When Inspiration Strikes
by Vicki L. Weavil
My debut novel, a YA Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE, is a retelling of H.C. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen.” I thought I would share the inspiration behind the story.
I was on Twitter one day last summer when I saw some agents and writers chatting about interesting concepts -- one of which was re-telling fairytales or folktales from the villain's point of view.
Hmmm.... I needed a new story concept, and I wanted to try my hand at writing Young Adult Fantasy.
I began to contemplate the idea, and one of my favorite literary fairytales popped into my head -- Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen".
I read a LOT of myths, legends, folktales, and fairytales when I was young, and this was one that always stuck with me. I didn't actually realize why until I started writing CROWN OF ICE.
You see, when I was a child, I was extremely sensitive. The slightest disapproving look could make me dissolve into tears. One of my doctors told my parents it was as if I'd been born with "no skin." Needless to say, this caused great problems. I was the "cry baby" and the "silly weeper." I was told to stop crying or I'd be "given something to cry about."
So, by the time I was nine, I did stop crying (at least in public). I built a wonderful mental castle and encased myself within its thick stone walls. I taught myself not to let anything touch me, so that nothing could hurt me. I buried my emotions.
Of course, this was not healthy, although as a coping mechanism, it did allow me to survive, and even thrive in certain parts of my life (intellectually, for example). But when I got older, I found that my survival tactics had created serious problems of their own. I then spent a significant amount of time breaking down my castle walls and learning how to really feel again.
So I began to contemplate the idea of a young (teenage) Snow Queen. A girl who had also once been hyper sensitive, but whose life had forced her to "freeze" her heart and emotions in order to survive. What would it take, I thought, for this person to come back to life, to truly feel again? Could she overcome her survival mechanisms and actually learn to care, to love?
The whole idea of freezing, of ice, of survival against the odds, of intellect vs. motions tied-in so beautifully with Andersen's concepts in "The Snow Queen" that I knew I'd found my story.
And that's how CROWN OF ICE came into existence.
For pictures that reflect my inspirations and ideas for CROWN OF ICE, check out my Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/vickilweavil/
About Crown Of Ice
Seventeen-year-old Thyra Winther's the Snow Queen -- and immortal -- but if she can't reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she's doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.
With time rapidly melting away, Thyra needs all the help she can steal. She kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, wagering that his mathematical skills can speed the reconstruction of the mirror. When Kai’s loyal friend, Gerda, sets out to find him, Thyra’s willing to outwit sorcerers, battle enchanted beasts, and wield any enchantment to thwart Gerda’s search.
But Thyra’s logical equations can't predict the effect of Kai’s presence on her lonely life. Her match in intellect, skill, and determination, Kai casts a uniquely human magic over Thyra.
If her frozen heart thaws, will all of Thyra’s careful calculations fail her?
About the Author
Vicki L. Weavil is represented by Jennifer Mishler of The Literary Counsel. Her Young Adult Fantasy, CROWN OF ICE, will be published by Month9Books in Fall 2014. She has also written two adult science fiction novels -- the first two books in "THE OTHERS" trilogy. Her next projects include writing a companion book to CROWN OF ICE and completing the science fiction trilogy.
Find her here:
What is your favorite fairy tale retelling? Don't forget to add CROWN OF ICE to your TBR pile. Big THANK YOU to Vicki for coming on the blog today and sharing a behind the scenes look.