Today, Liz DeJesus returns to talk about GLASS FROST, the second novel in her YA contemporary fairytale series! Be sure to check out our interview with Liz on the previous book, FIRST FROST.
When joined together, Cinderella’s slippers grant the wearer her heart’s desire. But whose wish will be granted?
When Cinderella’s glass slipper is stolen, Queen Felicia sends her faithful steward Terrance to the real world to retrieve his love and witch-in-training, Bianca Frost. The power of the glass slipper in the wrong hands could ruin peace in Everafter. Bianca must gather every bit of magic she has learned in the past few weeks to find the slipper and protect her new love. Together, Bianca, Ming, Prince Ferdinand, and Terrance venture deep into the heart of Everafter to seek clues as to who has stolen the slipper and why. Along the way, they uncover what happened to the Seven Dwarves after Snow White married the prince, but also learn the awful risk of tampering with black magic and the high price that must be paid for magical aid, even when used for good.
Bianca and Terrance’s relationship is put to the test. Through the pain of suffering and loss, Bianca must determine if following her gallant boyfriend into his faraway world is in fact her heart’s desire.
Olivia with YA-Mag: Liz, welcome back to the Young Adult Magazine!
Liz DeJesus: Hi! Thank you so much for having me today. I’m thrilled to be back at Young Adult Magazine.
YA: Let’s get right too it, then! Bianca Frost is taking on her next challenge in the world of Everafter. But how did you and Bianca first meet? What about her made Bianca the perfect eyes to see this series through?
Liz DeJesus: I stumbled across Bianca a few years ago when I was first thinking about writing First Frost. I got the idea for the story while watching a commercial for a local children’s museum. I thought that it would be so cool to have a fairy tale themed museum, mostly because that’s something some of us never outgrow. But at the time that the idea was forming, I didn’t know if it would be a children’s book or if it would be middle grade. At that moment, it was still just an idea swirling around my head.
Then out of nowhere, this girl popped up. And all I knew was that she was a descendant of Snow White. So I started ‘talking’ to her. Writing is kind of like being a good kind of schizophrenic, so yeah… I talk to my characters as if they were people sometimes. With Bianca, it was almost as if I was taking notes for her life story. So far, she’s been an amazing character to write for. I love everyone in my series; Ming, Rose, David, Terrance and Prince Ferdinand. They are such fun characters. I can’t wait to work with them again.
YA: What sets Bianca’s story apart from other YA fairytale-inspired stories, like THE LUNAR CHRONICLES by Marissa Meyer or BEASTLY by Alex Finn? What will readers find that they can’t find anywhere else in YA books?
LD: I love, LOVE Marissa Meyer. I’m a huge fan of her books and what she’s doing with her series is phenomenal. I didn’t read Beastly by Alex Finn but I saw the movie and thought it was a wonderful spin on that fairy tale.
What readers will find in my books that they can’t find anywhere else is a bit of closure with some of our favorite fairy tale characters. Haven’t you always wondered what happened to Snow White after she married the prince? What happened to the Seven Dwarves? In First Frost, we discover that Snow White did have children and that Bianca Frost is her great-great-great granddaughter. So it’s not exactly a retelling… it’s more of continuation of the fairy tale but set in modern time.
YA: What non-book influences (films, television shows, music, plays, etc) helped spark this story or your writing career in general?
LD: I had just finished First Frost and was submitting it to publishers when I got the idea for Glass Frost. I was in the car listening to Linkin Park and one of the lyrics just kept playing in my head over and over again. And all I saw was Bianca’s hand coming out of a dark pit. She was crawling… trying to get out of the darkness. So naturally… I had questions.
What were you doing in there? Why did you fall into that pit? Where is Terrance and why isn’t he doing his job and saving your butt?!
So I had to rush home and answer those questions. I ended up with an entire book.
I love music. I feel like it’s such a natural conduit for creativity, at least it is for me. I also go to deviantART.com A LOT. The artwork I find there is incredible. Sometimes that’s all I need to help me write a scene. I’ll also sit and watch the Broadway musical ‘Into the Woods’ or ‘Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theater’. Stuff like that always helps me refill my creative well when it feels dry.
YA: Aw, yay, I love Faerie Tale Theater. That’s so cool! So, when you were a teen, what was your favorite book (YA or otherwise)? Now that you’re an author for teens, what is your favorite contemporary YA?
LD: When I was a teen, I read everything I could get my hands on. But mostly I remember reading Sweet Valley High Series by Francine Pascal and anything by Francesca Lia Block. And comic books. I remember reading Catwoman, Witchblade, Fathom, Strangers in Paradise, Spiderman, Superman, anything as long as it was good.
Now that I’m older, not much has changed. I still read like there’s no tomorrow. Right now, my favorite YA author is Marissa Meyer. I’ll read anything she writes.
YA: What is the story behind the title GLASS FROST?
LD: The original title for Glass Frost was Second Frost. I know… not exactly original. But I need something just to get me to write the book, otherwise I get stuck on the title and then I can’t write. I just know that I have to call it something in order to sit down and write.
So while I was working on the novel, there was a scene where Bianca visits Snow White’s glass coffin (the one the dwarves made for her when she died from the poisoned apple). And the way I described the coffin was that the glass was frosted. My husband read that part of the book and said, “That should be the title of your book.”
I smiled and shouted, “You’re a genius!” I kissed him and then vanished to go change the title. My husband is to thank for the title… and also for putting up with a crazy writer.
YA: Since this is the second book in the series, in what ways have the stakes been raised? Why will new readers find this to be a good book to jump in on the series?
LD: I’m trying to keep all of the books in the series as self-contained novels so you don’t really have to read the other books in order to know what’s going on (although it helps to read the previous books). You can jump in at any moment in the series. Bianca is definitely more sure of who she is and where her destiny lies.
The stakes have been raised in this book because her relationship with Terrance is being put to the test. She’ll discover what she’s willing to do and what she’s willing to give up in order to be with him. They’ll find out for sure if what they have is just a crush or if it’s true love. Plus, there are new villains! And we learn a little bit more about Snow White and Cinderella.
YA: Will we be hearing more from Bianca, Terrance, and the rest in a third novel soon? If so, what can you tease your fans with about this next story in the series?
LD: I’m currently working on the third book in the series. It’s taking me a little longer since I’m working on so many other projects behind the scenes, but slow and steady wins the race. I’d rather take my time and write a great book than to rush through it and deliver a crappy book, you know what I mean?
But the book is tentatively titled Shattered Frost. And it’s going to take place 5-6 months after Glass Frost ends. Bianca and Ming are getting ready to go back to Everafter for the Winter Ball. It’s sort of an Everafter Christmas where they celebrate Yuletide and the arrival of the Snow Queen.
I can’t say too much, otherwise I’ll spoil the book for you, but I will say that it will involve Captain Bluebeard and Alice in Wonderland. Also the book will be divided between Terrance’s point of view and Bianca’s point of view. I can’t wait to be finished writing so I can share it with everyone.
YA: If you could cast the Dream Film Adaptation of GLASS FROST, who would you cast?
LD: Bianca Frost = Sarah Hyland (from Modern Family)
Ming Lee = Ellen Wong (from Scott Pilgrim vs the World)
Terrance Connor = Benjamin Barnes (Prince Caspian)
Prince Ferdinand = Lucas Till (X-Men First Class)
Rose Frost = Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)
Queen Mirabel = Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)
Snow White = Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey)
YA: Do you have any pet projects you’d like to try out sometime soon?
LD: I have a lot of stories that I’m currently juggling. My goal is to have Shattered Frost finished by next fall (fingers crossed this will happen the way I plan). I’m also working on a novel titled Decode; it’s a sci-fi story about a girl that’s trapped inside a computer. And I’m also working on a novel titled Zombie Ever After. I also signed a contract with Emerald Star Comics to turn one of my stories into a comic book.
Which one am I most excited about?
All of them. LOL!
YA: All right, last one! With the winter holidays upon us, if you could spend time with Bianca and her friends, what traditions would you each keep? What would you want to tell Bianca about her past and her future?
LD: Bianca and Ming are big on Christmas so I would look forward to going shopping with them. Bianca would spend most of her time in the bookstore, whereas Ming would want to go shopping for clothes and anything sparkly. And we would watch Christmas movies while decorating the tree. Terrance and Prince Ferdinand don’t have Christmas in Everafter; they have Yuletide and celebrate the arrival of the Snow Queen, but they do have a ball and exchange gifts.
What would I tell Bianca about her past and her future? I would tell her that her family’s past doesn’t define her future. That she can make her own path in life and that she should follow her heart. But most importantly? She’s going to be okay.
YA: Thank you very much, Liz! Congratulations on GLASS FROST, from all of us here at YA Magazine!
LD: You’re very welcome and thank you so much for having me here today. These were wonderful questions!
Readers, be sure to check out LizDeJesus at her website LizDeJesus.com. Or follow her on Twitter @Liz_DeJesus23.
GLASS FROST, published by Musa Publishing, is now available for download onto your favorite e-reading device!
Olivia Hennis is a transplanted New England girl dropped by a tornado into the magical Land of Jersey. For more info, follow her on Twitter.