Published by Month9Books
Publication Date: September 5th 2017
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CINDERELLA,NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.
What inspired you to write a dark retelling of Cinderella?
The most common reaction to people hearing my title is: “Oh! Huh. What on earth possessed you to put those two things together?!”
To which I like to respond by grinning gleefully, rubbing my hands together, and possibly cackling like Cinderella’s evil stepmother… I joke, I joke! The truth is that several elements came together at once to plant the idea in my head, though it was a slow burn over about a year to get to that point.
One year at Christmas, a family member returned from a trip to England and gifted me a copy of Magic in the Middle Ages, a history text written by Northwestern University professor Richard Kieckhefer. I read the entire thing (because I love history!) but there was one chapter in particular that I found absolutely fascinating. It was about the dark, underground history of the Catholic clergy who would give their sermons by day, but who created their own magic texts and performed summoning rituals by night. The dichotomy was absolutely fascinating—and disturbing—and so I searched for more information about this strange and relatively obscure bit of Medieval history.
That brought me to a text by the same professor, called Forbidden Rites: A Necromancer’s Manual of the Fifteenth Century. Inside this text is a translation of a manuscript that is quite literally a grimoire of magical rituals for summoning spirits and other awful things, and it is written in Latin and German.
In addition to reading these texts, one day I was thinking about fairy tales (I don’t remember why, don’t we all just thinking about stories sometimes?) and wishing that the women in these old stories had a chance to fight back against their circumstances, rather than have to sit around and wait to be rescued by a prince or a fairy godmother. I remember being thoroughly miffed on Cinderella’s behalf, thinking about what would have become of her if there’d been no fairy godmother. If she’d had to rescue herself.
One of the original Cinderella stories comes from Germany (“Aschenputtel” by the Brothers Grimm) and so somehow, my brain put these two things together… and Cinderella was finally allowed to fight back. There is no fairy godmother. There’s no one coming to rescue her. Cinderella has to save herself… and it’s not a sparkly adventure with adorable, talking mice. *dun dun dunnnn*
And that’s how it all came together!
*~~About the Author~~*
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