Episode 152: Writing a Modern Day Fairy Tale — Interview with Lisa Preziosi

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I’m so excited to have middle grade author and fellow New School alumni, Lisa Preziosi on the show.

While our time at The New School didn’t quite overlap, we’ve connected at various alumni events and I absolutely love her debut novel, The Ice Maiden’s Tale, a middle grade modern day fairy tale.

In our interview, Lisa and I talk about nesting stories within stories, and the various craft elements—such as setting and theme—that make up the fairy tale framework. Listen in to hear us geek out over how to craft a fairy tale for modern middle grade readers.

In this episode Lisa and I discuss:

  • What defines a character as the protagonist, and how viewing a story through different angles can change the character’s role.
  • How to use setting as metaphor for your story’s theme or your characters’ arcs.
  • Why having older characters in a middle grade book can work in a fairy tale framework.
  • How to modulate voice during transitions in a nested story so readers are never jolted out of the story’s world.
  • How to pick a title for your book so it connects with all the different layers of your story.

Plus, Lisa’s #1 tip for writers.

About the Author

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lisa Preziosi attended Syracuse University where she studied singing in a giant castle surrounded by ice and snow.  While there, she minored in creative writing and her poem “Remember Me” was published in Syracuse University’s Review Magazine 2000.   

After she earned her bachelor’s degree, she headed to the island of Manhattan and studied at a place called the New School, where she earned an MFA in the great art of writing stories for children.

She still works on that same island, in the dungeon of an old building, where she sorts through endless stacks of papers, while making up stories and dreaming of places with windows.  She is currently working on several novels and hopes to write her way to that aforementioned windowed place.

Her first book,The Ice Maiden’s Tale, is available now by Xist Publishing.  In the meantime, she keeps herself occupied by obsessing over subscription boxes and home renovations. To learn more about Lisa and her books, check out her website at: www.lisapreziosi.com.

The Ice Maiden’s Tale

Every town has an old lady all the children just know is a witch.

When Johanna and Casper must spend the afternoon at her house, there’s nothing to do, except listen to a story. While the siblings await their mother’s return from the hospital where she’s visiting their ailing father, Mrs. Kinder reads them a story of adventure, magic and music.

Mrs. Kinder’s mysterious golden book tells an intertwined tale of two young men—the
sensitive Sculptor who carves a beautiful woman from ice and the thieving Sorcerer
searching for a spell that will bring the statue to life.

The story twists and turns, from the Frozen Forest, to the land of the Lemon Trees, to the
home of the Swamp Witch, as the Sculptor’s and Sorcerer’s adventures circle each other.
Their inevitable confrontation reveals buried memories that force each of them to confront
the true cost of love and redemption.

The Ice Maiden’s Tale is the perfect story-within-a-story with magic, adventure and romance,
reminiscent of The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story for a new generation of readers.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase DIY MFA makes a small commission at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 152

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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