Prolific local fantasy author inspired by those closest to her
Chantal Gadoury, a local author from Muncy, Amazon Best-Selling Author and a senior editor at The Parliament House, has written two books, “Allerleirauh” and “The Songs in our Hearts,” and is publishing four more this year.
“Allerleirauh,” Gadoury’s first novel, published through The Parliament House, is a retelling of a Grimm fairy tale. The story is about a girl, Princess Aurelia, also known as Allerleirauh, who overcomes hardships and learns that “you’re much more than what has happened to you and rising above that,” said Gadoury.
Some of Allerlierauh’s hardships are relevant because the novel touches on topics similar to the Me Too Movement. The retelling was influenced by one of Gadoury’s friends who was abused. Gadoury wanted to write a story that could help inspire her friend and others.
Another novel Gadoury has written is “The Songs in our Hearts,” a contemporary high school romance published by 48Fourteen Publishing. The main character, Charlie Blake, shares her experiences, crushes and music while “overcoming what other people are going to say about you. It’s … being comfortable with who you are and what you want,” Gadoury said.
“I was able to write about my dad again because it brought him back to life … so it felt like it was … magical thinking that every time someone reads that book, he would come back to life,” she said. “It was about me and my younger years, and it’s nostalgic to go back and relive it in a different way.”
This year, Gadoury will publish four more books — “Between the Sea and Stars,” June 19; “The Songs We Remember,” fall 2018; “Blinding Night,” Oct. 2; and “Winter Dream,” Nov. 13.
Gadoury tries to get a book out — written, outlined or drafted — every three to four months, although, sometimes, it ends up taking six to eight months, she said.
“Between the Sea and Stars,” a fantasy, is inspired by three Disney movies and characters — “Treasure Planet”; the villain, Jafar, from “Aladdin”; and “The Little Mermaid.” Gadoury puts these three elements together, creating a world of romance, action and mystery.
In “The Songs We Remember,” a contemporary romance and sequel to “The Songs in our Hearts,” Charlie and her love interest, Micah Jacobs’, relationship grows. Charlie’s father passes away and she learns how to overcome this. “The Songs we Remember” was Gadoury’s way to cope with the loss of her own father. She wrote this book hoping to help other people who are grieving and to help them learn how to be comfortable with being open.
“Blinding Night,” a Hades and Persephone retelling, is set in modern day with a twist of paranormal and contemporary romance.
“Winter Dream” is a ” ‘Nutcracker’ retelling, so it’s very whimsical and magical, and you’ll just want a cup of hot cocoa while you’re reading it,” Gadoury said.
Gadoury has been writing since second grade, went to Muncy High School and got her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Susquehanna University in 2011.
In second grade, “we had to write a story about taking a trip and that’s when I first realized I could do something like that,” said Gadoury. “I remember begging my parents for a diary, so I was around the age of … seven or eight when I started to explore what writing was.”
“When I was 14, I made myself a bucket list for a summer,” she said. “I did the stereotypical see a sunrise, see the sun go down, write a book and, every year, I would look at that list and that was the only thing I couldn’t cross off.”
In high school, Gadoury found the book “Beauty” by Robin McKinley, a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”
“I … felt like the world had opened up to me because I love fairy tales and I never realized that people could tell them in their own versions,” she said.
When Gadoury was at Susquehanna University, she was originally pursuing a degree in English education. One day while reading Henry David Thoreau, she realized this was not the path she wanted to take and she changed majors to creative writing. She knew if she was good at something that’s what she wanted to get her degree in, she said.
“Always write, as much as I hated that saying from my professors, they always said to make time in the day to write. If you don’t, you just won’t write — the book won’t write itself,” she said. “Make time to write and enjoy it because the moment it is not enjoyable … it’s not going to feel right.”
Her favorite genre to write, fantasy, stems from her passion for Disney movies and contemporary young adult novels.
Everything around Gadoury inspires her — people, their experiences, love stories and personal hardships. She also is inspired by nature, being in the forest or near the ocean and taking in the sounds of the world around her.
“I love the whimsical world about fantasy,” she said. “You can make anything happen as long as the world supports it that you create.”
For more information about Chantal Gadoury and her novels, visit http://www.chantalgadoury.com/.