A fabulous question picked due to the re-release of my - you guessed it - modern retelling of the fairytale Rapunzel. Razel Dazzle is the story of Razel D'Punz, the hottest supermodel in america. She is young, beautiful, rich, and a the top of her career, what more could a girl ask for?
Freedom of choice, maybe?
Razel is kept in a hectic, and strict work schedule by her agent, Gabriella D'Punz who also happens to be her mother and the founder of Ivory Tower Modelling Agency; the number one agency in the US. Gabriella plans out her days, and basically dictates what Razel will be doing every second of her life.
Razel does what she is told, goes where she is told, and speaks only when spoke too . . . But what happens when a charming and handsome young photographer named Matthew Prince walks into her life?
The inspiration for this story was a little straightforward to being with. I saw a submission call for fairytale retelling, and basically thought, "why not?" I love fairytales, and since I was fairly new to writing - as in had finished my first ever manuscript and was hungry to dive into a new project - I thought I would give it a shot.
First of all I had to figure out which fairytale I wanted to work on. Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Snowwhite, and Red Riding Hood, were already stories that had been played with quite a lot, and I really wanted to pick a fairytale that wasn't . . . Rapunzel. You didn't really hear about Rapunzel - ironically the year after the Disney movie Tangled came out - so I pulled out all my childhood books - yes, I still have all my fairytale books. What? They're classics - and flicked to the story of Rapunzel. I read through it. Refreshed myself with the basics and the sat with a notepad and pen and tried to think how I could modernize such a story. Parents give child to a witch who looks that child in a tower and uses her hair to climb up and see her . . . .
I had to step back and look at Rapunzel and what makes her different, well, her hair is the biggest point, followed by her isolation. From hair came the thought of shampoo advertisements, which led to photo shoots, which led to modelling, which led to a busy career, pressure to look good, and work hard, sacrifice, isolation . . . and the rest of the story kinda just clicked.
Razel still has the key features of Rapunzel, the long hair, the beauty, and her restriction. In this story Razel isn't locked in a tower, but in a lifestyle which she has never had any say in, and still doesn't because her mother/agent - strict pushy parent in other words - has made it that way. She has conditioned her to a life in which work takes priority, in which beauty and fame are the only things that matter.
Although Matthew doesn't climb up her hair, he does try to rescue her in her own little way. He ignites the sparks that already lie dormant inside her. Questions her lifestyle and her wants, and basically holds a mirror up to her life so she can take a good look. He's the first person to truly connect with her.
I suppose, like with most projects, once I had the pieces of the jigsaw it was easy to slot them together and see the bigger picture. The story just flowed after that, and I'm really happy I got to get to know these characters again. I think some people didn't fully understand why Razel didn't rebel against her mother like most young girls do. Believe me, I get what you're saying, but not all youngsters rebel, and it is possible for people to become conditioned to relationships and lifestyles even if we the outsiders can't understand why.
So, if you're a fan of fairytale retelling you can grab a copy of this book for 99 cents next Friday when it is released. For now I will leave you with the blurb:
A modern twist on a long haired tale....
Will she let down her hair for the man of her fantasies?
Famous for her long, golden hair and beaming smile, Razel D’Punz is the hottest model in the industry. But although most women would kill to get ahead in this profession, Razel lives an isolated life; one she has learnt to accept...until she meets Matthew Prince, a new photographer in the business.
Refusing to let her mother/agent’s strict rules stop her from spending time with the man of her fantasies, Razel quickly discovers that one night with Matthew isn’t enough....
And neither is the life she is chained to. Something will have to change if she is ever to get her very own Happily Ever After.
Releasing November 8th