Today we have a special guest visiting the blog! Please help me welcome Lauren Baratz-Logsted 🙂 I think you’ll enjoy Lauren’s post about the Royal family. And from there you’ll love reading the blurb and excerpt for her latest release Falling for Prince Charles. And if you’re anything like me, all of this–including the cute cover–will have you adding this to your reading wish list.
Afterward, don’t forget to check out her giveaway. The link is toward the end of the post.
Take it away Lauren …
TO MONARCHY OR NOT TO MONARCHY
by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
When I wrote the first draft of FALLING FOR PRINCE CHARLES nearly 20 years ago – long story behind that! – I was a huge fan of the Royal Family. Even though she’d already been divorced from Prince Charles by then, I along with the rest of the world really loved Princess Diana. But I also loved the other Royals because their lives caught my imagination.
Writers are often advised, “Write what you know!” I tend to think this is just about the worst advice to give a writer because it can so easily be misconstrued to “Write only what you know directly!” If everyone followed that version, and a surprising amount of people do, we’d have less Fantasy, less Romance, less Historical Fiction; really, there’d be a lot less of all kinds of good things. Rather, I think the advice should be: Write what you want to know; write about what you are most interested in learning.
Have I mentioned that at the time I wrote this novel, I was really interested in the Royal Family?
But not just the obvious suspects. Over time, I found myself most interested in Charles.
Before you write me off as odd – which you actually can for a whole host of reasons, but I hope not this – think about it. From the moment he was born, he was told he was going to be a particular thing in life. He seems to have so much on the surface – castles etc – but what would it be like to spend every waking moment knowing there were already specific expectations of your future, a set path for you to walk? It can be argued that he’s had less choice over his life than people who are born with far less. Something about that strikes me as tragic.
Then I thought, what if I take this to-me tragic figure and, oh, I don’t know, turn him into a romantic one? What if I take his ears, for which he was made great fun of at school – can you imagine, the queen’s your mother and still you’re the object of bullying – and instead recast those ears as the most erotic organ any man has ever possessed? For, in any romantic relationship, don’t people want a partner to listen really well to one’s desires? And who better to do that than the man with …really big ears?
So that’s what I did. I did all kinds of research into the Royal Family that I loved – I even studied floor plans of the palace so I’d get all the room positions right – and I made Charles into the romantic hero I wanted him to be.
It’s funny. In the last two decades, I’d say that worldwide interest in the Royal Family has waned from its heyday of Princess Diana. Certainly, it’s not something I hear my 15-year-old daughter and her friends discussing, not something I hear people talking about as I go about town.
There is, on the other hand, always discussion about whether or not the institution of the monarchy should even continue.
The nice thing about being an American is that I don’t have to weigh in on that because, as the saying goes, not my monkey, not my circus. I do, however, still get to enjoy the Royal Family from afar. And I get to go on doing what writers have always done, not focusing only on what I already know, not writing lives just like my own, but rather, looking at a life as different from mine as can be imagined and asking: Now, what must that life be like?
Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 30 books for adults (The Thin Pink Line; The Sisters Club), teens (The Twin’s Daughter; The Education of Bet; Little Women and Me) and children (The Sisters 8 series for young readers which she created with her husband and daughter). Read more about her at www.laurenbaratzlogsted.com or follow her @LaurenBaratzL on Twitter.
wins a million dollars, she follows her lifelong dream to go to London. Once there, she meets Prince Charles—the real Prince Charles. Through a series of misunderstandings, the Royal Family doesn’t realize that Daisy’s Jewish or that she’s spent her life up to the elbows in the wrong kind of toilet water. By the time they do, Daisy is in love with Charles, Charles is in love with Daisy, and the Queen’s white gloves are off.
romance, and her most unusual and unlikely relationship with Prince Charles
will appeal to reads looking for lots of giggles.” —Publishers
fairy tale in her explosive and hilarious FALLING FOR PRINCE CHARLES. It’s all
here, lovelorn Daisy Silverman flush with cash and high hopes, Prince Charles
who can’t resist her, and London in all its splendor. Curl up and get ready to
laugh long into the foggy night.” —Adriana Trigiani, New York
Times bestselling author of THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE
As Daisy Silverman squatted in front of the toilet bowl, first depressing the flush lever and then watching as the milky outgoing spiral removed the mildew and replaced it with fresh water, the thought occurred to her for at least the thousandth time that if the fickle hand of fate hadn’t cast her as a cleaning lady, working in wealthy households and offices in Westport, Connecticut, she would most certainly have made a perfectly lovely Princess of Wales.
This was a fantasy that Daisy had entertained off and on since 1981, the same year that the late Princess Diana had first become Princess Diana. And to this day, eighteen years later, whenever she thought about it, Daisy still thought that she could have done the job better.
Oh, sure, Daisy had loved the late Princess, would have said that she loved her more than anybody. Well, actually even Daisy was aware enough not to say that; she did know that Diana’s family and friends had surely loved her more. But Daisy could legitimately claim to love her easily as much as anybody who had never met her, and that was plenty. So, if Daisy felt a little competitive with a dead Princess that she had loved beyond reason, what matter that? After all, there were some compelling reasons for making a comparison between the two women.
Just like the woman who had possessed the most photographed profile in the world, Daisy had a genius for making the kind of seemingly interested, throwaway comment that left others feeling a little cheerier about their own lot in life. Although even Daisy had felt that the Princess had been pushing things a bit, several years back, when she had blithely informed a widow on the dole with a flat full of small children: “Oh, yes, I just love those microwave pizzas too. Whenever the Heir and the Spare start to look a little peaked, I just nuke a couple of them in the Palace micro, and we’re all set to go skiing in Klosters or windsurfing on Necker.” Or, if those hadn’t been her exact words, it had been something equally inappropriate…