Interview with Rayn De Ridder

What inspired you to write a retelling of the tale of Beauty and the Beast?
My love of learning and reading was fostered by my amazing mom, and I devoured so many books in my teen years. As I read, I realized that writing was something I would like to try my hand at. My love of writing only grew from there.
At this time, I’ve written about nine novels and novellas. Beauty and the Beast was a story I had always loved, and after reading a few exceptional fairytale retellings, I decided to write my own based on a tale that hadn’t been done quite as often as some other princess stories. I also love the romance between Belle and the Beast, as it isn’t exactly your typical ‘damsel-in-distress’ story. And the Beast was never the Prince Charming that Belle imagined, but she fell in love with his heart.
What is the main message you want to impart to your readers?
That God is a person’s strength, and that girls and women can be strong, true warriors.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Oh... there's so many! I think a huge one for me is just the joy I get from creating characters and watching their lives take shape. The encouragement from readers is also a big bonus, and I love the fact that I can create a world that can literally take me anywhere I want to go. A little research, my laptop, and I can be lost for hours in the ancient world, medieval times, or fantasy lands.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes. The first one I tried my hand at was when I was ten years old. I wrote on two sheets of notebook paper, and created the story of a "poor peddler". Now I laugh, looking back at my script and misspellings, but it's also a great reminder of how my writing has culminated to this point. You can never start writing and reading too young!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Baking new (deadly good) treats, reading, playing the piano, reading the Bible, hanging out with my writing buddies and non-writing gals, soaking up the sun in my backyard, or just plain enjoying life. (Or, quite honestly, fantasizing about where my next writing journey is going to take place!)
What are some of your favorite movies?
Among my love of [books, music, cute animals, wacky-and-fun things], I absolutely love movies. I've always been fascinated by the whole different creative side it takes to make a movie. Some of my favorites are the live-action version of Cinderella, the live-action Beauty and the Beast (of course!), Little Women, and my all-time favorite, Sound of Music.
If you were shipwrecked on an island, what four things would you want with you?
My family, my laptop to write (and please, please, a plug-in) and my Bible. Also, a good supply of Mac and Cheese.
Do you have plans for more novels? If so, what time period and characters will inhabit the pages?
I definitely have plans for more novels. I’m currently planning to release several more novels, among them another fairytale retelling, a Christian historical novel with a pirate flair, and a new historical series set in Ireland. I’m also planning to write another novel in a new series I’m working on, the Warrior Women saga, and a book set in the Amazon Rain Forest. After that… who knows? I’m planning to go where the Lord and my imagination takes me.
Do you have any big plans on the horizon for your writing?
Yes! I'm hoping to write a historical novel set either in the medieval or WW2 era. I have so many stories spinning, the trouble is choosing which one to write! (And, of course, what writer doesn't dream of book signings and bestseller lists...)
Seriously, though, I think my biggest goals are just to write what comes. I have "writer's block" as much as the next author, but I'm going to keep my laptop charged and my printer ready for whatever story comes along.
Published 2017-11-13.
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