A Modern Fairytale
Yes, yes, I know I keep promising to update the blog regularly, and now that Figless Manor is almost complete - we move in on Friday - I am hoping to have a semblance of my old life back, and time to blog again.
It has been a busy few months, and one of my favorite parts has been writing a digital ebook for ABC Television and Hyperion books about The Royal Wedding. I will be honest here and say I knew very little about William and Kate and their life together as a couple, and less still about the extraordinary love story between the Queen and Prince Phillip.
Naturally I knew lots and lots about Diana and Charles because it was impossible to escape the endless stories and speculation that culminated in one of the greatest tragedies of our time, so when ABC asked me to write an A Modern Fairytale - a digital ebook - I was thrilled.
I have spent the last fifteen years as a fiction writer, but every writer needs to move out of their comfort zone to expand their creativity, and although I left journalism back in my late twenties, I knew that writing a non-fiction book would be very different. What I didn't expect was how fascinating it was to discover some of the history behind the royal weddings, particularly the Queen.
Elizabeth was only thirteen when she met her prince. Her family were touring his school, and the young, handsome Prince Philip of Greece, eighteen years old, was assigned the role of looking after the two young princesses. He spent the day making them laugh, and when the day was over, they left and immediately exchanged letters. For years they wrote to each other, finally being allowed to marry when she turned twenty one.
I loved discovering just how unusual William and Kate are: grounded, humble, and thoroughly modern, eschewing much of the pomp and circumstance that surrounded the wedding of Charles and Diana. Who can forget Diana's 25 foot train, sweeping behind her up the red carpet on the grand steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, and the horse-drawn glass carriage that carried the newlyweds down Pall Mall, the young bride swathed in froths and frills, wearing a glittering tiara that she later complained gave her a headache.
The true beauty of writing this book, for me, was seeing it, finally, on an ipad. Almost every page has photographs, videos, and footage from the weddings, and it feels somewhat Harry Potter-ish to have the page suddenly come to life. I loved seeing the footage from Charles and Diana's wedding, and their early interviews, so different from the interview that Prince William and Kate Middleton gave after their engagement was announced. Even in the early days, Diana was in charge, whereas Kate, quietly elegant and demure, defers to the fun-loving William.
It is a true glimpse into the lives of William and Kate, the history of royal weddings, and I believe a true glimpse into the future of publishing.
Tomorrow morning I'm on Good Morning America to tell you more about it - tune in and tweet me to tell me what you think, visit abcnews.go.com to see me talk about writing the book, and buy A Modern Fairytale from all the top etailers (Apple’s iBookstore, Kindle, Nook, etc.) and through the new ABC Video Bookstore app
But most of all, congratulations and best wishes to Prince William and Kate Middleton - we'll all be watching.