YALoveMagazine

The Beast by A.R. Davis was a well-written and decidedly dark spin on Beauty and the Beast. The character development was great and included glimpses into the minds of compelling characters through their thoughts which, true to life, didn’t always match their actions.
The Beast of this novel wasn’t the only tortured soul struggling to come to terms with their identity. My favorite character was Lord Aubrey who, to put it in psychological terms, was seriously messed up.
With action that was at times gory (though never too explicit) and an undeniably creepy chapter about the Beast’s origin, I’d recommend this read to the older YA crowd. If you like your fairy tales on the macabre side, this retelling won’t let you down.

The Beast by A.R. Davis was a well-written and decidedly dark spin on Beauty and the Beast. The character development was great and included glimpses into the minds of compelling characters through their thoughts which, true to life, didn’t always match their actions.
The Beast of this novel wasn’t the only tortured soul struggling to come to terms with their identity. My favorite character was Lord Aubrey who, to put it in psychological terms, was seriously messed up.
With action that was at times gory (though never too explicit) and an undeniably creepy chapter about the Beast’s origin, I’d recommend this read to the older YA crowd. If you like your fairy tales on the macabre side, this retelling won’t let you down.

http://yalovemag.com/book-reviews/the-beast

Tell us about your book:
The Beast is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. It is told through the point of view of three characters: the captive, her captor, and the law after them. It explores the theme of relationships, how the begin, and how they end in devastating ways.

Share any thoughts you’d like the readers to know:
This is my first book and I hope you enjoy!

Where can we go to buy your book?
http://www.amazon.com/Beast-Davis-ebook/dp/B010QVQ9RA/ref=sr_1_sc_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1435767648 (for ebook)

https://www.createspace.com/5592123 (for print)

goodkindles

http://www.amazon.com/Beast-R-Davis-ebook/dp/B010QVQ9RA

Beauty and the Beast with no magic, a castle, or a prince, but has monsters that act like monsters. It focuses on relationships and how they begin and end in devastating ways.

The citizens of Leola live in fear of the dense, dark forest that borders their town. Men disappear into the brush or are found dismembered as if they were attacked by a rabid Beast. But fear of a different kind also breeds in the citizens of Leola.

For Valerie Mason, starvation is worse than potentially disappearing. With her former guardsman father drowning his troubles in spirits, it’s up to Valerie to keep them afloat by any means necessary…even if it means breaking the law.

Young Aubrey, the future Lord of Leola, fears that once he dies, the pages of his personal history will be left blank. When he hears of the dangers threatening his town, he knows the only way ensure that he lives on in the memory of his people is to venture into the forest and defend it himself…even if it might cost him his life.

Valerie and Young Aubrey must each breach the veil of trees again and again on their own quests. Will Valerie or Young Aubrey emerge victorious, or will they fall victim to their own demons and The Beast?

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Indie Book Promo is happy to welcome A.R. Davis to the blog. He’s here to answer some of our questions and to share about her book, The Beast. If this book sounds like something you would be interested in reading, please find a buy link below and pick up a copy or two.

 

IBP – Tell us about your new release?

A.R. – The Beast is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that focuses more on relationships. It explores how they begin and end in devastating ways. It’s told from the point of view of three characters and how their decisions impact each other. There’s no magic, no castle, and no prince. But there are monsters in it (and not just the figurative kind), I promise.

 

IBP –  When did you begin writing?

A.R. – I began writing when I was about six or seven. My parents bought my brother a novelization of Donkey Kong Country. I read it because I read everything, and still do to this day. I hated that the characters talked, because they didn’t in the game. My parents said maybe I should do a book report (ironically, I was terrible at book reports). I stuck my tongue out at that idea and just re-wrote the story with no dialogue. It was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have that story anymore.

 

IBP  – Did you always had in mind to be a writer or it just happened?

A.R. – I didn’t really think about being a writer until J.K. Rowling burst on the scene. My great aunt passed me an article about her life, and I was in complete awe of her. I didn’t grow up poor, but I didn’t exactly grow up rich, either, if you catch my drift. From that day on, I knew what I wanted to do. If she could rise up from nothing doing what she loved, why couldn’t I? Of course, I don’t plan on being rich. But I do plan on telling a lot of stories.

 

IBP – Do you have a day job?

A.R. – I do! Bills need to get paid, after all. I work for a private university helping the fundraising department. It’s not the most fun or exciting job in the world, but it’s flexible, and I love the people I work with. One day, I hope to make writing a full time job, but until then I’m still doing my thing and still figuring out my life.

 

IBP – How long did it take you to write your current book?

A.R. – About seven years. It was a long, hard journey with blood, sweat, and many, many, many, many tears. Because it was my first, I felt like it had to be ABSOLUTELY perfect. There was a lot of rewriting and a barrage of salty language when I felt it wasn’t working.

 

IBP – What were the challenges in bringing this book to life?

A.R. – Around the time I started writing this book, I got diagnosed with depression. A lot of it poured into this book. Also a lot of self-doubt. I kept worrying that I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I was also at a point where I was working at crappy jobs and not knowing what I was going to do with my life. I thought about giving up a lot. Luckily for me, I have a lot of people that love me enough to give me a good kick in the butt when I’m slacking.

 

Another challenge was the concept itself. I had to challenge myself to create a character that does despicable things, but in the end, you feel some sympathy for him/her. (You’ll get no spoilers from me.) Building on top of that, I had to create a relationship the reader ends up caring about. I also had to keep a good balance with three POV’s and make sure each character had his/her own arc. One POV could not overpower the others, if you catch my drift. If none of that worked, the book would be completely ruined. I don’t know if I succeeded in that regard. I only know I did the best I could, and I’m happy with that.

 

IBP – What’s the best part of writing for you?

A.R. – The best part is when it’s all coming together, when I know exactly where the story is headed, and the themes are connecting and everything just feels right. The characters start becoming real people with arcs. The story has great set ups and payoffs. This is the happy, finally-settling-down phase. I treat myself so horribly during the first drafts that it’s good to have some happiness come out of it all.

 

IBP – How did you come up with your premise for your book?

A.R. – Beauty and the Beast is my favorite childhood story, as I imagine it is for a lot of people. When I knew that I wanted to write books, I knew I wanted to do a retelling of this story, in my own way. So I did, it was a short story, and it sucked because it was just like every other version of the story told. I thought, “If I could predict this and be bored, then how would the reader feel?” I knew I wanted mine to be different enough to be its own thing, but still retain the Beauty and the Beast elements that make the story so beloved.

 

One day I was flipping through Robin McKinley’s Beauty (a book that every reader should read, it’s just lovely) and I stumbled across a line spoken by the Beast, “I cannot always behave prettily, even for you.” It blew my mind and gave me chills. I kept pondering what that meant. McKinley gives hints in her book, but it’s never outright said. It stuck with me enough that I wanted to explore it further. One day I approach my now-husband and said, “What if I wrote about a monster who acts like a monster? Like a real, horror movie monster?” He looked at me and said, “OK.” Bless him, he had no idea what he was getting himself into.

 

IBP – Are there any particular books and/or authors that inspired you and continue to do so?

A.R. – Rick Yancey: his Monstrumologist series (and now The 5thWave) are incredible in that they are both very dark, but you can always find a light in the gloom. They also explore what it means to be human, all while being fit for a YA audience. I kind of wish he’d go away to make people like myself feel better, because he’s too brilliant.

 

J.K. Rowling: I just love her because she’s not only talented, but she’s funny and honest and fabulous. I also love how she gives most of her money to charity. That’s the kind of person I aspire to be.

 

Laurie Halse Anderson: She’s another author who tends to write about darkness, but it’s always portrayed with honesty and sincerity. I once read a review where someone said, “I don’t understand why people read things like this? Real life is hard enough without having to read about it.” Laurie says that as long as there’s darkness, it needs to be exposed. She’s holding a mirror up to our society and showing us how ugly we can be. I admire her greatly for that, and I’ll continue to read her books and be both horrified and touched.

 

IBP – How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

A.R. – Communication is very important to me. I read every single review, whether it’s good or bad. It all helps me with future books, and it makes me see my work in a new light. I don’t judge people on how they feel about the work I’ve done. If you are spending your hard earned cash, you have every right to say how you feel.

 

I also LOVE getting messages, whether people have read my book or not, and whether they loved it or hated it. I respond to every message I get, though you might have to be patient since I work full time. Email is the best way to get in touch with me: writerardavis@gmail.com

 

Also, I know that books are expensive. I think it’s nuts how much books cost! Everybody should have the opportunity to read any book they want, especially if they can’t access their local library or their library doesn’t own a copy. Growing up, I know what it’s like to really want to read a book, but not having the money to do so. If you really want to read mine but you’re strapped for cash, I will give you a free copy. All I ask in return is you leave me feedback.

 

IBP – If you could write with anyone who would that be and why?

A.R. – J.K. Rowling, hands down. I don’t think I’ve mentioned her enough in this interview (haha). I would love to just see how her mind works, how she’s able to keep track of all those diagrams and plot lines. I would pay all the money I have for that experience.

 

IBP – What is in the works for you next?

A.R. – Working on another book, first of all. I think it will be the start of a series. With each book I write, I want to keep challenging myself, so doing a series will be my next one. There’s going to be more monsters, though very different from the ones in this book. That’s all I can say for now, but I hope you enjoy it once I’m finished. (Not anytime soon, but it won’t take me as long as The Beast did!)

*****

the-beast-ar-davisThe citizens of Leola live in fear of the dense, dark forest that borders their town. Men disappear into the brush or are found dismembered as if they were attacked by a rabid Beast. But fear of a different kind also breeds in the citizens of Leola.
For Valerie Mason, starvation is worse than potentially disappearing. With her former guardsman father drowning his troubles in spirits, it’s up to Valerie to keep them afloat by any means necessary…even if it means breaking the law.
Young Aubrey, the future Lord of Leola, fears that once he dies, the pages of his personal history will be left blank. When he hears of the dangers threatening his town, he knows the only way ensure that he lives on in the memory of his people is to venture into the forest and defend it himself…even if it might cost him his life.
Valerie and Young Aubrey must each breach the veil of trees again and again on their own quests. Will Valerie or Young Aubrey emerge victorious, or will they fall victim to their own demons and The Beast?

The Beast is available from Amazon

*****

CoalA.R. DAVIS first picked up writing at age six after getting annoyed that the characters weren’t right in a Donkey Kong Country novelization. She loved it so much that she went on to graduate with a BFA in Creative Writing at UNCW. Visit her site: http://pencilprofessional.com/ to learn more and connect.