I am thrilled to have Elizabeth Lim, author of Spin the Dawn, on my blog today where she will talk about some of the fairytales that inspired Spin the Dawn. I read this book and found it beautifully written and perfect for fans who love Mulan retellings, clothing competitions, magic, and enemies to lovers romances.
Guest Post – Elizabeth Lim
My father used to read me fairytales and legends from all around the world when I was a child, and many have stayed with me into adulthood. When I began creating the world of Spin the Dawn, I knew I wanted its foundation to be rooted in the tales I grew up with.
There are three fairy tales that inspired the mythology behind Spin the Dawn. The first is the Norwegian fairy tale East of the Sun, West of the Moon, which inspired some of the sewing elements; the heroine receives a golden spinning wheel and in some versions uses it to save her husband from a troll princess.
The second is Donkeyskin, a French fairy tale in which the heroine requests her father make her several garments: dresses that capture all the colors of the sky, the sun, and the moon, and a cloak made from the skin of a magical donkey, whose hide is the source of her father’s wealth. The idea of magical dresses that are seemingly impossible to make stuck with me, and serves as an important theme in Spin the Dawn as Maia must sew the dresses of the sun, moon, and stars.
And lastly, the legend The Cowherd and the Weaver, which is probably my favorite Chinese fairy tale. There are many variations of this romantic tale, but the one I grew up with is about a young cowherd who falls in love with the weaver girl, the youngest daughter of the Heavenly Queen. When the Queen discovers her daughter’s romance, she forbids her from seeing the cowherd again, separating the two lovers with what is now the Milky Way. However, the strength of their love prevails, and on the seventh day of the seventh month of each year a bridge of magpies forms so the lovers may reunite for one day. I pay tribute to this tale in Spin the Dawn, particularly during Maia’s quest to acquire the blood of stars…and without spoiling anything, readers can expect more of it in the second book!
About the Book
Spin the Dawn
by Elizabeth Lim
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
Where to Buy
CLICK HERE FOR ALL PREORDER INFO
About the Author
Elizabeth Lim grew up on a hearty staple of fairy tales, myths, and songs. Her passion for storytelling began around age 10, when she started writing fanfics for Sailor Moon, Sweet Valley, and Star Wars, and posted them online to discover, “Wow, people actually read my stuff. And that’s kinda cool!” But after one of her teachers told her she had “too much voice” in her essays, Elizabeth took a break from creative writing to focus on not flunking English.
Over the years, Elizabeth became a film and video game composer, and even went so far as to get a doctorate in music composition. But she always missed writing, and turned to penning stories when she needed a breather from grad school. One day, she decided to write and finish a novel — for kicks, at first, then things became serious — and she hasn’t looked back since.
Elizabeth loves classic film scores, books with a good romance, food (she currently has a soft spot for arepas and Ethiopian food), the color turquoise, overcast skies, English muffins, cycling, and baking. She lives in New York City with her husband.