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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Interview: Jessica Day George (Author of PRINCESS OF GLASS)!

Today author Jessica Day George visits The Hiding Spot. Her recently released novel, PRINCESS OF GLASS, is the companion novel to PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL and a retelling of the classic tale Cinderella.


A Brief Bio

Jessica Day George likes chocolate, knitting, books, travel, movies, dragons, horses, dogs, and her family. These are all things to keep in mind if you ever meet her. For instance, you could bring her chocolate to make the meeting go more smoothly. You could also talk about how adorable her children are, even if you have never seen them. You could discuss dog breeds (she has a Maltese named Pippin, and grew up with a poodle mix and a Brittany Spaniel). You could talk about Norway, and how it's the Greatest Place On Earth, and Germany, The Second Greatest Place On Earth. You could ask her about yarn, and indicate a willingness to learn to knit your own socks, if you can't already do so.

And, well, you could talk about books. Jessica's books, other people's books. It's really all about the books. To paraphrase Jerry Seinfeld, Friends, family, school, they were just obstacles in the way of getting more books.
She would like it if books came with chocolate to eat while reading them.

The Interview

Give a short statement describing PRINCESS OF GLASS.

I've never wanted to do a Cinderella story, since it's been retold so many times (and so well), but I fell in love with the idea of putting one of my twelve princesses from PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL into another situation where she would have to dance. And what would be worse than just having to dance when you hated dancing? How about dancing in glass slippers? Ouch! Add in a fairy godmother who is decidedly evil, a handsome prince, and not one but two dark-haired girls in masks and glass slippers, and we've got ourselves a very interesting dilemma!

I love the originality of your novels and how each character has an unexpected, unique trait. As you read the original stories and tales, do the character and plot twists come easily or do they take time to develop?
Usually the characters come to me first, and I think, HEY! Isn't that the soldier from Twelve Dancing Princesses? What's he doing stuck in my head? Or: I think I want to do a retelling of East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon, where's my copy of the original? First I find the character, and the story they want to be in, then I look to the original for more ideas.

PRINCESS OF GLASS is a companion to PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL and some of my favorite characters from the first novel make an appearance in the second. I’m still not ready to let these characters go! Are you considering writing the stories of the other sisters?
Don't worry! I can't let them go, either! Let me put it this way: the princesses were divided into three groups: the older set, the younger set, and the in-betweeners. I've done the older set, I've done one about an in-betweener, which leaves us with . . . *wink, wink*

Can you tell us anything about your next YA novel?
My next YA novel will be the first book in a series about a world similar to ours circa WWI, but with the twist that horses are considered unclean and it is forbidden to even speak of them. Naturally the king of my England-esque nation is having a cavalry force secretly trained . . .

My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
Oh, I'm with you on the books! I grew up in a rural area of Idaho where being able to escape into a fantasy story of dragons and castles and magic was my Christmas and dessert all rolled into one! It's all about the books, baby!

Thank you, Jessica! Be sure to check out my reviews of PRINCESS OF GLASS and PRINCESS OF THE MIDNIGHT BALL!


  1. Wow, Jessica's upcoming YA novel sounds rather intriguing. . . Can't wait for it! (And looking forward to reading Princess of Glass soon!~)

  2. Her next YA novel sounds great! I can't wait to see the cover, and read more about it. Thanks for the interview!

  3. lol so its to be one about the Younger Set? Ohhh I wonder which? (though to be honest I can't remember them as well as the others). And which fairy tale!

    So many to choose you already know which one it will be based around?

    Lexie C.

  4. Great interview. This is the firts time that I hear about this author... I have to inform and read something about her! =D

  5. This is actually the first time I heard about this author or this novel. Thanks for bringing this up to my radar.

  6. Love the hint about the third story! so excited!

  7. Her new book sounds so intriguing!

  8. Thank you so much for the interview! The book sounds exciting.

  9. I love Jessica Day George! I gobbled up two of her books and I loved them both! I'm excited to know that there is going to be another book after Princess of Glass.

    Fairytale retellings are one of my favorite types of books and that's probably why I love Jessica Day George so much. Great questions and so fun to read about this fantastic author. :)

  10. Wow, her next YA novel sounds awesome! Horses considered unclean? Interesting concept...

    Can't wait to read it and the Princess books!

  11. Anybody who likes chocolate, books, travel, movies, dragons, horses, dogs, and her family can't be bad (not so sure about the knitting though!).

    Her next novel sounds as if it might be good. WW1 is an unusual era for modern novels.

    Carol T

  12. I haven't read Princesses of the Midnight Ball yet but I'm very excited about it. I didn't realize Princess of Glass is a companion novel. Now I want to read them both even more. : ) I love fairy tale retellings & Cinderella is one of my favorites! : D

  13. :O I loved the sound of her next YA novel! And with all her talk about her princesses I now have to read about them! :D
    She's a nuw author to me so thanks for the introduction :P

  14. It's interesting that she writes the character first and then researches the original story.
    Thanks for the interview - I like reading about an author's process to writing.

  15. I haven't read the first book yet, I need to do that! Also, the one about horses being considered unclean sounds very interesting :)

  16. I would love to know which fairy tale the younger set would be featured in! ^^ And the teaser on her next YA novel sounds interesting as well. I'm wondering what alternative the king is planning on the cavalry sans horses. c:

  17. +JMJ+

    I didn't know about Princess of the Midnight Ball, and now I'm glad to know about it because I love the original "Twelve Dancing Princesses" (if we can say there is an "original," given that each children's book tells a different version!) and would really like to read a retelling in novel form.

    And I don't think "Cinderella" has been retold that often. My younger brothers have told me about a Disney movie in which the prince-figure has to track down the princess-figure with nothing to go by but her dropped iPod, which is a very interesting digital twist on the tale. =) I think that when writers are fascinated by possibilities, they can take old things and make them fresh again. =)

  18. Ohmygoodness, I haven't thought of the Twelve Dancing Princesses in forever! I gotta go look that one up!
    Love, Hannah

  19. I haven't heard of Princess of the Midnight Ball. I'm going to go and check it out now.

  20. I'm glad she's got another one coming out. I'll definitely keep my eyes open for that one, too!

    Laura Hartness
    The Calico Critic

  21. Oh, and if I ever get a little dog, I've been planning on naming it "Pippin", too! At least that's been the plan since the LOTR movies came out. So it's been a few years, but no dog yet. One day!

  22. Chocolate, Pippin, knitting, and books. I think I could be happy for life.
    Can't wait to read her books! I love getting to meet different authors through their stories.

  23. It is very interesting to read a retelling of Cinderella with characters you have already created in another book.

    And I love the idea of an alternative WWI history.

  24. What an interesting story! I'd love to read this book!

  25. Your next book sounds intriguing! Can't wait to see it!

  26. Jessica's upcoming book sounds amazing!
    Books are my hiding spot too!

  27. I can definitely relate with the last interview question! I grew up in rural Indiana and I love to read fantasy books to escape

  28. I'm glad to hear she'll be writing more Princess books soon! I love it when authors write companion books featuring the same characters but with different narrators. Juliet Marillier did this as well with Wildwood Dancing and Cybele's Secret. If you haven't already I'd recommend you pick one of them up. <3

  29. This re-tell of Cinderella sounds interesting. The interview was nice to read. I always like learning more about authors. And my hiding spot is books too!
    caliblue7 at gmail dot com

  30. Thank you for the very interesting interview! I had no idea Princess of Glass was part of a series, will have to check out Princess of the Midnight Ball then! I LOVE fairy tales, and these sound lovely!

    Thank you! :-)

  31. Great interview! I actually live in that same rural part of Idaho where she grew up! My cousin graduated with her, and I spoke to her HS English teacher a few months ago who remembered telling her something to the effect of, YaYa, you want to be a writer... So are you really going to do when you grow up.

    Haha... :) She was actually one of my favorite teachers all through HS too!


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