A Girls Guide to Fairy Tales
What a pleasure to be able to kick off the newest feature on my blog, Book Nook, with this wonderful little gem! And it is even MORE of a pleasure, and an honour, that I get to interview the author herself right here on Cherry Blossom Boutique!
I found AGGTFT via a twitter/facebook page dedicated to chicklit. Having been burned before when purchasing books based on on-line recommendations, I swore I would never do it again. But when I saw this sparkling temptation (at a great price), I thought, oh why not.
What a great find! Not only is A Girls Guide To Fairy Tales fun and charming, but it is so enjoyably constructed I couldn’t put it down! (even though I was meant to be practicing for a piano exam…)
The book is about 4 girl friends, the English variety (not Manhattanites), who are each going though their own daily issues – love, work, self esteem, wardrobe dilemma’s, kick-starting a career as a Broadway star…you know, the usual. I loved that even though Laurey captured each of the different women’s unique personalities, I could find something in all of them to relate to. OK, maybe not taking the stage – naked – for a very important role in a very important play…but I definitely felt akin to every one of the women in the story at some point or another in their own personal journeys.
I loved that each chapter is written from a different viewpoint, of one of the friends, and that each chapter ends with you wanting to know what happens next! The beauty of the flow of this book, is that you then have to read 3 more chapters to get to the next part of ‘insert-protagonista’s-name-here’s story. Oh, Laurey, you crafty scribbler you ;)
When the girls get together, it’s as though I am there. I have BEEN there, only the group of girls is my own little cluster here in South Africa. How rare that a fun and heartwarming book captures elements of reality in a way that transcends continents!
I found myself laughing out loud at both Issie’s and Clare’s blind dates, having been in similar situations myself, ranging from the socially awkward to a particularly cave-manish face-palm specimen who had a very special way of charming the ladies. I felt deeply for poor Sophie who felt immediately less than worthy when she found out about her boyfriends newest employee, the drop dead gorgeous and can’t-blame-her friendly potential other woman; All the while, Sophie’s teenage language filled with OMG’s and WTF’s endeared her to me even more, and the scene where she hides eating a chocolate from her boyfriend is SO me - I couldn’t stop laughing! Maddie’s desire to open her own cake shop is one I would never have the guts to do myself, but one I would always encourage. Go Maddie! And of course, any book that has a ‘glittery shoe’ incident is right up my alley – fairy tale style!
Without further ado, I would like to introduce the lovely lady who made this gorgeous novel happen - Laurey Buckland. Take it away, Laurey!
Thank you so much Pami (aka Cherry Blossom) for hosting me on what I can only describe as a powerful-punch-of-pink blog which I love. What I don’t want to do is bog your dear readers down with reams of rambling statements of what ‘inspired me’ or ‘why I decided to write the novel’. That will bore them senseless. What I will simply say is that I thoroughly enjoy being creative and was inspired by my own life and those of my girlfriends.
I felt that the stories from our childhood related to those lives we live and the problems in them. How many of us are always looking for faults in ourselves before someone else can point them out? How many of us pretend to be something we’re not and adopt a false persona just to get by from day-to-day? How many of us would rather believe the worst than hope for the best? And how many of us believe our worlds are topsy turvy and should be something more? If you’re not one of these women, I envy you. A lot of us are shaped by society to want the mythical perfect man and to want to be perfect ourselves. Believe it or not, our fairy tale heroes and heroines have all been there before us: The Ugly Duckling; Pinocchio; Snow White; Alice...
There’s no need to go into too much detail about each of my character’s problems right now. For $1.16/£0.76 I’m hoping you will not feel it an expensive burden to discover them for yourself. However, I do hope you will relate to one of their experiences. I wanted them to be the Every Women of chicklit. I want their stories to resonate somewhere in each of your perfectly formed, feminine physiques. And if you’re wondering about happily-ever-afters, let’s just say I’m a huge romantic.
Pami has set a few questions for me to answer, so here goes:
Tea or Coffee?
Despite being British, it's coffee all the way for me. I would never wake up otherwise, although I've heard that half an apple is just as likely to help wake you up in the mornings. Think I'll stick with my cuppas though.
Sparkly heels or ballet flats?
Depends on the occasion. However, if we're talking about what I feel super special and sexy in, then it's sparkly heels every time. In fact, the sparkly heels I mention in A Girl's Guide to Fairy Tales were based on ones I'd bought the day I wrote the chapter they feature in. Oh, I felt like Dorothy herself wearing those beauties but instead of "there's no place like home", it was a case of "there's no place like a dance floor".
Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds. Diamonds. Diamonds. After all, they are a girl's best friend.
Red or White? (wine of course)
Neither actually. I'm a rosé girl! And if there are bubbles on offer I'll take them, even though they do strange things to my brain.
Audrey or Marilyn?
Hardest question of the lot! But after careful deliberation I've decided it has to be Audrilyn!!
If money wasn't an issue, where in the world would you live and why?
Wherever my family was....but seeing as money isn't an issue in this scenario, I'm guessing they could come with me. Therefore, I think I'd go back to Italy. I lived there when I was very young and have extremely fond memories of my life there. It is rich with history, which I would appreciate now I'm older (and wiser I hasten to add) and finally, with it being the most romantic country in the world (stereotypically or not) it would be the perfect setting for another chicklit venture.
What is your favorite book of all time? (or top 3 if you cant choose) (or, if you are like me, top 5)
I very rarely read a book more than once but if the story has gripped me, then I don't need to; it's embedded in the brain. I'm a hopeless romantic but love a bit of fantasy fiction too. Therefore, my top 3 are:
1)Jane Austen's Persuasion. I love P&P too, but the love between Anne Elliot and Wentworth is (dare I say it) more romantic than Darcy and Elizabeth. Controversial!
2)Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. This is where Rowling's world starts to turn truly dark and interesting. What an imagination that woman has.
3) Roget's Thesaurus - gotta love a book that can turn dark into tenebrous and light into resplendent.
Who should make the first move? Man or woman?
Another cracking conundrum here. But I'm going to go with *insert drum roll here*....the man. I believe men bounce back from rejection better than women and let's face it, when would a guy refuse anything with breasts and a pulse?
For those of you who do want to learn a little bit more about me (you just might) then you can visit my blog http://laureybuckland.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-me.html
However, my answers to Pami’s questions should have told you everything you need to know.
And finally, for those of you who are still reading this far, here’s my novel’s synopsis in a bit more detail.
For daydreamer Maddie, obsessive compulsive Clare, over dramatic Isobel and happy-go-lucky Sophie, life is more a world of tragic than magic.
For Maddie it’s a constant battle against the monotony of a job she hates while her heart aches to follow her dreams of setting up her own cake-making business and turn her talent into a career. But will she escape to the world where she feels she truly belongs?
Clare's inability to banish the image of the ugly duckling she remembers hampers her ability to believe she is good for anyone or anything. After being coerced by well-meaning friends to sign up to an online dating site, she soon starts to realize that looks aren’t perhaps everything and that she is just as quick to judge a book by its cover.
Isobel has the looks, the figure and the confidence – or so it appears. After landing the lead role in a new play written and directed by the beastly Guy Edmundson, she follows her mother’s advice to find a gorgeous hunk in time to escort her to the after-show party. But it’s only when she cuts herself free from the ties of a fake persona and stops living up to other people’s expectations that the unexpected happens.
Sophie has the perfect job and the devoted boyfriend who worships the ground she walks on. But when she chooses to doubt her own worth and believes in a poisonous rumour, it tears her fairy tale world apart. Can she find the magic to piece it back together?
It is also available on iTunes.
Feel free to get in touch and tweet me @LaureyBuckland
How gorgeous is Laurey's cat!? And the sparkly shoe that inspired some of the fairy tale...I love that it exists in real life :)
That's it from me for now. I hope you are inspired to buy and read the book - and let me know what you think!
Love, lust and fairy-star-dust