh, and I also plan on starting a Wasteland series in 2015. It will be set in the same universe as my Contributor trilogy, but will take place at the same time as the events in Creators and focus on the people left outside of the domes. So, yeah, not much going on in my writing world, right?
I’d love to hear your feedback. What would you like to see me work on? Got any crazy ideas for me for NaNoWriMo? Comment away, or feel free to contact me at nicole (at) nciacchella (dot) com with your comments and suggestions!
To find out more about Nicole, visit her about the author page here.