Author Ali Novak joins us today to let us in on a little secret: sometimes, dreams do come true.
Everyone loves a good fairy tale, and in the Once Upon Now collection, the Wattpad authors have come together to give some of our favorites a makeover. Read more to find out how Ali came upon her inspiration for her fairly tale revamp of Sleeping Beauty.
When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up and become a princess. Basic, I know, but my dream was fueled by an abundance of Disney movies and the fairytale picture book I received for my fifth birthday. There was something captivating about every story, whether it was a handsome prince, a villain with magic powers, or—lets be honest—a gorgeous dress.
Although my desire to wear a jaw-dropping, princess ball gown still burns strong, as an adult, I no longer aspire to be Cinderella or Belle. Instead, I’ve found a new passion in telling stories. When I was fifteen I wrote my first full-length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, and never looked back. While the majority of my books are YA contemporary, I’ve always toyed with the idea of writing a fairytale retelling inspired by one of the many stories that made my adolescence magical.
This past April, I was given the chance. Wattpad, the world’s largest online reading and writing community, teamed up with Target and Gallery books to host a writing contest. Ten grand prize winners (myself included) won the opportunity to be published in Once Upon Now, a collection of twenty-first century stories influenced by fairytales and mythology.
My story, “Sleeping Beauty Syndrome”, tells the tale of Rory Briar, a young woman haunted by a rare sleeping disorder called Kleine-Levin Syndrome (KLS). The condition causes Rory to sleep for up to two months at a time while life passes by without her. I came up with the idea after watching a BBC documentary about a real teenage girl diagnosed with KLS, and I couldn’t help but wonder how horrifying it would be to wake up and realize that I’d slept through holidays, my college midterms, or whatever should have been a huge milestones in my life. Rory struggles through all of this and more, all while battling the terrifying hallucinations that accompany her hypersomnia.
But if Sleeping Beauty doesn’t do it for you, there are nine other extraordinary stories in the Once Upon Now anthology to enjoy, featuring other classic favorites like Robin Hood, Rapunzel, Bluebeard, and more. From fantasy to horror and romance to humor, there’s a little magic for everyone.
If you would like to chat, make sure to follow me on Wattpad, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @fallzswimmer!