January 28, 2013

Writer Wrangler: Kate SeRine

Braine: Hi Kate! Thanks for stopping by, Talk Supe, to talk to our our Supies what Transplanted Tales is all about?

Kate Serine: Thanks for having me here today! I'm delighted to stop by and chat about my Transplanted Tales. :)

Around two hundred years ago, a magical duel between Lavender Seelie (Cinderella's fairy godmother) and Aladdin's genie went awry, transplanting hundreds of fairytale characters from the world of Make Believe into the human world of the Here and Now. Since then, others have come over at random, including characters from nursery rhymes, folklore, mythology, and literature. Suddenly granted the freedom to write their own stories and choose their own destinies, some of the Tales have made the most of their circumstances, but others have had a tough time adjusting. The Fairytale Management Authority (FMA) is the law enforcement bureau that attempts to keep everyone in line.

RED (Transplanted Tales #1) is the story of Tess "Red" Little (aka Little Red Riding Hood), a kick-ass Enforcer for the FMA who has spent the past two centuries trying to shake her past, particularly her scandalous love affair with Seth “Big Bad” Wolf. Red’s all about living life on the edge and not getting too close to anyone, but when she’s assigned to investigate a series of grisly murders, Red’s emotional duck and cover routine is put to the test by her new partner, Nate Grimm—the FMA’s lead detective and part-time Reaper.

THE BETTER TO SEE YOU (Transplanted Tales #2), which comes out February 7th, is the story of Lavender Seelie. After hitting rock bottom in RED, Lavender tries to start over by moving to The Refuge, a sanctuary for wayward Tales, and is surprised to find an ally in Seth Wolf, the brooding werewolf who’s been typecast as a villain ever since his run in with Little Red Riding Hood. But when humans from nearby towns start turning up dead, their bodies mutilated with archaic Tale symbols, Lavender finds herself in a whole new kind of trouble.

ALONG CAME A SPIDER (Transplanted Tales #3) is the story of Trish "Little Miss" Muffet and Nicky "Little Boy" Blue. It's schedule for release in August 2013.

Braine: I truly enjoyed both RED and THE BETTER TO SEE YOU and I'm looking forward to Trish Muffet's story. Now a lot people tried to do fairy tale reboots and not everybody was successful in pulling it off. I would've thought it would be easy compared to basing stories out of Ancient myths from Greek, Roman, etc. What is it about fairytale that's challenging to adapt?

Kate Serine: Little Red Riding Hood has been the heroine in many fairytale reboots, so one challenge for me was to come up with a fresh approach, which included taking the characters out of their usual idiom (Make Believe) and trying to determine how they would think and behave in an unfamiliar world with unfamiliar realities. What would they do for a living? Who would their friends be? What kind of baggage would they bring over to the Here and Now? I also decided to include characters from literature, mythology, folklore, etc., as opposed to just sticking with fairytales, which has allowed me to create what I hope is a rich society complete with the challenges and foibles of any other culture.

Another challenge is making the world I've created believable and the characters relatable. You could plunk down fairytale characters into any scenario, really, but if it comes off as inauthentic and contrived the readers are going to move along to something else. I spent a surprising amount of time researching the history of these fairytales, rhymes, etc., to get a little backstory that I could then incorporate into the characters I created -- or at least let that information inform the decisions I made in fleshing them out.

If anything, the literary characters were the hardest to write because they had fully fleshed out stories that I couldn't ignore. Dracula was probably the toughest one in that regard because there's the character of Dracula as written by Bram Stoker and the character of Dracula as popular culture has come to think of him. I ended up embracing those contradictions and weaving them into his story in RED and ALONG CAME A SPIDER.

Braine: Very well put and great advice, other writers should take note of this. Now Red was Little Red Riding Hood. Amongst all the princesses and other folk tales, why make Red Riding Hood your opening act, do you have a personal attachment to her story?

Kate Serine: The idea for RED actually came to me in 2009 during a conversation with my son (who was 8 or 9 years old at the time). We like to have what we call “What if” conversations where he’ll ask me a question that’s totally out there and then we chat about it. The question that day: “What if fairytale characters were living next door to us?”

We went on to discuss who it would be, what that Tale would do for a living, and so on. And as we chatted, I started to get a very clear picture in my head of a tough, hard-hitting version of Little Red Riding Hood who was all grown up and ready to knock some heads.

Braine: Nate Grimm. Will we see more of him?

Kate Serine: Nate was my nod to the brothers Grimm as an inspiration. :) His last name actually refers to the fact that he's a grim reaper. And he's a grim reaper with a very dark history. As he tells Red, he was chosen to be a reaper because he "fit a certain profile". In ALONG CAME A SPIDER you'll finally discover Nate's real name.

Braine: Let's talk about the latest book, THE BETTER TO SEE YOU. This is about Lavender, and thank you for telling us about her HEA next, you know she's the one who stood out the most to me, Cinderella's fairy godmother. Your character choices are really intriguing and the obvious question would be why her and not Cinderella?

Kate Serine: Great question!! I had a lot of fun turning the story of Cinderella on its head. ;) When I thought about where she'd be if she ended up living in the Here and Now, I pictured her more as a trophy wife who'd kind of lost her luster than a kick-ass heroine. It just fit better with the tone of my series to use her as a foil to my gals.

I honestly hadn't considered doing much with Lavender when I initially planned out the series, but when I wrote her scene with Tess in RED, she broke my heart! I realized she had a very compelling story to tell and desperately needed a happy ending. And as the Tale partly responsible for bringing everyone over to the Here and Now, she had some explaining to do.

Braine: Yes! That scene with Tess was INSPIRED. One little scene that spoke volumes! Bird's eye view, Lavender and Seth is a curious pairing. What makes these two click and what is your favorite thing about them?

Kate Serine: I think what makes them click is the fact that they are both lost souls in search of a new beginning. They both have a past they're trying to live down and a reputation that's largely undeserved. That being said, they've both made a lot of mistakes and need to learn to forgive themselves in order to move on. When they find each other, they finally discover the means to heal themselves and one another. I really enjoyed writing their journey to love and Happily Ever After. I'd say my favorite thing about Seth and Lavender is the way the sexual tension immediately sizzles between them in spite of their wariness of one another.

Braine: Are Tess and Nate going to make an appearance in book two? Of course I've read it but I'd rather have you give spoilers first before I do on my review later :D

Kate Serine: Definitely! In fact, they have some rather exciting news to share... ;)

Braine: They have indeed! But I will stay mum about that. Going back to the series, how many books are you planning to write for Transplanted Tales?

Kate Serine: At the moment, I'm contracted for three books for the series, but I've left the door open for more at the end of ALONG CAME A SPIDER. We'll just have to see how things go. I'm certainly open to writing more books if the demand is there.

Braine: Buy the books people! We demand, she writes! Are you working on something else aside from Transplanted Tales?

Kate Serine: Yes, indeed. My agent and I have been hard at work polishing some other projects that I hope to share with readers someday. One of the projects in development is a dark paranormal romance series that’s very different from my Transplanted Tales. But it’s a novel I’m extremely proud of and probably the most emotionally intense thing I’ve ever written. The other project in development is a lighter paranormal romance series that’s full of danger, humor, and snark, and is similar in tone to my Transplanted Tales series.

Braine: Great news and I am looking forward to reading those projects of yours. If THE BETTER TO SEE YOU is on tomorrow's New York Times front page, what would the headline say?

Kate Serine: Wow, that's a tough one! Considering I have at least one more book in the series, I'd love to see something like, 

The Better To See You will make you howl with laughter and leave you begging for more!

Currently reading: In Rides Trouble (Black Knights Inc #2) by Julie Ann Walker

Book every person should read: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Book that should be made into a movie: Not sure about a movie, but I think SEALED WITH A CURSE by Cecy Robson would make a really fun TV series.

Fellow author you're dying to meet: Lara Adrian

Thing you're looking forward to this year: Attending the RT Booklovers Convention in May. I can't wait to hang out with readers and the other authors who will be attending!

Purchase Transplanted Tales

Kate SeRine (pronounced “serene”) faithfully watched weekend monster movie marathons while growing up, each week hoping that maybe this time the creature du jour would get the girl. But every week she was disappointed. So when she began writing her own stories, Kate vowed that her characters would always have a happily ever after. And, thus, her love for paranormal romance was born. 

Kate is a member of Romance Writers of America and of Indiana RWA and has been a finalist in the Fire and Ice Contest (2010), the Finally a Bride Contest (2010), and The Emily (2012). She is represented by Nicole Resciniti with the Seymour Agency. 

Kate lives in a smallish, quintessentially Midwestern town with her husband and two sons, who share her love of storytelling. She never tires of creating new worlds to share and is even now working on her next project.

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome


  1. Thanks for the fun interview! I loved, loved, loved Red! Can't wait for this next one, in fact I just went and preordered :) Thanks for the awesome stories and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

    1. True! I hope it doesn't end in a trilogy, there's so much to tell!

  2. Thanks so much, Erin! I hope you enjoy the rest of the series! I certainly have a great time writing these novels. :)

  3. Love twists on fairytalea and this series has definitely tweaked my interest. Definitely addin it to my to buy list :)


    1. This is one of the best if not THE best fairy tale update around. You should definitely read it!

  4. Books two and three sound very intriguing! Can't wait for the release. Thanks for the interview!

    1. You are welcome. Book two was amazing, I hope you get a copy.

  5. Thanks, Sharonda! I hope you enjoy the series!

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! I hope you enjoy my Transplanted Tales! :)

  7. Great interview! Can't wait to see more work from Kate!

  8. It's interesting that Lavender wasn't meant to have her own story at first. I had never heard of this series so i'll be checking it out.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kevin! I hope you enjoy the series!


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