by Chantal Gadoury
Publication Date: December 21, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Romance / Fairytale Retelling / Young Adult
Once Upon A Time…
A King makes a promise to his dying wife to marry only someone with her golden hair. The King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her Father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: Dresses created by the Sun, Moon and Stars and a Coat made of a Thousand furs. When she discovers his success, Aurelia decides to sacrifice her privileged life and escapes the Kingdom disguised in the cloak, and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.” Aurelia enters the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht where she is taken under the wing of the handsome Prince Klaus. Aurelia must face herself, her past and her fears in her journey of self discovery.
“Allerleirauh” is a Retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale classic.
Q&A with the Author
1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Alright! Well, I grew up in a small, colonial town named Muncy, deep in the Pennsylvania mountains. If you’re not familiar with the area, I’m about ten minutes away from Williamsport: Home of the Little League World Series. So when you’re watching baseball in August, and you see the beautiful green mountains – that’s where I’m from. I attended the Muncy Jr. Sr. High School, where I’d often write in-between school notes of far-away places, and dreamed what my life would be like once I left. I attended a nearby college, Susquehanna University, where the small-campus feel was just what I was looking for. People waved to each other as they walked by. Teachers knew you by name, and it wasn’t odd at all to have a lunch or dinner with them (or even be invited to their house for a class!) I was first an English Major, but after talking to a friend about how much I loved writing, decided to make the fateful switch to Creative Writing. It was then I felt as though I had found my calling. I had always been writing in High School, and even had been one of the first students to take the “Creative Writing” class offered there, but this was different. It was real, and I was surrounded by people who chose Creative Writing as their passion as well. My graduation year came all too fast, and I had earned a B.A in Creative Writing. I began what we all call: “Real World.” I did a few things, here and there. I followed my best friend – who became my boyfriend, and then fiancé – to Delaware, where he was from, and tried to start a life with him. It was there that I began to revisit old story ideas, and finished my first novel, “Seven Seeds of Summer.” A publishing company took a chance on me, and gave me the opportunity to publish! It was about a year late that I began the very rough outlines of what would become my novel “Allerleirauh.” Shortly after my Father died in August 2015, I knew once I gained some motivation – I wanted to do something with my manuscript. I had been reaching out to agents and publishing companies, but no one would give me a chance… So, in December, I took a chance on myself and self-published.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?
I was seven when my second grade teacher told us to write a story. I wrote a story about visiting my relatives in New Jersey. It was called “A Trip to New Jersey” – and it was followed by a third grade story called “Lyle Lyle is a Star for a While.” From there, I always had a notebook with me. I was always writing and creating stories. I suppose I could even go back further and say it really started in the days that my Mom would take me to the library, and we’d check out books and she’d always read to me. She filled my mind with imaginative worlds and characters. Without my Mom and her love of books, I’d never have the love of reading or writing the way I do now. But none-the-less, it began at a very early age for me, and just developed as time moved forward.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?
Growing up, I drank up R.L Stine’s “Fear Street Sagas” and read whatever sounded interesting to me. I read books by Alexander Llyod “The Black Cauldron,” “The Horned King.” I would sneak my Mom’s romance novels late at night and discover adult-themed love. I read Danielle Steele, and Robin McKinley, Donna Jo Napoli, Edith Pattou… I enjoyed going to the library and finding new titles and new authors. They have all sparked my imagination, and influenced me in my own style of writing. Fairy Tales, Love and Adventure – they’ve always been my “go-to” when it comes to “Authors I’d like to be.”
4) What does a typical day in your life look like?
And how does your writing routine fit into your day?: Read this, you’re going to discover just how boring my life is. I get up at 6am, get ready for work and leave by 7. I work from 7:30-4:00 at a tech school in Dover, where I answer phones, plug information into a data system, answer more phones and help students. When I get off at 4, I call my Mom and talk to her about our days. I wait for Rob, my fiancé to get home to our apartment, and normally we eat dinner. It’s mostly then that I make time for writing. If I have any down time at work (which isn’t often) I’ll write, but my real head-way writing is done at home. I shower and maybe write a bit more – paint, or skype my Mom – I’ll pull up Netflix to watch another episode of “The Office” and fall asleep. Very boring life.
Writing/Painting time is something that I look forward to if I’ve really had a bad day at work. It’s just time to relax and do something positive – be transported to a fantastic place with great characters.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?
I saw a cartoon version called “The Coat of Many Colours” as a little kid, in which the story was first shown to me. I eventually saw “The Storyteller’s” version and really wanted to retell my own version of the Fairy Tale somehow. I had tackled a tale in college, as a part of a writing class – and eventually took the manuscript I had begun and gave it another go! It was really just a lot of inspiration from other fairy tales, and put in a twist of my own!
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
It’s not the typical fairy tale. The difference is that everyone re-writes the classics; the fairy tales that we have all seen time and time again. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snow White – they’re classics, and they’re known (and sometimes over-used.) While my book is a fairy tale, and if it could sit on the shelves of others (which would be an honor) – my story provides a strong message. It tackles a hard topic and makes it relatable with an unfamiliar fairy tale (to most). It has a strong characters, and an even strong personality of its own. It’s about a Princess who has to take back her life, and her identity of who she is.
7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?
I keep saying that Prince Klaus is my favorite character, and perhaps because he is everything (in a way) that I’ve dreamed about growing up. He has attributes to Prince Eric and other Disney Fairy Tale Princes. But he also has some very human, and very real qualities that I’ve borrowed from others that I know. I think of bit of me is reflected through him, but maybe a bit more through Aurelia. I believe in love – in choosing love over all other things, in the way that Prince Klaus does. He knows he has a duty and respects that – honors that – but wants something more for himself. He tries to make her at home, tries to make the best of the situation, and he stands up for her – just the way that I try to do for my own friends. I’ve been told a few times by my relatives that I’m a “beautiful person – beautiful and sweet.” I think Klaus is too. It’s hard to not love him.
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?
I call it the “We are more” scene – where Klaus and Aurelia are in the forest, and he takes her to a small cottage. It’s when they finally connect, as more than just friends. I really had a fun time writing that scene. I’d even say it’s just my over-all favorite scene. The ending would be a quick tie – just because of how dramatic it is. I had a fun time too, writing it – giving Aurelia a chance to be brave. You’ll have to read it to find out what happens!!
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?
Essentially, I hope the reader feels empowered. For those who might have ever been abused in their life – to know that they are more, just as Klaus says. They are more than what has happened to them, or even how the world might judge them. They have the right to a happy life, and should fight to take their happiness back. If that isn’t relevant to the reader, just to take away a good feeling, a good story and share it with others. But I don’t think any reader will find themselves without some sort of message – whether it’s to be happy, to be brave, or to not judge – it’s a great book with a lot to offer.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?
I’m sure my hopes are the same as any author with their book. I hope for lots of readers to find it, and enjoy it. I’d love to have “Allerleirauh” be read by many – to be enjoyed and shared. It’s always been a dream of mine to be a full-time author, and if “Allerleirauh” could help pave the way for that, it would be completely fantastic.
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?
I’d like to get started with another novel. I’ve been thinking about a novel called “From Me, to You.” It would be a Young Adult Romance novel – something sweet and fun to read. I’ve thought about a book of poetry as well, or evens a new retelling of another fairy tale – I would just need to find the right story to tell. Everything is still kind of up in the air at the moment, but I hope to find my new voice, for the next story.
About the Author
Chantal Gadoury is a young author who currently lives in Dover, Delaware with her two cats, Theo and Harper and her fiance, Robert. Originally from Muncy, PA, Chantal appreciates the beautiful mountains and enjoys visits back to see her family. She also loves anything Disney and has a reputation of beating anyone at a mean game of Disney trivia. When Chantal is not writing, she enjoys painting, watching British History Documentaries, drinking iced-coffee and spending time with loved ones. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues on with that love of writing today. Graduating from Susquehanna University with a Creative Writing BA, writing novels has become a dream come true.
Excerpts available on Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/myworks/59554977-allerleirauh