What is your process of choosing and then determining the best way to rebuild a fairy tale each time?
Melanie: It’s a little different with each story. If it’s the first book in a series, I start out with the fairy tale, then build a story around it using the elements I like most about the fairy tale. Otherwise, I start out with a main character who was a minor character in a previous story. Then I pick out a fairy tale that seems to work with that character’s situation and personality. It’s fun to take elements from the familiar story and twist them, or bend them to fit my own setting. I try to use as many familiar aspects of the fairy tale as I can.
What inspired the story in The Orphan's Wish?
Melanie: I was inspired by the Aladdin fairy tale as well as by my character, Kirstyn, who was one of the Gerstenberg children. She had been very quiet and unassuming in the other stories, so I had to think about why she was quiet and how her childhood had shaped her personality. I was also inspired by the character of Aladdin in the Disney movie as well as the traditional story, because he was so determined to win Jasmine’s heart. What would motivate my Aladdin to be so determined? What would that look like if there was no magic lamp.
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