The Just-Us League are proud to announce their next anthology: Of Legend and Lore!
New life is given to eleven old stories in this second collection of irresistible fairy tale retellings.
Royalty faces magical challenges: a prince uses his powers on a rescue mission and reveals a terrible secret about his people; a king takes drastic measures to save his daughters from a troublesome curse; and a princess befriends an unusual frog.
Mythical creatures can be friend or foe: three brothers face a depressed dragon with a legendary treasure; an ancient crow brings a child’s wishes to life; and one young girl discovers dragons aren’t always the enemy.
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes: a miser is in danger of losing everything one cold night; a struggling mirrorsmith meets an invisible recluse; a boy must relive the fairy tale based on his ancestor’s life; a child is rejected because of his love of drawing cats; and an evil witch is sealed in a glass coffin.
Be transported to new worlds and enjoy fresh twists on old favorites.
Elise: Today, I’d like to introduce one of the authors from this exciting new volume: B.C. Marine has kindly agreed to stop by and chat. Her retelling, Seeing Through Him, features a struggling mirrorsmith who meets an invisible recluse. What inspired your retelling?
B.C.: Invisibility was a Gift I’d wanted to write a story about for a while, and Beauty and the Beast adaptations have always appealed to me. When I realized the two could be combined, the ideas came easily.
Elise: What was the hardest part of writing it?
B.C.: Balance in this story was a struggle in a few areas. I needed to firmly establish Rosabella and her world before Leandro while also having them meet as soon as possible. Also, the original is one of the longest fairy tales ever, so adapting it into a short story without crowding it or leaving it incomplete was tricky.
Elise: What short stories have you written for a JL Anthology before?
B.C.: I wrote “Her Dearest Treasure” for the very first JLA, based on the “The Peasant’s Clever Daughter” by the Brothers Grimm.
Elise: How did this experience differ from your previous JLA story?
B.C.: “Her Dearest Treasure” was based on an obscure tale, so I tried to keep most of the story intact. I replaced each character and the details of each plot point, but the general outline was unchanged.
“Seeing Through Him” is based on one of the most frequently adapted tales, so I wanted to really update it and change things more. Instead of following the plot beat-for-beat, I looked at its basic theme and twisted that. By changing it from an allegory for arranged marriage to one about modern dating, large portions changed radically.
Elise: What other fairy tale would you like to rewrite?
B.C.: I have an adaptation of “King Thrushbeard” in the works right now, and I have ideas for “Cinderella”, “The Frog Prince”, and a mash-up of “Snow White” and “Iron Hans”. A surprisingly small percentage of fairy tales adapt well into romances, but I’d love to adapt most of the ones that do.
Elise: Wow, so if our readers enjoy retellings, they should keep an eye on you! Do you prefer a HEA?
B.C.: I write romance. I live for HEA!
Elise: How do you combat writer’s block?
B.C.: Deadlines. If something can be finished whenever, I’ll procrastinate with research and worldbuilding. The pressure of knowing something needs to be worked on fuels my imagination.
Elise: Are you a “pantser” or “plotter”?
B.C.: I mainly plot. “Seeing Through Him” was tightly planned in detail before I wrote anything. However, for longer works, I will sometimes let myself follow ideas mid-story.
Elise: Favorite original fairy tale?
B.C.: “The Peasant’s Clever Daughter” is underappreciated and has my favorite ending.
Elise: Funnily enough, that was always one of my favorites too – I had a version of it in a book as a child. What’s your favorite adapted fairy tale?
B.C.: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Tangled are two of my favorite movies, but as an adaptation, I’d go with Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine (not the movie, though!). The Tin Man miniseries deserves a mention as well.
Elise: If you could meet one author, alive or dead, who would it be?
B.C.: C.S. Lewis was such a master of both storytelling and the English language, and based on his letters, he seems like he would have been fun to hang with.
Elise: Ah, I’d love to meet him as well. What is your non-writer alter-ego (aka day job)?
B.C.: I’m a hairstylist, though I’m raising my sons full-time now that I have two.
Elise: What is your spirit animal?
B.C.: Umm…a Muppet? Is that a valid answer? *shrugs* I’m going with Muppet.
Elise: Sure – why not! Who is the biggest supporter of your writing?
B.C.: My mom told me to be a writer years ago, and my husband is always the first one to read my stories and give me feedback.
Elise: What is the biggest obstacle to your writing?
B.C.: I’m easily distracted. I could probably use some blinders to go with my headphones when I’m—ooh, what’s that?
Elise: What other projects are you working on?
B.C.: Besides my “King Thrushbeard” retelling, I have another short story called “I Loved You Tomorrow” and my first novel A Seer’s Daughter, that I’m working to publish this year.
Elise: Oxford comma, yes or no?
Elise: Thanks very much for joining us today!
B.C. Marine’s superpowered romantic fantasy is heavily influenced by the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband and two sons. Hairdresser by day and full-time mother all the time, she sometimes has to negotiate with her family to get time to write, and the scenic views of Western Washington provide plenty of inspiration for her settings. She loves knitting and spends far too much time researching her stories.
Blog Tour Schedule
To meet other authors in Of Legend and Lore, follow our blog tour:
Don’t miss the cover reveal on the Just-Us League blog! — 7th February
Allie May hosts Matthew Dewar — 8th February
J.E. Klimov hosts Kelsie Engen — 13th February
Louise Ross hosts M.T. Wilson — 16th February
Heather Hayden hosts Allie May– 19th February
Kelsie Engen hosts Renee Frey — 20th February
RELEASE DAY — 26th February
M.T. Wilson hosts Sam Waterhouse — 1st March
Kristen Kooistra hosts Louise Ross — 2nd March
Elise Edmonds hosts J.E. Klimov — 7th March
J.E. Klimov hosts Heather Hayden — 9th March
Allie May hosts Elise Edmonds — 12th March
Look forward to seeing you there!