Tattered Slippers Blog Tour: The Dancing Princess by Kendra E. Ardnek
A Twist of Adventure #5
Plagued by nightmares for the last few years, Katrine only wanted answers. Instead, she finds herself trapped in a tangled web of melody as she tries to free a cursed king and his brothers. No one deserves existence such as theirs, but dare she risk her very life?
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1) What inspired this retelling of 12 Dancing Princesses?
The title. I wanted to write a retelling of 12DP that only had one princess, and was, essentially "half" the tale. (Once upon a time, I had a companion story to it called "The Twelve Princesses, but what it was about, I do not remember.) What happened instead a was that I wrote three lines, went "this feels Russian," and, next thing I knew, Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Wise had turned up to the party. And it became a genderswap.
2) What is your favorite fairy tale and why?
I have a list of about ten or so that I cycle through, and at this moment, it's The Little Good Mouse, which is an awesome tale of a princess who grows up to take back her kingdom from the king who conquered it when she was a baby - and the fairy that helps her and her mother. Really awesome tale that I will retell someday. I just haven't quite figured out how or where.
3) Which fairy tale has the best heroine?
I have a fondess for Delicia of the above, but I think I'll have to give this prize to Fairer-than-a-Fairy, of the fairy tale of the same name. A B&B/East of the Sun, West of the Moon esque tale, this story has one of the most natural, touching romances, she doesn't take a lot of abuse (I mean, she does spend the first half kidnapped by the the surly Lagree, but, one, she was six when it happened, and, two, Lagree wasn't that mean to her, when all was said and done, and the moment things went too far, she was out of there.) And then she traveled to the four corners to rescue her prince, who was trapped in a pretty sweet castle, I might add. I mean, all heroines in the ESWM/Cupid and Psyche branch of fairy tales are pretty awesome, but she gets extra points for it NOT being her idiocy that steals her prince and makes her have to go in search of him.
A close contender is the old woman in The Falce Prince and the True, because ... reasons.
4) Why did you choose to tell this story this way?
The Dancing Princess, as I said, started with a title and the "let's reduce it to one princess" concept, and just let it happen from there. Not a complete seat-of-my-pants affair, as I figured out what was happening about a quarter of the way through and wrote a very loose outline at that point, but it was very much a case of "let the story do what it wants."
5) What about fairy tales attracts you to them?
I like their cultural significance, both in a historic sense and contemporary. They are, in many ways, our strongest link to the values and morals of the past, and I like studying to see the patterns between them. And there are so many that are just ... weird. Most of them, really. They have a brand of logic all their own, and its glorious.
6) What other projects do you have in the works and when can we read them?
Up for preorder, we have The Merchant of Menace in October, and then Love and Memory next April, and after that, I have plans for celebrating my debut's tenth anniversary next August, and the next Arista Challenge will be releasing in October. Merchant is a mashup of The Merchant of Venice, Cinderella, and the Oddessey (with Pirates!), and is book 6 of the Bookania Quests. LaM, the long-awaited book three of Rizkaland, is the book where I finally have the crews of the first two books meet. And there is going to be a lot of pain, because adjusting to teen life in Earth is not easy when you ruled 25-30 years in another world. Debut-celebration plans are a top secret, but they will involve some more Bookania Short stories, and then the Arista Challenge theme next year is Snow White and Rose Red, and my offering for that will be a mashup of that and Sense and Sensibility. Yes, I keep myself busy, and yes, I'm insane.
7) Why do you enjoy writing and what is your favorite part of the process?
I love ability to create and explore possibilities. And my favorite varies from where I am in the process and how annoyed I am with the world. Right now, I'm rather leaning to the part where it's out of my hands and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Kendra E. Ardnek is the self-proclaimed Arista of Fairy Tales. She lives in the Piney Woods of East Texas with her dragon babies and massive herd of mini-giraffes, and she is still waiting for one of of her fifty nutcrackers to come to life and marry her. When not writing, you can usually find her sitting in a random box, and she's frequently known to act before she thinks.
Check out the rest of the stops on this blog tour here.