I received an email announcing that The Junior Library Guild has chosen my upcoming book, The Birthday Ball, as one of their Spring 2010 selections. They asked me to write a short essay abut the origin of the book for inclusion in their catalogue. A tough task because the book is a light-hearted romp set in a palace and populated by various royal characters, plus chambermaids and kitchen staff, and preparations for the upcoming 16th birthday of the princess. No deep inner meanings, no meaningful theme, just pure fun---and nothing wrong with that but it is hard to write an essay about it.
Then I remembered my own granddaughter's 6th birthday, for which I gave her royal garb: a fake ermine cape, a fake diamond tiara, the whole princesssy outfit. I looked through old photos for that ten-years-ago event, and found this one, which I included in my essay (though I don't know if they'll have room to print it in their catalogue).
Instead of writing about the origins of the book, I simply wrote about how young girls---at least this young girl of my acquaintance---identify with princesses and their milieu. In the book, Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her luxurious life and longs to be a peasant. My little granddaughter, at six, would have traded her peasant life for a palace, I'm sure.
Of course she is now 16 (see previous post!), the age of the princess in the book, and her priorities have changed a bit!