Once Upon a Winter Dreary

by | May 17, 2023 | Author | 0 comments

Hello fellow book lovers and authors!

I should be writing my next book(s), but when Author’s Lounge asked me if I’d write about my work, said, sure! Productive procrastination for the win! (I suppose I shouldn’t be encouraging procrastination, but we’re all adults here and procrastination is an art form for many of us).

Smiles winningly

My name is Charlene Mattson and I’m the author of six books which are all in a series called The Fairy Tale Case Files. My elevator pitch for it is that it’s a mystery/fantasy series featuring a private investigator who gets called in to help people with their Happily Ever Afters. Spot the fairy tales! It’s probably rated PG-13; certainly my 14-year-old who the character is named for, has read the first few enough times that they’ve collapsed in on themselves. My latest book, which I was asked to talk about, is Once Upon a Winter Dreary which came out in early April. It deals with the aftermath of what happened at the end of Ill Met by Dragonfire, as well as the usual issues of giving birth to a baby (Er, two actually), grief, depression, loss, and how we cope with those things. 

It sounds pretty heavy when I put it that way. 

Ok, distraction time: Look at that gorgeous cover by Elyon! (Caroline Leger). Isn’t it amazing?!

Once Upon a Winter Dreary was the culmination of a couple of things.

When I wrote the early full draft of it, I had actually just given birth to my second child and while the labor went well enough, it brought back a lot of memories of my first pregnancy and subsequent birth which resulted in some post-partum depression. With my second, it was more anxiety which thankfully I had a lot of support to manage so didn’t need much in the way of external help like medications or therapy. Either way, a lot of that bled into the book and it’s something that I’m glad made its way there because hey, any mother has dealt with things like that at some point and hiding it doesn’t help anyone. And if it’s not a birth, we all deal with the grief of losing someone we’re close to and the grief that comes with huge changes that rock your world, even when they are positive changes. As I worked on this book, my grandfather passed away, my parents moved up north, my dad successfully beat cancer, and I lost three pets to old age. So, there was a lot of that in the book and writing it was rather cathartic for me. But really, the entire series was fun to write. I explore things like happy endings, the role of women in fairy tales (Farrin and Leticia both huff in annoyance), dealing with Major Changes in one’s life, what happily ever after actually looks like (and the after-effects of it) and of course, magic, and sometimes dragons. Mostly, I hope my readers are entertained, but I also hope that they think a little about fairy tales and what we expect from them. The series was originally inspired by my eldest son who used to love playing with Mario and Bowser plushies (why yes, we are a gamer family! How could you tell?) He was four when I wrote The Curious Case of Prince Charming and he used to make Bowser win the princess more than William did. For the four-year-old, it was because Bowser was cool; for me, it was inspiration and off we went. Ten years and six books later, here we are! (Ok, it wasn’t that smooth. There was a lot of gnashing of teeth, a book that lost 20k words somehow, the loss of my publisher resulting in me going indie, a very early miscarriage, bouts of minor depression, and several moves. But no one needs to hear about all that).

Seriously, all my cover art is pretty cool. Which one is your favorite? Sound off on my Facebook page!

Looking forward, I’m working on the 10 th Anniversary edition of The Curious Case of Prince Charming (so, hold off on showering me with money for just a little longer to get a better formatted book), and a new stand-alone called Inheritance. I think this series might have maybe 2-3 more books left in it before I leave William Tenys to a much-needed quiet life. But we’ll see! And of course, I am hoping to put out Inheritance this year, which is a paranormal with some horror and elements of women’s fiction. I kinda want to write an Epic Fantasy too; we’ll see how that goes. I’ll leave off with the first line from The Curious Case of Prince Charming, which is available on Amazon:

Princess Leticia was missing, and no one was surprised.

And the first line of Once Upon a Winter Dreary:

The funeral lasted for three days and three nights.

Thank you so much to Author’s Lounge for letting me loiter around flapping my (writing) gums and if

you’re interested in my work, visit me on those links!


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