I, of course, had read this book several times before, but this was my husband's first experience with it. Two things came of this particular read-through:
- We decided to name our first daughter Cimorene (a year later, we did).
- I had a realization that led to writing the novel chosen this summer as an alternate in Brenda Drake's Pitch Wars contest.
The realization was this: Princess Cimorene, the heroine of Wrede's book, is a tall, dark-haired, kick-butt princess. This was unusual for the time this book was written (published in 1990). Now, however, nearly 25 years later, nearly every princess you see is what I call an "empowered" princess. They're all out beating the villains and saving kingdoms.
Now, I relate to a lot of these princesses; I've always been stubborn and adventurous, and I may have kicked a little butt here and there. But the trope-breaker has become its own trope. So it's time to break it again.
In my book A FROG, A WHISTLE, AND A VIAL OF SAND, Princess Ellean is considered old-fashioned because she has blond hair, blue eyes, and likes needlework. When her parents kick her out of the castle, the adventure she's always dreaded leads her to the love and friendships she's always needed. But with kidnappings and a sorcerer along the way, surviving long enough for happily-ever-after will require all the skills she does have--including embroidery.
As an alternate, my pitch and first 250 words will be put in a showcase November 6th where agents have been invited to browse and make requests. Wish me (and Princess Ellean) luck! Also, check out some of the other books that were selected for the contest. There are some I definitely hope to read.