Monday, November 11, 2013

Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway: Beautiful Beautiful (Heidi Garrett)

Beautiful Beautiful (Once Upon A Time Today)Release date: November 15th 2013
Publisher: Half-Faerie Publishing

Synopsis via Goodreads:Movie director Karen Mayham has an eye for beauty. Now her years of struggling on the indie film circuit are about to pay off. She's the frontrunner to win Golden Pinnacle's Director of the Year. Winning will mean generous financial backing for her next project, and the most bankable actors in the industry are already signaling interest in the leading role. How will she decide which Adonis is right for the part of Demion Glass?
In this contemporary retelling of the eponymous Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, Karen's journey leads her to discover a deeper meaning of beauty.

Heidi Garrett
Heidi Garrett is the author of the contemporary fairytale novella collection, Once Upon a Time Today. In these stand-alone retellings of popular and obscure fairy tales, adult characters navigate the deep woods of the modern landscape to find their Happily Ever Afters.She is also the author of The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, a fairy tale/high fantasy mashup about a young half-faerie, half mortal woman who must save both the Enchanted and Mortal Worlds.Heidi was born in Texas, and in an attempt to reside in as many cities in that state as she could, made it to Houston, Lubbock, Austin, and El Paso. She also spent a decade in southern California, but was disappointed to discover it seldom rains there. Now Heidi lives in Eastern Washington state where she's content experiencing the four seasons with her husband, their two cats, her laptop, and her Kindle.Being from the South, she often contemplates the magic of snow and hopes to remind readers that: Once Upon A Time You Lived in an Enchanted World Too…

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Years ago, I bought a paperback collection of Grimm’s fairytales. I had an idea, back then to do retellings, but it got pushed far into the background of my life, as other things came up. I suppose, though, it’s been percolating ever since. This past April, I began reading The Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettelheim and it completely reawakened the desire to do those retellings.

In the spring, I tossed around some story ideas with my husband and he wasn’t really impressed with any of them. I trust his judgement, so his flat response made me pretty disappointed. I thought, maybe it’s still not the right time. However, I continued to be more aware of fairy tales, and continued to think about how they’d influenced me.

In my life—and in my writing life—I swing between the two extremes of planning and spontaneity. I’m kind of an uptight free spirit. We went on a short vacation this summer to Seattle. Being near the water always inspires me. We stayed downtown, and I walked around that city, exploring it as a setting for a contemporary fairy tale. The desire to write my retellings as novellas—as opposed to novels or short stories—also came to me in a very clear way on that trip.

When I got home, I purchased another version of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales. I zeroed in on ‘Beautiful’ which I’ve renamed as ‘Beautiful Beautiful’ based on the final line in the original tale.

What is beautiful? Is beauty a bad or a good thing? When is beauty treacherous? When is it nourishing? I don’t know why, but I’ve always pondered these questions, so that story felt like a natural choice for the first novella in the collection.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I really love both Kerrin and her daughter Mirabella. I love their easy, natural relationship. Even though I don’t have children, the mother-child relationship has always been an obsession of mine. If I’m honest, I probably write most of my stories for an imaginary daughter—out of a desire to entertain her, and feed her imagination and spirit, with the hopes that she could dream and a craft a life of deep meaning, that would sustain her no matter what.

Wow, that got a little heavy!

Which came first, the title or the novel?

I think I answered that above:) But, if it wasn’t clear, the title came first.

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

Hmmm… proud of? That’s a tricky question, lol. BUT, I’m probably most happy with Kerrin and Mirabella’s conversations, as mother shares her real life experience in an entertaining, and perhaps wise and enchanting way, with her daughter.

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

Be yourself. There are so many writing rules. Don’t let them bury you—or silence you. Write as true to yourself as possible, then use the rules to polish your work.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The draft cover was ready before the first draft of the novella was complete. So… when I was working on that scene… you know, the one in the Blue Towers lobby, I was like, YES!

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2014?

I’m not even aware of what’s going to be released in 2014. That’s awful, I know, but I’m so behind on my TBR list, I hardly have time to raise my head and see what’s coming! As far as my own books, I’m excited that the final two books in The Queen of the Realm of Faerie will be released—Half Mortal in April and War & Grace in November. Also, I’m hoping to release several more novellas in the Once Upon a Time Today collection in 2014.

What was your favorite book in 2013?

Little, Big by John Crowley. I discovered it through one of my Goodreads groups. It’s a challenging read, but it enthralled me from the first sentence. It’s an enormous fairy tale, probably like nothing you’ve ever read. It was certainly, like nothing I’d ever read. However, I did decide, that when it came to the novel’s writing style, it reminded me of The Autumn of the Patriarch by Garbriel Garcia Marquez, i.e., the writing style and the story itself—in both works—are inextricably linked.

What’s up next for you?

I’m half-way through the fourth book in The Queen of the Realm of Faerie series, Half-Mortal. So, next up, is finish that.

Is there anything that you would like to add?

Thank you for having me!


  1. thank you for the chance to win

  2. Congrats to Heidi on the new release! Looks and sounds fantastic :)

  3. Beth, thank you so much for having me on Curling Up With a Good Book—one of the things I love to do best! Heidi

  4. I think this is going to be a great book!!! I am looking forward to reading this one!! Thank you for the giveaway & Congrats to Heidi on the release!!

  5. Wonderful interview. Thanks for participating :)

  6. This book sounds awesome, can't wait to read it!!

  7. Great interview & the book sounds like a great read :)

    ~Veronica Vasquez~

  8. Great to meet you here Heidi. Loving the cover.

  9. I think up dating old fairy tales sounds awesome and th review is good but I like the part about writing for a daughter you don;t have

    1. annie, thank you:) your comment touched me, heidi

  10. thank you for the post and the giveaway

  11. I'm looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the giveaway!