Frequently Asked Questions (and Rude Comments)
“Who are you people?”
The End of the Magical Kingdom 1: The Evil Princess is a book by author L. M. Warren. It’s the “Tragic Parody” comedy-horror-fantasy book about a princess falling in love with a witch. Future episodes are entitled, “The Saint of Science” and “The Watchmaker’s Child”.
“What is the Magical Kingdom and why is it ‘ending’?”
Ten years ago, three little princesses-in-waiting were childhood friends. In the first scene of the book, three protagonists of the story are established: Mary Melancholy, Sweet Blossom and Wendy. Notice how they interact, how they understand the concept of time passing, and realize a new generation is coming. Their parents used to believe in the ‘Magical Kingdom of Old’. But the children believe in nothing.
“Is this a fairy tale for children?”
Not really, and the story opens with a haunting image: a fairy tale princess emerging from the darkness who just so happens to be DEAD. She was once beautiful, a belle, and now limps along looking like a zombie princess from Hell. This warns the reader of tragedy, violence and much suffering to come.
“That all sounds really gay.”
Yes, it is. For years, people have been calling for a “gay/lesbian fairy tale princess”. While that hypothetical movie may be years in the future, that doesn’t mean that we can’t use our imagination right now. Through original artwork, song lyrics, a quirky narrator and a little bit of magic, we get the definitive fairy tale musical experience, but this time reflecting our own real world and the issues that matter in the 21st century.
“So since I’m straight am I allowed to read it?”
“The End of the Magical Kingdom” series goes beyond that. This is a series that will boldly challenge the status quo of young adult and middle grade fiction. Future books will introduce Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning characters into the cartoon epic, as the struggle for freedom and happiness continues throughout the land of Cadabra.
“Why is it for 13 and up?”
This is a book that not all parents will appreciate, given the depiction of LGBTQ themes as well as themes of sex, drugs, and violence. However, this is a caricatured world that reflects our own. This series is for teenagers over the age of 13. The book comes with a warning label because of extremely violent scenes and harsh emotional intensity. However, because there is no pornographic depiction of sex the book is technically not for Adults Only. Many in the literary industry have been asking for an official “ratings” system for literature, but nothing has happened as of yet.
“OMG am I reading porn?”
There is no explicitly erotic material in the book, however there are scenes of innuendo that might offend sensitive audiences. Even the worst scenes of violence described are left to the reader’s imagination. This is a book about dangerous ideas, not offensive content. The End of the Magical Kingdom certainly pushes the envelope for how much violence, psychological torture and sexual innuendos a writer can get away with, in a faux-fairy tale book. Some people have actually complained to author L. M. Warren that they got physically ill after reading the book. Well except for Heather Warren, who just got horny.
“Aren’t you worried about Amazon being a douchebag and censoring this book?”
There is no reason to censor this book, since sexual innuendos are commonplace in teen books – that is heterosexual activity. To discriminate against LGBTQ sex would be nothing short of discriminatory. Besides, if a child is gay, or transgender, or questioning, age is irrelevant. That’s not the sort of thing you can change, or hope he grows out of. It’s a reality that you have to deal with.
“Agent says, who’s the target audience?”
“The Evil Princess” is a book that aspires to mash up the most extreme elements of across the board fiction, from surrealism and comedy to the bleakest of drama and social criticism. The book series is not just a parody but also a caricature of humanity’s frail existence, offering readers a roller coaster ride of laughter, tears and rage.
The target audience is not just LGBTQ, but outliers, anti-socials and people that don’t quite fit into modern society. It’s cool now to say on Facebook that you’re a ‘freak’ or ‘weird’ or ‘nerdy’, but the truth is most popular people don’t know what it’s like to be rejected by society, or be mocked by their peers, and to lose all self-confidence because of other people’s judgments. This is a book about not feeling connected to anyone you know, even the people who are nice to you. All of the protagonists and antagonists in the coming series have trouble relating to other people. How they get along with others, and what they do about their obstacles, is at the heart of the story.
“I hope it ends happy. All fairy tales end happy.”
It would be dishonest to only show happy endings and neatly wrap everything up by the end. It would be cowardly to avoid talking about political or religious issues that affect teens today just because it tends to bother people. There are a great number of villains in the book, and it’s not always a matter of good overcoming evil. That’s certainly not the way it works in the real world. That said, there are some happy endings in the series and some not so happy endings…just like life.
“Who is the artist behind all those amazing tri-color portrait covers?”
Sebastian Sabo, a great talent.
“Can I pirate this book?”
I hope not! Come on, L.M. Warren is a cheap date and will tell you a great story for the price of a non-alcoholic drink. But on the subject, did you know L. M. Warren is a worthless drunkard in real life? Surprising, right? Read all about it at the Author page.
Was the book was originally designed to be a full-length animated musical?
Yes. L. M. Warren kind of postponed that when he found out how fucking hard and expensive that was. He originally asked a talented musician to help him write the music if he wrote the lyrics. The musician shall remain anonymous. Anyway, Nick then said he couldn’t work with the lyrics and then asked his pothead acquaintance from an anonymous and questionably-talented band if they could help develop the music. The bandleader was so stoned out of her mind she literally ate the sheet music and then masturbated with Nick’s cell phone, which contained part of the conversation with Warren. Needless to say, the idea was scrapped. The was originally intended to be one movie, then one book, but things kind of got out of hand with three giant books.
Is Salem is the equivalent of a terrorist in the book since the book refers to her satirically as “horrorist”?
It’s hard to say because Salem doesn’t try to kill any one in the series without good reason, but since she is still considered an enemy of the state, it’s questionable. Of course, many powers that be are shown to be corrupt and so it could be argued that Salem is merely fighting as a soldier against an institution she was never born into, nor joined. The book intentionally raises tough questions to answer, such as individualism vs. sheep mentality, even in the face of religious and patriotic dogma.
Who is the target age group and why?”
The End of the Magical Kingdom series is, in the author’s own words, “Young, Angry Books for Millennials.” The distinctive style that characterizes millennial-friendly novels, is “plots, language and structure that is iconoclastic by nature, but with a coherent and emotional narrative that holds the audience captive.” Warren says when writing the book he had three goals in mind. 1. To write anti-heroes; characters and behavior you’ve never really seen in books before. 2. To use a modern and simple language that jumped off the page, resembling TV and movie dialog. 3. To embody the anti-establishment personality of the millennial generation. These books for millennials not only feature Warren’s own brand of “Tragic Parody” (comedy, horror and literary drama in one) but also introduce a few gonzo writing techniques that you rarely see in modern teen novels today, such as the “parody homage”, ”the poetic distraction”, and what he calls a “WTF troll scene”, a scene meant for shock value that pushes the limits of reading and writing. Warren’s adult themes, graphic language and over-the-top violence are also author trademarks that may alienate some readers. However, the author is confident that to his fellow millennials, it will be simply dramatic literary fiction.
“This is the way a lot of us write fanfiction. It’s very politically incorrect, blasphemous of copyright law, and surreal in that it combines bizarre comedy with the most inappropriate of erotic entanglement…and yet it produces intense drama in the end.”
“To me, the worst thing a book can be is boring. So if I make you laugh, piss you off, or scare the shit out of you, then mission accomplished. Nobody wants to hear about political chicanery and war today…unless of course you find a way to make it funny.”
Is this a parody novel?”
The Fairy Tale Parody Genre allows the author to teach with comedy. Writing a fairy tale parody is certainly an ambitious experiment, at least from the social critic’s point of view. Parody has historically been associated with writers who wrote scathing criticism of their society. The humor or satire of such a book is often biting, slanderous and obscene, just enough to provoke a world of readers into rebellion or protest. Miguel de Cervantes, Marquis de Sade and William Shakespeare all made use of the parody genre. It was written similarly to comedy, but wasn’t so “light”. Parody usually allows for more exaggerated violence or plot twists, that border on disturbing and upsetting—a definite turn off in light-hearted or juvenile comedy. These lampoons are supposed to be allegorical stories that criticize some aspect of society that the author believes to be unjust. The fairy tale parody is often written in a setting of politically incorrect times, or a world very opposite of contemporary society. The Brothers Grimm stories, which Disney films are loosely based off, could well be considered a fairy tale parody, since they written to be allegorical and as cautionary tales for youngsters and adults. Ironically, the Disney films themselves that re-imagine these old morbid tales into something happy and quirky, could be called a family-oriented parody of a parody. The Disney fairy tale format is a genre in and unto itself, given the popularity of fanfiction. With “The End of the Magical Kingdom” series, author L.M. Warren sought to create a familiar world with happy fairy tale settings, but then slowly change that world into a Brothers Grimm-inspired nightmare.
“I would credit the Brothers Grimm books as well as some of the warped fanfiction I’ve read at such sites like Archive of Our Own. I knew right away that no one wants to read a depressing story about social injustice from a less than mainstream author. So my first thought was to make it funny. Satirical, of course. But funny in that Disney style throw-caution-to-the-wind capriciousness that I’ve always enjoyed.”
Is the story a satire or a parody? What’s the difference?”
A fairy tale satire is just another way to make a point! Creating a fairy tale satire is a great way to discuss social issues in a safe context. It’s also a genre that plays to younger audiences or adults who don’t want topical issues of the day taken so seriously in a real world context. Under the guise of fairy tales, allegorical stories featuring archetypes and familiar settings, writers and artists can use satirical humor to comment on today’s most important social issues. Ella Enchanted and Cinder are examples of old fairy tales that have been updated with 21st century wit. On the other hand, fairy tales can be satirized without political or social messages, and simply be lampooned for fun. One popular genre is the underground “Fanfiction” story, which typically features copyrighted characters interacting in a strange world or behaving in a way that’s not in line with continuity. Author M.W. Warren’s fairy tale satire “The End of the Magical Kingdom” series uses a fairy tale and allegorical format to comment on serious issues of the 21st century, including gay marriage, religious intolerance, misogyny and political injustice. “I think that many readers are tired of being bashed over the head with dogma about how we ought to feel about this or that. One of the goals of fiction is to tell a story objectively, leading the author to form his or her own opinions about the moral of the story.” In the first book, “The Evil Princess” we clearly see a mishmash of genres, from fairy tales to biblical style allegory, to fanfiction smut and even political Orwellian criticism. The story of a good princess falling in love with an evil witch is an iconic story for a society polarized by issues of gay rights as well as a fear of terrorism. Salem the Witch, in the book is labeled a “horrorist” because of her anarchic views and refusal to cooperate with any of the four kingdoms of “Cadabra”, the island in which the series is set.
“The intention was to make Salem dangerous and not have the book resemble the typical good guy, good girl that fall in love in the Disney fairy tale type movie.”
“Why is the book called a A Gay Disney Fairy Tale You Will Never See?
While the first lesbian and gay Disney fairy tale might someday hit theaters, one animated romance you will probably never see on a Disney screen is the relationship between Salem the Witch and Mary Melancholy from “The Evil Princess” of L.M. Warren’s “The End of the Magical Kingdom” trilogy. Warren says the inspiration for his first book went beyond the peripheral fantasy and became something darker.
“Like so many people, I wanted to see a Disney movie with a lesbian princess. But soon I realized that even if Disney ever produced such a picture, it wouldn’t really deal with the issues that we as a society face today. They would probably make it a little bit like Frozen; something a bit patronizing. Then I started to think of my fantasy motion picture. An animated musical that went beyond the G-rated world of Disney. What I ended up with was a social satire that combined pathos, danger and tragedy happening in in a comedy and almost childlike world. The story began to explore the deeper questions of humanity, such as what causes bigotry and where hate and suspicion comes from. The fact that Salem is not persecuted because she’s gay, but because she’s a ‘horrorist’ witch is significant. We insist upon creating divisions and labeling those whom we don’t understand because we’re afraid to question our own values. As the story ended, I realize this is what The Brothers Grimm were going for – social criticism piece meets horror, all the while happening in a fairy tale world for young minds to better comprehend. So we’re modernizing the concept.”
“Why is this called a socially awkward book?”
Socially awkward books are not commercial or mainstream by any means. Yet, this is the voice of the new generation. Historically speaking, great writers always created literature and eloquent characters who spoke just as wittily as the narrative itself. But we preferred to give voice to characters who are “social awkward” types. It’s an unwritten rule in publishing that lead characters should be super-intelligent, ultra-witty and always with the perfectly sarcastic comeback. That makes the character ‘likable’ to editors. So we decided to have fun breaking the rules and created a bunch of unlikable characters who exhibit different aspects of socially awkward conversation.
Some characters even cross a line and exhibit major personality disorders. Princess Mary Melancholy is defined by her anxious conversations, self-loathing comments and nervous reactions to other people. Characters like Princess Blossom show narcissistic tendencies, even when trying to help others. Even Salem the Witch, the bad ass heroine / villain of the book, is just not that great at making people feel at ease in conversation. She is strong and opinionated…but rubs people the wrong way. Once she sees how people react to her…she trolls them even worse! Just because characters speak the same language doesn’t necessarily mean communication is always clear and friendly, between such differing cultures. There is a certain honesty in telling these socially awkward characters’ stories and not trying to popularize them into role models, just to fit into the “young adult” genre.
“I can’t speak for everybody but I certainly never felt like I fit in with any crowd, any group or any club, in school or out of school. I always seemed to make people nervous. My comments were always so outside the box, I don’t think people knew what to make of me. I think a lot of us today can relate to that and so I didn’t want to dumb my story down and pretend as if every character was so perfect. I think one of the main points is just because you are not going to get along with a lot of people in life, you CAN actually find a really good friendship among your fellow outliers. There is a great spirit of tolerance among our culture, which transcends just age or social class. We are rebels, revolutionaries and oddballs and yet we take pride in what we are.”
SET II (About the Story)
Is the book (about a princess falling in love with an evil witch) a fairy tale retelling of “Attempted Rapture”?
Some have commented on this theory, since Warren’s other book “Attempted Rapture” is about a preacher’s daughter and a “demonic” suitor who steals her away from her happy Christian life. Warren once wrote on Facebook that he intended to release a special “Attempted Rapture & Zombies” edition, which transformed Amara Stallart into a witch, Hal Persill into a vampire, and Anne McNamary into a werewolf. Instead of finishing this project (which presumably came because of massive drug intoxication) Warren chose instead to write The Evil Princess. The theory goes that the tornadoes in Attempted Rapture, the judgment of God, could be reincarnated into a zombie outbreak. The fact that the terrified couple survives the judgment of God, is parallel to the final act in The Evil Princess, where Mary and Salem survive what appears to be certain death. Warren admits that Attempted Rapture may have inspired The Evil Princess, but that there are many nuances unique to the series (political as opposed to religious) that simply were not present in his earlier books. Nevertheless, you may see some eerie parallels when reading Attempted Rapture and The Evil Princess.
Is Mary Melancholy a terrible feminist and does she set the feminist movement back to the Snow White 1930s era?
This is a tricky question to answer. Mary is a parody of a Disney princess and is thereby, inhabiting the same anti-feminist qualities as Snow White, Belle, Ariel and Jasmine. Belle tolerated violent outbursts and manipulative behavior from the Beast. Jasmine tolerated Aladdin’s chronic lying. Ariel figured it was better to seduce a man with looks and body language than to talk and show her personality. And Snow White and Sleeping Beauty…well, let’s just say they thought rape was kind of romantic.
Of course, being an anti-feminist character didn’t make these princesses unwatchable or uninteresting . It simply made them complicated heroes. Keep in mind that more modern Disney feminists—like Pocahontas, Mulan and Merida—are evolutions of the old Disney princess archetype. They are socially-aware improvements made over time, something that we only now have the environment in which they can thrive. This original Disney Princess archetype was based on stories from the Brothers Grimm, who didn’t understand modern feminism in the 21st century, but simply created a fictitious world of horror and lore, along with moralistic stories that were intended to scare children—not promote positive role models.
It is a very trendy thing today to paint every female character as intelligent, confident and kick-ass; a world conquering, Amazonian female that just happens to look beautiful and be 17 or 18 years old. In that respect, Mary Melancholy was conceived as an anti-hero, one that would be polarizing because she wore her weaknesses in plain view and tolerated great injustice from other people.
In addition to being self-conscious, self-loathing and depressive, she is also socially awkward, in a time where every mainstream female character knows exactly the right thing to say. In other words, Mary is a fairly realistic character in an imaginary world, and the type that many will find provoking because she hits far too close to home. She represents everyone’s worst social fear—people laughing at you, pushing you around and dominating your life because they’re so smart and you’re so stupid. It’s not true but it’s the illusion that you buy into, if you trust people too much.
Mary, much like my other literary anti-heroes, is a woman you will instantly despise or admire, because there is something very Christ-like about her. She is the feminine Jesus Christ. A prophetess. A Gandhi-esque figure, living in the shadow of her Goddess, who was the perfect representation of feminism and falling short of that. To say that Mary should be more of a feminist is…(1) Not realistic, because very few teenagers have a full sense of their identity or where their own unique feminism will take them in life. It’s a gradual learning process that culminates in their 20s or 30s. (2) Is contrary to the suffering of Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi and other righteous figures (or self righteous, if you’re a cynic), who tolerated violence from humanity so that they could teach a lesson in showing great mercy. (3) Is taking for granted that in modern society we have the gift of mass communication, an age of tolerance, and a politically-correct mafia that will come to your aid whenever you are being oppressed. This was not always the case in human history; certainly not in medieval times or the renaissance, where many Disney films are set. Even growing up in the 1980s and 1990s, I can definitely say many minority lifestyles were oppressed by the mainstream and it did seem that when you “came out”, you really didn’t have a friend in the world. To me, feminism is not about society coming together to help you because it’s the right thing to do…it’s about you, standing alone, and realizing that you can be better than them. You can be stronger than you think you are. And you can aim higher. (4) To misunderstand the nature of the “Anti-Hero”. The Evil Princess is a literary work and an impostor genre piece. To be anyone else but Mary would be untrue to her character.
In episode 2 of the “The End of the Magical Kingdom: The Saint of Science”, Mary will continue to grow as a moral activist and pacifist, and will continue to provoke people who stubbornly see morality as black or white.