She lives in Utah, but travels the country with Color Me Rad 5k, and partners with nonprofits to teach kids creative thinking and how to reach their goals.
Betsy Schow talks about what Fairy Tales influenced her growing up…
Growing up, I was never a big fan of princesses. They all seemed rather silly and stupid to my elementary aged self. Plus I knew that there was no chance in ever after that I could become one. That’s why I was always drawn to books about the ordinary little girls that were transported to a strange land. Wizard of Oz. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Alice in Wonderland. Those stories gave me hope that maybe if I just caught a rainbow or cleaned out my closet once in a while, that I too could have an adventure. The worlds were just so vivid and different than my own. The odd creatures and characters they met along the way were fantastically nonsensical or sometimes raw and scary. I can’t tell you how many holes I looked down hoping to find my own Wonderland.
Once I got older and studied up on folklore and the origins of the “classic fairytales” I became more interested in what I thought were vapid princesses. Some of them (like the original Snow White) had steel spine implants. So I grew to appreciate the dark side of the heroines that didn’t just chirp to birds and mice to clean their rooms or sew their clothes. That led me to look at myths and histories. Fantastic stories of Arthur and Robin Hood which took place much closer to home. An element of magic still remained, even though the settings were much more grounded in reality.
When I decided to start telling stories of my own making, I wanted to encompass all of these things. Wonder, Strength, Magic, and a touch of reality. Hopefully, , I have succeeded with Spelled and the things I have planned next.
Talk about unhappily ever after. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks—like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.
Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving Dorthea with hair made up of emerald flames and the kingdom in chaos. Her parents and everyone she loves are stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed-off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
Excerpt from Spelled:
Most of the crowd had dispersed. The final few stragglers looked at me with the alltoo-common look of fear mixed with trepidation. Pix ’em. They were just servants. It wasn’t like their opinion mattered.
Only one remained, watching me with open curiosity. He looked to be in his late teens or was magically enhanced to appear so. He could have been a hundred for all I knew. I’d never seen him before in my life. He was handsome enough, for a commoner, even in his worn leather pants and cracked work boots. A foreigner, his hair was unruly and dark auburn, which complemented his tanned but dirt-smudged complexion, though the tall, dark stranger vibe was ruined by his piercing pale blue eyes.
Well, I’d had enough of being a sideshow for the day. “If you’re the new gardener, the hedges are overgrown and in need of a trim.” I pointed in the direction of my father. “While you’re there, you can help the king with the wisps.”
The young man’s expression clouded over, but he didn’t move.
I stamped my foot and pointed more forcefully. “Off with you. Courtyard’s that way. Be sure to clean those awful boots before coming back in.”
“Someone told me I’d find a princess of great worth here. One with the strength to be the hero this realm needs.” He stared at me with those unsettling blue eyes. They were cold, like ice water—made me shiver from head to toe. Then his gaze seemed to search even deeper. Finally, he looked through me, like I was nothing.
In brisk steps, he strode across the marble to the courtyard. But before crossing the threshold, he turned back to glare at me with his lip curled ever so slightly. “It seems she was mistaken.”
Just like that, I had been sifted, weighed, and found wanting.
I felt my own lip curl in response. How rude! Who the Grimm was this peasant to judge me? I was wearing a Glenda original. Original! Not some fairy-godmother knockoff worn by those servant girls turned royal. I was a crown princess, for the love of fairy, and no one dismissed me.
Before I could put the boy in his place—down in the dirt, where he belonged—a clatter came from behind, making me nearly jump out of my shoes. I checked and was relieved that Sterling had simply dropped his sword. By the time I looked back, the gardener was gone.
After stowing his blade, Sterling held up his shield, not in defense of the entrance but so he could look at his reflection. “Clearly he’s blind and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”
I didn’t ask for Sterling’s opinion, but it made me feel better.
Until he opened his mouth again.
“Worth, pffft. I mean, look around at all the jewels. Your palace has everything you could ever want. Honestly, I don’t know what you’re fussing about. Why would anyone want to leave?”
Because a cage is still a cage, no matter how big or glittering the bars are.
And I would find a way free, no matter the cost.
WIN a copy of Spelled, thanks to Sourcebooks, by clicking on the link HERE