Thursday, April 5, 2018

Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke ~ Guest Post

Re-imagining Famous Fairy Tales by Adrienne Clarke

Audrey Hepburn said, “If I’m honest I have to tell you, I still read fairy tales and I love them best of all.” So I’m in good company when I say that I love fairy tales and often look to them for inspiration in my own writing. This is especially true in my new YA/NA novel, Losing Adam, which is partly inspired by The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.

The first time I read The Snow Queen as a little girl, I was intrigued by the Snow Queen’s haughty beauty and her mysterious world of ice and snow. Like all good fairy tales, there was a compelling dichotomy between the Snow Queen’s cold cruelty and the warm and loving friendship between Gerta and Kai. And when Kai is spirited away by the Snow Queen on her silver sled, the fight between good and evil ensues.

What stayed with me most about The Snow Queen, however, was the somewhat unusual circumstance of the girl rescuing the boy. Gerta’s bravery, her determination to help her friend no matter what the cost, was first instance of female bravery I encountered in my reading life. Encountering numerous obstacles in her journey to rescue Kai, Greta faced each one with courage and intelligence.

Rereading The Snow Queen as an adult I admired Greta even more, and, inspired by her example, I began to create my own heroine. Like Greta, my character would risk everything for love, even the wrath of a queen with ice around her heart. In my novel, Losing Adam, the Snow Queen is a metaphor for mental illness, and the obstacles my characters face are different, but like Greta and Kai they too are on a journey. And in true fairy tale form, appearances are deceptive. In both stories, what begins as a straightforward search and rescue mission, eventually transforms into a search for self that culminates in an understanding of life’s uncertainty. How one moment you can hold spring and all if its infinite possibilities in the palm of your hand, and the next you’re trying to grasp a handful of snow as it melts through your fingers.

Aside from thematic similarities, I hope that what Losing Adam has in common with the original tale is complexity. With each reading, the reader will come away with fresh insights into the story and is characters. And most of all, I hope Losing Adam will resonate with readers, and that it will find a place in their heart as all the best stories do. 


Title: Losing Adam
Author: Adrienne Clarke
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Length: 224 pages
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: April 5, 2018

What happens when the person you love most in the world suddenly becomes a stranger?

Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever.

Vividly narrated by Adam and Jenny, the struggle to understand the impact of Adam’s mental illness, forces both characters on a journey of self-discovery that leads to understanding about life’s uncertainty, the power of first love, and the pain of letting go. Drawing on elements of The Snow Queen fairy tale, Losing Adam is a unique combination of drama and romance.


I became a writer because the world inside my head was so real and vivid, sometimes more so than the outside world. In some sense I have lived parallel lives, present in my real and fictional existence in different ways. A lover of faerie tales, fantasy and gothic horror, a thread of the mysterious or unexpected runs through all my work. My dream is to find readers who will gather round and let me tell them stories that will become a part of their life the way they have become a part of mine.

My short fiction has appeared in numerous publications including, The Storyteller, A Fly in Amber, New Plains Review, Silly Tree Anthologies, and in the e-zines Les Bonnes Fees, The Devilfish Review, Rose Red Review and 87 Bedford. An excerpt from my forthcoming YA novel Losing Adam won first place in the Young Adult category of the Seven Hills Literary Review contest.

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