Sarah E. Morin: Discover more…

Sarah E. MorinDiscover more about

Sarah E. Morin

and her YA fantasy

Waking Beauty

Enclave Publishing

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A book character that sticks in my mind is… Why?

Mrs. Fairfax from Jane Eyre. Bronte leaves us with just enough details to remember her, but not enough to understand her. So is she a flighty old housekeeper who has no idea who is living in the attic? Is she fully aware and willing to let Jane fall into a bigamous marriage with only minor protest? Is she a sweet Judi Dench? I don’t think Bronte cared enough to tell us, but really, Charlotte, that was unjust, unjust…

The last book that made me cry was…

Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay. I wanted to hug so many characters in that novel.

The last book that made me laugh out loud was…

Cress by Marissa Meyer. I am a Lunartic. (The name comes from the series title, The Lunar Chronicles.) A cyborg Cinderella? A Rapunzel who is stuck in a satellite instead of a tower? I am in love with this metallic sci fi fairy tale jambalaya. For an added bonus, listen to Rebecca Soler perform the audiobook. Great comedic timing. And the Best. Rescue. Scene. Ever.

I’m completely immersed in their storytelling, whenever I read a book by…

Juliet Marillier, Deanne Gist, Elizabeth Camden, Julie Klassen

The first person who encouraged me to pursue my writing was…

I can’t cite an instance, but I have no doubt it was my parents, because that’s the kind of people they are. I do remember a pivotal person who encouraged me to read, which as we all know is a gateway drug to writing. When I was five I went to a daycare where introverted little me felt very overwhelmed by the energy levels and noise of the other kids. Miss Jane was a six-foot lady, dark hair always up in a bun like a librarian, with the demeanor of Mrs. Claus. She was as calm and huggable as a giant panda. She always made sure I had a quiet little corner of the playroom and fresh books. I learned how to read in the middle of chaos and disappear into fairy tales of Chinese nightingales. Miss Jane called me “her little reader” until my mid-twenties.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…

Well, in high school I took a career compatibility test. It predicted I would be a composer (my major in college), a writer, or a mortician.

I write stories because…

It’s my way of processing the world. Often I do not know what I think until I write it, whether through journaling or the offbeat worlds of spec fic.

Waking BeautyWaking Beauty

This rescue isn’t going at all how he planned. Secondhand hero Prince Arpien intends to gain a throne and the sleeping beauty’s heart with a single kiss when he wakes her from the evil fairy’s curse. But kissing the princess is only the beginning of a series of unforeseen obstacles: man-eating bugs, deadly spindles, talking lapdogs, and fiery pickles. The sleeping beauty is the biggest complication of all.

Princess Brierly is Beautiful and fairy-Gifted, but also . . . daft. After one hundred years of sleep imprisonment, Brierly refuses to believe this rescue is anything more than a tantalizing but doomed dream.

Arpien is drawn to the vibrancy beneath Brierly’s indifferent exterior. Can they reclaim her kingdom? Do they dare trust in the Prince of the old tales to help them battle the evil fairy who cursed Brierly? What is the price of waking beauty?

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…

Spoofy, angsty, whimsical, adventurous, philosophic

My main character is… 

Brierly, aka Sleeping Beauty. She’s been trapped in her own dreams for 100 years. So when a strange guy smooches her and she opens her eyes, why should she believe it isn’t just another dream? Brierly is what the literati might call “the wise fool.” She seems spacey, but at least part of it is an act to protect herself from caring about someone and losing them again. Her fairy godparents gave her so many Christening Gifts, she could be a medieval superhero.

Prince Arpien, aka Hero with a Rescuer Complex. He is the great-grandson of the guy who was engaged to Brierly 100 years ago. Arpien grew up with these legends of a peerless princess. But his dream girl (pardon the pun) doesn’t think she needs saving. A family tragedy in Arpien’s past still haunts him. He needs to prove he’s not a coward. It makes him come across as stilted sometimes. But dork though he is, he’s the kind of guy I’d want to have protecting my back.

Nissa, aka the best friend. Also grew up with the Sleeping Princess legends. She believes in the old tales, which have fallen out of favor. Nissa has terrible self image and body image. But she is the kindest person in the story, and bridges an essential gap between hero and heroine. Can she find her own strength?

My main characters resemble….

Brierly looks a little like Princess Aurora from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. She is blond and beautiful, chats with Sympathetic Forest Creatures, and bursts randomly into song. However, she is much snarkier. She is physically graceful and light, courtesy of her fairy Gifts. I always envision her floating everywhere, like a wisp of cloud drifting through life.

Prince Arpien looks like a jock, acts like the nerd who isn’t sure how he got invited to the party. He resembles a cardboard prince because he’s trained himself to be one. When he relaxes, though, he’s loyal, intelligent, and yup, pretty handsome. I rather enjoy that he’s awkward. It makes him approachable, when to judge on good looks alone he could be rather intimidating. Pardon me while I fan myself…

Nissa is the human version of a small, plump, fuzzy bunny. The only time I ever saw her was on a dental brochure. The model was Hispanic, thick dark hair, round cheeks, and the warmest smile. I caught myself grinning back at her as I brought in the mail. When the neighbors asked what I was about, I waved the brochure at them and told them I had just won $100 off tooth whitening.

My story’s spiritual theme is…

I use Sleeping Beauty as a way of framing the debate between absolute and relative truth. That’s Brierly’s spiritual theme. Her best friend Nissa has to get over being a timid believer. And Prince Arpien is Super-Christian. He’s out to save everybody, whether they like it or not. Love, whether of people or God, must always be a choice, or it is not love. I think many of us who love our Savior really struggle to accept others may reject our Into-the-Woods-2014-Movie-Poster-750x1110beloved.

The most recent movie or tv show I loved was… Why?

Into the Woods. Come on, sing along with me! I studied Sondheim in college. He even sent my class his autograph. I loved the layers in Into the Woods, the music, and of course the twisted fairy tales. But what made this time great was I got to introduce it to a good friend, and she loved it. Isn’t it a thrill when we can turn someone else onto a subject we are passionate about?

The story I’m currently working on is…

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of ekphrastic poetry, meaning I collaborate with local painters. As for unruly fairy tales, look for a flash fiction piece in Splickety Prime in June. You’ll never guess which fairy tale characters just walked into the saloon. Novel-wise? I was unexpectedly moved by the Princess and the Pea and its possible power to address a difficult issue. I have been praying over this one. As with Waking Beauty, I constantly strive to balance humor and angst. Consider the Princess and the Pea story just a little pea sprout just now.

You may not know this about me, but I…

Amway uentflay inway Igpay Atinlay.

I might go all fan girl if I met…

Ravi Zacharias. No one combines intellectual apologetics and compassion like Ravi. In person, I would want to call him Uncle Ravi because in many ways I feel he is my spiritual uncle, but I’d be too shy. I’d want to ask an intelligent question, but all my neurons would disconnect from my tongue.

If I could travel back in time, I’d go to…

Easy. I actually do this as my day job. I work at an interactive history park which focuses on 19th C Indiana. Loved being the 1886 schoolteacher because she was very like myself, though the suffragette was a feisty joy to play, too. Let me tell you, though, even for those who romanticize the past, there is a certain reassurance in being about to travel forward to the Land of Flushing Toilets at clock-out time.

I get lost in the music when I listen to…

In C by Terry Riley. I enjoy minimalism, how every little nuance and change becomes so profound. I once played In C at a concert for over an hour, but it felt like 20 minutes. To me, if not the audience.

A long held dream of mine is…

To learn sign language.

Thanks Sarah E.!

Sarah E. Morin serves as kidwrangler at an interactive history park. Her 100 youth volunteers are her best consultants in the fields of humor, teenage angst, and spinning wheels (which, they assure her, are not hazardous to anyone but Sleeping Beauty). She is actively involved in the local writing community, including Noble Poets. Her first novel, Waking Beauty, earned her a spot as finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest. She studied fairy tales extensively at Butler University, but when she grows up she wants to be a child prodigy.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Sarah’s website
Buy at Amazon: Waking Beauty

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7 Responses to Sarah E. Morin: Discover more…

  1. Wow, this is going on my TBR list. And love the trailer! That was the clincher for me. :)

  2. I didn’t know this existed! What a fun find. Thanks for the introduction, Rel. I always love a new fairytale retelling. :)

  3. This looks fab! So glad you put this on my radar. Thanks Rel! Fairytale retellings are some of my favorite stories to read. :)

  4. This sounds like so much fun to read. I am putting it on my TBR right now! Thanks for the interview, Rel.

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