....Short updates from Regina

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hooray! My Talks Are Available on CD!

Well, for the first time I can point readers towards an easy way to get a hold of one of my talks. Thanks to LCE Media and the Illinois Catholic Homeschool Conference, my talks are now available to order online!

First off is my talk "No Matter What Happens, Blessed Be His Name," about our son Joshua's death and some reflections on suffering. I gave this talk at the Wichita Catholic Conference last year, but so far as I can tell, it was never offered online for sale, and I actually never heard it myself (though I am told it turned out well). If you have anyone in your life who has experienced tragedy, they might find this talk helpful (I know from my own experience that so little can be helpful at those times).
$7.50 click here to order

And next is my talk on writing, "Evangelizing the Imagination" which I've given dozens of times but which has never, to my knowledge, been successfully recorded. I love this talk: I can't wait to hear the CD to see how it turned out. Those of you who read The Midnight Dancers will particularly understand what I'm getting at in this talk. If you are a writer yourself or interested in becoming one, this talk should interest you. But for those of you who aren't, the talk gives some neat insights into the critical role that fiction and stories play in our imaginative life and in our faith -- just in case you thought it wasn't important.
$7.50 click here to order

Also my own Knight in Faded Blue Denim, my husband Andrew gave an awesome talk on chivalry in the modern world, "Becoming a Knight in Shining Armor" to the teen boys. Check it out! Even though my name is on the talk, I didn't do any of the talking. Unusual for me, I know. :) For those of you who wonder if chivalry is dead, Andrew illuminates a path for modern chivalry and the weapons of the modern Catholic knight.
$7.50 click here to order

If you're interested in having me speak to your group, these CDs will give you a chance to hear what I sound like and what I speak on. At any rate, I'm very happy to have them available at last. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

SPOILERS! Questions About the Midnight Dancers...

This post is for those who've already read the book The Midnight Dancers and who have questions about it. If you're a member of the Fairy Tale Forum (which I recommend: it's free, safe, moderated, and a lot of fun) you can ask your question there (and I've already answered some in the Midnight Dancers area). But for those who can't join or haven't joined, feel free to ask away.

I'll start out by posting the answers to two common questions:

Q: Where can I find the fairy tale this novel is based on, "The Twelve Dancing Princesses?"

A: On the book's website, I've posted the fairy tale here, courtesy of Sur La Lune Fairy Tales, which has excellent annotated versions of many popular fairy tales. In my novel I borrowed elements from both the original Grimm's (which I prefer) and the French version (with a garden-boy as the hero) of which I am less fond.

Q: When will the book be available in hardcover?

A: I hope to have it available for the Christmas season, so hopefully by the fall. I'll be posting on the website about it when it is available. It will most likely be the same price as the hardcover of Shadow of the Bear: $25.00.

Which Fairy Tales Will Become Novels Next?

Because I'm getting a lot of new readers, I thought it would be a good idea to recap some questions previously answered in the comments boxes on the blog and on the FAQ pages of the Fairy Tale Novels Site.

One question that is I've been hearing a lot is this one by Minni Mo:

I was wondering what fairty tale the next(there will be more right?!) novel will be based off of?What princess stories do you plan on doing in the future? Will you be doing only Grimm brother fairy tales?

So I thought I'd give a summary of where things stand right now. As I've said in the comments boxes, right now my immediate plans are to work on one of these two tales:

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
For some time I've had a novel sketched out about the further adventures of Alex O'Donnell and Kateri Kovach (both introduced in Waking Rose) based on this fairy tale. It would be the first story I'd tackle that's not in Grimm's collection. I can't say much about this book, mainly because I haven't written it yet, :) but I have revealed that it's about Alex's dad's misadventures with computers. Stay tuned for more on Alex O'Donnell and the Forty Hackers! (working title)

Rumplestilskin
For those of you who really want to know what Fish was doing in the years between Black as Night and Waking Rose, this book should shed some light. While Fish is studying at a state university, he discovers that a top scholar, an international student (tentatively named Helene) is being blackmailed by an anonymous man. I've only written sections of this book, but I have to say it looks to be a dark, creepy book, which is sort of appropriate for Rumplestilskin, which is (like Snow White) a rather dark story, all things considered.

As for other fairy tales, I have a few others planned out about which I wish to be coy for now. I might even start mining the King Arthur stories and the Adventures of Robin Hood.

However, I will say that I have no plans to turn either Cinderella or (sorry) Beauty and the Beast into fairy tale novels.

Why? I love both fairy tales, but honestly, they've been done as modern stories over and over and over again, sometimes quite well, and I don't think I'd have anything more to add. That's the basic reason why. I'd rather illuminate the more obscure ones than plow again through well-worked soil. But who knows? Some day I might get an idea about one of them.

Thanks for the question!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obscure Fairy Tales: Snow White and Rose Red

I love this story. I think it's even better than its more-famous counterpart. Except that if you look at it a little too closely, it kind of doesn't make any sense whatsoever. Okay, fine, even if you look at it from a mile away, the narrative is a total mess. But who cares? It has a talking bear! Talking bears are always good!

My husband found this very funny commentary on the fairy tale "Snow White and Rose Red" by author Sarah Beth Durst, author of Into the Wild and Out of the Wild.

In the course of her research for her fantasy novels, Ms. Durst started noting and commentating on obscure fairy tales. Check out her post on my favorite fairy tale. Here's an excerpt:

One day in the woods, the girls find a dwarf with his beard stuck in a crevice of a tree. He cries to them for help. To free him, they cut off a bit of his beard. He shouts at them, "You uncouth hooligans! How dare you cut my beautiful beard!"

The famous Snow White has Sleepy, Dopey, and Sneezy. This Snow-White has Fussy. I'm rather fond of Fussy Dwarf. Read more...

Interview with The Sword and The Pen

This interview was published in "The Sword and the Pen," the newsletter of The Young Writer's Club. I am happy to republish it here with their permission.

Recently, author Regina Doman, was kind enough to fill out this interview for us via e-mail. Mrs. Doman is the author of the series, Fairy Tale Novels. These modern, Christian stories are based on different fairy tales, creating an awesome twist between the reality of our modern day world, and the romance of the fairy tales that everyone loves. For a full overview of her three completed novels, turn to page ten. Visit Regina Doman’s website at: www.FairyTaleNovels.com

Q: Was writing always something you wanted to do?

A: Yes, definitely. Pretty much as soon as I learned how to write, I knew it was how I wanted to tell stories.

Q: What influenced you most as a writer?

A: “Other stories” would probably be the most honest answer. But oddly enough, reading philosophy, theology, and even literary criticism (which generally deals with how stories are constructed) can give me ideas. I got the germ of the story for The Midnight Dancers from a quote by the philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand.

Q: Do you have a favorite amongst your four novels?

A: That’s a hard question! For a long time, Waking Rose was my favorite. But I really like Midnight Dancers too. It tends t be true of me that the book I’m writing is usually my favorite book at the time.

Q: Were parts of the books (such as Rose and Blanche’s hilarious trips to the thrift store) ever based on real events in your own life?

A: Oh totally! But generally speaking I don’t like to write about events in my own life: I’d rather pilfer other people’s lives. For instance, some of the adventures that befall the friars in Black as Night actually happened to some friar friends of mine. And Rose’s dream about the Styrofoam balls in the first book was an actual dream my best friend from high school had.

Q: Which character appeals to you most: Bear, Fish, Blanche, or Rose?

A: Fish is definitely my favorite character. I think it’s because he has the most conflicts and the most assets: I feel like I could write more books about him. And although Rose was more fun to write, Blanche was more challenging and more interesting, because of her internal conflicts. But my favorite parts of Black as Night were Bear’s parts. I still love that guy.

Q: When you wrote Shadow of the Bear had you already planned out its sequels?

A: By the time I finished the first book, yes, I had definitely planned out the other two books. It took me ten years to write the first book (if you measure from the time I had the initial idea to the time the book was published) One day during that time – I remember that I was in a parking garage with my nine siblings, waiting for my parents to come back from something – I had the idea, and said out-loud to whichever sibling was next to me, “After I finish this book I’m writing, I’m going to write two more, based on “Snow White” and “Sleeping Beauty.” My sibling said, “Huh, that’s nice,” and went back to doing crossword puzzles or whatever it was that the rest were doing.
But all I did was sketch out a few ideas until the first book was published. Then I started on the sequel, but it took me alot longer than I had expected.

Q: Your website (www.FairyTaleNovels.com) mentions that Waking Rose was actually completed before Black as Night. Was it difficult to write the stories out of sequence?

A: Yes, but writing novels is hard enough anyhow. But keeping the books consistent wasn’t as difficult as it might have been, since I had several opportunities to revise all the books along the process.)

Q: Did the completion of your first novel make it easier to finish the others?

A: The publication of the first novel definitely made it easy to publish the others. As author Ronda Chervin told me, publishing your first book (with a traditional publisher) is the golden key that opens the rest of the publishing world to you, generally speaking.

Suddenly everyone takes you seriously when you’ve published a book, even if it’s only a obscure book by a tiny publishing company. (Self-publishing is generally looked down upon: it means you’re a vain upstart not good enough for real publishers.) And there’s nothing like a deadline and a waiting contract to make you want to write more.

But if you mean, psychologically, was it easier to finish the other two books when the first one was done? Somewhat: but The Shadow of the Bear was not my first book. My first book was an obscure and meandering allegory that I had written after college which I finished in 1992, The Pilgrim’s Dilemma. It was unpublishable, and still is, but the psychological lift that I received from finishing it was enormous. I had proved to myself that I could write a book, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I did it again.

Fortunately, my second book was much better, and actually publishable!

Q: Your blog says that you are revising the first chapters of Shadow of the Bear. How significant are the changes?

A: Hopefully not too much! I had been bothered for years by how slow the opening chapter was: I’ve said before that was my least favorite part of the book. The main changes were to eliminate some of the slowness that mars the opening chapters. But hopefully everything that made readers love the first chapters is still there.

Q: Do you have plans to continue the Fairy Tale Novel series after Midnight Dancers is released this summer?

A: I’d like to. I have promised at least two more books, “Alex O’Donnell and the Forty Hackers” (based on Ali Baba) and another thriller based on Rumplestilskin (as yet untitled). And I have two other books, already written but not yet ready to be published,
about which I shall remain coy for now, and an idea and some outlines for a totally new one. It would be nice to have about ten books in the series, if I keep getting ideas.

Q: Can you give us any advance hints on Midnight Dancers?

A: Those who read my website (www.reginadoman.blogspot.com) and those on the Fairy Tale Novel Forums (http://forum.fairytalenovels.com) know a few things that I’ll repeat here: The fourth book will be about Paul Fester, who first appeared in Waking Rose, and a blended family of twelve girls (two widowed parents, each with six daughters, got married – I needed a blended family to have twelve teens and preteens!) Rachel is the oldest girl, and the heroine of the novel. The family lives in a Civil-War era house on the coast of Maryland. I’ll try to tell you something new: Rachel’s Father and Stepmother are very serious Christians who are attracted to a very simple way of life – not quite Amish, but definitely heading in the direction of plain, unadorned simplicity. Rachel, who’s what some would call a “typical teenager,” wants nothing of it. From her point of view, her parents’ Christianity is holding her back from enjoying the best years of her life. then she and her sisters discover a secret in their house that changes everything…stay tuned to find out the rest this summer!

Q: When writing the first draft of a novel, do you think it is better to focus on telling the story, or the more technical aspects, such as grammar, ect?

A: Focus on telling the story, absolutely. Grammar and all that is for later drafts.

Q: Your novels do a fantastic job intertwining the fairytale elements with the reality of our modern day world. Was it difficult to fit your plots into the fairytale context?

A: Sometimes it is difficult. It’s a pretty complicated process that I go through to
write the books. I start with the fairytale and ask myself, ”What does this fairytale really mean? What is it really about?” For instance, “Snow White” is about temptation and sin, on a really basic level. Then I look at the core images in the fairytale: what are the elements that we really associate with that story? I mean, there had to be an apple in my version of “Snow White.” I don’t just look at traditional elements.

I look at modern elements, like movies, too, because these elements shape how readers think of the story.

For example, we’ve all been influenced by the Disney versions of the fairytales. In the original “Snow White” the prince doesn’t waken Snow White with a kiss: that was an element Disney added. But I put the kiss in my book, because that’s become an important expected element in the tale. And I put a symbolic dragon in my “Sleeping Beauty” as a nod to the dragon-villain in Disney’s film. I give myself more liberty with plotlines so long as there are enough elements of the original fairytale so that teh stories still “feel” like the old fairytales. Like I said, complicated!

Q: What advice would you offer to young writers’ aspiring to take a Christian novel all the way to publication, as you have done?

A: Be persistent! Try not to get discouraged: it is a very discouraging business to be in: you have to be prepared to be disappointed again…and again…and again…! But persistence can pay off in every area: in writing (starting a draft all over again, starting a new book when one has proved hopeless) and especially in publishing (finding a publisher, finding an agent, marketing…).

About getting published: try to be as good as you possibly can be, but recognize that part of the process depends on luck (or God). I only got published because I got a break. I got lucky: someone noticed me, and when they did, my story was good enough to deserve the notice. There is definitely an element of chance in the whole process. It might not work for you. But if it does work for you, hopefully you will always recognize that you were lucky enough to get a break. It should keep you humble, and it should make you want to help others out as well.

And suppose you learn the writing process, you try to write, you try to publish and you fail…is it all for nothing? I wouldn’t say that! If we’re going to have a Christian revival of the arts, we need people at every level of the writing industry: we need Christian editors, Christian agents, Christian salespeople – and all those people have to understand the writing process and understand good storytelling. You might marry a writer: my husband did! you might have a child who becomes a writer. God can use anything. It’s definitely something worth trying. Just commit your talent to Him and ask Him to use it as He wants. You might be surprised at what He will do.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Shadow of the Bear reviewed at Experimental Living

Sarah Modene at the blog Experimental-Living.com gives a well-written and thoughtful review of The Shadow of the Bear. Speaking from a non-Catholic perspective, she gives some interesting insights. Here's a sample:

...it’s not every day that I read a novel that combines a Christian world view and illuminating truths with memorable characters and a flowing, mature writing style. But the beauty of the story and the powerful message that weaves page by page captivated me so tremendously that I will not hesitate to recommend the series. These books are sweeping conservative colleges across the country, and for good reason: you can’t find books like these anywhere else. Read more...

Thanks Sarah!

More Catholic Reads: Passport by C. Blunt

TGIF!

I wanted to let you all know about a new Catholic novel I've had the chance to read, Passport by Christopher Blunt. It's a great read whose message doesn't obsucre the page-turning romance, a story that will have a special resonance with Catholic men, especially dads.


A choice between the woman he loves and the woman and child who need him.


On the first page of the book, Stan Eigenbauer, vintage car specialist and comfortable Catholic, meets the girl of his dreams -- or so he hopes. Trinh Le is a gifted photographer, an immigrant from Vietnam, luminous and fragile -- and already married and separated from her sinister husband. The tangling of their lives and a fateful choice one night throws Stan into a heart-wrenching moral dilemma with tragic consequences. But Stan decides to make a heroic choice and shoulder a burden most men would want to leave behind.


Stan's saga is one my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed, and we're happy to recommend this book to you. Passport is better written and plotted than your average self-published novel, and better reading than typical amateur Catholic fiction. For those of you on the lookout for emerging Catholic genre fiction, you will want to check out this book.


To find out more about Passport, go to http://pelicancrossingpress.com/AllPub.aspx
Order from the website, B&N, or Amazon, or ask your local Catholic bookstore to order it.

Check out the novel if you have a moment, and if you read it and like it, consider reviewing it or having it reviewed in your blog or other publication. Thanks!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Review of the Midnight Dancers!

The first review of the Midnight Dancers appeared at Lady Rose's blogspot. But I forgot to post it here! To try to make ammends, I am doing it now. It was a wonderful review. Enjoy!

Love comes softly. That is how I describe my reaction after reading The Midnight Dancers, the lastest in the Fairy Tale Novel series by Regina Doman. After reading it through one - very quickly, as I usually read - I admit I was not as impressed and enthralled as I had been after reading Regina's other books The Shadow of the Bear, Black as Night and Waking Rose. I liked it very much, I just was not sure how much. A few hours later, I picked it up and started it again - somthing I only do with the Fairy Tale Novels. By the time I finished it again, I was in love. ...read more...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Midnight Dancers Reviewed on Homeschooling With Joy!

At the Illinois Catholic Homeschool Conference I was pleased to meet the Dominick family. The mother, Laura, has posted a great review of The Midnight Dancers. Check this out, especially if you're a mom wondering about whether or not to get this book for your young teen (I will say as the author that the book is really not for pre-teens).

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Review on Elenatintil's Blog


Many of you blog readers know Elenatintil, or Elizabeth, as the gracious moderator who runs the Fairy Tale Novel Forum. She posted a review of The Midnight Dancers on her blog (she was one of the proofreaders) and I was really honored by what she said. Here's some snippets:


...Like the other fairy tale novels, this story brilliantly combines the familiar of the everyday with the enchantment of extraordinary happenings. Unlike the other books, however, there is more depth and less mystery, which makes a story that is more thought-provoking, though no less engaging.


What Paul understands is that the girls flee to the darkness because they have not been introduced to the beauty of the light. The restrictions of their parents (and church) have left them with little to occupy their time... Without things to interest them and occupy their time in an engaging way, the girls become bored and turn to other, more dangerous things for amusement...
This book, though lacking some of the action of the earlier novels, should be in no way counted as inferior. In fact, about halfway through reading it, I stopped and said to myself "this is brilliant." The problem with books today is that many authors don't seem to be able to combine an intriguing storyline with ideas to ponder without turning it into a sermon or coming off as cliché. "The Midnight Dancers", however, is both light and depth, adventure and wisdom. The story doesn't stop when the ideas enter- the ideas propel the story. Click here to read more!


BTW if any of you who've read the book want to place a review on Lulu, please do! Thank you in advance!

Midnight Dancers #63 on Lulu's Top Weekly Sellers!

Wow! Released just two days ago, and we're already #63 on Lulu's Weekly 100 Top Sellers list! Thanks all of you who bought the book! Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

At Midnight, The Dancing Began



Thanks to some devoted fans on the Fairy Tale Novel forum holding a midnight release party, I actually did an official release of The Midnight Dancers on Lulu at 11:58 EST a few hours ago.


So it's here! Click here to get it on Lulu! I hope you all enjoy it!