As soon as we started Danielle Paige’s romantic, adventure-packed STEALING SNOW, we knew we had to chat with her to learn more about this dark, icy and modern Snow Queen re-telling.
What inspired you to retell the story of the Snow Queen?
I grew up loving fairy tales and I love a good origin story. What makes a good character take a turn for good or for evil fascinates me.
We can see that because a lot of these characters struggle with good, bad and the gray in between. And the settings in this book are crazy beautiful and wildly creative! If you had to pick one setting to live in, which one would it be and why?
I would have to say the Claret, aka the Robber Palace. The Robber Queen, Margot, cobbles together a massive palace made up of parts of other grand structures. A magical thief, Margot actually lives in a home made of stolen parts. And inside she lives with her troop of robber girls and one robber boy. When Snow finds herself here she learns magic and how to steal! I love the idea of everything being borrowed and everyone hoarding magic and secrets. I want to go there.
We do, too! Something about it felt so extravagant. And speaking of extravagant, in this book Snow navigates a romantic rectangle with not one or two, but three attractive guys! Was that intentional or did it just happen because you love romance?
I know there are some readers who already object to the triangle and will have a hard time with an even bigger love shape. But I love the idea of Snow having a lot of choices. And I remember being 16 and being very aware of the boys in my orbit! Snow has spent a lot of time away from the world and now she is in this big, beautiful one. As her world opens up she encounters new possibilities. I think when you fall in love you learn a lot about yourself, who you are and what you truly want. Bale is the one who knows her heart, but just because he got there first does that mean he belongs there forever? Kai is the architect of many of the snowy masterpieces found all over Algid, but his aversion to magic makes him a challenge to Snow. And Jagger is the charming thief she isn’t quite sure if she can trust.
Love the characters’ names—particularly the guys! How did you go about naming them and is there any meaning behind the names?
I love naming characters. There are so many Kai’s in YA lit (in Kiera Cass’ The Selection, in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles) but Kai came from the original story and I love the name. Jagger is for my eternal love of The Rolling Stones and their front man Mick Jagger. And like his namesake my Jagger is unpredictable and has tons of swagger. Bale came from “Balefire” for his love of fire.
There is a lot of romance in this book and you got your start writing for a soap opera—The Guiding Light! Snow’s favorite show in the psych hospital is a soap opera, The End of Almost, and it has an influence in forging her romantic heart. So what’s the one thing in a romance that gets you hooked from the start?
I love a big, sweeping romantic gesture, preferably with one of those speeches where the guy tells the girl all the things he loves about her. But my favorite moments might be before the first kiss, when we know through every glance and look and bit of banter that the characters are falling in love.
If you were part of Robber Queen Margot’s squad, what magic would you want to control?
I really love the group communication spell in which you can hear the thoughts of others. I wouldn’t mind a little mind linkage with my besties…so much easier than texting. Or one of the performance ones, I would love to just take a potion that would give me Beyoncé’s voice for a day!
5 Quick Questions
Describe Stealing Snow using three words.
Grown up Frozen!
Which character from Dorothy Must Die would fit best into Stealing Snow and why?
Dorothy would have to come to Algid. I wouldn’t mind her dropping house in Algid (probably on a witch) and seeing what trouble she could whip up.
The one YA romance you think everyone should read now (in addition to Stealing Snow, of course!)
I just finished Kami Garcia’s The Lovely Reckless! Think The Fast and the Furious plus romance!
Which character from Stealing Snow would you pick for a roommate?
Snow would be a terrible roomie—one bad dream and she could freeze me in her sleep! I think I would have to choose Kai; he would make me the most clever things. As much as I like magic, Kai’s inventions would provide all sorts of comforts. He’s the Steve Jobs of my fairy tale.
You’re thrown into a fantasy book time machine with almost no time to think…where do you go?
Oh, this may be my favorite question ever! I need to read more happy books. I absolutely want to go to Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. The future plus fairy tales!