It’s all about royalty today on the blog, as we kick-off the official blog tour for Bad Princess by Kris Waldherr — a new book that features true stories about princesses throughout history. Kris stops by today to ask our burning royal questions, then keep reading to learn more about the book and enter for your chance to win a copy.
Okay, fairy tales aside … why is the idea of a modern princess so intriguing?
Princesses are a deeply entrenched stage of most girl’s childhoods. They’re also impossible to avoid: thanks to films, books, and pink-hued merchandise, princesses are popularized as an aspirational role model from the cradle onward. On top of that, the newest generation of British royals are so darn appealing and photogenic. What’s not to like about Duchess Kate and her cute daughter Princess Charlotte?
What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing BAD PRINCESS?
The story that most surprised me was discovering that troubadours were singing about princesses way back in the eleventh century. (Perhaps this was the earliest form of princess press?) I was also surprised to learn how many American heiresses married European royals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These brides were known in the popular press as “Dollar Princesses,” though they more often married dukes, earls, and lords. In other words, Meghan Markle is not the first American to gain a title by saying “I do.”
There’s been so much buzz in the U.S. media lately about Meghan Markle and everything she’s giving up to marry Prince Harry. Knowing what you now know, would you ever want to be part of a royal family (even for true love)?
A very emphatic no. Despite the glam gowns and tiaras, I need copious time alone in my studio working on my books to feel happy. I’d also have a hard time being under such close scrutiny by the press—can you imagine not being able to step outside your home without being photographed by paparazzi? That said, it would be enticing to have such a public platform to help those in need, as most royals do these days.
Okay, I’ll confess. I’ve never met a tiara I didn’t like, and I still get giggly over Disney princess movies. So BAD PRINCESS: is this book just for the royal skeptics, or will fairy tale lovers like myself still find plenty to love?
I’d like to think it’s for both! Ultimately, Bad Princess is meant to be an empowering look at how the modern ideal of a princess come into being. I hope my book will help girls define for themselves what it means to be a princess, tiaras or no.
You’ve written about goddesses, queens, and now princesses. What’s something you’ve found to be common among all of these ladies?
All of them are important role models for girls. I’m especially fascinated to examine how these ideals were formed in history—I like looking beneath the surface to uncover what really happened.
Speaking of goddesses, queens, and princesses … what’s next?
A lot! I recently finished a first draft of a middle grade novel set in modern Brooklyn. In addition, my debut novel The Lost History of Dreams will be published by Touchstone Books/Simon & Schuster in Spring 2019. The Lost History of Dreams is a reworking of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in Victorian England, and is dark and romantic and gothic. On top of that, I have two other books underway, one loosely inspired by an Arthurian legend.
FLASH QUESTIONS – THE ROYAL EDITION:
Prince Harry or Prince William?
I once would have said Prince William—he seems such an upright do-good fellow. That said, I love how openly emo Prince Harry has become since his engagement to Meghan Markle. I also admire his honesty about seeking counseling after the death of Princess Diana; I can’t imagine losing a mother in such a horrific and public way.
Favorite Disney Princess?
Belle, of course! (Bookworm for the win!) Plus she was played in the live action film by Emma Watson, aka Hermione from Harry Potter.
Tiara: yay or nay?
Yay, as long as it’s comfortable enough to wear while writing.
If you were a cartoon princess, what animal sidekick would you have?
A very sleek white panther, preferably one with supernatural powers.
Favorite pop culture royal?
These days, I’m all Team Meghan, though she’s not officially a royal yet. I know I’ll be getting up at 5am to watch her wedding on TV! That said, I adored the recent photos of Princess Charlotte to mark her first day of nursery school. She’s so feisty and cute!
Forget everything you thought you knew about princesses…
Welcome to Bad Princess by Kris Waldherr (author of Doomed Queens), where you’ll discover what really happens after “Happily Ever After.” From the war-torn Dark Ages of Medieval Europe to America’s Gilded Age, and all the way up to Kate Middleton, Bad Princess explores more than 30 true princess stories, going beyond the glitz and glamour to find out what life was really like for young royals throughout history.
A mix of royal biography, pop culture, art, style, and pure fun, Bad Princess is a whip-smart, tongue-in-cheek spin on the traditional princess narrative, proving that it takes more than a pretty crown to be a great leader.
In stores January 30th: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks | TBD
Kris Waldherr is an award-winning author and illustrator whose books for adults and children include Bad Princess, Doomed Queens, and The Book of Goddesses. The New Yorker praised Doomed Queens as “utterly satisfying” and “deliciously perverse.” The Book of Goddesses was a One Spirit/Book-of-the-Month Club’s Top Ten Most Popular Book. Her picture book Persephone and the Pomegranate was noted by the New York Times Book Review for its “quality of myth and magic.” As a visual artist, Waldherr is the creator of the Goddess Tarot, which has a quarter of a million copies in print. She has had illustrations published as greeting cards, book covers, and in calendars and magazines. Her art has been exhibited in many galleries and museums, including the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Waldherr’s debut novel The Lost History of Dreams will be published by Touchstone Books in early 2019.
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of BAD PRINCESS, U.S. Only.
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I love this kind of book especially since it promises my kind of humor inside.
I would love to read this! I was surprised to see this is from Scholastic Nonfiction, so then I paid more attention and saw this is *all* *true*! What a hoot!