Dorlana's interest in fairy tales is obvious to anyone who visits her sites or interacts with her on Twitter. She's written a number of short stories based on fairy tales and added a paranormal element for a different twist. Her stories are fresh, modern and not for little kids but there's definitely a sense of fun about them. Dorlana kindly agreed to a short interview for Once Upon A Blog...
Fairy Tale News Hound: Thank you, Dorlana, for being available to answer some questions for Once Upon A Blog today. In previous interviews people have asked about you as a writer, your books and your interest in the supernatural. I thought I would focus on your interest in fairy tales and the resulting wonderful blog, "Supernatural Fairy Tales".
When do you first remember being influenced by fairy tales and how are you influenced now?
D: I wrote my first fairy tale inspired short story, Phone Calls and Dwarfs, about 15 years ago. The more I learn about them, the more I respect them, and today they are my main source of inspiration.
FTNH: What is/are your favorite fairy tale/s (or types of tales) and fairy tale characters? Why?
D: I guess I’m still a little girl at heart, because my favorite is Cinderella—the one with the happily ever after. I avoided writing a Cinderella inspired short story for a long time because there are a ton of adaptations already out there. And, since it’s my favorite, I wanted to do it justice. I did finally write a short story, Midnight, where I had fun creating a modern Cinderella who was a bit feisty; I threw her into a paranormal situation with an old-fashioned Prince, who turned out to be not so charming.
FTNH: You've written a lovely collection of fairy tale inspired short stories which are available to read at "Supernatural Fairy Tales". Personally, I love "Blueberry Eyes", "The Tower" and the latest piece you've posted, "Forbidden Beach". Do you remember the genesis of any of your fairy tale inspired short stories?
D: Thank you.
Except for my earlier pieces that weren’t paranormal, they all started out pretty much the same. I read the fairy tale and either retold it, using a supernatural element, or more likely, used what I thought was the theme/moral or sometimes just the character, to write a paranormal short story. My favorite stories are the ones where, on the surface, you can’t tell which fairy tale I used, the reader has to really dig; but when the fairy tale is discovered, it’s like “ohhh…”
Also, a lot of personal experiences influence my thought process in the unfolding of a story. Right before I wrote Silverweed Muffins my mom was reminiscing about how my grandfather was so superstitious. I used some of these memories in my story—like when he saw the devil in the woods, and the fact that he thought he killed his mom when he was 5-years-old by shooing the black birds off of their front porch—and they also set the entire mood of the story. And in one of my more recent stories, If You Feed a Wolf, I pulled out my dream journal and took actual segments of my dreams, from years ago, and used them in the story—because the feel of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (the inspiration story) reminded me of my dreams and made me believe that Lewis Carroll was a lucid dreamer, too.
FTNH: When did you decide that combining a fairy tale and a supernatural element (or two) made a good short story? Do you remember how you arrived at that combination?
D: It took me a while to find my genre, but when I did, (around 5 years ago) combining my two interests just kind of made sense. Now it is almost like a fun addiction. I crave that spark of inspiration from the fairy tale to get my imagination flowing. And because I choose the fairy tale and the supernatural element first, it also provides a disciplined writing challenge.
FTNH: I see you're having more and more guests involved in your website. Are you expanding what you're doing with the short stories and fairy tale articles?
D: I’ve had my blog for about two years, and I feel like I have just barely scraped the surface of the fairy tale world. Every day I learn something new and find new artists and writers who are extremely passionate about fairy tales. The blog, like me, has changed and grown from this exploration of fairy tales through other people’s eyes, voices and imaginations.
FTNH: Do you have any plans to collect your fairy tale inspired short stories into an anthology or perhaps write a novel length story based on a fairy tale?
D: I do plan on having an anthology one day, but right now the short stories that were inspired by fairy tales are now inspiring longer pieces. It sounds crazy, but I use the fairy tale to inspire the short story which in turn inspires the novel. I’m using my short stories, The Tower (inspired by Rapunzel) and Silverweed Muffins (inspired by Little Red Riding Hood) for my YA novels in progress. My plan is to have both novels finished by the end of the year. I’m really having a blast writing them.
Thank you again for making yourself available today, Dorlana! We wish you every success with your YA novels and can't wait to see what you have lined up for "Supernatural fairy Tales" in the coming months.
You can learn more about Dorlana's "Death" HERE and read some of her excellent fairy tale inspired short stories HERE. Two recent stories are "Forbidden Beach", based, not on The Little Mermaid as you might think, but on Thumbelina, and "Cyberstock", based on Jack and the Beanstalk.
"Supernatural Fairy Tales" also has fairy tale articles, book reviews and profiles fairy tale-inspired artists of all kinds. If you haven't already, I encourage you to subscribe to Dorlana's site. You'll be very glad you did.