It’s time you knew the truth. I am obsessed with Denmark due to my deep Danish roots. I’m fluent in Danish and I love H.C. Andersen’s stories. Hence my retelling of his beloved The Wild Swans.
What’s your book about?
This is a modern version of the fairytale. You can read the original to understand the parallels.
Lotte (short for Liselotte) comes from a large family with six brothers. She has a great relationship with her brothers and as a high school senior, she feels like she would do anything for them.
She meets Chris, who is a mystery and a heartache. She enjoys being around him and dating him until she realizes that all she did was spend time with a guy who wanted nothing more than to change everything about her. In short, she ends the relationship. In short, he’s pissed.
A great misunderstanding comes between them—and basically, she learns that he is a sorcerer due to the fact that he curses her. He’s under the impression that she is in fact an enemy in disguise since his magic has no affect in her house.
The curse is an interesting one. Just like the fairytale, Lotte is cursed and loses her voice. In the fairytale, if the princess spoke, her brothers would die. In Lotte’s case, they sprout little feathers that cause a lot of pain to remove. She vows to stop talking until they figure out how to stop the curse.
Sam, her twin brother, makes the connection between her curse and the H.C. Andersen fairytale and they use the story to figure out how to cure their family of this curse. As Lotte learns more about the story, the more nervous she is about the parallels and if she wants the happy ending that seems to be allotted to her.
Until then, Lotte refuses to let the curse control her life. She takes ASL classes as a college freshman and learns a lot about having a voice when no one can hear it, as well as allowing others to into her life to help her and love her.
What makes your book unique?
I think it’s safe to say that having a character learning ASL is unique. I personally don’t know ASL, but I’m learning different words and phrases to incorporate in the story. Much of the dialog will be characters signing to each other.
My retelling is also unique because it’s based off of a not-so-well known story, rather than another Cinderella story. Because I knew that not many would even recognize the story as a retelling, Sam finds out about the story so everyone is on the same page. I’m not sure that many retellings have characters that are aware that they lead parallel lives with another story.
Who would be interested in reading this book?
If you’ve been reading H.C. Andersen tales due to the rise of Frozen, then you can’t pass up another story that is similar to his wonderful works. The audience is young adult and older.
What are similar reads?
Goose Girl, Shannon Hale
Princess Ben, Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale
Daughter of the Forest, Juliet Marillier