Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Princess Madeline Blog Tour: Interview with Author Kirstin Pulioff

About the Books

The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin PulioffTitle: The Escape of Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #1) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 4, 2012 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 138 Recommended age: 10+ Summary: The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms. Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture; her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure full of twists and turns as she tries to find her freedom and answers to her questions about life and love.

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The Battle for Princess Madeline by Kirstin Pulioff Title: The Battle for Princess Madeline (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #2) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: May 21, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 159 Recommended age: 10+ Summary: The Kingdom of Soron bustled with activity as preparations for the Fall Festival began. Lively merchants, hardworking farmers, and musicians eagerly awaited this event of harvest and joy. This year’s festival was even more important, as they celebrated Princess Madeline’s betrothal to her knight champion, Daniel. Celebration quickly turns to disaster as Prince Paulsen returns with curious demands, either Princess Madeline will be his, or no ones. Rejection turns to obsession and battle is declared. In a tense struggle to decide her future, Princess Madeline must choose where to put her trust… in the king’s tried and true plan, the wizard’s cryptic messages and maps, or her own sense of bravery. Follow Princess Madeline on this adventure as she battles evil in an attempt to create a future of love and magic.

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Princess Madeline and the Dragon by Kirstin Pulioff Title: Princess Madeline and the Dragon (Princess Madeline Trilogy, Book #3) Author: Kirstin Pulioff Publication Date: November 26, 2013 Publisher: Caliburn Books Number of pages: 135 Recommended age: 10+ Summary: After a season of battle and rebuilding, the Kingdom of Soron is exhausted. With the return of the exiled wizards, the Spring Faire, and her upcoming wedding, Princess Madeline is looking forward to a peaceful season of celebration. When the mysterious green dragon reappears, threatening the kingdom and the king, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden won’t rest for long. Faced with this incredible new danger, Princess Madeline and Prince Braden must find a way to lead their kingdom and secure their future. Can they find the answers hidden within their mother’s cryptic messages from the past, or will the dragon destroy everything they hold dear? Follow Princess Madeline as she embarks on a dangerous new adventure to save her kingdom and her family.

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The Buzz

Book 1: "Well-written, fast-paced, and entirely appropriate for its target audience (middle grade fantasy), this short but succinct novel (novella? It was maybe a little between a novella and a novel) tells a delightful tale of a naive princess who learns the real meaning of freedom. Kirsten gives her characters a sufficient amount of depth to make them genuinely likeable, and she leaves room for much, much more to come." ~ 5 Star Review, Ally, Amazon
Book 1: "An inspiring thought provoking, and wonderfully written fairy tale by an author who transports us to a time in our imagination where everything is magical and possibilities are real." ~ 5 Star Review, kathyls, Amazon
Book 2: "Fairy tales are filled with knights and princesses and castles and a special magical feel that takes the reader far, far, away into another world, another place, another time. The Battle for Princess Madeline fits the bill to a tee! Author Kirstin Pulioff has created a special feel to the tale of Princess Madeline with her own special talent for using words to paint pictures in our minds." ~ 5 Star Review, Dii, Amazon
Book 2: "The story is well developed and easy to follow. The vivid scenes will transport young readers into the magical world of fairy tales with thrilling characters that have come to life. Another splendid read for young readers! I can hardly wait for a new book, Princess Madeline and the Dragon. " ~ 5 Star Review, Mrs. D., Amazon
Book 3: "The story is engaging on many levels, as is Pulioff's writing, but on this occasion I was mostly drawn into the action and the mystery as how to prevent the worst from happening. This is great entertainment and should do well across a wider age range." ~ 5 Star Review,ChristophFischerBooks, Amazon
Book 3: "Kirstin Pulioff has saved the best for last. 'Princess Madeline and the Dragon' is the final instalment in the 'Princess Madeline Trilogy'. I thought the first two books were finely wrought stories, but this novel surpasses its predecessors. Prophesies, family tragedies, magic and - of course - dragons, combine to produce a tale that is an instant classic. Written with a great deal of charm, 'Princess Madeline and the Dragon' will not disappoint Ms Pulioff's young fans. I look forward to seeing where next her imagination will take this natural storyteller. " ~ 5 Star Review, Diogenes, Amazon
 

About the Author: Kirstin Pulioff

Kirstin Pulioff Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids and church.

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Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

 
I'm happy to welcome this wonderfully creative author today so we can find out how the whole story started.

1. When did the writing bug bite?
That is a great question to start. I was bitten by the muse at an early age. Writing has always been my creative expression. From short stories as a child, to my first fantasy books in middle school and high school, I have always been writing down adventures and dreams. I didn’t think about pursuing it as a career though until the past couple of years.

2. Where did the whole Princess Madeline story come from – influences, Eureka moments, inspiration? (books in childhood, favourite characters, movies, games etc.)
When I began writing this series, it was strictly as something to do during my lunch breaks at work. It gave me a creative escape from my office job. At that point I had no idea what it would turn into, or how that simple activity would reignite my passion for writing. The Princess Madeline story was the first idea that popped into my mind, and the draft was complete in only a matter of a couple of months. I have always gravitated towards fantasy as my preferred genre, and so when it came time for me to write, it was naturally full of those traditional elements. I chose the middle grade reading level because that is where I began my love for reading, and it holds a special part in my heart. Princess Madeline is similar to princesses in other stories, and Disney, but I wanted to make sure there was a layer of realism.

3. Did you conceive of each book as a separate entity, or did you decide to break it into three parts?
The original story for Princess Madeline came about as an individual book, but as I finished the first story, the idea for the second appeared, and then the third.

4. Clearly you love magic/fantasy/dragons – what has been the best part of the whole series for you?
Oh boy… do I have to pick just one? There are so many things I have loved about creating this series, but my favorite was living in Princess Madeline’s head and heart. For the past few years my writing has focused on growing with her, looking at the world from her perspective and finding her next path. The biggest reward is seeing this story completed, and knowing that I have told the story I was meant to write.

5. Madeline starts off as a bit of a spoiled brat, then whammo, she gets all the nonsense knocked out of her when reality bites after her selfish runaway antics – did you mean for this to happen so suddenly? Her life changes rapidly and from doing nothing but wear fancy clothes and look gorgeous, she is suddenly all grown up and getting married.
Ha ha, yes, I wanted a hard dose of reality to fall onto Princess Madeline’s shoulders. I wanted to take the traditional princess angle of running away and avoiding responsibility, and strip the romanticism of it. There were three main points I wanted to get across.

* Running away (both literally and from problems) is not the solution and comes with consequences.

* I wanted to make sure that she was not rescued by her knight, that she was helped, but not rescued in the traditional sense.

* Most importantly, I wanted to make sure that she took responsibility for her actions.

With these books directed towards the middle grade and tween readers, I felt a responsibility to show these three points… and once those lessons were learned, making sure there was a happily ever after.

6. There are many life lessons contained in the books: what are the most significant ones you hope young readers will absorb?
In each book, I wanted to focus on a couple of lessons, with a clear undertone carried throughout the series. The Escape of Princess Madeline focused on parent/child conflicts, taking responsibility for your actions, and first love. The Battle for Princess Madeline focused on believing in yourself, bravery, and doing the right thing. In Princess Madeline and the Dragon, the story revolves around the power of love. Overall though, I wanted to drive home the struggles of growing up and finding your inner strength… I know, that is a lot to pack full in three books. Ha!

7. Her relationships with various people/family/Daniel are well defined – would you like to expand on this?
There are so many different relationships, and I wanted to explore the dynamics between them all, from the complications between parent and child, sibling rivalry, childhood friendships, and first love. Family dynamics were the foundation of the story. So much of Princess Madeline’s adventures were based on miscommunication and misunderstanding with her family.  Even with the best of intentions, King Theodore fumbles raising Madeline. I enjoyed writing from the different perspectives and showing both sides to the story. I think that everyone rises to the occasion and to the expectations that are put on them. In the Princess Madeline series, different opportunities and struggles are presented in her relationships, offering the change for growth, reflection, and understanding.

8. For me, Madeline's charm and innate sense of integrity make her very appealing. She is a good person, without being boring – your thoughts?
I’m glad you thought so. :) I really wanted to make her a relatable and enjoyable character. I tried to balance her qualities so that she reflected both the hard and soft - strength with vulnerability, stubbornness with creativity, and defiance with intelligence. She is a good person, just struggling to find her place in the world and how to take control of her life… and I’m glad she didn’t bore you. Ha ha. Bandits, wizards, and a dragon will definitely keep things interesting.

9. I just loved the back history and the whole build up to the actual story – where did all that come from. I wished there had been more.
One of the things I love about reading a series is that in each book you learn a bit more and can tie more pieces together. It was fun for me adding those layers as each book developed, and creating new links that I hadn’t even thought about. My favorite was writing the prologue in the second book. Queen Eleanor was a character only briefly described, but who had a big impact on all three stories. This was the first point in which I could show the similarities between Madeline and her mother, and really add that layer of complexity and prophesy to the story.

10. What’s next? Any chance of Braden getting his own books?
To be honest, I never even thought about going in that angle, but it could be interesting. For now the Princess Madeline series is complete, but I won’t say that it is done forever. I believe in keeping all the options open, and go where the muse takes me. I currently have a couple projects planned for 2014, a YA Fantasy, and a MG adventure for boys.

 Thanks for joining us today, Kirstin, and I am sure many readers will be eagerly awaiting your next venture. You can find my reviews on my blog (a few posts down) or on Amazon.
 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $25Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest runs: December 18, 2013 to January 16, 2014, 11:59 pm, 2013 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Kirstin Pulioff and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway MDBR Book Promotion Services
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