“Rose” or “Meet Princess Rosalba!”

Love and prince,

Both true, wed rose of white in realm of stone;

For blood begins,

But naught can be put right by blood alone.”

One thoughtless act is all it takes to bring the curse threatened

on Rosalba’s christening day to pass. Now the princess must combine

her desperate determination with the service of benevolent tailor Edgwyn Wyle

to find the second half of the key to her kingdom’s restoration.

<> ~ <> ~ <>

Today, in anticipation of the release of The Stone Kingdom (Book Two of The Wilderhark Tales), I introduce you to the riddling rhyme’s “rose of white” – aka, Princess Rosalba! My story’s FMC (that’s “Female Main Character”, to those who knew it not) was gracious enough to join me for an interview so that you all would have a chance to get to know her a bit before her story goes public. Give it up for the visiting royalty, everyone!

Princess Rosalba as drawn by
Yana Naumova

What is your role in the story?

“I suppose that might be answered a number of ways. Crown Princess of Denebdeor. Heroine. Primary protagonist. Unintentionally (on my part), the cause of a nationwide curse.”

What is your main motivation?

“To save my parents, household, and kingdom as a whole from the enchantment cast upon them by an offended witch. The spell’s requirement that I hunt down my true love made for a nice side benefit.”

Avoiding spoilers, which part of the story did you enjoy the most, and why?

“Enjoy…” She pauses, reviewing the plot. “Well, the hours spent dancing at the ball in Walzscoria were quite agreeable. The local prince made sure of that.”

Still avoiding spoilers, which part of the story was the hardest to live, and why?

“Those first moments of realization of just what the curse had done were utterly horrifying. Bad enough to see such a thing happen to your family, but to know that you are largely to blame, and to as yet have no idea how you can set things right? There are few people upon whom I would wish such an experience.” Her expression hardens. “That witch is one. I’d say the other one knows who he is, but he probably doesn’t, the louse.”

What’s the one thing in the story you wish you’d done better?

She sighs. “Perhaps if I’d demonstrated a bit more maturity, early on, I wouldn’t have triggered the curse. Of course, if the witch were truly determined to see it done, she may have found a way around me and set off the curse anyway. Still, it rankles to know how childishly I played into her hands.”

Which of your actions in the book are you most proud of?

“There were two characters encountered on my quest whom I would have liked very much to slap goodbye. Neither of their faces bear my handprint. So that’s two out of three times maturity won the day, anyway.”

Who would you say had it the roughest in the book, and who had it easiest?

“The prince of Peasequay has a much harder life than he really deserves,” she says, brow creased in sympathy. “I consider it a pity we weren’t able to do more for each other. In contrast, I believe the prince of Walzscoria could have used a harder life. Might have taught him a bit of empathy.”

How would your co-star, Edgwyn, describe you?

She gives a smiling roll of the eyes. “Oh, nothing but the kindest of things. Beautiful and brave, a magnificent ruler-to-be, and I don’t even know what else. He could go on for ages; he’s almost as chatty as he is generous.”

If you weren’t a princess, what would you want to be?

“Queen, of course.”

Your best quote from the book?

“I’m rather pleased with this one: ‘Rulers need to be strong. And isn’t strength best gathered a little at a time while one is still young, rather than hoping it will just miraculously appear the night before one’s coronation?’” She nods. “I stand by that.”

What would you say is the moral of “The Stone Kingdom”?

“I do more or less say it,” she points out, “partway through the second-to-last chapter. To state it here would be a deplorable spoiler, so we’ll leave it be.”

Stone Kingdom Cover, front

Miranda McNeff asks via the Danielle E. Shipley Facebook page: If you were to have access to modern technology, what would be your favorite device (and none of this “what do you mean by modern technology?” junk. I want serious answers!)?

“No fear, Miranda,” Rosalba reassures. “I know as much of the technology of the world of my author as she herself does. …Which, admittedly, isn’t a great deal, but quite enough to answer your question. My favorite device… Probably one of your multifunctional phones, or tablets. Something handheld that grants me access to more information and communication that I’ll ever have a use for. What an incredible organizational tool that would be!”

Kimberly Kay asks, also through the FB page: Be honest. If you could tackle any other character in the story, who would it be and why?

She lifts an eyebrow. “Tackle in wrath? Were it feasible, I’d be tempted to body-slam that witch out of a high tower window. It would be just like her type to survive the assault, though. If you were angling toward a more playful sort of tackle, however, I suppose it would have to be Edgwyn. Though I’m not much for rough play, he would doubtless enjoy it, laughing all the way down. And honestly, sometimes the man just begs to be knocked over.”

Kay also asks: What Harry Potter Hogwarts House would you be sorted into?

“Hmm. The Sorting Hat might have a bit of difficulty with me. I could easily see myself going Ravenclaw, as my father definitely would be, or Slytherin, as I suspect my mother would be, or even Gryffindor. If offered the choice, I think I’d prefer Ravenclaw first, Gryffindor close second.”

Thank you, Rosalba! And best of luck to you and your kingdom.

If any bloggers reading this want a turn at putting my royal rose on the hot seat, you have only to ask. Best for a future queen to get used to a schedule of public appearances while she’s still young. (:

8 thoughts on ““Rose” or “Meet Princess Rosalba!”

  1. Ooh, Rosalba is lovely! I can definitely see her parents in her… and I approve of her choice. Ravenclaw all the way!

    • Rosalba smiles. “Very kind of you, Miranda. Not that my mother would ever approve my entry into a school of magic, I don’t expect; still, it’s fun to speculate.”

    • “Thank you, Susan,” says Rosalba. “I’ll be sure to remind Danielle to appeal to the masses for supplemental questions in future, as well. It adds an enjoyable element of surprise!”

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