Tuesday 14 May 2019

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Once Upon a Retelling: Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans

Once Upon a Retelling

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Welcome to Once Upon a Retelling! I'm a huge fan of retellings, and I'm really interested in hearing about authors' own love of the original stories, and what inspired them to retell those stories. And so Once Upon a Retelling was born, a feature in which I interview authors about their versions of well-loved tales.

I'm really excited to have Kathryn Evans stopping by the blog today to discuss her YA retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Beauty Sleep, as part of her blog tour.

Kathryn EvansCan you tell us a little about Beauty Sleep? What kind of a retelling of Sleeping Beauty is it?

It’s ‘Inspired by’ I think. I was brought up on fairy tales and I think I just absorbed them. If you’re an author, the stories that are woven into your childhood all feed into the writer you become. I call it book soup.

Why Sleeping Beauty? What drew you to this fairy tale? And what inspired you to retell it?

I had an image in my head of a girl waking up in a room and having no idea why she was there. I had to answer that question and that was the beginning of this story.

What do you bring to the Sleeping Beauty story with Beauty Sleep?

Sleeping Beauty is a story about a kind and trusting young woman with a troubling family history, who is saved by a (non-consensual) kiss from a prince. My story has no prince. Laura is just as kind and trusting but she learns that she also has to be wise and brave. My Sleeping beauty saves herself.

How does Beauty Sleep differ from other retellings of Sleeping Beauty out there?

My story moves quite far from the original – it looks at themes of social media and homelessness and of dealing with grief but it’s also a page turning thriller with a sci-fi twist!

Beauty Sleep by Kathryn EvansWere there any difficulties in tackling a retelling of a story already known, over writing an original story? Anything that was easier?

Not really in this case – it’s so much my story now, it’s like an original tale itself, even though it’s got obvious parallels. In some ways, knowing I definitely didn’t want it to be a traditional ‘boy saves girl’ love story made it easier. Without giving any spoilers away, I think the flip on that works quite well.

What do you hope readers get from Beauty Sleep?

I want to start conversations about managing the exposure to photo-shopped images and unrealistic expectations of what people look like and of how we disenfranchise homeless people. And I want them to feel hopeful at the end, that if they’re dealing with any really difficult stuff in their lives, there’s always a way forward – get help, lean on people and trust yourself.

What do you think makes a good retelling?

A truly fresh and original take on a story.

Are there any retellings you would recommend, either of Sleeping Beauty, or in general?

Jackie Morris has retold to stories in beautifully illustrated hard cover books – they are an absolute joy – East of the Moon, West of the Sun and The Wild Swans.

Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me!

Thank you, Kathryn, for your answers! I don't know about you, but I am really intrigued by Beauty Sleep! I'm really interested in the answers to all Laura's questions!

Be sure to visit Kathryn's website, follow her on Twitter and Instagram, and check out Beauty Sleep which is out now! Do also visit the other stops on the blog tour!

Beauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans Blog Tour Banner

Beauty Sleep by Kathryn EvansBeauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans

Laura was dying. There was no cure for her illness. So her family decided to grasp a desperate last hope - Laura was frozen until she could be cured.

But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Your best friend is middle-aged, your parents presumed dead. Could you find a new place to belong? Could you build a new life - while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

Dark secrets lurk in the future of the girl from the past...
From Goodreads.

Book Depository | Wordery | Goodreads

Be sure to check out the other interviews in the Once Upon a Retelling series.

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