Another week and another book signing at Parnassus Books in Nashville! This time, CJ Redwine is signing the second book in her Ravenspire series, The Wish Granter. The Wish Granter is a fairytale retelling, this time from the classic Rumplestiltskin. Even though this book is the second in a series, it can be read as a stand alone, set in the same world as The Shadow Queen, but the stories aren’t connected. CJ, in person, was so charming and funny! She should truly have a stand up routine because I could’ve listened to her for a lot longer. She started by explaining the story of Rumplestiltskin. I’ll try to paraphrase, below.
A father, who is a Miller by trade, boasts to his king that his beautiful daughter can spin straw into gold. His king calls him on it, and the daughter is left in a room full of straw despondent that she will not be able to fulfill this task. Rumplestiltskin appears and grants her one wish for a necklace she is wearing and he turns the straw into gold. The king, becoming greedy, gathers more straw. The girl bargains away her second and last piece of jewelry, a ring, to Rumplestiltskin and again he turns the straw into gold. The King, truly a greedy guy, gathers every piece of straw in the kingdom. The girl doesn’t have anything left to bargain with, but Rumplestiltskin says he will turn the straw into gold if she’ll give him her first born child when she is Queen. Thinking that would never happen, as she is a poor Miller’s daughter, she agrees. Low and behold, the King marries her. When they have a child Rumplestiltskin appears and demands the child. The Queen begs and cries for some way to keep her baby. He agrees if when he returns in three days she can guess his true name. He goes off into the woods laughing and dancing around yelling his name to the skies. Her parents, who had followed him overheard, and told their daughter. When she guesses his name correctly he is furious! The Queen afraid of his power banishes him from her kingdom.
Why did I tell you all of that? Well, CJ explained, The Wish Granter plot is based on the question, ‘What happens after Rumplestiltskin gets banished?’ After the Queen betrays his trust by banishing him, what are the consequences, what will he become? CJ went on to say that in The Wish Granter the character of Rumplestiltskin becomes a kind of mob boss. He still grants wishes, but instead of taking tokens, he now bargains for your soul. Serious stuff! But CJ describes all of the above with such jubilation and verve, that even knowing her books can be a little dark, it sounds like a lot of fun. My curiousity was peaked!
Does she have any other retellings planned for the future?
Yes! Her next book will be based upon the Prince and the Pauper, but will be set in an underground prison. (sounds kind of dark again, but again she made it sound like so much fun!) I think she also said there would be five books in the series, so we have more dark fun to come!
How does she do the research for the retellings?
She goes back to as close to the original tale as she can find and reads through it several times. Then she world builds, sometimes it takes as long as two years! She explains that the original storytellers don’t really do a lot of world building, so it gives her a lot of leeway to expand on. She tries very hard to make the retelling refreshing and new. ( I can tell you that is definitely the case, The Shadow Queen had a similar story structure, but she took it outside the Snow White box! Read my review here!)
How do you choose character names?
She creates an entomology for each kingdom. The Shadow Queen was an homage to the brothers Grimm so its entomology was Germanic. The Wish Granter is based on Greece. All of the food, names, plants, etc. are from that country.
What is your favorite type of scene to write?
CJ’s favorite scenes are when the characters are broken. Everything is stripped away, and then they have to overcome it. She asks herself how will they do that? That is her favorite thing to write. She also likes ‘almost Kiss scenes’.
What is her favorite book?
She has tons! She does really like Three Dark Crowns from Kindare Blake. Her favorite genre is fantasy.
CJ interspersed questions with gift giveaways, and her husband made cupcakes! Which were truly tasty. Her sister sells LuLa Roe and they gave away a few pairs of Valentine leggings and I won a pair! She also gave away little Wish necklaces that look like a bubble and have a piece of dandelion fluff inside. Very sweet. There’s my loot below…
I enjoyed this book signing every bit as much as the last and I think I’m hooked! I hope you enjoyed it by proxy. 💕 I’m looking forward to reading The Wish Granter. I hope you are looking forward to my review!
Oh! And of course I did get my picture taken with the author.