Thursday, August 12, 2010

An Interview with Andrea Dale

Andrea Dale is an author I've had the pleasure to work with many times. Not only in books—her story The Queen of Christmas in Naughty or Nice always gets a rise from me—but also on the group blog Lust Bites. Her piece in Alison's Wonderland is The Broken Fiddle, a story which as repeatedly been praised in reviews of the book:

Andrea Dale's "The Broken Fiddle" is boxed tale, a story within a story. Set in Ireland, it rolls all the romance of far-off-places, storytellers, and fairy bargains into the story of a perfectly hot one-night-stand.

Almost every story is a winner and the best are "The Three Billys" by Sommer Marsden, "Fool's Gold" by Shanna Germain, and "The Broken Fiddle" by Andrea Dale.

Here she stops by to answer my favorite fairy tale queries:

1) Which fairy tale character would you most like to do and why?

Belle from Beauty and the Beast (Disney version) because she’s smart and someone I could talk to afterwards. (I’m afraid I don’t go for dumb blondes.) Plus that kiss she shared with the Prince Adam at the end? Rowr! Let’s invite him over, too! (But not the teapot. That would freak me out.)

2) If your fairy godmother or fairy godfather (I’m an equal opportunity fairy employer) waved a magic wand over your head and granted you three wishes, what would you be wearing during your wishing?

Most likely one of my many Styx concert shirts and a pair of jeans, and barefoot. Or an early Celtic peplos. Or nothing at all.

3) What would you wish for?

More than three wishes, of course! And a contract that spelled out the contingencies of any possible wish. I’ve read too many “wish” tales—I know how they can turn on you!

4) Do you own fairy wings? A little red riding hood? Glass slippers? If yes, please describe. Or send photos!

Oh hell yes! I’m a costumer and a faerie aficionado; I’ve been to Faerieworlds in Eugene, OR (kind of Renaissance Faire for the faerie-minded folk) and Labyrinth of Jareth in Los Angeles (a masked ball inspired by the movie Labyrinth). I have a crystal-and-wirework faerie crown, faerie wings, skirt, bodice, chemise… The only thing I didn’t hand craft are the wings and the waist-cincher.

I also own a dark angel costume of enormous black feathered wings and a black feather halo, which I generally wear with a black see-through burn-out velvet dress, black waist cincher, and black thigh-high stockings.

5) What question would you most like to ask another author in the line-up?

For Thomas Roche: Are you planning to write the continuation of Sarah/Psyche’s story? I don’t know about anybody else, but I’m also hot for a woman who can use “expiation” correctly in a sentence…

6) What would you like to tell readers about your story in Alison’s Wonderland?

Back when I studied in England in college, I visited as many castles I could. Outside of Denbigh Castle in Wales, I saw a pub called The Hand. (You have to say that like in a horror movie: dun dun dun! The Hand!) It did, in fact, have an extremely creepy pub sign. So I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to do a coffee table book of unique pub signs and names, with photos and the stories behind the names? Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found a photographer to travel Britain with me….

So that’s how “The Broken Fiddle” began in my mind: a woman writing the story behind pub signs in Ireland. I set the story in Ireland because I originally wrote it for a music-themed anthology and thus it needed a gorgeous young Irish fiddler named Finn, with “hair as black as coal and curling silkily to his collar, eyes as blue as twilight eve.”

The music-themed antho passed on the story, and I then submitted it to one of Alison’s anthologies…and she passed on it, too. But she remembered it (she has a steel-trap mind, that woman!) and requested it for Alison’s Wonderland, and for that I’m truly grateful.

7) What fairy tale would you love to tackle in the future?

Let’s see… I’ve already written stories based on “The Little Mermaid” (“How the Little Mermaid Got Her Tail Back,” in Fairy Tale Lust), “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” (“The Twelve Fucking Princesses,” to appear in The Mammoth Book of Threesomes and Moresomes later this year), “Cinderella” (“If the Shoe Fits,” in The Trouble With Heroes, DAW, 2009), and “Rumplestiltskin” (a fantasy still making the rounds), as well as numerous ones based on fantasy and mythology.

I like turning tales on their heads, digging deeper to find the “why” in an unexplained action and then twisting things around. So rather than pick a specific fairy tale, I’ll say this: Send me anthology guidelines and I’ll see what sparks in my brain!

Andrea Dale lives in a fantasy world in her head, weaving tales of erotic romance and magic. Her alter egos write speculative fiction, appear in the front row of Styx concerts, make and wear a variety of costumes, and dance under a full moon sprinkled with faerie dust. Sometimes all in the same day. (There’s a reason why she named her blog “Enchantments.”) Now that she’s cast her spell on you, visit her at

Comment for a chance to win a smorgasbord of fairy tale items! (I'll announce a winner after all of the interviews have been posted.)