INDY AUTHOR TALK WITH – Fairy Tales by Liz DeJesus

Liz was one of the first supporters of Nerd Girl Official and has remained a fan ever since!  She is #AwesomeSauce!  I reviewed her novel, First Frost and loved it (  I DO PLAN ON READING First Frost again before I read/review Glass Frost in a few weeks; it’s just that kind of book.  PLUS I need a refresher.  One of our retired #NerdGirl reviewers use to read every book in a series before she would read the new release and I will be doing just that.

Fairy Tales have been re-told over the centuries to boys and girls, so they would be good.  So there life would have meaning.  Girls could dream.  Boys could reach for the stars.  They needed something to base their lives off of and grow!  The Brothers Grim collected much of the fairy tales in the late 18th Century.   It was their obsession and now it’s ours.   Their stories are still being retold and reworked but I never tire of them.  Liz is a hopeless romantic like most of us girls.  We just want our prince, our king, or our beast. (Sly Grin)

I hope you enjoy this installment of Nerd Girl’s Indy Author Talk with Liz DeJesus ~

Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl #NerdGirlOfficial

 firstfrost-500                  Dragon Drop

I Love Fairy Tales

Anyone that knows me, knows that I love fairy tales. Actually I take that back…I’m obsessed with fairy tales. One of the first books that I ever bought with my allowance was English Fairy Tales. It was hard cover, with yellow cloth and it has a picture of a giant holding a tiny ax. I was eleven years old at the time. I was lonely, nerdy, didn’t fit in with anyone at school and the only escape that I had was in books.

Anyway it’s safe to say that I quickly became obsessed with fairy tales. I devoured books like Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, Alice in Wonderland, among others that I’ll list some other time. :)


Here is a list of my favorite fairy tales and why:

1. Snow White ~ First story I ever read that featured a brunette. But I like Snow White because she is complicated; she lost her mother, and then her father. She was left with a hateful stepmother that envied her, tried to kill her and she overcame all of these different obstacles: being poisoned with a comb, strangled with ribbons and then ultimately killed with a poisoned apple. I think it was Snow White’s vanity that killed her (because the seven dwarves warned her not to let anyone in and she disobeyed). She had a lot of harsh lessons to learn. This is why she’s my favorite princess.

2. Alice in Wonderland ~ This story is just plain fun. White rabbit, mad hatters, talking caterpillars (that smokes a hookah, thankyouverymuch), a crazy-head-chopping queen of hearts and a very confused little girl named Alice.

3. Toads and Diamonds ~ This was one of the first fairy tales I read and was absolutely fascinated by the story of these two sisters.

This fairy tale is a little obscure so if you’ve never heard of it, here’s a little info I got from Wikipedia. I first read about it in Michael Hague’s Tales of Charles Perrault.

A bad-tempered old widow had two daughters, her older daughter was disagreeable and proud but looked and behaved like her mother, and therefore was her favorite child. She and her eldest daughter badly mistreated the woman’s younger daughter, who was sweet, courteous, and beautiful, but resembled her late father.

One day while drawing water from the well, the younger daughter was asked for a drink by an old woman. The girl politely consented and after giving it, she found that the woman was a fairy, who had taken the guise of a crone to test the character of mortals. As the girl was so kind and compassionate toward her, the fairy blessed her with having either a jewel, a diamond or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke.

Upon arriving home and explaining why she took so long to her mother, the widow was delighted at the sight of diamonds, pearls and roses falling from the girl’s lips, and desired that her favored eldest daughter, Fanny, should have the gift as well. Fanny protested, but the widow forcibly sent her to the well with instruction to act kindly toward an old beggar woman. Fanny set off but the fairy appeared as a fine princess, and requested that the girl draw her a drink from the well. The elder daughter spoke rudely to the fairy and insulted her. The fairy decreed that, as punishment for her despicable attitude, either a toad or a snake would fall from Fanny’s mouth whenever she spoke.

When Fanny arrived home, she told her story to her mother and disgusting toads and vipers fell from her mouth with each word. The widow, in a fury, drove her younger daughter out of the house. In the woods, she met a king’s son, who fell in love with her and married her. In time, even the widow was sickened by her older daughter, and drove her out, and she died alone and miserable in the woods.

I’m using these characters in the sequel to First Frost. Safe to say…I’m having tons of fun.

4. The Three Heads of the Well ~ I like this story because the main character sets out to seek her fortune.

This is another slightly obscure fairy tale:

In the days before King Arthur, a king held his court in Colchester. He had a beautiful daughter by his beautiful wife, but when his wife died, he married a hideous widow with a daughter of her own, for her riches, and his new wife set him against his daughter. His daughter begged leave to go and seek her fortune, and he permitted it, and his wife gave her brown bread, hard cheese, and a bottle of beer.

She goes on her way and sees an old man sitting on a stone. When he asks what she has, she tells him and offers him some. After they eat, he tells her how to get through a hedge, and that she will find three golden heads in a well there, and should do whatever they tell her.

The heads ask her to comb them and wash them, and after she does so, one says she shall be beautiful, the next that she will have a sweet voice, and the third that she shall be fortunate and queen to the greatest prince that reigns.

She goes on, and a king sees her and falls in love with her. They marry and go back to visit her father. Her stepmother is enraged that her stepdaughter and not her daughter gained all this, and sent her daughter on the same journey. The daughter was rude to the old man, and slighted the three heads, and they curse her with leprosy, a harsh voice, and marriage to a cobbler.

She goes on. A cobbler offers to cure her leprosy and voice if she will marry him, and she agrees.

Her mother, finding she had married a cobbler, hangs herself, and the king gives his stepdaughter’s husband a hundred pounds to quit the court and live elsewhere.

5. Beauty and the Beast ~ I love this fairy tale because the moral of the story is to search for inner beauty. And of course my favorite is the Disney version…seriously…I would totally marry the Beast just for the library. I remember the first time I saw the movie and my jaw dropped when I saw the library scene. I wanted to live there. :)

6. Snow White and Rose Red ~ Sometimes they refer to Snow White as Rose White. I like this story because they seem to get into mischief with the dwarf. Some of my favorite stories have bears in them. LOL. I wonder what that says about me? Hmmm…I wonder.

7. Cinderella ~ Classic fairy tale. It has everything, wicked stepmother, wicked stepsisters, glass slippers, fairy godmothers, a ball, and a prince. What’s not to love?

Hint, hint, Cinderella’s glass slipper will be a major item of interest in the sequel to First Frost. :)

Anyway, those are just some of my favorites; I had to stop myself from adding more because otherwise this would’ve been a ridiculously long post. I guess some people would find my fascination with fairy tales strange, but I think we all need a little magic and whimsy in our lives. This is why books are crucial to our existence. It’s a safe way to escape. You might wonder why so many writers use fairy tales in their writing. My response? WHY NOT! All of these stories are just an endless fountain of inspiration.

To find out more about Liz DeJesus and her work visit her wonderful links:

Q&A with Liz

 fairy me

Q. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I started writing when I was about 8 years old. The very first book I wrote was children’s book titled PiRats (rats that were also pirates). But it was mostly because I wanted to be just like my mom who was also a novelist. My very first novel was titled Note to Self and I started writing it when I was 18-19 years old and it was based on my life. It’s currently out of print but it’s the book that put me on the path I’m in now.

Q. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?

Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore and Girl Talk by Julianna Baggott.

Q. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?

My characters are constantly running around in my head. It’s like being the good kind of schizophrenic.

Q. What motivates you to write?

I don’t think there is one clear thing that motivates me to write. It’s almost a compulsion at this point, any time I don’t have a pen in my hand I feel incomplete. Like there’s a phantom limb. But the main reason I write is because I have something to say and I want the world to know what is running through my mind.

Q. What is the hardest part of writing?

The very beginning. Staring at a blank page, your heart thumping against your ribcage, the cold sweat just before you get ready to type that very first sentence. Once you fill that first page it gets easier after that.

Q. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learn something new with every single book that I write. That’s another aspect I love about being a writer. It’s never boring. I’m always learning. And it’s mostly because I didn’t go to school to become a writer. I learned by reading books by other amazingly talented authors, articles in magazines and how-to-write books. But the main thing I learned early on by working with my awesome editor Shonell Bacon was to show and not tell. That was something I struggled with early on.

Q. Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere! LOL Songs. Poems. Dreams. Laughter. Fairy tales. Clouds. Life is chockfull of inspiration.

Q. What does your family think of your writing?

My family is extremely proud and incredibly supportive of my writing. My husband, Kurt and my kids have been amazing throughout all the ups and downs of my writing career. Especially my parents. They are amazed at how much I’ve accomplished. My in laws are incredible too, they take time out of their busy schedules and they babysit my kids so that I can go to book signings, conventions and book festivals. I couldn’t do half of the stuff I do without the support of my family. Everything that has happened to me so far has been because I have such an amazing family.

Q. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?

Never give up. Listen to your editors, they aren’t trying to change your story. They are trying to make it better. Learn how to market your book. Read the contracts thoroughly.

Q. What book are you reading now?

The Signature of all Things by Elizabeth Gilbert.


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The NerdGirl

Blogger, Reviewer, Promoter extraordinaire, I don’t think you will find ANYONE that loves books more than her. Gladys will read anything but prefers paranormal and fantasy. She likes historical and some contemporary ….. as long as its not predictable.
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