Erudessa Gentian is a firm believer that clean entertainment can be powerful. She strives to produce dynamic art that will spark imagination and touch souls. To learn more, visit www.erudessagentian.com.
What anime/manga/light novel inspired your short story?
Sisters in the City is actually a retelling of the fairytale Snow White and Rose Red (no relation to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves). But instead of the usual fantasy setting, I couldn’t get this idea out of my head. It’s not consciously trying to copy a specific title, it’s more generically influenced by Asian online novels and manga.
What was your process like for writing this story? Did you have a specific idea for the ending or a theme you wanted to write around?
Since it’s a retelling, I did have a general idea of where I wanted the story to go, but the ending actually took me a long time to finish. I don’t write much romance, so writing the lovey-dovey parts weren’t exactly smooth…
What was your favorite part about writing this story? Was there anything challenging about it?
Making sure the romance themes didn’t turn super corny was a challenge (I finally just embraced the corniness, and hopefully made it comedic). This was my first time writing in this style (both fairytale retelling, and AnimeLit), and while it stretched my skills, it was immensely enjoyable playing with the tropes.
Do you have a favorite sentence or quote or paragraph from the story?
I like a lot of moments, but here’s a favorite:
She was caught—but instead of gazing with loving admiration into Brendan’s dreamy blue eyes, she blinked in astonishment at Yuki’s pale face, worry furrowing her rival’s annoyingly perfect dark brows.
“Are you alright?” Yuki asked gently.
“M-my ankle,” Lily stammered, not sure what was happening.
Yuki’s surprisingly strong arms stayed around Lily, even after helping her to stand upright again.
“Do you need any ice?” Roza asked with a blackhearted sweetness. She thought it inordinately funny to watch Lily’s embarrassed floundering.
Even though it was blatantly obvious this was a farce, Lily couldn’t lose face in front of the Adelberns
Can you tell us about one character in the story? Any insights into who they are as a character that we didn’t get to see in the story?
Lily Gold, the antagonist, was based on the mischievous dwarf in Snow White and Rose Red. He’s a gold loving thief, who keeps getting into trouble, only to be saved by the sisters. Turning him into a scheming white lotus who keeps getting her plans foiled was very fun for me to portray.
Can you briefly share about your other works? Where can people find you if they want to read more?
I currently specialize in fantasy and science fiction (although my short stories wander across many different genres). My debut series is a science fantasy adventure that includes time travel, secrets, terraformed planets, superpowers, adorable cats, and timeless family drama. You can find all that and more at
The frame story involving Roza watching Yuki and Brendan's kids was an interesting choice. What was the inspiration behind it?
Since the whole story was based on a fairytale, I thought it would funny (and ironic) to tell a non-fantasy, no magic retelling in the form of kids enjoying story time.
What did you enjoy about writing a large cast of characters? Was it difficult in any way?
Come to think of it, a lot of my stories have large casts…so it wasn’t that difficult. I like digging into characters, so that might be why I end up adding more and more people…the more the merrier, right?
Obviously, Lily doesn't get what she wants in the end. What happens to her when the story is over? And what happens to her "manservant" Buddy?
We might end up seeing these two again in the form of another fairytale retelling! So in order not to reveal too many spoilers, let just say: they end up going to the same university. Different majors, but their paths are destined to stay meshed together…