Indie Saturday – Author Kate Avery Ellison on “The Curse Girl” @Katiewriting
Today, we have author Kate Avery Ellison featured on the blog’s ‘Indie Saturday‘ for her YA fantasy novel The Curse Girl (a retelling of the classic tale of the Beauty and the Beast.)
Kate Avery Ellison writes:
The Importance of the Right Setting
Setting is a vital element to story. Perhaps we all know the familiar refrain “it was a dark and stormy night,” the old opening line that sets the stage for a Gothic tale of love and loss, or a horror story designed to send chills down the reader’s spine. This opening is renowned for being cliché yes. But the cliché demonstrates an underlying principle—setting furthers theme and tone and boosts the story itself. “It was a dark and stormy night” is probably not going to introduce a romantic comedy. Setting matters. The author carefully chooses the setting for their story, because the setting informs everything else. Tone, characters, even plot.
In the Harry Potter series, the wizard school of Hogwarts is a place of whimsy and magic. Descriptions of talking pictures, nearly-headless ghosts, and doors that must be tickled to open are details that transport the reader on a journey of wonder. I remember reading the first book as a child, and the setting was so vivid and whimsical that I felt every bit as enthralled as if I were Harry myself. In George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, the cold, desolate north where the Starks live mirrors their bravery and rugged determination. In contrast, the warmer, more luxurious capital where the Lannisters live subtly highlights their indulgence and selfishness.
In my dystopian-fantasy series The Frost Chronicles, setting plays a very important role. The story takes place in a frozen world populated by monsters, where inhabitants must band together for their own survival and live in a rigidly-constructed world of rules.
Without the setting, there is no story.
In my young adult fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, The Curse Girl, the main setting takes place in an old, cursed house. Magic whispers in the walls at night. The rooms rearrange themselves at random. Everything is old, dusty, and broken. And Will, the master of the house, is emotionally broken, too. He’s the prisoner of a terrible curse, and he is running out of time to lift this curse before it dooms him forever. And the setting is terrifying—and Bee, the protagonist, is terrified by it.
As the story progresses, the setting changes along with the characters. Of course, I can’t be too specific about how the setting changes—spoilers! To find that out, you’ll have to read the book.
Setting is a vital part of every story. So think about it. What is the setting for your favorite novel, and how would the story be different if the setting changed?
I blog about stories and life at http://thesouthernscrawl.blogspot.com. My YA paranormal romance The Curse Girl features a determined young woman and a beastly boy who must work together to break a curse. My short story collection, Once Upon a Beanstalk, is a funny collection of mashed up fairy tales. My newest book, Frost (The Frost Chronicles #1), is a creepy YA fantasy with dystopian elements!
You can also follow me on Twitter!
You can also check out Kate Avery Ellison’s Amazon Author’s page for more info!
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Do you want to be a featured ‘Indie Saturday’ author too? Go here for more info!
Read an embedded sample of “The Curse Girl” after the jump!