Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon is a contemporary retelling of Beauty and the Beast set at an elite boarding school in the mountains—think Beauty and the Beast meets Gossip Girl! It’s out February 18th, 2020 and even has a *map* in the hardcover. Featuring an Indian princess and a misanthropic British aristocrat, it’s immersive, glamorous, and full of smoldering kisses!
Q&A with Sandhya Menon
How did you get the idea for Of Curses and Kisses?
It came to me one night while my family and I were staying in a hotel in Colorado. This was about four years ago now, and I was still working on When Dimple Met Rishi. But I sat bolt upright in my bed in the middle of the night and scrabbled to write down something in Jaya’s (the female main character’s) voice. I had no idea at the time who was talking or what the story was about, but what I wrote down became chapter one in the book. After I got some sleep, I spent more time thinking about it, and realized this was a boarding school-set story about modern-day royals. The “Beauty and the Beast contemporary retelling” part came still later! Of Curses and Kisses was very much an evolving idea in progress until I sold it to my publisher as a trilogy.
Why did you want to write this story?
I’ve always been a huge, huge fan of boarding school-set novels. At the time the idea came to me, I was completely enamored of Gossip Girl and fairy tale retellings, too, and thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a series that encapsulated all of these feelings and ideas but was a more diverse representation of the population than we’ve had in the past?” And then I went, “Waiiiit a minute…I’m an author!” Also, I got to go to Aspen to do book research, which is always a plus in my book!
What was your favorite scene in the story?
There were a few scenes that I absolutely ADORED writing! Let’s see . . . the first meeting in the library, the hot tub scene, the middle-of-the-night snowball fight, any scene with Caterina and Rahul or Isha in it! So many. 🙂
What’s your favorite fairy tale?
I love the classic Disney ones—Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, The Frog Prince, and Sleeping Beauty are a few I really cherish!
Will there be more books in the universe?
Definitely! I sold the series as a trilogy, with two companion novels to follow Of Curses and Kisses. The next books will follow different main characters, but you’ll definitely see cameos of the people you’ve come to know and love!