Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Story Behind the Story: Quest of the Hart by Mary Waibel

Wishing you a happy and safe Halloween!

Hello and welcome! Step back to the time of dragons, knights in shining armor, and princesses with Mary Waibel's post today. Don't worry, I have knights surrounding the room with swords drawn to protect us from any intruding fire-breathing dragons. (Truly, dragons in my area are more like lovable pets, so don't be scared.)

Are you familiar with the fairytale, Sleeping Beauty? Author Mary Waibel decided to mix it up a bit in her novel, Quest of the Hart. Find out what inspired her to write this version of the age-old tale.

Mary and I are exchanging blog posts, so while she's here, I'm at her blog. Come on over and visit me at Mary Waibel's World 

Welcome, Mary, to the Girls Succeed Blog! 

Thanks so much for hosting me today, JQ, and letting me talk about two of my favorite things: strong characters and fairy tales.

When I started writing the Princess of Valendria series, I never really gave a thought to the fact I was writing stories with role reversals, where a strong woman rescues the man. It sort of happened by accident, or as the story unfolded, so to speak.

Quest of the Hart came from a suggestion by a friend to write a story about the girlie-girl saving the prince. Instantly my mind went to work thinking of ways to take a squeamish girlie-girl and make her a strong, I-can-fight-for-myself-and-all-I-love woman. In fact, I knew the perfect fairy tale to twist to make it work: Sleeping Beauty. So I wrote and edited, and edited some more, and finally I have my girlie-girl who needed to save her prince.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love strong, manly men. My shelves are lined with books where the guy goes out and shows his love for a woman by rescuing her. But switching up the roles can be fun too. Besides, behind every strong man is a strong woman. There has to be, or the relationship wouldn’t work very well; it would be out of balance, and relationships are ALL about balance. (Think about Aurora, Belle, and Cinderella–they weren’t just meek, mild, girls. They had opinions and shared them with the men in their lives.) So, seeing I like strong men, I need strong woman characters.

With Prince Devlin under a sleep spell for most of Quest of the Hart, you don’t get much chance to see how strong he is (something he complains to me about every now and again in hopes of another story), but I hope you do see the strength and character growth Princess Kalyee undergoes as she searches for a way to cure Devlin of the spell he is under.

About the Book:

YA fantasy, romance
Princess Kaylee has never had to fight for anything. Her entire life has been arranged, even her marriage. But when Prince Devlin falls under an enchantment, she finds she is willing to do anything to save him, even if it means fighting a dragon.

Devlin's own sister, Princess Arabella, is behind the deadly plot. She wants the throne and will use any means necessary. Her perfect plan unravels, leaving Devlin caught in a magical sleep that is slowly spreading through the kingdom of Breniera. All Arabella needs to finish her spell and claim the crown is a drop of Kaylee's blood, but obtaining the single drop is proving more difficult than expected.

To save her betrothed, Kaylee embarks on a quest to find an ancient sword and gather a drop of dragon's blood, while trying to stay out of Arabella's traps. But Arabella's traps aren't the only danger. Time is everything. For once the last inhabitant of the kingdom falls asleep, the spell will be sealed, and not even true love's kiss will break it.

About the Author:
Author Mary Waibel
YA Author Mary Waibel is a romantic at heart. Her love of fairy tales, fantasy, and happy-ever-after fill the pages of her stories. When not twisting her own tales, she can be found with her nose buried in any book she can get her hands on.

Mary lives in upstate New York with her wonderful husband, hockey player son, and two cats. Many a Friday or Saturday night, she spends hours gaming with family and friends. In the fall and winter she can be found at the ice rink, cheering on her son and his team, and in the summer, she enjoys escaping with her family on camping trips all over the states.

Interacting with her readers is one of Mary's favorite parts of being an author. You can find her at these sites:


Do you have a favorite fairytale?  What is it? Tell us in a comment below. We love to hear from readers.


  1. Thanks, Mary, for being my guest today. I love how you shook up this beloved fairy tale and created your own version.

    1. Thanks for the lovely words, JQ. I'm thrilled to have had the chance to visit here and have you guest on my blog as well. I really enjoyed learning about how you write.

  2. Hi Mary, I second JQ - I love how you twisted this fairy tale on its head. I really enjoyed Quest of the Hart, and I love how you carried on with a whole series of Valendrian fairy tales. Good luck with all your next writing ventures!

    1. Hi Helena, did the Halloween picture scare you? This Friday is the big celebration. Don't you have something similar in England? Jack Hawkins Day? Thanks for stopping in.

    2. Thanks, Helena. I had a lot of fun with them, and am looking forward to working on the next one-a twist on Beauty and the Beast that will feature Arabella (the villainess from Quest of the Hart).

      Happy Halloween!

  3. I agree with Prince Devlin - he needs his own book! :)

    1. Yeah, I'll have to start thinking about that one. Something with him and Aureal (the dragon). Hmm....

    2. The prince and the dragon..what fun stories swirl thru your brain, Mary. Thanks Heather for stopping in and giving her more ideas!