Q&A with Kristine Grayson & Contest: WICKEDLY CHARMING

Join me today in welcoming author Kristine Grayson to the Preternatura blog! Before turning to romance writing, Kristine Grayson edited the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction and ran Pulphouse Publishing (which won her a World Fantasy Award). She has won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and, under her real name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, the prestigious Hugo award. She lives with her own Prince Charming, writer Dean Wesley Smith, in Portland, Oregon.

            Her new book, Wickedly Charming, came out May 1; her next book from Sourcebooks Casablanca, Utterly Charming, will be in stores in October 2011. For more information, please visit www.kristinegrayson.com/ and www.sourcebookscasablanca.com.  The nice folks at Sourcebooks will be giving away two copies of Wickedly Charming today, so read through to the contest info at the end!
First, about Wickedly Charming:  He’s given up on happily-ever-after…Cinderella’s Prince Charming is divorced and at a dead end. The new owner of a bookstore, Charming has given up on women, royalty, and anything that smacks of a future. That is, until he meets up with Mellie…But she may be the key to happily-right-now…Mellie is sick and tired of stepmothers being misunderstood. Vampires have redeemed their reputation, why shouldn’t stepmothers do the same? Then she runs into the handsomest, most charming man she’s ever met and discovers she’s going about her mission all wrong…It’s only natural that sparks fly and magic ensues when these two fairy tale refugees put their heads-and vulnerable hearts-together…

Welcome, Kristine! What gave you the idea of taking fairy tale characters, bringing them into the contemporary world, and showing what happened after the fairy-tale ending? It’s such fun to read!

Thank you! I’m glad you liked it.  I write under a variety of names, and under my real name, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, I wrote a short story called “The Strangeness of the Day.” It was the first in the fairy tale/Greek Gods/Charming series.  My husband, writer Dean Wesley Smith, read it and said, “Where’s the novel?”  So I wrote the novel, Utterly Charming (which Sourcebooks will be reissuing in October), but it was such a departure from my Rusch books that I put it under a new pen name. And then I realized that more characters wanted their stories told.
            This book, Wickedly Charming, also comes from a short story, The Charming Way.  A lot of my books start as short stories.  I think I just like flirting with an idea before I get serious about it.
An interesting thing about the Charming series, to me, is that the characters are not ageless immortals trapped in 25-year-old bodies, but are actually trapped in nice, but middle-aged bodies. Why that decision?

Actually they’re not trapped in the bodies.  These characters do age, just slower than we do.  I explain it more clearly in Utterly Charming: they live thousands of years.  Right now, Charming (from this book) and Mellie are middle-aged.  They were young back in the (ahem) Middle Ages 🙂

How does Prince Charming, aka Dave, who is Cinderella’s prince, differ from Sleeping Beauty’s prince?

Sleeping Beauty’s Prince, who is the hero of Utterly Charming, is more traditional romance hero: an alpha male who knows he’s right. Cinderella’s Charming, the hero of Wickedly Charming,  has been beaten down by the world. He was in a terrible marriage and his father is a nightmare. So Charming, aka Dave, did what so many of us do: he retreated into books. That’s why he gets so upset when Mellie says she hates books. She hates the very thing that keeps him going.

What’s on your nightstand to read next? Do you read in your genre while you’re writing, or try to avoid it?

Usually I avoid the genre I’m writing in. And I always have a dozen books going at once. I just finished Julie James’ Just The Sexiest Man Alive, and Ian Rankin’s The Complaints. Next is Mary Jo Putney’s next Lost Lords book and Michael Connelly’s The Fifth Witness. I’m also reading Jonathan Strahan’s hard SF anthology, Engineering Infinity. On the nonfiction side, I just finished Greg Lawrence’s Jackie As Editor and I’m now reading The Best American Essays of the Year, edited by Christopher Hitchens. Yep, I’m an eclectic reader—which is probably why I’m an eclectic writer.

What is your favorite scene in Wickedly Charming?

It depends on the day.  I do like the fight with the other Dave. But I’m also fond of Charming’s daughters, Imperia and Grace. I hope to do some short stories about them. I need to deal with the troubles they’re having in their posh LA school.

I am still laughing at discovering PETA stood for People for the Ethical Treatment of Archetypes. Did you play around with other acronyms before finding that one?

Nope. That one came right out of the subconscious (and made me giggle).

I know that the next book to be release from Sourcebooks is Utterly Charming, which was the first book in the series, and that Charming Blue is the next in the series. Can you tell us a little about these books, and when we might see them in stores?

Utterly Charming will come out in October. In it, Prince Charming falls in love with Sleeping Beauty’s lawyer. Sleeping Beauty has been asleep—for her own protection—for a thousand years, while her Charming, whose name is Aethestan Blackstone (don’t ask) was awake.  Sleeping Beauty, aka Emma, is about to wake up, but Blackstone doesn’t want to know when because if he knows, then everyone will and Emma will be in danger. So he hires a lawyer for her—Nora Barr—and promptly falls in love with his real soul mate.
            Then Sourcebooks is publishing Emma’s story next, Thoroughly Kissed, and in it, our “charming” is a regular prince of a guy.  I can’t say more.
            After that, Sourcebooks will publish Charming Blue. The hero in that book is another Charming, but a fallen Charming: Bluebeard.  Yep. I’m writing a book with Bluebeard as the romantic hero.  I seem to like challenges.

Thanks for asking me to participate in your blog!  By the way, readers can find out more about my Grayson novels & short stories at www.kristinegrayson.com or about all of my work (fiction, nonfiction, romance, mystery & sf) at www.kristinekathrynrusch.com.

Thanks, Kristine! Want to win a copy of Wickedly Charming? Leave a comment, and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!

24 thoughts on “Q&A with Kristine Grayson & Contest: WICKEDLY CHARMING

  1. LOVE the twisted fairy tale feel of these stories. I can’t WAIT to start reading them.

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  2. The Charming series sounds simply charming and I love the original twists.
    Years ago, I used to live for the new Hugo award winners anthology to arrive at our public library. I poured over those books.
    I’m in awe of your accomplishment!
    Best wishes to Ms. Grayson.
    XXOO Kat

  3. I love the sound of this book and adapted fairytales are a favorite here.Great interview!
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  4. The interview was great. Now I want to read about these twisted tales.

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  5. this book sounds really interesting, love fairy tales related books!

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  6. Great, creative story ideas, and yes, so twisted! Used to love Fractured Fairy Tales as a kid on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show. But these would be more fun!

    Thanks, Suzanne for the great interview.

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  7. I love this new spin on the classic fairytale. It sounds very interesting. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  8. Sounds like a book I need to check out.

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  9. Great idea to use Prince Charming/fairy tales for characters in your books. Who could resist that much sought-after Prince Charming all girls dream of finding once grown into adulthood?

  10. You had me at Prince Charming!
    Not sure if the giveaway is International but if it is count me in 🙂
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