You might recognise Danielle Paige from her best-selling ‘Dorothy Must Die’ series, now she’s back with her brand new novel, ‘Stealing Snow’. Danielle’s ‘Stealing Snow’ is a modern day retelling of the classic Snow Queen fairytale, based on the life of a girl who escaped from a psychiatric hospital. If that sounds right up your alley, you’re in luck! We’re giving away 1 of 5 copies to some lucky readers.
We sat down with Danielle to find out all about the new novel, her inspirations and asked her advice on how young people can get into writing.
What made you set the beginning of the story in a children’s psychiatric institution and have you had any experience of these institutions?
Snow has lived in two very different realms: our world and the fairy tale world of Algid. I wanted her to grapple with the two realities and her own identity. Whittaker, the children’s psychiatric institution, was the perfect backdrop for that. I hope that my portrayal is a sensitive one.
If you could take someone’s hand and freeze them like Snow did, who would you freeze?
There may be an ex-boyfriend or two or Donald Trump. Kidding. I do not envy Snow’s power in that respect. Everyone gets angry, but when Snow does, watch out.
If you had a magic mirror would you like to be pulled through to another land? Or would you prefer to take the route through the tree?
The mirror. Mirrors as portals fascinate me.
Snow has a tattoo of Algid on her arm, do you have any tattoos of a special place? If not, what would you get?
My characters have tattoos, but I don’t have any. I am not brave enough. I do not like the idea of the permanence! I would want to change it to something else. But if I were to get a tattoo, it would probably be a pair of red shoes for ‘Dorothy Must Die’, my first series. Or a crown for ‘Stealing Snow’.
The robber girls had dresses made of feathers and they could fly with magic. Would you like to be able to do that? If so, where would you fly to?
Creating fashion that can transport you was one of my favorite things. I would want to go to some fabulous, glamorous city—like London or Sidney or Paris—and see it via feathers.
Can you tell me about your character development process? There’s so many different personalities within the book, how do you intertwine them?
I used as much as I could from the original fairy tale, and I built from there. In the original story there is a Robber Girl. I decided instead to have a whole house full of them. The River Witch, the Witch of the Woods, Gerde, and Kai were all from the original story. Bale and Snow’s parents were my creation.
I used the original journey from the fairytale in which Gerde tries to save Kai from the evil Snow Queen, as my map. But instead, it becomes Snow’s journey. Snow begins the story unaware that she is the Snow Queen. Every character she meets takes her closer to figuring out who she really is and who she will choose to be.
If you could take any of the characters for afternoon tea who would you choose and why?
The River Witch and Snow. I conceived of the River Witch as the Little Mermaid’s daughter who, unlike her mother, chooses the water. She is powerful and a little creepy. And I would love to meet her. And of course, Snow, because who doesn’t want to sit down with their heroine?
What advice would you give to young people who want to become an author?
I think every writer’s road is different. I actually started out writing soap operas. For me, the key was to not be afraid to try new things. Try the idea that scares you instead of writing in your comfort zone.
And finally, when can we expect to find out what happens next to Snow?
I am writing it now! Snow is hurtling toward another confrontation with her father. But first, she has to track down the rest of the pieces of the mirror. Then she has to decide whether or not she wants to wear the crown or go back to her old life.