Check out a Q&A with the author... Gold Spun by Brandie June #yalit #yafantasy @tbrbeyondtours

Welcome to my tour stop! Read my interview with the author below...

Gold Spun
By Brandie June
YA Fantasy, Fairy Tale, Retelling
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages
June 8, 2021 by Camcat Publishing, LLC


Content Warnings: One mild scene of cutting for blood magic.

If Nor can’t spin gold, she can always spin lies.

When seventeen-year-old Nor rescues a captured faerie in the woods, he gifts her with a magical golden thread she can use to summon him for a favor. Instead, Nor uses it for a con—to convince villagers to buy straw that can be transformed into gold. Her trick works a little too well, attracting the suspicion of Prince Casper, who hates nobody more than a liar. Intent on punishing Nor, he demands that she spin a room of straw into gold and as her reward, he will marry her. Should she refuse or fail, the consequences will be dire.

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What inspired you to write a story based off of Rumpelstiltskin?

I’ve always loved fairytales and fairytale retellings, especially if the retelling brings something new and unexpected to the tale. I decided to challenge myself to write a short story featuring Rumpelstiltskin as a hero instead of a villain. After I wrote that story, the characters stuck with me for a long time, and I knew this was only the tip of the iceberg for me.

Would you tell us more about the main characters from Gold Spun?

I adore morally gray characters, so I had a lot of fun creating such characters in Gold Spun. I wanted the three main characters from the original tale – the miller’s daughter, the king, and Rumpelstiltskin to all be empathetic, but not one of them should be perfect. In the original tale, the miller’s daughter doesn’t even have a name and is at the mercy of the men in her life – first her father, then the king, and finally Rumpelstiltskin. I not only wanted to give her a name (meet Nor) but also give her the agency she was missing in the classic tale. Instead of her father making wild claims, now she is a con artist. She’s flawed, tricking people, but she does so out of a need to protect and feed her family.

I found the king rather awful in the original. What kind of person would lock up a young woman on baseless rumors? Here, I had the chance to make the king (who is Prince Casper in Gold Spun) more empathetic. Yes, he still locks Nor in a room full of straw, but he’s trying to show his subjects that thieves and swindlers will not be tolerated. I also made him a second son, so when he learns he is to inherit the throne, he is having to deal with new pressures and responsibilities he may not be ready to take on.

And I can’t omit Rumpelstiltskin, also known as Pel in Gold Spun. Practically the opposite of the king, I felt like Rumpelstiltskin gets jilted in the original tale. He helps the miller’s daughter, but she reneges on their deal. (Ok, don’t barter with your unborn children…) I wanted readers to root for him, but still keep the secretive aura of the faerie world. Now he’s a mysterious and handsome faerie who helps Nor, but he still has plenty of secrets of his own.

Which character do you most relate to and why?

I think I most relate to Prince Casper. While I don’t have a kingdom to rule, I have had a lot of unexpected responsibilities thrust on me in my life. I had to become a caretaker and provider for my family pretty early on, and probably before I was ready, so I understand the pressure of having so much extra responsibility thrust on someone. (And like Casper, I think I also look pretty dashing in a crown.)

What advice would you give Nor about navigating her world?

Great question! This is a challenge for me, because she does some morally questionable things, but it comes from a place of wanting to protect her family. I would tell her to think about what future she wants for herself. There is a point in the story where she gets past having to scrap by just to survive. In the original Rumpelstiltskin tale, this is the ‘happily ever after’ but in Gold Spun, Nor has to decide if becoming queen is how she wants her story to end.

What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

I love seeing Nor get by on her wits. In a world ruled by the magical and wealth, she has neither, yet manages to find her way.

What was a book that made you cry, a book that made you laugh and a book that made you swoon?

Cry – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Laugh – Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Swoon – The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

What’s something you enjoy doing when you’re not reading or writing?

I’ve gotten really into nail art this last year as a way of being artistic while staying at home, so now Friday nights are usually DIY manicure nights for me. I love creating tiny pieces of ‘art’ that I get to change up every week. I also have two dogs, so I spend a lot of time at the dog park. It’s a great way for me to take a break from my computer and get some fresh air.

What are you working on next?

I’m currently writing the sequel to Gold Spun. I recently had a call with my editor to discuss the direction of the novel, and while I don’t want to spoil anything, I am excited to be continuing Nor’s story!

About the Author

Brandie June loves storytelling in all sorts of formats, whether she is marketing animated movies or writing fantasy novels. Most of her early life she was on stage or at least as close to the front row as she could get. Initially an actor, she got her B.A. in Theatre from UCLA and branched out into costume design and playwriting, eventually getting her M.B.A. Her first stand-alone play, a dark comedy about Oscar Wilde, premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival to a sold-out run and won the Encore Producers Award. As a writer, she is especially passionate about fantasy and mythology, has published several pieces in anthology, and is a recent finalist with The Writers of the Future Award. Her debut novel, Gold Spun, is a fresh retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin tale through the miller daughter’s POV. Except now the miller’s daughter is a con artist and Rumpelstiltskin is a mysterious faerie with a dark secret.

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