Author Q & A · Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight and Q & A: Alicia Gaile

Happy Thursday Bookworms!

Today I am bringing you a spotlight and fun Q & A with author Alicia Gaile. I recently read her faerie tale mashup, Trial by Song, and will be reading the sequel, Cinders Dance, very soon. These two books are part of her awesome Faery Trials series, and she is also working on a mythological fantasy titled Braid of Sand, which I am extremely excited for! Below you will find my questions in bold aqua color, and Alicia’s answers in italics.

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Q & A:

What inspired you to write from the beginning?

I started writing when I was in elementary school because I was such a fast reader that I burned through my stack of library books so fast I needed new stories in between visits. As I got older and I began to refine the types of stories I wanted to read, it got harder to find exactly what I wanted, so I started writing them for myself.

Which faerie tales are your favorite?

My favorite faerie tales are ones that involve seeing through disguises. Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, and even King Thrushbeard. Tam Lin is also a special one for me because I love the idea of Janet standing up to the Queen of Faeries and winning back Tam Lin.

Which faerie tales are your least favorite?

Ironically, Snow White was always one I’ve had a hard time liking. In the traditional version, at best she comes across as naive, but mostly she just doesn’t seem very bright. I don’t like stories where the hero or heroine doesn’t have any agency over their own story. Someone else’s decisions direct her story and she just waits around for someone to either attack her or save her.

Do you prefer the Grimm’s version of faerie tales, or Disney’s?

I enjoy Disney movies, but I prefer the darker nuances that are found in the Grimm Brothers’ stories. Some of them are actually quite violent, like the Robber Bridegroom, or Bluebeard. Those scary or gruesome elements can the hero’s triumph more fun or (demise more tragic).

Can you tell me a little about the inspiration behind the mashup of tales for Trial by Song and Cinder’s Dance?

The seeds for Trial by Song were sown in a Snow White retelling I wrote in high school. In that story Jack was a young orphan taking care of his younger brothers/cousins, and when I thought about writing a sequel to that story with a Jack and the Beanstalk storyline, I realized how well the two stories worked together. It took a few years to start the version that became Trial by Song, but I can trace a lot of elements back to that story.

What drew you in the most about the Celtic mythology story you incorporated in to Trial by Song?

In most of the Faerie stories I’ve read, Faerie is often divided into courts. Sometimes it’s Seelie or Unseelie, other times it’s seasonal. When I was looking into some of the mythology about where faeries come from, I came across the Holly and Oak King storyline to explain the seasons and felt it gave a strong base to build the politics of my Faerie land around.

Is there one particular character you relate to in your stories?

I relate to Jack a lot. I think creativity often causes people to get caught in a tug of war between doing what they love or doing the responsible thing. I could spend my day writing or painting, or I could do the dishes and buy groceries for the week.

Which faerie tale would you want to live in?

If I could live in the world of a faerie tale, I think I’d want to be in Beauty and the Beast. Apart from the initial scare of meeting each other, she has it relatively easy. Haha.

What are some of your favorite movies and books?

The Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier played a huge role in shaping the way I decided to approach retelling fairy tales. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black is a good one too. For movies, The Mask of Zorro, The Princess Bride, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy are some of my favorites. I love that they all have a little bit of everything: great fight scene choreography, amazing costumes, casts with great chemistry and plenty of action, adventure, and romance.

Do you think you will continue to write faerie tales, or venture in to other genres?

I won’t say never in terms of what I will or won’t do in the future. Who knows what might spark my imagination in the future. I won’t always write retellings, but for now I’m thoroughly enjoying writing YA fantasy.

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About the Author:

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Alicia Gaile is the author of YA contemporary fantasy and fairy tale retellings. She wrote her first fairy story at the age of twelve after visiting the Goll Woods Old-Growth forest in Ohio with her aunt. She came across a meadow with a fallen down tree where she could practically see fairies and leprechauns dancing with unicorns in the dappled sunlight. After receiving a Creative Writing degree from Georgia College and State University she began writing early versions of Trial by Song while living abroad in southeast Asia. She currently resides in El Paso, Texas with her family and two dogs.

FacebookGood Reads / Instagram / Twitter / Website

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Alicia’s Books:

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Book Title: Trial by Song

Book Author: Alicia Gaile

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publishing Date: August 3rd, 2017

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

                       My Review

Synopsis: As the youngest of seven brothers born with magical gifts, Jack’s often felt he has something to prove. But revealing their powers makes them targets of the fae, who will stop at nothing to hide their existence from mankind. So when Jack sneaks out on Halloween to compete in a local Battle of the Bands, he breaks his family’s cardinal rule to guard their secret at all costs.

But old enemies have returned and new dangers are awake.

When Jack gets dragged through a portal and winds up in Faerie, he stumbles across an ancient relic he simply can’t leave behind. And escaping from Faerie is only the beginning as the harp’s former owner is determined to see that Jack pays for his crime.

With magic and monsters closing in from all sides, Jack must sever his ties to Faerie before the fae’s legendary Wild Huntsman comes for his soul.

           banlink           goodreads

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Book Title: Cinders Dance

Book Author: Alicia Gaile

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publishing Date: March 13th, 2018

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

             The Faery Trials #2



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Book Title: A Coat Red as Holly

Book Author: Alicia Gaile

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publishing Date: October 30th, 2017

Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

             The Faery Trials #0.5

Synopsis: The night she died, Gwen saw the creatures that hide in the shadows. When she came back, she learned that not all monsters have fangs.

When an accident forces Gwen to make a deal with a faery king to save her life, it comes with unexpected consequences. Left to carry her secret in a world that doesn’t believe faeries are real, she thinks she has no one to turn to when she really needs help. But on the longest night of the year, as she makes her way through the snow to Grandma’s house, she soon comes to realizes that the fae are the least of her problems.

Snow Wings Publishing

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