Thursday, March 31, 2011

Inside Scoop on Cinderella: Ninja Warrior

Yesterday, one of my fabulous fellow bloggers at Get Lost in a Story, debut author Donnell Ann Bell, interviewed me. Below is an excerpt from the interview with some insider information on how CINDERELLA: NINJA WARRIOR came about.

Donnell: Maureen, I just have to say I love fairy tales. You're talking to a person who has watched The Little Mermaid at least 15 times. When you described to me the story adaptation that brought about CINDERELLA: NINJA WARRIOR, I made the decision right then and there to pick up this book.

You take the tried and true Cinderella fairy tale, in which the message to little girls is, let the prince save you. You, however, turn it into a kick-butt heroine who can darn well save herself. Love your message. What inspired you to create this version?

Maureen:  Thanks, Donnell. When I was asked by the editor to take a shot at writing a proposal for a Cinderella story with a choose-your-own-adventure element, I jumped at the chance. But because the idea had come from the editor, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to tell the stories the way I wanted. The editor assured me I’d have complete creative freedom. To test her assertion, I asked, “Can there be ninjas?” She said sure, and the rest is history.
I also liked the idea of “fixing” some of the elements of the traditional stories that bothered me. For example, the original Cinderella character was too much of a victim for my taste, waiting around for a handsome prince to save her. I wanted to create a strong heroine who was doing all she could to save herself. I also never liked the idea that the prince needed a shoe to recognize her the day after supposedly falling in love, or that he fell in love with her because of her beauty—beauty which he doesn’t recognize the next day when she’s out of her fancy dress. What kind of message does that send to modern young readers about love or their self-worth?

Donnell: Not much of an esteem builder at all. I so agree. Would you say the theme is still good vs. evil, or do you see something else in the storytelling?

Maureen: The traditional fairy tale themes of finding true love and good vs. evil are definitely in CINDERELLA: NINJA WARRIOR, but other themes in the story include: believing in yourself and seeing through the superficial to what really matters—the person inside.

Donnell: You have a prince in disguise and a fairy godfather. Will you tell us about those switches and what inspired those roles?

Maureen: I made the decision about the godfather right from the start. One of the first things that popped into my mind as I started working on this book, (after ninjas), was the line, “Hi, I’m Fred, your fairy godfather.” It just struck me as funny. 
That line, minus the word “fairy”, ended up in the book. (He’s actually her real godfather, not a fairy.) But he has a magical secret, too… and that element is something I discovered organically while writing the opening pages.
The prince in disguise was a happy accident while writing—when he showed up at the door, I realized the messenger bringing the invitations to the ball wasn’t who he said he was—but in hindsight that element was essential to the story. I wanted Cinderella and the Prince to fall in love, so I needed to get him into the story well ahead of the ball—especially since, depending on the readers’ choices, Cinderella doesn’t necessarily go to the ball. The prince-in-disguise element also nicely ties together with the theme of seeing the true person inside.

Tune in Friday for the scoop on SLEEPING BEAUTY: VAMPIRE SLAYER.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Release Week Party and Giveaway!

My, how time flies!

This time last year, I was still working on my two debut novels, Cinderella: Ninja Warrior and Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer, and now they are both being released--on the same day!--to launch the Twisted Tales series!

The official release date is April 1, 2011, but they are already shipping from some online retailers. I can't wait to actually see/hold one myself and/or hear that someone has spotted one in the wild! If you see a copy in a store, please let me know! Even better, take a picture and send it to me. :)

In spite of the long and twisty road I took to this point (worthy of any challenging fairy tale fraught with evil witches) I'm not letting the April Fool's Day release date temper my excitement. Tune back on Friday to find out whether the joke's on me. LOL.  I might tell some of the twisty tale that day.  :)

In the meantime, here's what the publisher and some fabulous bloggers/reviewers have said about the first two books in the Twisted Tales series.


In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun.

"If you’re just a fan of retold fairytales, then Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is exactly what you’ve been looking for." Maianka Verstraete of I <3 Reading

"It's a fairytale full of teen angst, comedy, romance, mystery and adventure! The 'choose a path' option was brilliant and made the book a lot of fun. I will be looking at other works by this Author and look forward to any other writing she has coming out." - Kristi Stern of The Book Faery

"Once upon a time a story comes along that makes your heart soar and transports you to a world filled with royalty, magical beings and immortal creatures. Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is one such story."  -Aobibliophile of Aobiblioshpere

"This was a wonderful new twist on the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. ... Lucette was one butt-kicking vampire-slaying princess."  -ReaderGirl of NightOwl Reviews


In this fast-paced story full of adventure and romance, Cinderella is more than just a servant girl waiting for her prince—she's a tough, fearless girl who is capable of taking charge of a dangerous situation. Seeking to escape the clutches of her evil stepmother, Cinderella perfects her ninja skills and magic talents in secret, waiting for the day when she can break free and live happily ever after. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Cinderella and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!

"An extremely funny, enjoyable and entertaining read that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and brings a fabulous twist to a well-known fairytale."  Majanka Verstraete of I <3 Reading

"My favourite princess made even stronger, it couldn’t be better!  A world filled with magic with love being the strongest magic of all.  A wonderful concoction of Maureen McGowan: a retelling of Cinderella mixed in with wizardry, martial arts, and choose-your-own-adventure!"  Tien of Tien's Blurb

"I was never fan of Cinderella to tell you the truth. But this book...oh my...! I wish the original stories were like that! Forget the sweet cliché love story and the poor girl. Here we have witches, championships, warriors, villains and even dragons! How awesome is it?" Yiota of Splash of Our Worlds


All week at Get Lost in a Story we'll be celebrating the books' release. 

Stop by there, every day this week, for up to FIVE chances to win one of four books -- 2 of each.


In addition to the drawing on Get Lost in a Story, I'll give away two additional copies to commenters on this blog. That's right. If you comment here, and every day on Get Lost in a Story, you'll have even more chances to win. :)

Thanks for stopping by to help me celebrate!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Giveaway Over

Well, that was fun!

My first foray into Goodreads Giveaways and it was kind of exciting. Just the thought of over 1600 people, most of whom I don't know, entering a contest to win a copy of my ARC was thrilling.

Goodreads picked the winners last night and it got even better!

Two of the winners are people I know. Kwana Jackson and Christine D'Abo!

Like I said... 1602 entries. Maybe 20 of them I knew, (scanning through the entries), Goodreads picks randomly and I know 2!

How fun is that?

Congrats to all the winners! I'll be sending your ARCs out very soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

ARC Giveaway!

I'm giving away 10 Advance Reader Copies for Cinderella: Ninja Warrior.

Win and you can get a copy of the book before it even comes out!)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Cinderella: Ninja Warrior (Twisted Tales, #1) by Maureen McGowan


by Maureen McGowan

Giveaway ends March 23, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dead on Delivery

No, not me. :)

Today, I'm interviewing the fabulous Eileen Rendahl over at Get Lost in a Story.

Come on by to chat with Eileen and get a chance to win her fabulous new urban fantasy, DEAD ON DELIVERY.

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