Writing the Royal Diaries
Is it fun pretending to be a princess when you write the Royal Diaries?
You kind of have to get into the role. And it is challenging — and it can be scary too. Those princesses went through some pretty scary times. Elizabeth saw what her father Henry VIII had done to her mother — chopped off her head. She knew he'd done it. She knew what he'd done to her stepmother too. And he exiled her on occasions. So it must've been scary when he went into his rages.
And similarly, when I wrote Marie Antoinette — she was made to marry a young man she'd never met. She was just sent off from her family and home to go to France and marry this guy. And it turned out he wasn't so great! He was about her age, but he was very immature — he was physically very unattractive. He was shy to the point of rudeness. And this wasn't just a blind date! So those are the scary parts of being a princess — or pretending like you're a princess.
These characters might be princesses but they still, on many levels, had the same responses of ordinary twelve-year-old or fourteen-year-old girls. They felt loneliness, they needed a friend they could trust and they all, one way or the other, wanted to some degree to be their own person. I would like to add that the research, as far as I am concerned, is just as thorough for a fictional character as for a famous person who really did live. I treat all my characters as if they were real and I am scrupulous about the details of their lives.I
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