Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

FTF interview with author Jocelyn Koehler and giveaway!

Author Bio: Jocelyn Koehler grew up in the wilds of Wisconsin, but now lives in a tiny house in Philadelphia that is filled with books, tea things, and places to read, sleep, and write. She has worked as a librarian, bookseller, editor, archivist, cubicle drone, popcorn popper, and music store clerk. Her books are available through Amazon or through her publisher, Hammer & Birch. Her new book The Way through the Woods, a collection of fairy tales based in the mythical land of the Nine Kingdoms, will be available May 1.

What do you make of the resurgence in popularity for fairy tales? (Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsmen, all within a very short time)? Do you see it as a trend that will sort of peter out, or is it just getting started?

There sure have been a lot of movies and TV shows with a fairy tales theme lately. Partly, I think that cynical marketing types do work in cycles. Ten years ago it was all angels, all the time. Then vampires got big. Then zombies stumbled in (I fondly remember a time when not every classic novel had a "zombie" version). So fairy tales might be getting a "what's next?" push. However, I don't believe that fairy tale retellings will vanish next year. Whether it's books, film, or TV, people like these stories, which means that there will always be a market for them.

What impact do you think fairy tales have on society (especially with the same tales popping up in various forms in every society)?

No question... the impact is huge. The themes and messages from fairy tales are absolutely everywhere. During March Madness, the sportscasters drool whenever they get to talk about a "Cinderella" team that makes it to the "big dance." I think it's clear that almost everybody wants to live in a fairy tale of some sort, whether they recognize it or not.

Book in a Tweet: Your fairy tale in 140 characters or less?
Cindrelle defies her stepmother to attend a mysterious ball, falling in love with the prince who gives it. But who is he? Can he be trusted?

Favorite fairy tale:
Picking a single favorite is impossible, but I have to admit that Cinderella is right up there. When I started writing my retellings, the first one I completed was Ashes, Ashes, which is based on the traditional (pre-Disney) Cinderella story, complete with the three-night-long ball and the wish-granting hazel tree.

Most underrated fairy tale?
East of the Sun and West of the Moon doesn't get the attention it deserves. Where's that movie? Come on, one of the main characters is a bear.

Most overrated fairy tale?
I won't name names, but it rhymes with "schmilight."

Last year we asked everyone’s fairy tale hero/heroine name; this year, we want to know your fairy tale villain name:
My best friend once drew a picture of me and titled it Baroness von Blissblok. I'd wear all black, of course.

Using that name, give us a line from your villainous fairy tale:
The Baroness von Blissblok appeared in a cloud of swirling grey mist. "Fools! My tea was lukewarm today. I had to put it in the microwave for thirty seconds. As punishment for slightly inconveniencing me, I vow no one shall smile again!"

If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would they be?
1. the total extinction of centipedes
2. world peace
3. a long and happy life with my beloved (that one's half-granted already)

Best way to read fairy tales? (i.e. location, snacks, etc)
Think of all the things you should accomplish today. Write them down on a piece of paper. Burn the paper. Then grab your book of fairy tales and a fluffy blanket, curl up on your favorite couch or chair, and start reading. If you find yourself getting hungry, enchant a dog to be your servant (ineffective on cats, trust me). Have the dog make you a cup of tea or cocoa hourly, as needed.

If one of your books was being turned into a movie and you could cast 1 character, which character would you cast and who would play them?
I'd cast Tilda Swinton as the evil stepmother in Ashes, Ashes. Nobody does cool, competent scary like her!

Giveaway: Jocelyn has been generous enough to donate five copies of her book, Ashes, Ashes, to giveaway! It's only available as an ebook, which means that this giveaway is also international! Just leave a meaningful comment on this post and tell us what you liked best about the interview, or why you want to read her book! And, make sure you've filled out the giveaway form!

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FTF interview with author Jocelyn Koehler and giveaway! + TIME