Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Interview with Danielle Paige, Author of 'Dorothy Must Die'

I recently got to interview the wonderful Danielle Paige, author of the new book Dorothy Must Die.

Give us a quick rundown of the premise of Dorothy Must Die. 
Short version: Another girl from Kansas lands in Oz via tornado and learns she has to fight an evil Dorothy. Long version: Amy Gumm lands in Oz and is inducted into the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked, a group of not-so-wicked witches that are determined to rid their land of Dorothy. But first, she has to take the Scarecrow's brain, the Tin Man's heart, and the Lion's courage. 
How did you approach writing this book? It's a rather drastic departure from the Oz everyone knows and loves. Was it difficult to find a good balance between staying true to that and creating something new?
I was terrified at first of stepping onto Baum's Yellow Brick Road. But once I got started, I did so with abandon. I enjoyed pushing the characters to their limits, but I think that each character still possesses, at his or her core, something of what we first fell in love with in Baum's original. Dorothy may now be wicked, but she is still loyal to her friends. 
Were you at all influenced by the original Oz books? Or is the story mostly derived from the 1939 movie and your own ideas?
I read all fourteen Baum books, and I've seen the movie so many times, but the books have a wealth of amazing characters and lands to explore. I was so lucky to have so much to work with. 
It was reported last year that The CW was planning a TV series based on Dorothy Must Die. Is that still in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
I can only say how much I would love to see it on screen!
There have been plenty of revisionist takes on Oz over the years, from Wicked to the Syfy Channel's Tin Man. What makes Dorothy Must Die unique? Why should Oz fans check it out?
I love all things Oz, too! Wicked and Tin Man and Return to Oz are all fabulous. But I think there's a place for my Dorothy, too. As a writer, I felt like there was another story to tell. And as a fan, I could not let go of this idea of what happens after Dorothy goes home from Oz and has to go back to being a normal girl in Kansas. Could she leave Oz behind? I think she can't. I think she longs for the beauty and the magic and, to a degree, the fame she achieved there. I think she longs for it, and out of that longing, a new Dorothy begins to form.
Your first book was just released, but are you already planning on writing sequels?
There will be two more books! Working on book two now.
The original story was written 115 years ago, and is still relevant and popular today. Why do you think Oz has withstood the test of the time?
It's America's fairy tale. The theme of good vs. wicked is timeless, and Baum's characters and settings are among the most imaginative in all of literature. I hope he wouldn't mind the update.
Thank you so much, Danielle! 

Dorothy Must Die is now available from Harper Teen wherever books are sold. Click here for more information.

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