from USA Today

‘Dorothy Must Die’ series gives Oz heroine a wicked spin

Brian Truitt, USA TODAY

Roll out the welcome mat, Darth Vader, Professor Moriarty and Walter White. Dorothy Gale is making a home on the dark side. And her little dog, too.

The spunky female heroine of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz books and the classic 1939 movie turns villainous at the hands of debut young-adult novelist Danielle Page with her planned Dorothy Must Dietrilogy (HarperCollins).

The first book, Dorothy Must Die (out April 1), introduces Amy Gumm, a pink-haired, modern-day Kansas teenager who, like Dorothy years earlier, gets transported via tornado to Oz. However, Oz isn’t much of a magical place anymore — it’s now under the iron fist of Dorothy and her henchmen, the Tin Man and his pals. Amy is recruited by the formerly wicked witches to nab the Scarecrow’s brain, rip out the Tin Man’s heart, remove the Lion’s courage and take out Dorothy once and for all.

So, how did Dorothy go from good-hearted kid to someone who could give the Wicked Witch of the West a lesson in evil? Paige sets the stage for what’s to come in the e-book prequel novella No Place Like Oz (available Tuesday), which catches up with 16-year-old Dorothy two years after she arrives home from her first trip to Oz. It doesn’t take long for her to quickly feel the need to return to that wondrous landscape, but what she finds there twists her into something new and very different.

In her first interview about the project, which is in development to become a CW TV series, Paige, who is 38 and lives in New York City, talks with USA TODAY. And check out an exclusive excerpt from No Place Like Oz.

[ click to read interview and excerpt at USA Today ]