written by Shonna Slayton
published by Entangled Teen
About the book: Being seventeen during World War II is tough. Finding out you’re the next keeper of the real Cinderella’s dress is even tougher.
Kate simply wants to create window displays at the department store where she’s working, trying to help out with the war effort. But when long-lost relatives from Poland arrive with a steamer trunk they claim holds the Cinderella’s dress, life gets complicated.
Now, with a father missing in action, her new sweetheart shipped off to boot camp, and her great aunt losing her wits, Kate has to unravel the mystery before it’s too late.
After all, the descendants of the wicked stepsisters will stop at nothing to get what they think they deserve.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. Cinderella’s Dress is a fun 1940s fairy tale for those who like a bit of mystery and a sweet romance.
Why did you did you decide to write Cinderella’s Dress? I’d been reading a lot of fairy-tales and was trying to come up with something similar, yet different, to distinguish my books from other retellings. I thought a blend of history and fantasy would be fun, and my first attempt was an original 1930s fairy tale. I was looking for another fairy tale/historical idea to write, when I stumbled across the two story sparks for Cinderella’s Dress. I talked about it more in-depth here: I is for Inspiration.
In your bio, you say that you find inspiration in reading vintage teen diaries. Where do you find these diaries? And how did you know to look for them? Because I was writing a historical setting, I wanted to get my history as accurate as possible. What would a girl in the 1940s be like? What would she think about, what would she say, what would she do? I knew I needed primary sources to help me accurately form the setting and the culture of the times.
The easiest/cheapest way to find diaries is online and excerpted in printed books. Museum archives also hold diaries. However, my favorite way to get them is off eBay. I cringe as I type this, wondering if my diaries might end up being sold online one day! It also makes me wonder what some of these girls would think about having their personal thoughts put out into the world like they are. One of my favorites that I own is from the 1930s and was a school project, written on loose-leaf paper. This girl was a character, probably trying to give her teacher a good read. It could become a book in itself. In her case, I think she would get a kick out of her diary being used as inspiration for a YA author.
Taking a look at your blog, I saw that you participated in the Blogging From A–Z Challenge. What was your favorite post? I have to say, I liked the Fishing for Ostriches post. Ha! Yes, O is for Ostrich Fishing. I love that one. It’s such an odd roadside attraction. It’s one of those cases where you drive by and you look at one another and ask, “Should we?” And then you are so glad you did. We go every year now. That post has a companion piece: L is for Lorikeet Forest. I’d never heard of the Blogging from A-Z Challenge until a few days before it started. It was a lot of fun and gave me an excuse to visit new blogs.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? Why, yes. I’m hoping since I’ve broken through that first-book barrier, that I’ll be able to sell some of my other historic fairy tales. And, of course, I put in a few plants and left a few strings lying around in Cinderella’s Dress that I hope Entangled Teen will ask for more. I have ideas for both a sequel and a prequel in this series. But while I wait on news for those, I’m polishing a novel set in the 1890s.
What is your favorite genre to read? It’s tough to pick one. I will read any fairy tale that comes along. I also like historicals, but the time period has a lot to do with whether or not I’ll pick it up.
Who is your favorite author? Ack, all this making me choose one. Modern author? Gail Carson Levine. I love her imagination. Inspirational author? L.M. Montgomery.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? Again, with the one book. I’d have to say the Bible. There are so many references to the Bible in literature that you are really missing out if you haven’t read it. The overarching story of a lost people and a suffering Savior is the pinnacle of all redemption stories. And then, all the mini-stories within! Joseph being a slave in Egypt. Queen Esther saving her people. King David’s highs and lows (Goliath, Bathsheba, his troublesome sons!) I could go on and on. So much is packed within those pages.
Modern book? Well, a memoir that I would never have read if I hadn’t stumbled across it in the nonfiction section is Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart. She and her best friend landed jobs in New York, the summer of 1945, and is it a hoot! The two of them were the first girls to work as pages on the main floor at Tiffany.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the internet . . . at least not found easily. They’ll be found now. *grin*
- I was a camp counselor for many summers in my 20s.
- My trip to England in fourth grade hooked my interest in castles.
- I was a figure skater as a kid, but quit as soon as I reached competition level. Couldn’t get up that early in the morning for practice.
About the author: Shonna Slayton finds inspiration in reading vintage diaries written by teens, who despite using different slang, sound a lot like teenagers today. While writing Cinderella’s Dress she reflected on her days as a high-school senior in British Columbia when she convinced her supervisors at a sportswear store to let her design a few windows—it was glorious fun while it lasted. When not writing, Shonna enjoys amaretto lattes and spending time with her husband and children in Arizona.
1 Signed copy of Cinderella’s Dress, an Amber sun pendant set in sterling silver a Tatting shuttle and thread, a dress form ornament and bookmark swag. US Only.
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