Today on Once Upon a Week is our discussion of the book Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. The discussion will be ongoing, and can be found at Vanessa’s blog: Today’s Adventure. Since today is being devoted to all things Sisters Red, I posted my review earlier on, and now the author has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions! Jackson Pearce is the author of two books for young adults: As You Wish (HarperCollins, 2009) and Sisters Red (Little, Brown, 2010), and I’ll be talking with Jackson today about her novel Sisters Red, a re-telling and continuation of Little Red Riding Hood, and fairy tales.
Welcome to Escape Through the Pages! Your book Sisters Red has its roots in the story of Little Red Riding Hood, but is more of a continuation than a re-telling. What was the hardest part in taking such a well-known story and making it your own?
I think the hardest part was trying to stay true to the original story’s themes and motifs. I wanted to make sure I incorporated as much as the original story as possible, while still making SISTERS RED sound plausible and realistic despite being a paranormal novel. Figuring out how to merge the two without losing the “purpose” of the original fairytale was especially tough sometimes (most notably, Rosie’s big moment toward the end– it took ages to work out how she’d accomplish that!)
The voices of Scarlett and Rosie are incredibly distinct – I never had any problems remembering whose point of view I was reading (the handy chapter headers helped, too). Did you find one voice any easier to write, or connect to, than the other?
Whenever I was writing Scarlett, I thought Rosie was in the wrong and being inconsiderate. When I started writing Rosie, I thought Scarlett was being obsessive and controlling. Neither was harder to connect to, once I got in the right frame of mind, though I did sometimes have to pause between writing chapters so I could get into the head of the other character. But Scarlett and Rosie had such distinct, difference personalities and voices in my head– mining them wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be!
Superheroes (and heroines) tend to get their own theme songs/music, and I say Scarlett, Rosie and Silas are pretty heroic. Which songs do you see each of them having for their own theme?
Hmmm, I can’t think of anything in particular, but I’m sure it wouldn’t be anything super patriotic-sounding, like the Superman theme song. It certainly wouldn’t be bright or bubbly either. Probably something similar to the Batman theme– dark and brooding, but powerful. I really wish I was musical– I’d love to write them their own theme music!
Since this is a week devoted to fairy tales, which story was your favourite when you were younger, and why? Is it still your favourite (if not, which one is?)?
My favorite when I was very young was actually Pinnochio (though I’m not sure if it qualifies as a fairytale, since it’s actually somewhat new– written around the 1880s or so). I loved the part where they eat all the candy and turn into donkeys. My current favorite, however, is The Snow Queen, a Hans Christian Anderson fairytale that’s unfortunately not super well known. The Little Robber Girl might be my favorite fairytale character of all!
You’re sent to colonize the moon and can take only one book with you; which book do you bring?
A blank one, so I can write in it.
Thank you so much, Jackson. It was great to have you here!