What inspired you to write The Frog Prince?
I was watching a 60 Minutes-type show about people who are technically next in line to a throne somewhere in the world – Ethiopia, Russia, Greece. The only problem, of course, is that those countries no longer have monarchies. That same year, I read an article about a group in France, “Monarchists,” who were lobbying to reinstate the monarchy. Those two stories planted the seed that led to the premise for The Frog Prince. The title, of course, comes from the children’s fairy tale about a girl who kisses a frog and turns him into a real prince. The main character in The Frog Prince is a woman who is a little on the quirky side, and isn’t quite sure what to do with the would-have-been King of Austria when he pursues her.
Is it even possible that a country could reinstate a constitutional monarchy?
Absolutely. If a country’s legislative body moved to reinstate (or institute) a constitutional monarchy, they could certainly do so. For instance, Spain was without a king for 38 years beginning in 1939, which included the years of the dictatorial rule of Francisco Franco. The Spanish monarchy was reinstated in 1975. Nothing prevents the legislative bodies of Austria (or any of the former European monarchy) from putting a king or queen back on the throne!
In Chapter 14 of The Frog Prince, Roman invites Leigh over to his house. His 'house' turns out to be a treehouse, complete with living room, kitchen, dining room, and a 'catwalk' leading to a second tree (and his bedroom). Would it be possible to build a treehouse you could actually live in?
Sure. It takes special engineering but it’s absolutely possible. In the novel, Roman reveals that he was inspired by the Swiss Family Robinson “treehouse” in Disney World (which, of course, isn’t in a real tree), but people all over the world have build some pretty incredible treehouses like the ones you see here. I’d like to add that I wrote the book years before the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters!
I think The Frog Prince should be made into a movie! Who would make up your dream cast?
♥ Return to Book FAQs
I would love a sequel to the The Frog Prince and I know I'm not alone. Will you ever write a sequel?
Since its release in 2010, I’ve received many, many requests (some might characterize them as “desperate pleas”) for a sequel to The Frog Prince. My tongue-in-cheek explanation for not doing it is this: “Roman and Leigh will never be happier than they are at the end of The Frog Prince. They will never be more in love, never have better sex, and never be in better shape than they are in Chapter 32. What happens next? They get married, he starts leaving his dirty underwear on the floor, she never puts the lid on the toothpaste, they both let themselves go, and over the next 20 years they slowly start to despise each other. If they have children, it happens in half the time.” I was convinced that Leigh’s and Roman’s story ended with The Frog Prince. I was wrong. In 2013, I published Gilding the Lily-pad, a companion novel that tells the story of The Frog Prince from Roman von Habsburg’s point-of-view. I began writing The Frog King in 2014, but was sidetracked by other projects. You can read the story behind the conception and writing of Gilding the Lily-pad here. You can also sample the first two chapters of The Frog King here.