Thursday, August 25, 2022


A Dream So Lovely

Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Rebecca Conrad's A Dream So Lovely, part of the Under Your Spell: A Fairytale Retelling Anthology!


Under Your Spell, a Fairytale Retelling Anthology from The New Romance Cafe

My story is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty.


What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

Fantasy romance. The genre was already decided for me as it was specifically for fairytale retellings.

Are you more character or plot driven?

Character, definitely.

With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

There were really only five characters in this, the two mains and the three supporting, so there wasn’t really a struggle to keep them all separated and distinct.  

I don’t keep a storyboard above my workspace, but I do tend to have a legal pad with character descriptions and a little bit of backstory.

I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Not particularly, but I would probably like to explore a little bit more of Ophelia’s backstory at some point.

Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

I did take the name Brendon from this cute guy I used to know back in high school, but beyond that, there’s no real resemblance.

Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?


Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

The villain showdown was difficult to write because I didn’t know how to write it in a way that felt true to the characters involved.

I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

I found I liked Ophelia a lot more than I realized I would going in.

How do you get inside these characters’ heads to find their perfect HEA?

I take a couple personality tests, answering them how I think the characters might and go from there. 

I usually prefer a slow burn relationship, so I also take into account how long the characters have known each other. 

With Aushra and Brendon, their dynamic was inspired by a joke I’d made to one of my friends, about what would happen if two of our other characters ever met. 

Over the course of the story, Aushra and Brendon ended up barely resembling their inspiration, except in the most general of ways. He’s a nerdy, bookish prince, she’s lonely and creative.

What scene in this book sticks out the most for you?  Why?

The meet cute was one of my favorites. I love a good meet cute. 

The other stories I’ve written this year were friends to lovers, so there was no meet cute in them.


How long did it take you to write this book?

About nine months, I think.


How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

I asked for suggestions in one of my writer discords. I knew I couldn’t use Once Upon a Dream, but I wanted to include the word “dream.” Someone suggested “A Dream So Dark,” but I thought that wasn’t quite the right vibe since the story wasn’t particularly dark. Eventually, the word “lovely” was suggested instead, and I thought that was perfect. Aushra’s dream world does have a lovely quality to it, even in spite of her being trapped.

But maybe “A Dream So Dark” will come back if I ever expand on their story beyond the anthology.


If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

I think we’d have great fun playing a board game, yeah.


Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

I’ll be appearing in a winter holiday anthology later this year. The title is Mine This Winter and my story is Auld Lang Sighs.

It’s a New Year’s Eve story about two college friends that get forced to share an apartment due to maintenance issues



Public education day job. Former fanfic writer. Romance fangirl. Anthology author. Unitarian universalist. NF1. ADHD. she/her

A DREAM SO LOVELY by Rebecca Conrad
Under Your Spell: A Fairytale Retelling Anthology

Release Date:  October 4, 2022

Get your copy today!


Your favorite fairy tales … with a twist. What happens when you can’t choose between Prince Charming and the Dragon? What if Goldilocks really wanted to stay? Was the Big Bad Wolf really that bad?

Thirteen titillating stories from USA Today best-selling and award-winning romance authors in a spicy collection curated by The New Romance Café. HEA guaranteed.

Participating Authors:

Rebecca Conrad
Chele MacCabe
Regan Rayne
Hannah McKee
Alyssa Lynn
Lara Herrera
Alexa Santi
Sofia Hahn
Callie Fletcher
Mikayla Rand
Zara M Baily
CC Lizabeth
SC Principale
Kat Parrish
Colla Triti
Niki Trento

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