The time it was about Queen of Hearts

Posted May 11, 2016 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 6 Comments

I first saw the cover for Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes in the super secret back room of Mysterious Galaxy.  After I was done eyeballing the cover, I made sure to make a note about it and how badly I needed to read it.  When I finally got my greedy hands on it, I enjoyed seeing the set up for Wonderland from a new point of view.

QoH Tour Banner

Before we get to Colleen’s interview, let’s check out the book.

24As Princess of Wonderland Palace and the future Queen of Hearts, Dinah’s days are an endless monotony of tea, tarts, and a stream of vicious humiliations at the hands of her father, the King of Hearts. The only highlight of her days is visiting Wardley, her childhood best friend, the future Knave of Hearts — and the love of her life.

When an enchanting stranger arrives at the Palace, Dinah watches as everything she’s ever wanted threatens to crumble. As her coronation date approaches, a series of suspicious and bloody events suggests that something sinister stirs in the whimsical halls of Wonderland. It’s up to Dinah to unravel the mysteries that lurk both inside and under the Palace before she loses her own head to a clever and faceless foe.

Part epic fantasy, part twisted fairy tale, this dazzling saga will have readers shivering as Dinahs furious nature sweeps Wonderland up in the maelstrom of her wrath.

Familiar characters such as Cheshire, the White Rabbit, and the Mad Hatter make their appearance, enchanting readers with this new, dark take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Sounds good, right?


1. Please give the elevator pitch for Queen of Hearts.

This is the backstory of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland – the story of how a princess became a villain.

2. Where did the idea come from? 

I was thinking about Alice in Wonderland while I was driving, and I was thinking about the Queen. I thought “Why is she so angry?” Then I thought, “Someone should write that story. I’m going to write that story.”

3. Why do you love Dinah and why should we root for her?

I love Dinah because she is a girl who has everything – she is the princess of Wonderland, after all – and yet nothing. I think readers will love following a character who goes from a good girl to someone defined by her rage. I think they’ll be surprised how easy it is to root for a villain.

4. What makes a good villain and how did you incorporate that into the story?

Tom Hiddleston once said “Every villain thinks they are the hero of their own story.” I think a villain can’t just be someone who is possessed by the desire to do evil without any plausible reason. A true villain is someone who does evil things for what they believe are good and true reasons. However, female villains must be allowed to be bad – that’s something we really haven’t seen.

5. Without spoilers, what was your favorite scene to write?

There is a time in the book when Dinah dives deeper into the secrets of Wonderland and what she finds is horrifying. It was delightful to write, but I’m also a little dark and twisted.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes. 

When I found out about HarperCollins publishing Queen, I sat on my guest bed, cried and then called my husband, mother and sister. Then I felt like eating all the chocolate in the world.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A yacht, a tube of mascara, and my entire library.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

I read The Poisonwood Bible every year, and find ideas both delightful and heart wrenching each and every time. That would be the one.

4. Who is your favorite book boyfriend and book BFF?

I would love to be friends with Willowdean from Dumplin’ and my favorite current book boyfriend is the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That it’s easy to lose your writing and the time needed to commit to it, because you are so busy building a “platform.” Write good books first, worry about the other stuff later.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently? {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question}

I would end my perfect little story at Eclipse and there would be no Breaking Dawn.


Colleen Oakes_credit Erin BurtColleen Oakes is the author of books for both teens and adults, including The Elly in Bloom Series, The Queen of Hearts Saga (Harper Collins 2016) and The Wendy Darling Saga. She lives in North Denver with her husband and son and surrounds herself with the most lovely family and friends imaginable.

When not writing or plotting new books, Colleen can be found swimming, traveling and totally immersing herself in nerdy pop culture.She currently at work on another YA fantasy series and a stand-alone YA novel.


Huge thanks to Hannah at Irish Banana Tours for the invite and to Colleen for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out Colleen’s website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding her books to your Goodreads TBR.

Definitely check out all of the tour stops and keep scrolling for a giveaway!

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6 responses to “The time it was about Queen of Hearts

  1. danielle hammelef

    Thanks for the post today with the interview. This book is beautiful and sounds so good and unlike any other I’ve read.

  2. Lovely interview post Stacee :D Thank you for sharing about this one. <3 I think it sounds pretty amazing. But I doubt I will read it, hih, But I do like that cover :D Hope you are doing great sweet girl. <3

    Carina Olsen recently posted: Book Collection #11

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