Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Sleeping Beauties" - a Character Chat

And now, presenting a sneak peak at the world within and behind and around and basically, here's a character interview in regards to "The Stone Kingdom" !!!!!!! Clarissa of my upcoming short story "Sleepless Beauty" meets with Danielle's characters, Rosalba and Edgwyn from "The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of the Wilderhark Tales)."

To quote Danielle, "C'mon! Let's evesdrop!"


Clarissa steps forward. “Well it's simply charming to meet the pair of you!”

“The pleasure is ours,” says Rosalba, clasping Clarissa’s hand in greeting.

Clarissa smiles warmly, noting with appreciation the well dressed, proper pair standing before her.

“And partly yours,” Edgwyn adds, bowing to Clarissa with a twinkle-eyed smile. “Because we’re a pleasure, that way.”

Clarissa giggles as she takes a seat, motioning for her guests to do the same. “I must say, Rosalba, I was a huge fan of the adventures your parents had in ‘The Swan Prince.’ ‘The Stone Kingdom’ was just as brilliant, if not better! But then again, I might be biased since our stories have a flair of similarity in them. I mean, the whole 'Cursed for a hundred years', thing, and 'destined to find true love' and all that.”

Rosalba’s brows arch over her sage-green eyes. “One would like to think such storylines are less than common! But I suppose that’s just the sort of risk you run, in a fairytale world.”

Stroking a golden curl, Clarssia smiles. "Oh what with evil witches running about, you'd think they'd get more creative, wouldn't you? Regardless," She tosses the curl over her shoulder where it bounces on the sleeve of her pale pink gown. “Being personally under a curse in which, should I succumb to pricking my finger on a spindle, I will sleep for a hundred years, I know there's a lot of pressure involved in a 'since birth bewitchment'." She offers a coy smile. "Personally, I enjoy the sense of power that comes with knowing that I could prick my finger at any moment I want. How did you feel, Rosalba, about your similar responsibilities?”

“Well, the witch at my christening wasn’t terribly explicit. I had no idea what form the curse would take until it happened, which made for a largely stressful fifteen years. Had I known the details regarding the trigger and consequences, as it seems you did, it would have been a different game entirely. As it was,” she says, her long golden-brown braid swinging with the shake of her head, “I was granted little sense of power until after the curse had sprung. So as awful as the curse was, at least I was finally able to take charge of the situation!”

Clarissa purses her lips. "I'll admit I don't begrudge you that part. For me, I take a nap, and someone else goes through the trouble of waking me." Her blue eyes glow. “It's funny how many curses require true love to break them, don't you think? A kiss of true love, a declaration of true love--honestly, I could go on and on.”

Edgwyn laughs. “Witchcraft must attract the sentimental type.”

Clarissa laughs with him. "It's true, I suppose. Ironic that those heartless witches have such a streak of romance. How do you feel, Rosalba, about being required to find true love to break a spell? Do you think it fair?”

“Fair?” Rosalba’s head tilts to a contemplative angle. “I don’t know that I ever thought about whether it was fair. Certainly, I don’t expect fairness from the sort of person to threaten a baby with wicked enchantments. Perhaps the spell’s requirement was not fair, but it's not nearly so terrible as it might have been. After all, I would have eventually wanted to marry my true love anyway; the curse simply added a bit of urgency to the search.”

"Ah yes, curses do have a way of bringing people together." Clarissa's eyes flicker to the other in the room. “And I haven't forgotten you, Edgwyn. Forgive me, but it's fascinating for me to meet another cursed princess.”

“Oh, perfectly understandable,” he says, with a smile for each of the young ladies. “Cursed princesses fascinate me, too. Who would have thought I’d be so lucky as to sit down with a pair of them at once? This is turning out to be a good week for meeting enchanted beauties!”

Clarissa blushes at the compliment. “I'm amazed you are still single, sir!

It is now Edgwyn's turn to blush.“Yes, well... I look forward to remedying that, eventually.”

"With a tongue as clever as yours, what would you say, Edgwyn, to those searching for true love?”

“First? Probably, ‘Oh, goody!’ or ‘How sweet!’ Then I would ask if there’s any way I could help. If they’re after advice… hmm…” His finger taps his lips, his dusky green eyes scrunched with deep thought. “I would remind them to be patient and to try not to get discouraged, because sometimes love-finding is slow. And I would tell them not to settle for less than they need – which isn’t quite the same as what they may want or deserve, but, well, true love really isn’t about what you want for yourself, and once you’ve found the one you love, you’ll never feel you truly deserve them! ‘Be strong,’ I would tell them, because if there’s one thing true love isn’t, it’s for the faint of heart. And, ‘Please, don’t give up,’ because it’s all so worth it!”

Clarissa's gaze drifts to the window, as though remembering someone. Blinking quickly, she shakes her golden head and flashes another smile as she returns her attention to her guests. “Forgive me, I'm easily distracted. I've just remembered, my author wanted me to ask the following: Comparing yourself to Disney's Princesses, Rosalba, who do you feel you are most like? And I don't mean in story relation, but in personality." She glances to the tailor, enjoying, for a moment, the brightness of his hat as she says, "Edgwyn, you can pick any of the Disney characters.”

Rosalba smiles in amusement. “Don’t tell me your author’s a Disney fanatic, too? No wonder Danielle and Kimberly get on so well. Let’s see, who am I most like?... I suppose I can identify a bit with how Jasmine felt, prior to meeting Aladdin. After all those years of waiting around in a castle for some unnamed horror to happen to me, I would have welcomed a friend swooping in on a magic carpet to show me a good time. And I’m afraid I could all too easily see myself sneaking out in disguise to wander around the marketplace – though hopefully I wouldn’t nearly get my hand chopped off.”

Clarissa claps her hands. "Sounds exciting!"

“Well, so long as it’s only ‘nearly’…” Edgwyn chuckles. “Hmm, who would I be? Possibly Prince Phillip. He talks to his horse, too! And if ever I came across a lovely girl singing and dancing with my cape in the woods, I would absolutely join in. So, him. Or Pacha from ‘The Emperor’s New Groove’,” he recalls. “Big, charitable, good with children… just don’t make me wear that thing he calls a hat.”

Clarrissa laughs as her eyes return to his cap. “Edgwyn, I simply love your outfit. Can you tell us how you first got interested in being a tailor?”

At the mention of one of his favorite topics, Edgwyn’s eyes light up. “Ooh, yes! I’ve always loved the feel of nice fabric and the sight of complimentary colors and all, but I wasn’t particularly interested in clothes until I reached my teens and gradually began to take notice of those strange and wonderful creatures known as girls. And girls, as a general rule, seemed to put a great deal of importance on their appearances. I had no idea why. Still don’t. What I did know is that they appeared so much happier and more confident when they were feeling pretty, and few things made them feel prettier than wearing comfortable clothes that disguised perceived flaws and played up their assets."

With a slight smile, Clarissa daintily flicks some imagined dust from the pale pink sleeve of her gown.

“Well, I didn’t feel I had any assets, and there’s no disguising a watermelon in a blueberry patch, but an insecure adolescent will try almost anything once, so I harassed my mother to make me just one really nice set of clothes. In hindsight, she would have been justified in flatly refusing to put the time and resources into what a boy my age could spurt up and outgrow practically overnight. Fortunately, I was the baby of the family, as well as the only boy after five girls, so my parents had a tendency to spoil me. I got my fancy clothes (or, at least, a good deal fancier than the usual work clothes seen around the family farm), and lo and behold, dressing well really did make for a boost in confidence! I loved that feeling! I wanted to feel it all the time, and for everybody else to feel it, too! Hence my decision to master the making of wonderful clothes.”

“And they are wonderful! The colors are the most vivid I've seen." The cap has once again captured her attention. Smiling and shaking her head quickly, Clarissa refocuses. "Edgwyn, you mentioned talking to your horse. I too, enjoy the company of equine. Can you tell me when you first fell in love with horses and why?”

“His other favorite topic,” says Rosalba, smilingly shaking her head. “Now you’ve done it, Clarissa. We’ll be here all day.”

Edgwyn ducks his head, his fall of dark hair partially obscuring the flush of pink in his cheeks. “It is a few pages’ worth of story. This I know for a fact, because Danielle’s got it all typed up somewhere. To put it in as few words as possible, though, I love horses because they seem less like animals, to me, and more like people. And I love people very much, so I can’t help loving horses, too.” He glances over at Rosalba. “Was that brief enough, Princess?”

“Yes, Edgwyn,” she says, with a reassuring pat on his hand. “You abbreviated very well.”

Clarissa adjusts her skirts and flounces her hair. "I'll admit, I've such a love of horses, I fear if I hadn't been put under a sleeping curse, I'd one day be cursed into a horse--though some would incorrectly say I'd be a mule." She pouts as if remembering a recent insult.

“You haven't struck me as terribly mule-like,” Edgwyn offers. "Perhaps more like a young cat."

She gives him a glowing smile. "Thank you, Edgwyn. Perhaps you could tell that to Prince Edwin next time he wanders this direction. Regardless, reflective of ‘The Swan Prince,' if you were transformed into an animal, what do you think it would be, and why?”

“Well, if it’s meant to be a bothersome curse,” says Rosalba, “I don’t expect it would be anything convenient. Still, I suppose it would have to somehow suit. ‘Opposites and exaggeration’, wasn’t that how they put it in ‘Swan Prince’?”

“I think you could be a bee,” Edgwyn suggests. “A bold little golden bee, who might perhaps wish very much to sting someone, but for wisdom’s sake, you won’t unless it’s absolutely necessary.”

“That would certainly meet the criterion of inconvenience,” Rosalba remarks. “Now, as you chose for me, Edgwyn, it’s only fair I choose for you. Were you an enchanted animal, you would be… a large, fluffy dog, going about with your tail wagging all over the place, in search of people you could in any way help, never mind your lack of human speech and hands and such.”

Edgwyn smiles. “That doesn’t sound like such an awful curse.”

“It’s a curse you’d be hard-pressed to break, with that attitude,” Rosalba retorts.

Clarissa laughs. “That reminds me! If you could wish for anything in the world, and be granted it no strings attached, what would you wish for?”

“I’m afraid we’re not at liberty to answer that, yet,” Rosalba says apologetically.

Edgwyn explains, “Danielle’s got a blog post planned for the top of September that centers around that very thing. There’s to be a Three Wishes Blog Blitz going on, you see [link: http://julietmadison.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/three-wishes-blog-blitz/ ], and she thought it would be fun to incorporate Rosalba and me, since of course we are such a great deal of fun. …You have been having fun, I hope, Clarissa? It’s not only been me?”

“Far too much fun! I suppose I'll have to drop by and see your wishes come September! Until then, thank you for taking the time to meet with me today! Rosalba, I certainly hope you find your true love!”

“To the first, you are quite welcome. To the second, that makes two of us,” Rosalba sighs. “Correction,” she says, gesturing to Edgwyn. “Three.”

Clarissa stands and nods to her guests. “Edgwyn, it was a pleasure to meet you. I'm sure you'll find a lovely maiden someday who appreciates your compliments and talents as much as we do. Speaking of which, perhaps you could design my next gown? All of my outfits seem frightfully out of season compared to the colors you've shown me today.”

Edgwyn claps his hands with excitement. “I would be delighted to, Your Highness! We’ll set an appointment for after I get Rosalba settled with her perfect prince, shall we? You’ll look divine! And I'll throw in a lady's version of my hat,” he says with a wink, "since you adore it so much."

Ducking her head with a pretty blush, Clarissa says, "That would be wonderful! Now I shan't keep you a moment longer from your quest! Farewell!"

With another hand clasp from Rosalba and the press of Edgwyn's lips to Clarissa's knuckles, the Wilderhark pair take their leave.


To see more of Danielle's characters, be sure to follow her blog HERE where she'll update you on the wonders of the Wilderhark tales. That, and catch "The Stone Kingdom" when it comes out SEPTEMBER 20th, 2013!

Clarissa's story shall be revealed in "Sleepless Beauty," part of the "One More Day" anthology to be released December 2, 2013! Make sure to catch Danielle's story, "A Morrow More" in the same anthology!


  1. "Thank you for having us, Kimberly and Clarissa!" says Edgwyn, Rosalba adding, "We look forward to reading your story."

    "Ooh, yes! The 'One More Day' ARCs are to release soon, right?"

    Rosalba nods. "I believe so."

    "Joy! Can we read Clarissa's story first, Danielle?"

    I'll probably read the stories in order. I'm orderly, like that. But I'll be looking forward to it all the way, know that!

  2. Clarissa, and especially I, are always happy to host any of the Wilderhark gang--regardless of which order the "One More Day" ARCs are read in. ;D