By the D23 Team
On April 7, Disney fans can discover what would have happened if Cinderella never put on the glass slipper when So This Is Love, a part of the Twisted Tale book series, debuts. Twisted Tales explores alternate versions of classic Disney tales—and we sat down with author Elizabeth Lim to find out how she created a new twist on the story of Cinderella.
You can preorder So This Is Love here.
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club: The Twisted Tales series takes classic Disney stories and turns them upside down. What was it like for you to imagine Cinderella’s story if she never got the chance to try on the Glass Slipper?
Elizabeth Lim (EL): When I was a kid, Cinderella was one of the few Disney movies I had on VHS, and I must have watched it at least a hundred times. The scene where Lady Tremaine locks Cinderella in the attic was always very tense for me, and when I got the chance to write Cinderella’s Twisted Tale that scene immediately came to me as a pivotal moment for a “twist.” If Cinderella stayed locked in the attic, she’d never get to try on the glass slipper and the “happy ending” that we all know and love would be forever changed. I wanted to explore what might happen to Cinderella in that scenario, and if she had to make her own “happily ever after.”
D23: We can imagine Cinderella experiences an awful lot of heartache in this story – what was it like to tap into that?
EL: Cinderella is no stranger to heartache. She’s an orphan, and she’s been forced to be a servant for her stepmother and stepsisters since childhood. But she has hope and resilience, and that’s what builds her into a strong and courageous character. In So This is Love, that strength is tested when she’s forced out of the Tremaine chateau and has to fend for herself while dealing with her stepfamily’s betrayal. It was a challenge delving into Cinderella’s emotions more and bringing out how hurt and alone she must have been during her childhood, but I also loved bringing out her strength and determination to overcome her past.
D23: You started out writing Fan Fiction, right? What is it like getting to use that background professionally in these new takes on classic tales?
EL: I did! I wrote fan fiction in middle school and posted the stories online, which was both terrifying and such a rewarding learning experience. I love writing fan fiction, especially because I get to take some of my favorite characters and imagine new challenges for them as well as explore their characters more deeply. That background’s helped so much in writing the Twisted Tales, especially with Cinderella, because I feel there’s so much about her that isn’t usually touched upon in the fairytale, such as her father and mother, how she came to be called Cinderella, and why she dreams of going to the ball in the first place. I loved tackling some of these questions and writing a new take on Cinderella, one that I hope stays true to her character yet also enriches her story.
D23: Why will fans who love Cinderella enjoy reading this book?
EL: So This is Love takes the Cinderella we know and love from the film and explores the magic and dreams behind it. Readers will see new sides of old and familiar faces, learn more about the history and lore behind Cinderella’s fairy godmother, and spend more time with the prince as Cinderella chases the wishes deep in her heart, makes new friends, and learns what it means to truly fall in love.