Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for F.M. Boughan’s Cinderella, Necromancer, hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours! I’m happy to welcome author Faith to the blog today! She’s here to answer a few questions about her book during mine and Bonnie’s special month-long event, Magic, Myth, & Mischief!
1. Tell us more about the real medieval grimoire your story was inspired by! What made you choose to put a Cinderella spin on it?
There’s been very little published regarding this 15th-century grimoire, and I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Richard Kieckhefer, a professor at Northwestern University, for publishing his book Forbidden Rites in which he translates the grimoire and discusses its historical value in detail. There are drawings and recitations and plenty of graphic descriptions about what the conjuring rites are supposed to do, and it’s both disturbing and fascinating. The “magic” is all based on Catholic liturgy, literal perversions of sacred scripture and prayers, which is why the clergymen who practiced necromantic magic during this period of history had to do it in secret. It was highly illegal, forbidden—anathema—and any tome that was discovered would have been immediately destroyed. It’s a wonder that this particular manuscript survived the centuries!
I think the “Cinderella spin” simply came from my brain mashing the two things together—dark magic and girls from fairy tales finally getting the chance to fight back—and I just ran with it. I certainly didn’t sit down with intention to write a necromancy book, it was more of a case of inspiration striking after reading a few history texts and thinking about stories in general.
2. Which elements from the traditional Cinderella fairytale did you draw inspiration from for your book? How did you make it your own?
I tried to pay special tribute to the well-known German and French versions of the story, the ones that are typically thought of as the “classic” Cinderella fairy tale. There’s a lengthy historical note in the back of the book that goes into detail on exactly which elements I pulled from, but in a broader sense, I wanted to follow the same structure of the Cinderella story so that readers could clearly identify that it’s a fairy tale retelling, not a brand new imagining.
With that framework in place, I drew on more surface-level details—two step-sisters, a cruel stepmother, Cinderella being worked to the bone once her father is out of the picture—and then mined the stories for smaller pieces like a name, a scent, bits of imagery. Anyone very familiar with the original stories will hopefully notice those things, but even someone who’s just a fan of the Disney animated classic will find touchstones. Mind you, there are no talking mice—sorry, spoilers!—but there is a mouse, for example. Hey, I love GusGus too!
3. Tell us about how magic and plays a part in your book.
The magic that Ellison uses in the book is directly inspired by the spells from Forbidden Rites, and I tried to keep it as “realistic” (so to speak, hah!) as possible in the sense that I didn’t want to take grand liberties with the material inside the grimoire. Naturally, I had to invent some things—this is fiction, after all!—but the magic is personal, specific, and has consequences.
What those consequences are, I can’t say, because… spoilers! But that said, I hope you enjoy the discovery along the way. Happy reading!
Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Published by Month9Books on September 5, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Young Adult
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Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.
Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.
When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.
Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.
Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.
But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?
As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.
CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany
About F.M. Boughan
F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.