Sunday, March 13, 2011

PSB: Interview & Giveaway with Heather Dixon

PSB2

My dear Heather! I spent some time online trying to discover who Heather Dixon is, to realize that you are a complete mystery hehe (not in a pejorative way), would you mind telling us a bit about you?

I’m obsessed with Mary Poppins.  I even have the parrot head umbrella!  The symbols and colors and delicate beauty of that movie—I’m in awe every time I watch it.  And I’m hopelessly in love with Bert.

Other than that, I’m pretty boring.  I grew up in a large family, all of whom are great, went to college and majored in animation.  Currently I work as a storyboard artist, which I adore and love.  I’ve always been fascinated with children’s media and am delighted to create stories for it.

Entwined is your debut novel *squee*, how does it feel to know that your book will hit the shelves soon?

Pretty crazy!  It’s neat to have these years of work come to a head, and, at the same time, I feel I don’t deserve it.  One thing is for sure—I have learned a lot and feel fortunate to have been able to work with such a great agent and talented & kind editor, and the publishing group at Greenwillow.  They really are a star team.

How would you describe Entwined?

Entwined is a Victorian retelling of the Grimm’s story, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, but with feisty princesses, dashing gentlemen, and a creepy villain who hides in the walls.  Still, I hope it’s more than just a fairytale—I feel strongly that all my storywork should have themes of redemption.  Entwined is the story of a broken family who learns how much they love and need each other.

If you had to pick a cast for a movie adaptation, which actors would you like to play the main roles?

Hmmm…tricky.  Ok!  Here’s a few:


Charles Dance is exactly how I imagined the King.  Exactly.

Claire Foy would make an adorable Bramble

Jeremy Northam – This pic is pretty close to what I think Mr. Bradford looks like.

I haven’t really figured out the rest, but I’m pretty sure Alan Rickman would play them.

Alan Rickman as Keeper

Alan Rickman as Minister Fairweller

Alan Rickman as Azalea

BEST MOVIE EVER!!

How did your characters come to you?

They more or less wouldn’t leave me alone.  I started Entwined my junior year of college, and I still remember being mad at myself because these characters danced their way into my mind and distracted from homework.  (It was worth it though.)  Azalea, as the second mother, had to be maternal and even a little bossy, and Bramble—like sisters in real life—had a personality of offset that.  And Clover had a personality and demeanor that blended well with that and offset Delphinium.  And so on.  I think family dynamics are a lot like that.

How do you choose their names?

Because there were so many princesses, their names had to be distinct.  Originally they were just alphabetically (and rather generically) named.  When I discovered the soon-to-be-released Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses with alphabetical princesses, I pored over the names again.  The gardens were such a prevalent part of the story, and a symbol of the mother, that it felt right to name their personalities after flowers and plants as well.  Bramble (feisty), Clover (sweet, simple beauty), Delphinium (a bit vain), Evening Primrose (prim, smart).

Flowers for the princesses is not a unique trope, as I discovered a few years later, but I’m glad I stuck with these names.  They feel right.

If you had to pick a song to represent each of your main characters, what would it be?

This one’s a toughie.  I listen mostly to soundtracks, so the songs below are more sequence and mood-based.

  • Magic passage:  “Fairytale” from Shrek
  • Pavilion: “VFD” by Thomas Newman, from Lemony Snicket
  • Palace Ballroom: “Potter Waltz” by Patrick Doyle, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • The sisters: “The Miss Minchin School for Girls” and “Breakfast” by Patrick Doyle, from A Little Princess
  • Dark Pavilion sequence: “All Hallow’s Eve Ball” by Alan Silvestri, from Van Helsing
  • The haunted palace:  “Voices of War” by X-ray Dog (trailer music) (This one might be tough to find)
  • The overall mystery: “Dark Waltz” by Hayley Westenra
  • Other pieces I found inspiring:  “Impossible Opening” by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, from Finding Neverland, “The Princess Diaries Waltz” by John Debney, from The Princess Diaries,  “Waltz: Theme”  by the Sherman Bros, from Slipper and the Rose.

  

What was your experience with your fans like so far?

My family loves it!

In your wildest dreams, how do you imagine your career ten years from now?

It’d be nice to continue on in animation and writing.  One thing is for sure:  I hope to keep improving.  If I can keep getting better with story and art, I think I’ll be happy with wherever life takes me.

Thank you so much for your time Heather!
And thank you to you!  #^_^#

——————————-

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada I also have one (1) copy of Entwined to offer you!

Book Stats:

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0062001030

Description:

Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it’s taken away. All of it.

The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.

But there is a cost.

The Keeper likes to keep things.

Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Book Depository

  • This giveaway is open to Canada only
    (Sorry for the glaring red, 70% of people who entered were not from Canada)

  • To enter, just leave a comment telling me who your favorite princess is (any princess)^^

    Don’t forget to include a way to contact you!

    If you want to earn an extra entry, spread the word and provide a link in a different comment =)

  • Tweet: Win! Entwined by Heather Dixon!! http://bit.ly/hAolPo hosted by @Tynga & @parajunkee #Giveaway @HarperCollinsCa Canada Only! Pls RT

    Ends April 6th, 2011.

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Tynga is a 29 years old mom from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and blogging about them. Make sure to say hi on twitter!
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55 People left their mark on “PSB: Interview & Giveaway with Heather Dixon”

  1. Michael Antonio Araujo

    Hmm it would seem as if this is only a chick novel. But I forgot where I said it, but I said that I like reading novels with female perspectives so I can see how different they think. Since it’s all new to me I find it all amazing.

    Now while I don’t have a favorite princess or prince or anything like that (is a dude =D ) what I can tell you is that I like Belle from Beauty and the Beast because she’s a big reader like me. And she’s a princess eh?

  2. Tiffany Drew

    Ohhhh am I first? Awesome :)

    My favorite princess is Cinderella. I just love the fact that even though she has such a miserable life and is treated so badly, the prince falls in love with her anyway and she lives happily ever after :)

    Thank you for the great contest, I SOOOOOOO want to read this :)

    jaidahsmommy(at)comcast(dot)net

  3. Zoë

    my favourite princess is repunzel in the new movie tangled i fell in love with her :)

    strandedhero(at)gmail(dot)com

  4. Margay

    Cinderella will always be my favorite. There’s just something about her that gets me every time.

    This book sounds fantastic! I’d really love to read it.

    Margay1122ATaolDOTcom

  5. Pamela

    Such a great interview! I love how Alan Rickman will play three characters, including Azalea LOL.

    My favourites princess…. To be honest, Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is one of my absolute favourite movies, so I’m gonna have to say Mia (aka Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, hehe). I seriously love that movie. I could watch it for days and never get tired of it.

    I can’t wait to read this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway!!
    green.pamd (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. Holly

    Fantastic and very entertaining review!! I love the music choices and Alan Rickman playing three characters, including Azalea.I’m envisioning him looking like Neville Longbottom’s gran now.lol Sounds like there’s a Phantom of the Opera kind of twist with the Keeper.

    I wish I could enter, but I live in the US, but good luck to you all!

  7. Chrystal

    My favourite princess is Aurora from Sleeping Beauty. I’ve always been a fan. :)

    I too want a parrot head umbrella.

    chrystal(dot)mclean@yahoo(dot)ca

  8. ~Mallary~

    I can’t wait to read this book! Hmmm, as far as my favorite princess goes, I guess I would have to pick Cinderella. I know, I know, it’s been done a thousand times in movies, but that’s for a reason! It’s a classic and who doesn’t love to hear about a rags-to-riches story?!? Not to mention, a fairy godmother in most versions. =)

    Thanks for the contest!!
    mallary.mott@eagles.usm.edu

  9. winnie

    My favourite fairy tale princess is Cinderella and favourite real life princess would definitely be Princess Diana.

    I live in Canada :)

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

  10. Moonlight Gleam

    I have so many favorite princesses haha! Among them, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, THe Little Mermaid and I’m not sure if she is a princess but I would have to say my absolute favorite is Pocahontas! Hehe They are all very determined, independent and really kind characters in disney favorites. :)

    count me in!!!

    moonlightgleam(At)gmaiL(dot)com

  11. dor

    I have always loved Cinderella because, at heart she was so special and kind…even under her rags. Not that I always…wear rags….ha ha…I am the special princess in my sweethearts’ life. Sweet.

    dorcontest at gmail dot com

  12. Mocha ღ Latte

    My favorite princess happens to be a Disney Princess, Belle. Since i was a little mini-me I’ve absolutely adored her!

    venturinhawendy(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. Hoping 4 More

    My favourite princess is Belle, because she didn’t get magically blessed or cursed, she swept the prince away and broke his curse.

    Email: hopingfourmore(at)gmail(dot)com

  14. Bookish in a Box

    She’s not truly a princess until the 2nd movie, which I haven’t seen, but she’s considered a Disney princess so hopefully that counts. Mulan! She’s tough and skilled and not afraid to get her hands dirty, and she’s just all around awesome.

    whatinabox at gmail dot com

  15. Linna

    Not a Disney princess, but Isi/Ani from Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl is my favorite. I keep forgetting that she’s royalty; she’s such a relatable character. :)

    linna.21pages at gmail.com

  16. Ammy Belle

    Hm .. that’s a tough question … my favourite princess would probably be Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Belle from The Beauty and the Beats – the former because she wanted to explore and go on adventures and let nothing hold her back; and the latter because she read and imagined new worlds and could see past the ugliness for what was underneath.

    Thanks!
    apereiraorama[at]gmail[dot]com

  17. Erika

    My favourite princess is Jasmine from Aladdin.

    Thank you for having a Canada-only giveaway.

    erikadlugoAT yahoo(DOT)com

  18. Sysha

    Oooh a Canada-only giveaway! YAY!!! :)
    My favorite princess is Ella from Ella Enchanted!

    rain_orchid11 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  19. ~Sara

    I don’t know that I have a favourite princess. Is that crazy? I dunno. Haha. I recently saw Tangled and loved it, so I am going to say that Repunzel is my favourite!

    Thanks for the give away!

    SaraCoriseWalker(@)gmail(.)com

  20. Pam S

    My fav princess is probably Cinderella.

    Entwined sounds wonderful and love the cover. Thanks for sharing.

    pams00 @ aol.com

  21. jenn

    My favourite is the Paper Bag Princess since it was one of the first books I read.

    jennifer.thorburn(at)gmail.com

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