Friday, May 31, 2013

Short History of The Nine Princesses

I started creating The Nine Princesses in 2001 when I was 20 years old. It started out as a children's picture book about a family of princesses who did their own chores.

As I developed the characters, I realized I had too much material to contain in a picture book. So I turned the idea into a chapter book series. (Short, easy-to-read books for children in early grades.)

Tried to get the chapter book series published. Rejected.... Rejected.... Rejected.

Lost confidence. Gave up The Nine Princesses project (after several years of work). Wrote a boys' book thinking that would have a better
chance of getting published. Rejected.... Rejected.... Rejected.

Returned to The Nine Princesses. Decided the best target audience was young adults. Tried to write one big book in which each chapter was told from the viewpoint of a different princess.

It seemed good. Until I realized a novel told from nine different viewpoints would end up longer than the Bible.

Frustrated. Gave up the project again.

From the very beginning, the problem with this project has been format. Chapter books or one long novel? A trilogy featuring three princesses
each, or nine full-length novels? I couldn't find something that worked. It seemed like it wasn't meant to be.

In 2012, I decided to try one more time. I stumbled across another author's novella and thought, what if I did a novella series? As a working mom with limited writing time, the idea of novella-length books seemed manageable, something I could finish in a few months (as opposed to years).

I wrote Maelyn and - Holy Toes! - it worked. After 11 years of trial and error, inspiration and despair, The Nine Princesses found their place in the world.

So happy.

 Original cover the The Nine Princesses picture book. A lot has changed. The princesses now have different names, different skin tones, different races, different figures. Maelyn (in the middle) stayed pretty close to her original look, as did Coralina (next to Maelyn on the right). Heidel (far right) has the same coloring too, although she's plumped up a bit. :D

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