This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa De La Cruz who wrote the prequel novel to this year’s sure to be hit Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants. The novel focuses on the four descendants of Disney’s most evil villains. Mal daughter of Maleficent the strong willed feisty leader of the pack, Evie the daughter of the evil queen and self-proclaimed fairest of them all, Carlos the tech genius son of Cruella De Vill and Jay the son of Jafar who might just be the most charming thief ever.
The four of them are sent on a quest by Maleficent to retrieve something that was lost many years ago when they were abandoned on the Isle of the Lost which is a remote island hidden away from the likes of the good folks in Auradon. While on the quest they each encounter something they never wanted to face reality as well as their deepest fears. I was able to ask Melissa about this quest: “I wanted to have it be a quest, and I wanted it to kind of reflect on the original movies. So I watched the original movies, and I would take notes. And I would try to figure out what in the movies I could bring into the book.
And so I think I kind of picked my favorite thing from the movies, like the cave of gold in Aladdin, and the magic mirror in Snow White. But also dealing with the spell that the Evil Queen uses to turn into a hag—it’s a really great piece of poetry that’s in the movie.
And it was really fun to use. So, I wanted it to relate to their parents’ stories, but also a new challenge for each of them. So that definitely took a lot of research, a lot of watching it over and over again, to figure out what part of it I could use.”
I also got to speak with Melissa about writing from the perspectives of five different characters the four main descendants Mal, Jay, Evie and Carlos as well as son of Beauty and the Beast Ben who resides in Auradon with all the other heroes and royalty. I got to ask her what characters were hardest to write and how they all came to have such distinct voices: “Some characters are easier than others. Mal and Carlos came really easily. From the beginning I really knew who they were. Jay I had to figure out what his motivation was and what was his character because he is kind of like Mal’s brother.
So they have this kind of sibling rivalry. You know, who’s the better thief? Who’s the better villain? And then Evie was the hardest, she had the hardest parent in a way.
The Evil Queen isn’t as vicious as Maleficent. But she has this, you know, expectation of Evie to be the fairest of them all. And she was always doing her makeup and has kind of this relentless obsession with beauty.
And I think part of me was really kind of like, oh, God, it’s so hard to live under that mom who always told you you weren’t pretty enough.
I think it was kind of like a nightmare. So it was harder to write her character just because I felt maybe worse for her because in a way Maleficent is kind of indifferent. And she is kind of cold. But she’s not as around, I think, maybe as suffocating as the Evil Queen. So, it was hard to write about.”
It was a blast talking to Melissa, be sure to check out her other projects like the Blue Bloods series and be on the lookout for more Descendants books to come! Don’t forget to tune into the Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants this summer on Disney Channel and stay tuned for more!
We here at Chip and Co are excited to announce we are having an **Isle of the Lost giveaway! Win one copy of the Descendants prequel novel and a branded tank top, temp tattoos, smartphone home sticker and water bottle! There will be one lucky winner!
To enter the giveaway tweet us @chipandcompany and tell us what Disney villain said this line:
“Whoever has the gold makes the rules.”
(Hint: His equally evil son can be seen in not only this novel but in the Descendants movie coming this year to Disney Channel)
If you don’t use Twitter just leave us your answer below!
We will pick one lucky winner this Sunday and announce the winner on Monday via our Twitter! So make sure to use a valid twitter account or login below!
Stay tuned for more on Descendants and catch the made for TV movie on Disney Channel this year!
**Giveaway open to US addresses only.
**Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.
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