Hey guys! I’m thrilled to have Danielle Shipley of Ever on Word on my blog again! She’s joined me before for a guest post, but now, yes, now, I have gotten to interview her! Yay!
I can try! – though goodness knows bios tie my tongue like little else; either starts me spouting poetry, or deflecting the conversation to my characters instead. Still, let’s see what kind of Dani-centric prose version I can cook up.
I’m the oldest of three girls, born and raised in the Chicago area, and given a homeschool education in which reading was probably the best thing I ever learned to do. Various music lessons also proved every bit as worthwhile as my parents insisted they’d be, if for no other reason than my minstrel characters trust me to figure out their songs. …And there goes the “C” word, not even get three sentences in. That’s me in brief, folks: Sticking to reality is not my greatest skill!
Where has your love for fairytales stemmed from?
Back in my golden ‘90s childhood, my favorite television shows were essentially story time at the library in the privacy of one’s own home; between the likes of “Reading Rainbow” and my mother, I was read to several hours a day. And of course a lot of the reoccurring stories were popular fairytales. I learned early that there is no single way to tell these stories – that in fact, these old tales practically beg to be re-imagined by each new storyteller who shares them. I guess it was only a matter of time before I decided I wanted one of those storytellers to be me.
What about the Wilderhark series has you most excited? Where did your ideas come from for this series?
Oddly enough to recollect, my earliest idea for what became The Swan Prince had nothing to do with fairytales at all – only, mainly, a boy who could turn into a swan. It wasn’t until I started putting words to the page (and went through a couple of false starts) that my imagination started blending elements from “The Wild Swans” and “Beauty and the Beast” into a new storyline. When I eventually got a whim to write a sequel, I went into it knowing I’d want to incorporate at least two fairytales again, and ended up drawing from twice as many.
That’s been the most exciting part for me: Figuring out which bits, pieces, and plot lines from popular fairytale lore I want to use, and how to give them a new spin within the context of the family saga The Wilderhark Tales was fast becoming. Ultimately, I want to give the feeling that the fairytales we know are the result of the Wilderhark world’s historical events getting warped and sensationalized as they passed down through the generations. Maybe fairytales have no “real” version, but it’s fun to pretend mine are precisely that!
You participate in Renaissance Faires, correct? Do you think that has inspired your writing or has your writing inspired your love for it?
This summer will mark my second year on cast at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha , Wisconsin , “where fantasy rules”; it’s like my motherland! While my love of the fantastic and fairytale-esque long preceded my introduction to Ren Faires, I do sort of have Bristol to thank for my self-publication of The Wilderhark Tales. ‘Twas a thrilling sighting of Robin Hood at the Faire that first inspired my beloved Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale, the start of an eventual trilogy which also features characters first met in Wilderhark. Hard on the heels of my decision to self-publish Ballad came the realization that it would make the most sense to put out its prequel series first. So huzzah for Bristol !
Do you think that you’ll ever write in another genre?
Oh, no doubt of it. The whole reason I like to write stories with some manner of fantasy element is that anything goes. So long as I don’t have to fret too hard about the rules of real life, I’ll follow my characters into whatever setting they want to take me. They even conned me into a book with a zombie outbreak during last year’s National Novel Writing Month, and zombies scare the mess out of me!
Congratulations on a story being published in an anthology! Can you share a little about that with us?
Ooh, I’d love to! To quote from the official press release: “On December 2, 2013, J. Taylor Publishing will release One More Day, an anthology of seven short stories written for young adults, with a world’s end theme…centered around what would happen if ‘tomorrow’ didn’t happen.”
I wrote my contribution, A Morrow More, after reading about the call for submissions via somebody’s blog; I wish now I could remember whose, but I didn’t make a note of it at the time, having no idea then that anything would come of my entry. Boy, was I ever a joyful wreck when the publishers told me they wanted my story – and again when they said they wanted to take on one of my novels to publish next year, too! Truthfully, I’m still kind of a joyful wreck, whenever I think about it too hard. One More Day in December, and Inspired in March, Wilderhark Tales before, after, and in between… My authorial life just shot into overdrive, world!
Where can we follow you and your writing?
Ah, yes, how’s the song go? “Gain new followers, and keep the old: One is silver, and the other gold!” Something like that. 😉
My blog, Ever On Word: http://everonword.wordpress.com/
My author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Danielle.E.Shipley.Author
And on Twitter, I’m Danielle E. Shipley @DEShipley.
I may be found lurking elsewhere, too, but these are the places that see the most of me. Seriously, I show up less often in my own kitchen than I do on Facebook. It’s a two-pronged problem, I’m afraid.
The price of being an author, I suppose, because that’s the same problem I have!
Thanks for joining me! Here’s what I had to say about Danielle’s novella when I received an ARC for review:
The Swan Prince: Book One of The Wilderhark Tales
The Swan Prince is a fairytale, in the length of a novella, that follows Sula and Sigmund on an adventure to break a curse they’re both under. An unlikely companion joins them as they are both on their way to break the curses they’ve been put under by witches.
Sigmund is cursed to turn into a swan at night, while Sula is being chased by a bear. Of course, as with all fairytales the story is never quite what you expect, and Ms. Shipley definitely had me guessing about the truth behind these curses. I was wrong a couple of times. 😉
Even though this is a short read, I believe it would’ve taken me no time to read it had it been a full-length novel. The journey was fun, and since I love fairytale retellings, this one is definitely a fun-read.
The only problem I saw with the book is that I wanted to see more character-relationship development. It seemed to me that the romance part just happened too quickly, but then again, most fairytales are like that.
Well done, I say. The words used were definitely “fairytaleish” in style, and I quite enjoyed that refreshing detail.
The Swan Prince is a beautifully-crafted tale in the Wilderhark series that leaves me begging for more. I want to know more and definitely see if this series has a “happily ever after” after all.
Four out of Five Stars!!
More about the book:
Release date = May 31st.
Paperback to be available through Amazon and CreateSpace for $7.99.
E-book for Kindle to be available through Amazon for $2.99.
E-book for Nook (and, I’m pretty sure, anything that can read an Epub file) to be available through BarnesAndNoble.com for $2.99.
Add to your Goodreads shelf! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17826115-the-swan-prince