Hey, blog buddies! Today, I’m here with an interview I did with Chantal Gadoury, the author of Allerleirauh (try to say that five times). She had some intriguing answers to my questions, so, without further adieu, voila!
If you could be any character in a book, who would you be?
This is actually very hard! There are so many characters that I would love to be! Elizabeth Bennett from “Pride and Prejudice,” or Beauty from Robin McKinley’s “Beauty,” to start. “Katniss” from “The Hunger Games” or Rose from Edith Pattou’s “East.” There are so many young adult novels that I wished I could exist in. I’d love to dance with Mr. Darcy, and go on daring ice-adventures with a polar bear (who secretly is a Prince.) I’d love to be as brave as Katniss, or to have such a lovely rose garden as Beauty. There are too many characters to choose from!
What is one thing none (or very few) of your fans know about you?
Not very many people know that I was actually born in Weisbaden, Germany. My Father had been stationed there (as he became a veteran of the Gulf War) and my Mother was there with him. I grew up almost in this hazy “fairy-tale” world, in which I had been to castles and had grown up with Disney and books. Everything that I am now, and what I believe is all influenced by my parent’s love and the beautiful country of Germany. While I don’t remember very much of that short time I was there in Germany, I do look back and kind of romanticized how it “must have been.” I can name any Disney song after 2 seconds of listening to it, and that I once had a bunny named Lucy after the character in Narnia.
What is something you wish you did?
I wish I had gone to Disney College Program, or pursued it earlier – and more. It’s honestly always been my dream to work for Disney – whether to write or create, but – it’s where dreams come true! Can you imagine how fulfilling a job like that would be? To know that you’re creating and making dreams come true? I wish I had taken more writing opportunities in college; studied harder and taken it a bit more seriously than I did. (I mean, I worked hard, and I took college as a very serious matter, but I know if I had put myself out there a bit more, things might have played out a bit differently for me).
What was the inspiration for Allerleirauh?
Lots of things, honestly. I took inspiration from the classic story. I took inspiration from music – mostly, I took a manuscript I had been trying to write in college, and thought to tackle it again. I was writing tumblr roleplays with a very close friend (at the time) which truly inspired the characters Aurelia and Prince Klaus. The love there, and the strength of both characters fairly reflect some very personal characters I used to know. I took influences from Disney and other fairy tales I had read in the past, and really used everything I had for Allerleirauh. Allerleirauh almost feels like a puzzle for me – so many things (pieces) made it what it is now.
Did you ever doubt yourself while writing Allerleirauh?
This is a great question, and I think it’s something that every writer experiences – that self doubt. Am I doing the right thing? Am I writing the right story? Will anyone like this? What if people hate this? Oh this is terrible! Why did I just write that – that sounds so stupid! These are all thoughts that I have thought, had, said and repeated. You betcha-bottom-dollar that I doubted myself. I doubted myself quite a lot. When it came to the difficult scene in which Aurelia visits her Father in his Chambers, and he abuses her – it was hard. I wasn’t sure if I should include it. I wasn’t sure if I could get away with not including it, and still having the strong message I wanted to have for the novel. I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I wasn’t sure if it would be received at all. And when my Dad passed away on August 7th 2015, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to publish the novel at all. My Dad was and is such a strong part of who I am. I didn’t want to tarnish the image of a Father – let alone mine. I didn’t want anyone to think or wonder “were you abused?” It was a few months after that I knew I just wanted to make him proud – and that was to do what I always told him I would do – publish a book. I told him I’d be an author, and by being that – there are risks that we take. I doubted myself in self-publishing! Was this the right path? Would anyone take me seriously? I kinda realized I had to make sure people did take me seriously – there would be no other option! So yes – From the beginning to .. right now! I doubt myself. I doubt myself and my writing. I expect the worst, and kind of hope for the best.
What was the scariest part about writing and publishing Allerleirauh?
Being unsure how people would respond to the scene between the King and Aurelia. I’d say that’s the scariest part of writing “Allerleirauh.” Being criticized or looked down upon for including such a difficult theme in the novel (but very much a part of the fairy tale.) The scariest part of publishing has been doing it on my own this route. Self-Publishing is hard when you don’t really have much of a name for yourself, and you’re starting out! It’s been scary to know that some people have this pre-assumption about self-publishing authors, and it’s kind of unfair. I worked really hard on this novel and it’s worth reading! Receiving reviews – getting the novel out to a few people has been a terrifying experience; I have no idea how they’re going to respond. So far, so good! But I know what it’s like to have a review haunt you…it can be the kiss of death for a novel.
How do you build and maintain your online presence?
I don’t have the answer to this yet. I’m still discovering this. I imagine it’s to put yourself out there, just like I am now. Reaching out to blogs, doing a book tour, interviewing other authors, doing review exchanges, advertising! Blogging! Blogging has become a new hobby for me. I keep trying to pick a topic, or write about something, or at least include something exciting about “Allerleirauh” for readers. I always try to follow back on Twitter – I try to put posts that might be interesting to others. I’ve done a few Facebook Ads, to gain likes and viewers – but it hasn’t seemed to help too much. I’ve joined groups on Goodreads, reached out to other authors – I’ve really tried to just dive right into Writing World.
Title: Allerleirauh Author: Chantal Gadoury
Genre: Fantasy Romance / Fairytale Retelling / Young Adult
Once Upon A Time…
A King makes a promise to his dying wife to marry only someone with her golden hair. The King finds his eyes are turned by his maturing daughter. Realizing her Father’s intentions, Princess Aurelia tries to trick her Father by requesting impossible gifts: Dresses created by the Sun, Moon and Stars and a Coat made of a Thousand furs. When she discovers his success, Aurelia decides to sacrifice her privileged life and escapes the Kingdom disguised in the cloak, and under a new name, “Allerleirauh.” Aurelia enters the Kingdom of Saarland der Licht where she is taken under the wing of the handsome Prince Klaus. Aurelia must face herself, her past and her fears in her journey of self discovery. “Allerleirauh” is a Retelling of the Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tale classic.
About Chantal Gadoury
Chantal Gadoury is a young author who currently lives in Dover, Delaware with her two cats, Theo and Harper and her fiance, Robert. Originally from Muncy, PA, Chantal appreciates the beautiful mountains and enjoys visits back to see her family. She also loves anything Disney and has a reputation of beating anyone at a mean game of Disney trivia. When Chantal is not writing, she enjoys painting, watching British History Documentaries, drinking iced‐coffee and spending time with loved ones. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues on with that love
of writing today. Graduating from Susquehanna University with a Creative Writing BA, writing novels has become a dream come true.
Don’t forget to check out her blog!