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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Author Interview: Danai Kadzere, author of The Princess Games {giveaway}

I'm so excited to have the lovely Danai Kadzere here today to talk about and give away her fun middle-grade book, The Princess Games...

The Princess Games
by Danai Kadzere
July 27, 2015
Lands Atlantic Publishing
King Winkle and Queen Periwinkle have a problem. They need a princess, and they need her fast. With the upcoming peace-keeping marriage between Prince Linus of Branninia and the princess of the fair Kingdom of Hoggenbottom, it's a bit risky to admit they don't have a princess.

Instead, they decide to host The Princess Games. Soon enough, the fairest maidens of the land are gathered in front of the castle, fairy-godmothers in tow! With a goofy king, an obsessive compulsive advisor, and a fairy godmother whose spells do whatever they want, these games are about to get interesting.
Even if Emma and her clumsy Fairy Louise can manage to do well in the competition, she'll have to get past the expert spells of Fairy Faye and the beauty of Laralyn, who is intent on pleasing her ambitious mother at any cost.

What three words best describe your book, The Princess Games?
Quirky, fun, adventurous!

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give The Princess Games a try?
Explore what happens when your favorite fairy tales are turned on their heads in The Princess Games!

Grab a copy of The Princess Games and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter 3
favorite page? Page 70
favorite setting? The royal carriage that Emma, Laralyn, Fairy Faye, and Fairy Louise travel to the castle in!
flip to a random page and give us a teaser:
Karl paced back and forth across the study. Then he paced back and forth again. At the rate at which he was pacing, he would wear through the floor before any of the prospective princesses even arrived.
“But, your Highness,” pled Karl, for the umpteenth time, “Are you completely certain that this is a wise decision?”
“Oh, bother,” said King Finkle, “Why ever not? We need an heir, yes? And we need her soon, yes?”
“Yes, your Highness” said a reluctant Karl.
“Well, how else are we to get a full-grown princess?” asked the King. As an afterthought, he added, “Or any princess at all, for that matter.”
“I do not know, your Highness,” said Karl.
“You know the precarious position that we are in,” said King Finkle, “Some thirteen years ago, were you not there when we promised the royal family of Branninia a wife for their baby boy? Our families are to be united in Holy Matrimony and they are to be united soon. So what shall we do, if we have no princess to give them, eh?”
Karl sighed and rubbed his head. He had advised King Finkle, those many years ago, not to promise a daughter’s hand in marriage when he did not have said daughter.
“Do you want a war, Karl?” asked King Finkle, moving a game piece forward on the board.
“No, your Highness,” said Karl.
“Then we have no other option!” King Finkle thought for a moment. “Unless, of course, you propose that you dress up as our princess and marry their prince.” King Finkle beat the table with laughter, causing the game pieces to hop and down on the board.
Karl bristled.
“You are right, your Highness,” said Karl. “As always, you are right.”
If only that darn King Finkle would act like a grown man for once, and not a carefree little boy. Once again, all the responsibility fell on Karl’s weary shoulders.
Oh, bother, indeed.

What inspired The Princess Games? How did the story come to be?
I’ve always loved fairytales and magical adventure stories. The idea of The Princess Games first came to me when I visited an old, (surely) magical castle in northwestern Germany and the world of The Princess Games started unfolding within its walls (and my imagination).

Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Emma? What makes her unique?
Emma is spunky, ahead of her (medieval) times, and her father’s only son. She is the last girl you would expect to become a princess! She is smart, witty, and cunning, however, so you root for our relatable underdog.

Competing in The Princess Games sounds WAY more fun than competing in the Hunger Games or the Triwizard Tournament...what strategy would you advise using if we ever find ourselves in The Princess Games?
I would suggest pairing up with another princess-fairy godmother team to combine your skills for the various challenges. That increases both of your odds of winning and it makes it a lot more fun!

The fairies in The Princess Games can work some impressive magical you have a favorite spell in the book? What kind of spell do you wish you could use in your life?
My favorite spell in the book is the fire-proofing spell that turned Emma into a swamp creature!
I wish I had a real-life spell to pause time when I’m reading, so that I can read as many chapters as I want at night without staying up past my bedtime! The worst thing about being a grown up might just be that there’s no one to enforce a bedtime, so it’s ever so tempting to stay up all night with a good book and regret it in the morning, when it’s time to go to work.

What’s been the best thing about being an author?
You get to make up crazy, fun stories and share them with kid readers! Authors get to keep the magic of being a kid, even when they’re all grown up.

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at kitchen magic.
I’m really embarrassed to admit how many glitter gel pens I own.
The last great book I read wasAnyone But Ivy Pocket’ by Caleb Krisp.

If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by The Princess Games, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
It would be pale pink with swirly hot pink frosting covered in glittery pale blue sprinkles, but it would taste like chocolate and sunflower seeds and happiness. I would call it Fairy Godmother’s Delight!

Thank you so much for stopping by, Danai!

Danai Kadzere is a recent graduate of Harvard University, living and writing in New York City. With family scattered around the globe in South Africa, Germany, Zimbabwe, and America, Danai loves traveling, being adventurous and baking. When not nose deep in a good book, or elbows high in flour, Danai can be found covering things in pink glitter, chasing her two cats, climbing trees, or acting.

Win 1 of 3 ebook copies of
The Princess Games!
Danai has generously offered an ebook copy of her fun book for three winners.
-open to anyone who can read ebooks
-ends 10/20
please read all rules below form

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Unless otherwise stated, the policies and rules for each giveaway are as follows:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 13 years old or older as of date of entry.
To enter, fill out the appropriate Rafflecopter form associated with each giveaway.
The start and end dates for each giveaway will be clearly stated and followed.
The specified amount of winners shall be selected in a random drawing.
Winners will be notified by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours. If a winner does not respond within 48 hours, then a new winner will be chosen.
Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail. Once a prize is dropped off at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility and I will not compensate in anyway for prizes not delivered because of the USPS.
If a third-party (author, publisher, etc) is shipping a prize, once I provide the winner(s)' mailing information to them, the prize is no longer my responsibility. I will forward your mailing info to the proper people within 48 hours after getting it from you. If you have not received your prize from an author or publisher within 8 weeks, it is your responsibility to contact them further.
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