Wednesday, August 14, 2019

GUEST POST: "Unhappy Endings in The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes" by Francesca Burke

Hey all! Today I have a super exciting post that is something I haven't done in a while: host a guest writer! Today's Guest Post is from Francesca Burke, author of the YA fantasy novel THE PRINCESS AND THE DRAGON AND OTHER STORIES ABOUT UNLIKELY HEROES. Currently, this novel is being released chapter-by-chapter on Patreon which I think is such a cool idea! Without further ado, here's the author to tell you more about this awesome-sounding book! 

Official Blurb

A collection of the sort of fairytales you wish you’d read as a child, The Princess and the Dragon and Other Stories About Unlikely Heroes follows the adventures of three teenagers living on the magical island of the Three Kingdoms. Princess Amelia uses her wits to rid her kingdom of a terrible dragon; Prince Richard must prove his bravery to his kingdom and himself; clairvoyant Esme Delacroix can’t ignore a vision of something terrible happening to the magic users of her kingdom. The official blurb:

This is a book of fairytales, but not of happy endings.

Welcome to the Three Kingdoms.

Princesses hatch plans; princes embark on quests; the forces of evil gather in dark corners like spiders in an ancient tower. There’s an ancient tower. Don’t expect to fall asleep to sweet dreams when you’re done.

The novel is young adult and features multiple LGBT and BAME characters.

Francesca's Post

I didn’t mean to write a YA fantasy novel. I wanted to write a fairytale that I would have enjoyed when I was 10 or 12, with witches and magic and pretty dresses, just without the weirdly athletic princes and true-love’s-kiss nonsense. Three years later, I had a book about princesses, witches, and international political instability. I blame Brexit.

No, really. Also Trump. When I was chatting to Lauren about this blog tour, she suggested I write about why the blurb of the novel emphasises unhappy endings. To be honest, I just thought it sounded dramatic and hopefully eye-catching, like the title THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END. Edgy new YA novel combines fantasy elements with Real Life Painful Stuff! But when I went away and considered her question, thinking back to when I was outlining the book, it was spring of 2016. British traditional media and social media were tyre fires of people shouting at each other. We’re in summer 2019 right now, and I don’t think anyone has really stopped shouting. I watched the evening news before writing this; the main stories were about a police officer being stabbed, the rise of knife crime amongst women and the UN’s recommendations about changing our diet to combat climate change. The police officer’s going to live, by the way. Jury’s still out on the planet. 

My point is, it felt false to write a ‘traditional’ fairytale ending for THE PRINCESS AND THE DRAGON AND OTHER STORIES ABOUT UNLIKELY HEROES. I made sure my princesses rescue themselves and my princes are kind of geeky and a bit rubbish at sword fighting, so it made sense to write story arcs that felt real, too. I have never come across a real life ‘happily ever after’; we live too long for that these days. Most people just muddle along living some days that are fabulous and some that are horrendous and quite a few that are, you know, not too bad. In a world where Donald Trump is president and bees are nearing extinction and women’s trousers still do not come with pockets, I will take ‘not too bad’.

That’s not to say that the entire book is as gloomy as the evening news. It’s totally not! At least three couples are true love couples, although we don’t necessarily watch them fall in love. A few people meet their best friends on page. There’s a joke about call centres. I included the most princess dress of all princess dresses. THIS IS A FUN READ, I PROMISE. 

You can read the prologue and opening chapters here and the rest here.

Author Links

Francesca's Personal Blog

Francesca's Website

Thanks for reading!

You can follow my bookstagram here. A brand new giveaway will be posted soon!

To get more awesome content like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having me, Lauren, it was a pleasure writing this!