Fairy Godmothers, Inc.
by Jenniffer Wardell
Hardcover, 302 pages
Expected publication: April 27th 2013 by Jolly Fish Press
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In a world where fairy tale situations are as much a fact of life as death and taxes, everyone knows hiring Fairy Godmothers, Inc. is the best way to assure that your beautiful daughter or enchanted frog of a grandson will get the happily-ever-after he or she deserves. Sure, sometimes a little love potion is required to make sure those quotas stay up, but what Prince Charming doesn’t know won’t hurt him.
Kate, an experienced Fairy Godmother, who’s enough of a romantic to frustrate her rigidly rule-bound boss, has just received a specialty assignment from one of the company’s board of directors. Cinderella—Rellie for short—was placed with an appropriately wicked stepfamily years before, and now needs the dress, ball, and handsome prince to complete her happily-ever-after. The fact that Rellie isn’t sure this is her dream come true—balls are fun, but princes tend to be less interesting than fluffy bunnies—isn’t something management considers a problem.
Complicating things a bit is Jon, the youngest son of the royal family, who meets Kate, and is smitten, but isn’t quite ready yet to reveal his true identity. After all, it’s his older brother Rupert who’s supposed to marry Rellie, which means pretending to be a lowly civil servant will give him the chance to spend more time with Kate. (As long as he can get the ball arranged, and stop Rupert from getting himself into trouble over his “self-actualization” business, he should have the perfect opportunity to explain everything and get started on making a little magic with the Fairy Godmother of his dreams.)
But, of course, things never ever happen as planned.
What are your top five favorite fairy tale stories & why?
Terry Pratchett’s “The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents” – I’ve always thought there was something fishy about “The Pied Piper of Hammelin,” and Pratchett proves it. It’s hilarious, like all of Sir Terry’s books, and offers some great insights into the importance of both stories and reality.
Mercedes Lackey’s “Sleeping Beauty” (part of the Tales of the 500 Kingdoms series) – It actually spends less time with the original fairy tale and more time fixing the mess Wagner made of his character’s lives in his Ring Cycle operas. The fact that someone cared enough to do that delights me every time I think about it, and even more every time I re-read it.
Patricia C. Wrede’s “Dealing with Dragons” (Book 1 of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles) – Sensible girls sometimes chose the dragon over the knight in shining armor, particularly if the dragon has a sizeable library. A proper happily-ever-after needs to be interesting.
“Ladyhawke” (movie) – I was madly in love with Matthew Broderick’s charming thief character for a good portion of my childhood years. The movie balanced witty humor and grand passion to a degree I’ve rarely found since.
Disney’s “Robin Hood” (movie) – The animals seemed to have so much more personality than the humans in movies like “Snow White” and “Cinderella.” I quote the movie to this day.
Since this is a remake of Cinderella, will there be a sequel after the glass slipper's
owner is revealed?
I’ve never understood why it was all based on a glass slipper – shouldn’t the prince recognize the face of the person he’s been dancing with all night? (And if he doesn’t, why exactly is she so keen on marrying him?) So the slipper isn’t as big a deal as it is in “Fairy Godmothers, Inc.,” but I do indeed have a sequel in mind.
Are you a fan of magic? If so, whose your favorite magician/illusionist & why?
I love magic, and grew up faithfully watching every David Copperfield special. These days, I enjoy watching anyone that can give me the same sense of wonder David Copperfield did as a little kid.
Whose your favorite comedian & why?
Jeff Dunham. I seriously think he sees all his puppets as fully sentient characters who walk around and have lives when he’s not onstage with them. If he hadn’t been good at ventriloquism, he probably would have ended up being a writer.
What's your all-time favorite comedy (movie) & why?
“Scrooged,” hands down. It flips “A Christmas Carol” on its head while still remaining faithful to the heart of the original tale, it has a solid romantic element, balances a wonderfully flippant hilarity with more tender moments, and stars Bill Murray. What more could you possibly want out of a movie?
What's your all-time favorite romantic comedy (movie) & why?
“French Kiss,” with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline. The movie is wonderfully sarcastic (and has some great physical comedy) and still manages to be very sweet and romantic at its heart. Sometimes, the best happy endings come when the story doesn’t go the way you think it’s supposed to.
Who designed the lovely cover of Fairy Godmothers, Inc.?
The design team at Jolly Fish Press. When I first saw it, I’m not ashamed to admit that I swooned like a stereotypical Southern belle.
Who would be your dream actress to portray Rellie in a motion picture?
Can I answer for Kate (the Fairy Godmother who is the heroine of the story) instead? If so, I’d love for it to be Analeigh Tipton (from “Warm Bodies”). She’s got the same mixture of sweetness, humor and intelligence I’ve always seen in Kate.
In this novel some turn to Fairy Godmothers, Inc.; but what's the craziest thing you've
ever done to get a guy's attention?
In second grade, I spent many happy hours chasing cute boys around the playground. I’m not sure what I planned to do with them once I caught them – the thrill of the chase was what I enjoyed.
What separates Fairy Godmothers, Inc. from other Cinderella retellings?
“Fairy Godmothers, Inc.” completely de-constructs “Cinderella,” puts it back together with bright pink duct tape, then stuffs the whole thing so full of witty dialogue that it threatens to explode.
JENNIFFER WARDELL is the arts, entertainment, and lifestyle reporter for the Davis Clipper. She's won several awards from the Utah Press Association and the Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She currently lives in Layton, Utah.