Mysterious Galaxy hosted an event with Brandie June to discuss Curse Undone, which is the sequel to Gold Spun. This duology is a retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with the main girl character being a con artist and Rumpelstiltskin being a hot fairy boy. She made it that way to make it different, distinct, and to be able to think about the characters in a different way who are normally flat.
June explained how in order to not get stuck, she writes a note to make an epic battle or anything else she needs to add and then moves on. She actually has to write an entire really bad first draft before she goes back and edits. For these two books, in the later drafts, she had to figure out how good or bad she wanted Rumpelstiltskin to be as a whole and in parts. One of the scenes she remarked seeing very clearly was the golden ball.
To answer a question asking about why she likes retellings, she said that she loves how retellings customize their own worlds. One of her favorite Rumpelstiltskin retellings was Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik.
June thought that these books would be a trilogy at first. She knew that not everything would fit in one book, but then it was decided, based on her arc, that a duology would be better and make sense. She had a huge rough draft for the trilogy and had to cut in half and make an ending for her deadline.
June explained how she went through a lot of rejections and how her first book did not sell. But without that happening, she never would have written Gold Spun. Now, she is re-querying again with a new project because she had to part ways with her agent. What she finds works with the stress of querying is to keep working on other projects. Continually working is something she can control and manage and writing more helps her become a better writer.
Brandie June was so nice, easy to listen to, and very insightful. I enjoyed the event carried on by the awesome staff at Mysterious Galaxy and June’s great personality.