Spotlight: Author M.T. DeSantis
I am thrilled to welcome fairy-tale fantasy author M.T. De Santis to my blog..
Hello Mary, thank you so much for joining me here, and thank you for sharing your upcoming new release Grimmfay.
Born a New Englander, M.T. DeSantis moved south in early adulthood, realized she actually liked winter, and promptly moved back north. She’s currently trying out life as a Michigander/anian with her family, who also (mostly) actually like winter. When not making word magic, M.T. can be found practicing yoga, attempting to make friends with the oven, or trying to read while people keep talking to her.
So here we are,. When I asked if Mary would be able to spare some time out of her busy schedule to write about her publishing journey I was thrilled to read she agreed.
My Journey to Publication
In 2015, I decided to throw my hat in the self-publishing arena. Being young and impatient, I yanked my hat back out again a year later when I hadn’t become an overnight success and been recognized for my original thoughts and brilliance. Unfortunately, this was just the beginning of a nearly ten-year writing and publishing slump where I let the opinions of everyone else keep me from doing something I love.
But every dark cloud has a silver lining. Stepping away from writing made me realize how much I truly loved and missed it. And armed with a fresh mindset and a dedication to the idea that this was a long game, not a sprint, I tossed my hat in again at the beginning of 2023. I’m no more of an overnight success now than I was in 2015, but I’m having a fantastic time writing stories and putting them out into the world. So the moral of my story is that you shouldn’t give up but that sometimes you need to. And if you do give up, you can always try again.
One more, no matter what must be done, there shall be…
Twelve years ago, Queen Zelandra escaped Grimmfay’s hold on her soul, leaving a vengeful circus in her wake. Now, Grimmfay has returned to reclaim what it lost, and it will not leave without its fourth mistress. Barricaded in her palace, Zelandra will do anything to fight the siren call threatening to drag her back.
But Grimmfay has not come for her. It’s come for her daughter.
Told from alternating perspectives, all with a different view of the circus, Grimmfay is a story of the enemies we face, the sides we choose, and the battles we must fight, even when we’re not sure we can win. Come one, come any to the place where wishes are granted and dreams come true…but not always in the way expected.
I am also delighted Mary has shared an excerpt from Grimmfay:
Princess Delaria stomped her foot in a tantrum too young for her twelve years. The swish of her satin slipper accompanying the thump of her foot only served to blaze her fierce anger hotter. She glared up at her father, King Torrick, where he sat on his polished throne of gold and cedar and brass. His scowl refused to be disturbed, like those in the many portraits upon the throne room’s walls.
“It’s not fair!” Delaria’s screech pierced the very corners of the space. “It’s a circus. I love the circus.”
“Volume, Delaria.” Her mother, stoic as a stone beat against by a river, perched beside her father. She spoke like the coo of a dove. “Princesses do not yell.”
“I don’t care!” Delaria swish-stomped her foot again. “The circus is only here for eventide. Why can’t I go?”
“We have told you the reasons why, Delaria,” her father said in the same infuriatingly calm tone he’d used the entire discussion.
Delaria huffed. “I don’t believe you!” Reasons—more like excuses. First, her mother had sat her down and explained this circus affected those who went. Then, her father tried to tell her this circus was different, dangerous. Right, it was a circus. When Delaria persisted, neither relented. She had yelled and screamed—still yelled and screamed—to no avail. Her parents were suffocating her, and they didn’t want her to have fun. “It’s a circus. It’s not going to steal my soul.”
Her mother stiffened.
“Whether it will or won’t is not the question.” Her father folded his arms. “We gave our final answer days ago. You are not going.”
“No!” Her father slammed his fist down on the arm of his throne. His bronze ring clanged against the brass with a ringing note of finality. “You will not attend this … circus”—he spat the word as if it were something fowl and profane—“and that, young lady, is that.”
Mary, I know how busy you are working on your next plot, and thank you for taking time out to share a little more insight into one of your characters.
For this, I decided to chat with Hansten, one of the characters who feels Grimmfay’s pull the strongest. In the prequel novella Once Upon a Broken Sky, Hansten attended Grimmfay with his sister Grenna, and when the circus set its sites on luring them in, Grenna stayed while Hansten ran.
Q: Why didn’t you want to stay at Grimmfay when it offered you everything you ever wanted?
Hansten: Because it wasn’t real! I’m sorry—this is difficult for me to talk about, especially with the circus so close and the idea of seeing Grenna again trying to suffocate me. But from the moment the circus arrived, I was uneasy, and while I didn’t know why at the time, I later realized it was because it felt too perfect. Nothing is that perfect. At least, nothing good.
So the true answer to why I didn’t want to stay is: I did. Goddess, I wanted to stay, to never know hardship again. I wanted to just be somewhere where I didn’t have to think or worry. I wanted all my dreams to come true.
But that wanting wasn’t me. It was the circus. That place had its hooks in me, and I could feel it trying to break down my walls, get me to give up everything but what it offered. The idea of living to please whatever force drove such a place terrified me more than Grimmfay could tempt the weakest parts of my heart. Running away was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I want to say I don’t regret it. But part of me does. Part of me will always hate the rest for not staying.
And for leaving Grenna? All of me hates myself for that.
That’s absolutely fascinating, Mary, I really enjoyed understanding more about Hansten, and can’t wait to read the whole book now…
But that’s not all folks… If you would like to discover more about MT De Santis and her fabulous works here are the links and I’m sure if you would like to ask a question about any of her books she would be glad to answer – just drop a line in the comment box.
Why not drop us a line about all things writing please as we would love to chat. Remember, also check out my blog, there are a few hints and tips for budding writers, scroll through and see what you think…