Interviewing Soman Chainani, Author of A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES and Exclusive Deleted Scene!

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to Soman Chainani!!!

Last year, Soman broke out with a hit debut novel, 
Last week, the sequel,
finally came out.


This screencap is directly from author Soman Chainani and used with permission!


Last week, Publishers Weekly listed
as having one of the 
in 2014!!!!

(That line being...
There is an uneasiness that remains after your best friend tries to kill you...)




Soman has stopped by with an amazing interview that talks about the current book, teases at next year's finale, AND shares a special deleted scene from A SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL that you've never read before!



Check out my review of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL and last year's great interview and guest post with Soman!

Look for my review of A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES soon!
I am so excited to sit down and read this one, ahhhhh!!!!

An interview with 
Soman Chainani

Soman Chainani's first novel, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, has been on ABA's National Indie Bestseller List for 11 weeks, has been translated into languages across six continents, and will soon be a major motion picture from Universal Studios. 

As a writer and film director, Soman's films have played at over 150 film festivals around the world, winning more than 30 jury and audience prizes, and his writing awards include honors from Big Bear Lake, New Draft, the CAPE Foundation, the Sun Valley Writer’s Fellowship, and the coveted Shasha Grant, awarded by a jury of international film executives. 

When he’s not telling stories or teaching in New York City, Soman is a die-hard tennis player who never lost a first-round match for ten years . . . until he started writing THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Now he loses all the time.

Check out Soman's website and follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr!
You can also take an epically awesome quiz to find out 
if you'll be accepted into the School For Good or the School For Evil!

One thing that really sells THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL is how you've managed to turn our concepts of "good" and "evil" upside down and examine them from the inside out. Can you tell us a little bit about how you balance the dichotomy between the two?

I’ve never been a fan of labels, because they require the conscious mind to hem things in with a word. Experience itself can’t be labeled Good or Evil, any more than a person can. So I think the trick with this series is that I never actually label a character’s actions in my head. I just make Agatha and Sophie as full and well-rounded and real as I can, and leave it to the audience to decide if they’re Good or Evil. 

Case in point – Agatha is surely the emotional heart of the book, but she makes terrible mistakes. She trusts Sophie far too often, she’s way too submissive to Tedros once she acknowledges her love for him, and she’s often a bit taken with Tedros’ looks over his personality. Some readers will point to this as a flaw in the book or the storytelling. But protagonists don’t have to be perfect, even at the end of a story. They needn’t have learned every possible lesson. In fact, they shouldn’t. Agatha has a long way to go – and I can’t even guarantee she’ll make it to the end of it, let alone emerge a perfect human being.

I was fascinated by the unusual way you chose to "complete" the fairy tale at the conclusion of THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. Without spoiling things for everyone, can you talk a little bit about how you had the idea to do something so creative?

I wanted an ending that would feel complete, but raise a million questions for the volumes to follow. At the same time, I wanted an ending we’d never seen before. What’s funny is that the same type of ending is now starting to pop up in other stories – movies, TV shows, etc. – but that’s likely because it is an ending that seems to dovetail with our increasing rejection of pat Happily Ever Afters between princess and prince.

I was shocked when I saw that THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL was the first book in a series because there were no loose ends. Can you spill the beans on what adventure readers will embark on in A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES?

That was the key – to make readers think the story was over, and then make them realize that there were still questions to be answered. Don’t worry – I didn’t manufacture a random villain to draw them back into the world and just have some kind of Pirates of Caribbean-style hijinks against an invented enemy. Book 2 is about digging deeper into who these girls are. 


Is Agatha truly happy, having left Tedros behind? Is Sophie fully recovered from all the awful things that she did as a witch? You might think the girls have found their happy ending… But all the reasons they haven’t are found within their characters.

Now that A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES is officially out, can you share any tidbits about the third book for voracious readers already raring for more?

It will be MASSIVE in scale, just in terms of its scope and world – because we’ll get a bigger view of the Endless Woods (where Books 1 and Books 2 were all set at school.) Other than that… I’ll have to leave the surprises for October 1, 2015 when the book comes out.

Have you seen any recent fairy tale movie/television adaptations? If yes, which ones and what do you like most about it/them?

I really loved the first 20 minutes of Frozen – dazzling stuff, before it grew more conventional. I recently rewatched Disney’s Sword in the Stone, which is a beautiful adaptation of TH White that rarely gets its due. Sofia Coppola is supposed to direct The Little Mermaid for Universal, so I’m dying of curiosity to see what she does with that (I always secretly wanted her to direct SGE).

What important lesson(s) have your fairytale characters learned that you wish the traditional fairytale version of the character could have learned from?

Lovely question. I think one thing the characters in SGE have learned is that Good and Evil can look like each other so easily. Imagine if Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. were told that from the beginning? Neither would have ended up in a coffin, waiting for a prince to kiss them.

Play fortune teller: choose one tale, and take us into the future, past where the story ends: does all turn out Happily Ever After? Any unexpected occurrences?

Ohhhh, Bonnie… Let’s just put it this way. Stay tuned for Book 3. I’ll answer your question in spades.

Quickfire Stuff: This or That?

-City of Atlantis or Camelot?

Camelot. So much testosterone, sweat, and posturing. Love it.

-Knight or assassin?

Knight. See above.

-Go about in the Emperor's "new clothes" (i.e. nothing) or wear a smelly, crusty donkeyskin for the rest of your life?

Ha. Thank goodness I work out. Because I’m not wearing a smelly anything for the rest of my life.

Quickfire Stuff: Would You Rather...?

-Be woken up by the Town Musicians of Bremen or a fire-breathing dragon who's just discovered you in her gold hoard?

I’d take chances against the dragon, counting on quickness and wit to get me out with some gold stuffed in my pants.

-Follow a wil-o’-the-wisp or face a troll?

Trolls. You just need to answer a riddle to pass a troll and I’m quite fond of riddles, even if asked to the threat of death.

-Be cursed with 10 curses in a row or be cursed 5 times from now until eternity?

Brilliant. Definitely the 10 in a row. The sooner I get back to life unencumbered the better.

What important lesson(s) have your fairytale characters learned that you wish the traditional fairytale version of the character could have learned from?

Lovely question. I think one thing the characters in SGE have learned is that Good and Evil can look like each other so easily. Imagine if Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. were told that from the beginning? Neither would have ended up in a coffin, waiting for a prince to kiss them.

What important lesson(s) have your fairytale characters learned that you wish the traditional fairytale version of the character could have learned from?

Lovely question. I think one thing the characters in SGE have learned is that Good and Evil can look like each other so easily. Imagine if Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, etc. were told that from the beginning? Neither would have ended up in a coffin, waiting for a prince to kiss them.

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

    And now, a super special never-before-seen 
    by Soman Chainani!

    And just for you, Bonnie, here’s a deleted scene from THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL. We had to cut it for pacing, but I loved its bawdiness and miss it sometimes. But I’ll feel better now that it will live here on your blog.
    ~Soman Chainani

    Remarkably enough, Sophie was much further along towards solving the riddle.

    Her first-place rank in Uglification had silenced the hobgoblin taunts and reminded the Nevers they were still dealing with a villain who had vanquished a Golden Goose and beaten all of their Special Talents. Throwing her nervous looks as they slogged to the belfry, the Nevers arrived to find Castor looming over two horned billy goats.

    "This is Biggle," he said, pointing to a white goat with black streaks. "And this is Boggle,” he nodded to a black goat with white streaks. "Your challenge is to make them attack each other!"

    The students stared at Biggle and Boggle, nuzzling each other sweetly as they shared a bale of straw. 

    "They're snuggling," gaped Hort.

    "Forgot that part," said Castor. "They're brothers."

    Everyone tried Castor's Henchmen Training Tactics to make the two brothers fight. Vex tried to ‘command’ them, but animals don’t understand Nevers. Ravan tried to ‘taunt’ them by kicking their hay around, but the goats just took a nap. Hort ‘bribed’ them with a carrot, but Boggle pinned him down while Biggle ate it. Hester 'bullied' them by knocking their heads together, but Biggle spit in her eye and Boggle peed on her foot. Finally the goats had enough of all this and rammed Beezle around the belfry ("Devil's goats!" he screeched).

    "You're the sorriest pack of losers I've ever seen," growled Castor. "And that's sayin' something considering your school ain't produced a winner in two hundred years!"

    Everyone stared at their shoes, shamefaced.

    "Henchmen have to know you're their Master. Then they'll do whatever you ask, even if it means fighting their own blood. Now most creatures respond to a few basic moves --"

    While Castor demonstrated, Sophie tuned out and chewed the School Master's riddle.

    What does a villain never have that a princess cannot do without?

    Her first instinct was "Rumplestiltsken," but that didn't make much sense. "Class" was her second, but there were plenty of villainous queens with good breeding. Villains lacked proper skin care regimes, but that didn't mean they could never have one. Same went with pink dresses and cucumber juice.

    Crap riddle-solver this one is, came a voice.

    Total crap, said another.

    Sophie saw the two goats staring at her. Like the goose, they could apparently hear her thoughts.

    What's the answer, then? Sophie asked.

    What a princess got that a villain don’t? said Biggle. Easy.

    Good bowels, said Boggle.

    When in doubt, poo it out, said Biggle.

    They burst into hoary laughter. Biggle clutched his stomach. Carrot gave me rumbles.

    Then why'd you eat it you tosser, said Boggle.

    Biggle scowled. Should have shoved it up Weasel Boy's --

    Now my tummy's turnin', said Boggle

    What I'd do for Mummy's tea, said Biggle and passed gas noisily.

    When they gonna let us do our business? said Boggle, ripping his own fart.

    Sophie held her nose. Once again, her ability to hear animal thoughts had yielded more trouble than use. Did every 100% Good Princess have to deal with this?

    Evers feed us good, said Boggle.

    Evers are pretty and clean, said Biggle.

    Evers can solve riddles, said Boggle.

    Not like this clown, said Biggle.

    Sophie's chest tightened. Did she put on too much blush?

    Dumb bird ain't ever gonna solve that riddle, said Biggle.

    All that chat of cucumbers and diets, said Boggle.

    Needs an Ever, said Biggle.

    Needs a good poo sounds like, said Boggle.

    The goats collapsed in bleating laughs. Sophie's hands tightened into fists.

    Why we even here, moaned Biggle.

    Numpty Nevers.

    Nosy Nevers. Why we here? Biggle called out.

    Yeah Clownface, yelled Boggle. Why we here?

    Sophie whipped around. Because we're going to kill one of you. And we're trying to decide which one.

    The goats stopped laughing. They looked at each other nervously. Then at Sophie.

    Have you, uh, decided? choked Biggle.

    Sophie nodded.

    Which one? trembled Boggle. 

    Sophie smiled. The weaker one.

    Well I'm stronger! bellowed Biggle.

    No I'm stronger! howled Boggle.

    You lying, stinking --

    And just like that, the two brothers attacked each other, sparking a braying, murderous brawl. As Biggle gouged Boggle's stomach, Boggle bit Biggle's neck, and horns slammed and splintered, Sophie turned around and put her fingers in her ears, finally able to focus on the riddle --

    Only the whole class was staring at her.

    "You made them... fight?" Castor asked, flabbergasted.

    With another first-place rank, Sophie was only a few places from overtaking Hester in the race for Class Captain. Hester sprung into action.

    "How about poison in her food?" she said, as she stomped to her room with Anadil and Dot.

    "She doesn't eat far as I can tell," said Anadil.

    "How about poisoned lipstick?" said Hester.

    "Or Black Widows in her bed?" asked Anadil.

    "They’ll lock us in the Doom Room for weeks!" fretted Dot.

    "I don't care how we do it or how much trouble we get in,” Hester hissed. “I want that snake gone.”

    A WORLD WITHOUT PRINCES by Soman Chainani
     Publication date: April 15, 2014
    Publisher: HarperCollins

    In the epic sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel, THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL, Sophie and Agatha are home, living out their Ever After. But life isn’t quite the fairy tale they expected. 

    When Agatha secretly wishes she’d chosen a different happy ending, she reopens the gates to the School for Good and Evil. But the world she and Sophie once knew has changed. Witches and princesses, warlocks and princes are no longer enemies. New bonds are forming; old bonds are being shattered. But underneath this uneasy arrangement, a war is brewing and a dangerous enemy rises. 

    As Agatha and Sophie battle to restore peace, an unexpected threat could destroy everything, and everyone, they love—and this time, it comes from within. 

    Soman Chainani has created a spectacular world that Newbery Medal-winning author Ann M. Martin calls, “a fairy tale like no other, complete with romance, magic, and humor that will keep you turning pages until the end.”


    1. OOooooo....I really wnt to read the first book now. And the second! That trailer makes me happy, and I love the concept of evil and good being a matter of perspective.

    2. I've got to check out this series – it looks like a lot of fun!!

    3. Finished up the first book.. Now need to buy the second. It was good!!


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