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!
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (March 29, 2011)
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.
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 =)
Ends April 6th, 2011.