You all know I love doing these creative author interviews, but I have to admit up front, one of the answers in today’s interview with F.M. Boughan made me giggle so hard. F.M. is the author of Cinderella Necromancer, a twisty Cinderella retelling, and the lady is fun to interview. Before we jump in, I asked her to tell us a bit about her book!
“Cinderella, Necromancer was once described by the magnificent E.K. Johnston as ‘what it says on the tin,’ which is about as accurate a description as I’ve ever heard it. The story is a retelling of the Cinderella fairy-tale, yes… but this time, there’s no fairy godmother coming to save her. Our heroine has to save herself! With necromancy! And uh… things take a turn. As one might expect.”
Interesting, right? Let’s see what else she has to say!
1. In Cinderella, Necromancer, Ellison has a chance encounter with the prince and wants to go to the festival to meet him again. If you were to plan a festival in Ellison’s honor, what would it look like?
Honestly? It’d probably be a smallish festival held in a rowdy tavern full of friendly townsfolk, her best friends, and the cleverest traveling musician available in the area. Ellison has fond memories of her father sneaking her into the local tavern to hear stories and songs when she was little — and she doesn’t get to spend a lot of time with her friends these days — so I imagine what she’d really enjoy is just a chance to kick back, be around loved ones, and eat a bunch of cavity-inducing desserts… though if I could manage to hand her some modern dental hygiene products for afterward, even better (who doesn’t love FREE TOOTHBRUSHES at a festival, am I right?!?). (K.M. sidenote: free toothbrushes for the win!!)
2. Ellison’s father owns a mansion. Pretending you were dropped into Ellison’s home, what kind of trouble would the two of you get into inside the mansion?
Well… considering there are secret passages throughout the walls (SPOILER ALERT, sorry), you’d better believe we’d be crawling around in the walls and being complete pests. Fake hauntings? Check! Moving objects from one room to another? Check! Eavesdropping on private conversations? Check! Stealing food from the kitchens and leaving it in the passages “for later” and then forgetting about it until it’s all moldy and smells bad? Double check! It’d be awesome. (K.M. sidenote: I’m totally tagging along…I’ll remember the food before it goes bad, so I’m totally pulling my weight here, right?)
3. Her stepmother turns Ellison into a servant in her own home. Which household chore makes you feel like a servant and why?
Laundry. I. Hate. Laundry. I think maybe it’s because it requires so many stages to do that it’s like three or four chores labeled as one. You’re not fooling me, Chore Chart! Laundry should count for triple, at least!
4. As a bellydancer, did you ever consider putting that spin on Cinderella? How do you think it would have changed the story?
BWA-HAHA. No. Never. It also wouldn’t have made a lick of sense, since this retelling is set in 15th-century Germany. How would it have changed the story…? Well, first it would have been set in a different country. In a different century. And Ellison definitely wouldn’t have been from a noble household, and the royal balls would have been waaaay different, and since the grimoire Ellison finds is based off a real-life 15th-century grimoire it’d mean the magic would have to change to be appropriate to the new location and time period and… yeah, we’re talking totally different book. That said, if someone writes that version, I’d read it in a heartbeat!
5. Ellison was never supposed to meet the kind prince, but when she did, it changed the course of her life. If you could have a chance meeting with any other author in young adult, who would it be?
Maureen Johnson and in no way is this selection a strategic choice in order to meet her super cool dog named Zelda, I mean that would just be weird, right? RIGHT? Exactly.
6. If the prince were to give readers a piece of advice for attending a festival, what would he say to them?
“Wear comfortable shoes.”
7. Cinderella, Necromancer is inspired by a real life book from the 15th century. If you could write any one real life event from your life into Ellison’s story, what would it be?
That time I was sixteen and drank so much coffee at Pizza Hut that the waitress cut me off because I was talking too fast and she was afraid of giving me caffeine poisoning but I was totally fine and not talking fast at all I mean what’s the harm in drinking 7 lukewarm cups of coffee in 20 minutes it’s totally normal and not at all dangerous to one’s health especially on an empty stomach because you’re still waiting for your pizza and really hungry and you’ve been waiting for like half an hour already and you and your friend are the only two people in the entire restaurant so where the heck is my pizza like it’s only a personal pan size how long does that even take to make wait hang on what were we talking about again?????? (K.M. sidenote: I officially need to be best friends with F.M.)
8. You’re a fan of fun hair colors. If you had the opportunity to create a hair color/style to go with your book covers, what would you choose?
I’d 100% make a gorgeous concoction of deep reddish-pink. Almost neon but not quite. It would look terrible on me! I’d wear it anyway.
9. Ellison must work to control her powers in the story. Do you feel like you have complete control over your characters or is it a fight to get them to cooperate sometimes as you write?
Sometimes they try to do what they want. Mostly I just speak sternly and threaten to withhold their denouement if they don’t behave. Secondary characters get to do whatever they want, though…
The groundskeeper wants to parachute off a building? Go for it, sir!
The family chef wants to eat an entire wedding cake in one sitting? Don’t let your be dreams, friend!
The royal messenger feels like driving a motorcycle through a flaming hoop to deliver royal party invitations? Have fun, dude!
The main character wants to wear a blue dress–WHAT?! NO, ELLISON, YOU CAN’T WEAR THAT BLUE DRESS, THIS WHOLE CHAPTER HINGES AROUND THE YELLOW, NOW GO BACK TO YOUR ROOM THIS INSTANT, YOUNG LADY, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE–
(K.M. side note: I think we might need to take a special class feild trip to hang out with the side characters….just saying…)
10. What’s one piece of fashion you’d like to steal from Ellison’s wardrobe?
I bet she has a really sturdy, practical pair of winter boots. Mine fell apart last winter and I need some new ones, and I get the sense that they just don’t make ’em like they used to these days…
(K.M. sidenote: Truth.)
Cinderella Necromancer can be found here! Want to learn more about F.M. Boughan?
Have an author you want to see put through their paces with one of my quirky interviews and/or live broadcast interviews? Let me know in the comments below AND be sure to tell me which of these answers from F.M. was your favorite!