From The Nervous Breakdown with the author of Curses! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale:
Imagine that Cinderella’s been murdered, distracted by a bluebird and run over by a truck in New Never City. Now imagine her stepsister calling on Rumpelstiltskin (stripped of his villainy as punishment for rage issues) to investigate. This is the premise of J.A. Kazimer’s Curses!: A F**cked Up Fairy Tale.
Cinderella’s stepsister Asia, believing her sister’s death to be a case of foul play, shows up at what she thinks is Sherlock Holmes’s door. Only, he hasn’t lived there for a while, not since RJ, as Rumpel prefers to be called, stuffed him into the chimney and took over the residence. Asia, much better-looking then the original story had led us to believe, convinces RJ to help, but really he’s just doing it in hopes that she’ll sleep with him.This book is described as Neil Gaiman meets Shrek, or Neil Gaiman meets bodice-ripper. It could be really fun, or it could be a fluffy trainwreck. I am leaning a bit towards the latter, especially since in the interview, she makes a joke about how Cinderella deserved to be hit by a truck because she wore glass slippers after Labor Day, and how as a child she dreamed that a prince with a foot fetish would save her from her evil sister. However, in the latter half of the interview, she has some interesting comments on the nature of villainy and fairy tales as psychological treatment which gives me hope:
As the two dig deeper into Cindi’s untimely death, everyone becomes suspect: Prince Charming; the butler; Dru, the second and not-so-pretty stepsister; even Asia.
Was there an influence? Something that got the ball rolling?
A book with a clichéd hooker with a heart of gold started me on the path to this novel. I began thinking about the cliché, and eventually formed the idea of writing a novel about a villain who suddenly must become a hero, and hates every minute of it. There is no heart of gold here. RJ is a villain. He loves being a villain, yet circumstances beyond him are forcing him to play nice.
You mention before that you re-read fairy tales as part of your research. Did you do anything else to make sure there was a sense of authenticity?
I knew I wanted to write a book from the perspective of a villain, to see if he was evil after he finished punching the clock. And if so, how does that affect things like Sunday family dinners or simple things like going to the grocery store? I also wanted to use a mesh of characters and tales. As you can imagine researching villainy was difficult. I had to steal candy from babies and trip old ladies as they crossed the street. Writing is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Do you have any thoughts on the deeper meaning of fairy tales?
While getting my master’s degree in forensic psychology, I had a class with a professor who used fairy tales as a treatment tool. I love the idea. Fairy tales have survived and, recently, thrived as a medium for a very important reason; they reflect the psychological health of a society. I won’t bore anyone with my theories but if you have a moral or ethical dilemma, look to fairy tales for an answer. The answers are there, in black and white. These are cautionary tales handed down through the centuries to protect societies. (Full Interview)
Here's hoping this book will be a fun, clever, irreverent romp through Cinderella, and that the rest of the series she is planning on will be just as successful!