I know that I’m doing a lot of tags at the moment, but that’s because they’re quick, easy and fun! I have some very philosophical, deep sort of posts coming up, but I need some time to think these through and write and edit them. So for now, we’re going to do some tags!
Celeste sort of tagged me for this one about a month ago and it looked like a lot of fun. Generally, I’m not really a Disney person (yeah, I know. Don’t come at me like that) but I like talking about my WIPs and all that, so let’s get into it!
(Also, unless otherwise specified, I’ll be talking about Wattle Fires!)
1. ALADDIN — Poof! A genie appears and is willing to grant you ONE wish to fix your current WIP. What do you wish for?
I would wish for some clarity as to what needs fixing in Wattle Fires. I know there’s a lot wrong with it, but I’m just not sure how to fix them. I also need some clarity on the plot…it’s quite confusing and I am confused, and the one person who has read the opening chapters was also confused.
Yeah…it’s got issues.
2. LION KING — If you had to retell a Shakespearean play using animals as the main characters, which play would you choose and which animals?
I’m not familiar with most of Shakespeare’s plays, but I would love to do Macbeth. Maybe with dogs? Or with otters. I don’t know which would be better. I have written a novel where all the characters were anthropomorphic otters, so it would be familiar territory for me.
3. POCAHONTAS — Have you ever pulled inspiration for a story from history, and what was it?
All the time! Wattle Fires is a retelling of the lives of King Charles I and Marie Antoinette and so a lot of the plot is based on the English Civil War and the events leading up to the French Revolution. I also drew a lot of inspiration from the lives of King George V and VI and Queen Henrietta (Charles’ wife).
Trust me, the amount of books on the English Royal family I read were astounding and I’ve weave a lot of the details i learnt into the plot and setting of Wattle Fires.
4. SNOW WHITE — What was the very first story you ever wrote?
The first “proper” story I wrote was the otter story I mentioned above, actually. I wrote some things before that, but I consider Otter Storm to be my first actual story. The very first story was so long ago I wouldn’t even be able to remember, to be honest.
5. MULAN — Who is the strongest character you’ve ever written and what made them strong?
This question isn’t fair at all! All my characters are strong in one way or another and picking one out of all the characters I have (even if I narrow it down just to Wattle Fires) is really difficult.
Yilla is probably one of my strongest characters, physically, mentally and emotionally. Tahitoa is also very strong (my dear, sad boy). Plus, both of their arcs centre around becoming strong in unconventional ways and learning that weakness is not the same thing as showing emotion or being kind.
Unconventional strength is one of my favourite tropes.
6. STAR WARS — If you had to live in one of the worlds or setting you’ve created, which would it be and why?
Probably The Dreamland, the world of Wattle Fires. Futeristic Australia, the setting of TSFI is depressing and dystopian, whereas the Dreamland has its issues, but also a lot of beauty and unique culture. I think living there would be lovely.
7. ANTHEMS — Which Disney song(s) would you put on your writing playlist?
While I’m not sold on most Disney movies, I love Disney songs! I even have a bit of a list for Wattle Fires:
-“Be Prepared” from The Lion King. the whole plot of WF is an attempt to usurp the king, so this definitely applies!
–“Reflection” from Mulan. Tahitoa really struggles with feeling that he isn’t good enough, that he’s a failure and that the mask he puts on for the rest of the world isn’t who he really is.
-“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. This would be the anthem song of practically all the girls in WF, but particularly Puatea and Heirani. Both struggle with their dedication to their duty vs their desire to be free.
-“Mother Knows Best” from Tangled. Like Rapunzel, Tahitoa grows up with a domineering, ambitious and emotionally manipulative mother. She convinces everyone around her, but particularly Tahitoa, that they can’t survive without her, and she manipulates everyone (especially her husband the High King) into doing what she desires.
-“Speechless” from Aladdin. I know this song is supposed to be a feminist anthem sort of thing, but I really like viewing this song from the point of view of Jasmine’s royalty. Looking at royalty over the years, particularly princesses and queens, but all of them really, they’re often puppets of more domineering, powerful people. One of the climaxes of Tahitoa’s arc is him deciding that he isn’t going to be anyone’s plaything anymore, so I like to see this song as one of his anthems.
8. RETELLINGS — Which fairytale movie would you want to retell?
I’ve been working on a Little Mermaid x King Arthur retelling for over a year now. While I love the plot and general aesthetic of the story, but there are several details that I haven’t been able to work out and these have kept me from the editing the story.
I do love it though. Basically, Morgan curses a young girl who strays into her realm to become a water nymph in the service of the Lady of the Lake. When young King Arthur arrives at the lake to receive Excalibur, Nimue–the nymph–falls in love with him. She later makes a deal with Morgan and then saves Arthur from falling into Morgan’s clutches…
Alas, it is based more on the original tale than the Disney version.
9. FROZEN — Which character that you’ve written is Most Likely to be misunderstood or incorrectly interpreted as a villain?
Oooh, this one is hard. I’m not really one for morally grey characters (I like solidly good or solidly bad characters, with the occasional antihero/ine thrown in there). But maybe Tahitoa’s uncle, Rahiti. Rahiti isn’t a nice person, he is even villainous sometimes and cunning all the time. But he isn’t a villain, or at least, he isn’t the most villainous person in WF. He also really does love his nephew…he just has a funny way of showing it.
10. MOANA — If you had to go on an epic journey with ONE of your characters, and the two of you were tasked with saving the world, who would you choose and why?
Definitely Yilla! Out of all my characters, Yilla is one of the most like me, personality wise. But life-experience wise, she’s very different and has a completely different skill set and together I think we could do a great job at saving the world.
11. PINOCCHIO — What’s the most common lie you tell people about your stories or writing?
“Yes, you can read it when I’m done”.
Usually this phrase is followed by me awkwardly ducking out of the conversation and hoping that, in a year, the recipient of those words will have completely forgotten about my book.
12. SIDEKICKS — Who is your favourite minor character you’ve written that you wish you could give their own full story to?
This one is easy! In WF, three of my absolute favourite characters are my three female side characters, Vaite (Puatea’s sister and handmaid), Heirani (Tahitoa’s sister), and Wirra (Yilla’s sister). These three are awesome and I would love to do a spinoff story where the three of them go on an adventure of their own. They’re all spunky and kind, but all different and have such different philosophies and cultures. I love the dynamic the three of them have.
How about you guys? Who are your favourite sidekicks? If you had to go on a quest with one of your characters, who would you choose? Have you ever pulled some inspiration from history?