Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interview with Alex Flinn!

I got to interview the lovely Alex Flinn, who is the author of Beastly, A Kiss In Time and Cloaked. Her book, Beastly, has been turned into a movie starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens. She is one of my favorite authors!

See my review of Cloaked here.

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I'm a former opera singer, former lawyer, current writer. I live in Miami with my husband and two kids.

2. Are you writing any more modern fairy tales?
Yes, but I am superstitious about sharing my works in progress until my editor confirms that it's a go.

3. Tell us briefly about your book, Cloaked. What was your inspiration?
Cloaked is the story of Johnny, a poor kid who works in a shoe repair shop at a posh South Beach hotel. When Princess Victoriana, a Paris Hilton-ish royal, stays at the hotel, she asks him for help finding her brother, who has been turned into a from and set loose in the Florida Keys (a chain of islands near Miami). Yearning for adventure, Johnny sets off with the help of a magical cloak and his friend, Meg, to find the prince. Along the way, he fights giants, meets talking animals, and must confront a dangerous witch.

When I talked to teens about Beastly, I realized that many of them were unfamiliar with fairy tales, other than from Disney movies. Like they'd make comments about how Beastly was, "based on my favorite movie" or ask if I was going to adapt any other Disney movies into books. I realized it was a lot different than when I was a kid, because now, with DVDs you can watch these movies over and over, whereas when I was a kid, you might see the Disney movie ONCE and then you'd have to READ the fairy tale if you wanted to experience it again.

Anyway, I started thinking about stories that hadn't been made into Disney movies, stories like The Elves and the Shoemaker, The Six Swans, and The Firebird. Were these stories completely unknown to modern kids? I thought it would be fun to write a story that incorporated these tales. I conceived it as a picaresque tale, where the hero would have to confront various types of adventures.

4. What do you think about the movie for Beastly? Did you have an opinion on the actors, screenplay, etc.?
I haven't seen the whole film. I've read the script and seen parts of it. I'm pleased with the casting. Alex Pettyfer is exactly how I pictured Kyle. Mary-Kate Olsen is a great Kendra, and I was really impressed with Vanessa Hudgens acting when I visited the set. I get a lot of letters from teens who are concerned that Vanessa doesn't have red hair. To me, this is a minor detail. I think she'll be good in the role. I was way more concerned about the script, which is great.

5. If you were stranded on a desert island, what are three things you would bring?
Food, water, and a boat! Other than that, maybe the compete works of the Bronte sisters.

Thanks so much Alex for this interview!

You can find Alex here:

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