Behind the Scenes of My Frog Prince Retelling, The Green-Eyed Prince

I’ll admit that I’m excited and nervous about putting out a retelling of The Frog Prince. The Green-Eyed Prince has been a labor of love for several months now, and the goal is to have it published in September (provided my little prince doesn’t decide to make an early entrance).

This story was challenging to write for several reasons. (1) Short stories are hard for me to write. Seriously, I keep getting all these little threads of ideas that would be cool to put in, and sure enough, I’ve soon wound up with something that’s twice as long as what I meant to write. (I have this issue with my novels, too.) So writing a full-fledged love story that was not only believable but intriguing as well took a lot of writing and rewriting.

(2) I write clean love stories in my novels, and I always will. But this story just smacks of underlying inferences. I mean, a frog who wants to sleep in a girl’s bed? I know I’m probably missing quite a bit of the author’s intent just because I’m not from his time period or culture, but the concept of an amphibian that wants to sleep in a young girls’ bed not an easy thing to retell without at least making the protagonist of marriageable age.

In truth, I never really loved either of the characters from The Frog Prince, even as a child. The princess was immature and spoiled, and the frog had the audacity to demand what he demanded. And the king? Let’s just say that my dad would have ended up in jail for animalĀ abuse if some random talking male forest creature had demanded to sleep in my bed as a teenager. So my challenge, I felt, was to discover why these characters were making the choices they did.

Why would the princess so resent the “frog?” even after he kept his end of the bargain? I mean, she was the one that said yes…

Why would the “frog” make those particular demands?

And why the heck would the king allow it?

I will say, because the older nature of the fairy tale in its original form, this story does refer a little more to the marriage bed than most of my other books, but I assure you, everything is kept clean. There was really no way to retell the story without giving the bed some significance. But in the end, I felt like our characters still get their happily ever afters without having compromised their moral standards…despite the odd origins of the story.

P.S. It should be noted that Kartek and Unsu will be appearing again in a future full-length novel…one that might or might not have to do with a street thief, a princess, and a genie in a lamp.

The Classical Kingdoms Collection Novellas

This new series is still written in the world of The Classical Kingdoms Collection. I’ll be posting a more complete article about the particulars of the series, but as it applies to this particular story, I really wanted to explore Queen Kartek after getting to know her in Blinding Beauty.

Since I already have multiple (long) projects in the works for future fairy tales, however, and won’t be touching Hedjet in a full-length novel for a little while, I wanted a place where I could publish fairy tales that weren’t necessarily full-length novels while still exploring the tales themselves. This gave birth to the idea of having a novella series. And thus was born The Green-Eyed Prince.

3 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes of My Frog Prince Retelling, The Green-Eyed Prince

  1. I always like The Frog Prince. It’s one of the few traditional tales where the princess gets to save the prince AND does it by sticking to her promise, despite pressure from everyone around her (ok, not gracefully, but she does in the end and is rewarded, so far as fairy tales would have it!). It’s her eventual willingness to honour the bargain (honesty) that is the virtue celebrated, not her looks or delicacy (fragility) or wealth or position, and for once the girl isn’t the victim. Makes a nice change!!

    • I’m so glad! I’ll admit, this one was a little harder to think up at first, simply because I don’t do talking animals. At least not in The Classical Kingdoms world. Once I decided to tie it back in with a familiar character, however, the story came much faster. My second challenge was making sense of the promise in the first place for such an intelligent character as Kartek. She obviously wouldn’t be playing with a golden ball, nor would she make such an agreement with a random stranger unless it was absolutely necessary. Basically, the original character needed to grow up a bit! Lol.

  2. I don’t know, as a child, I was always more appalled by the “eat from the same plate” request than the “sleep in your bed” – obviously, it was way before I had any consciousness of sexual allusions. As an adult, I sort of thought it was an allegory of a forced/arranged marriage where the spouse may have been difficult to get used to and be intimate with, but the potential for love and happiness was there nonetheless. So your interpretation was very easy to relate to. I just loved the aspect in your story that even the ceremonial kiss at the wedding wasn’t disgusting to Kartek, instead it gave her the first glimpse of the true character behind his repulsive exterior.

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