So be sure to post a comment then enter the RAFFLECOPTER Giveaway.
On to the interview…
CABR: “Operation Cinderella” (OC) has a refreshingly different plot while drawing from fairytale classics. What inspired the storyline/Suddenly Cinderella series?
HT: I grew up pretty much eating, breathing, and dreaming fairytales a la Walt Disney but also the classic versions, too. My first crush in elementary school was named Phillip and I thought he looked like the Prince Phillip of the animated Disney Sleeping Beauty fairytale.
Eventually I struck up the nerve to declare my feelings to Phillip just outside the lunchroom. “I…uh…really like you, Phillip.” He punched me in the stomach and walked away in disgust. After that, I stuck to the school library to get my fairytale fix. 🙂
Flash forward several decades…Happily my taste in “men” has improved considerably and my fascination with fairytales is as strong as ever. Fairytales are all about the underdog winning. Beyond that, fairytales teach us important lessons about life and how to win it — by being brave and honest and true, especially to ourselves.
In my “Suddenly Cinderella” Series, four unlikely Cinderella characters are helped along by fairy god friends and a just possibly magical pair of vintage Saks Fifth Avenue shoes. Some of the stories stretch the fairytale farther than others.
“A Cinderella Christmas Carol“, releasing this November as a “Flirt” novella, integrates elements of Cinderella with the Dickens’ classic. The twist: the heroine is Cinderella and Scrooge! “Project Cinderella” (February 2013) takes place on the set of a reality TV show where the makeover contestant hero is the Cinderella character as well as the Ugly Duckling-cum-Swan. His Princess Charming is fashion photographer, Francesca (Ross’s ex in “Operation Cinderella“) who badly needs to learn that true beauty comes from within.
In the series finale, “The Cinderella Caper” (June 2013), Cinderella is a plus-size Greek American personal chef — readers first meet Stefanie in “Operation Cinderella“ — who us forced to make fat-free meals for her diet-obsessed stepmother and stepsisters. It’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” meets Cinderella.
HT: I’m a big Fan Girl of “Once Upon a Time” and the program certainly takes liberties with the original stories, along with mashing up characters from various worlds and landing them all at some point in modern day Maine, and viewers, including me, seem to love it. But then I think a lot of the power of these archetypal tales is the timeless truths they tell.
In “Operation Cinderella“ and the other books in my “Suddenly Cinderella” series, I start with the premise of Cinderella and then shape it to make it relevant to contemporary characters and situations. Some purists may have a problem with that, but I hope that in the main readers will appreciate — and end up cheering for — my four unlikely Cinderellas. a Rafflecopter giveaway
CABR: So can we look forward to future series from you via Entangled Publishing?
HT: Well, I hope so, Sasha. 😉 To keep the series momentum going, we decided to release the books 3 – 4 months apart, so at the moment I’m super focused on not only meeting back-to-back book deadlines but giving every book my 100 percent personal best as an author — and then some.
CABR: I wish you the best of luck with that. 🙂 Deadlines aside, did you struggle while writing any part of OC or was it a fun ride?
HT: The middle of a book is always hardest for me and “Operation Cinderella” was no exception. Macie’s undercover revenge operation has a lot of moving parts — her loyalty to her managing editor back in New York, some of which is misguided, some not; the assistant editor with whom she’s supposed to be coordinating; and the digital age culture of the 24/7 news cycle, which didn’t exist in the mid-90’s when I first started working as a magazine freelancer and contributing editor. I wanted to make sure I dealt with those pieces while developing her and Ross’s romantic relationship.
CABR: What’s next for you?
HT: I have a Regency-set historical series I’d love to finish as well as a women’s fiction work I have been picking up — and putting away again — for the past five years. And I also do travel writing on a freelance basis for BootsnAll and EuropeUpClose.com, so between those projects and managing our Lady Jane’s Salon (www.LadyJaneSalonNYC.com), I keep busy. 😀
TRIVIA TIME :D
CABR: Which character from fiction, yours or another author’s, would you like to spend time with and why?
HT: Rhett Butler from Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” if only because I’ve been hanging out on a cliff for the past thirty years since reading the book. Do you really not give a damn, Mr. Butler, or was that just prideful posturing? Inquiring minds…
CABR: If you could be someone else for a day, from any time in history, who would you be and why?
HT: Anne Boleyn but only if I could have the chance to change the course of history. Namely keep my mitts off the married man, king or no, and find a way to get myself out of England and back to the French court instead. ;D
CABR: Rhett and Anne, what a combo! 🙂 I had such fun chatting with you Hope and I look forward to having you back on Caribbean Accent Book Reviews in the future.