by Casey Griffin
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Entangled Teen
Hi Casey! Thanks for stopping by A Leisure Moment! I just finished Secrets of a Reluctant Princess and thought it was such a cute read. What inspired you to write it?
Actually, it all began with a toilet. No, really. An aspiring inventor I knew half-jokingly decided that what the world really needs is a toilet bowl that glows in the dark, preventing the midnight visitor from having to turn on the light.
Apparently something like this already existed, but it got me thinking. What if someone made a fortune off a product like this? We’re talking big toilet money and fame: TV, radio, billboards. Now how embarrassing would it be for their teenage daughter? Embarrassing to her, but hilarious to everyone else. Now have it take over her life, including her love life, and the Porcelain Princess was born.
Adrianna’s dad is famous for a peculiar object: a toilet bowl accessory. Why did you choose to go with something so off kilter as her family’s rise to fame?
For Secrets of a Reluctant Princess, I wanted to write something humorous, and at the same time something that would absolutely torture my main character. I really wanted to humiliate her, you know? I’m cruel, right? But the satisfying part is watching her overcome it all.
Choosing something as ridiculous as a toilet business was a great way to add the humor and humiliation I was looking for, but it was also my cheeky way of poking fun at how silly some reality TV shows are. You might say, “Who would watch a program called Bathroom Barons?” But come on, have you seen the shows out there? Even for a made up series, Bathroom Barons isn’t nearly as silly as some real ones on TV right now. I won’t mention names, but some definitely make you go, “Is this really happening? Is this a thing?”
The love interest, Kevin, has every thing that a girl could want in a cute nerd. What did you get the inspiration for his character?
The initial inspiration came from a guy I had a crush on in my hometown. He had dark hair and shockingly light blue eyes, just like Kevin. He worked at my local comic book shop, which I’d visit frequently. I’d doll myself up to casually pop into the store to browse, hoping he’d strike up a conversation. Sometimes I’d come up with questions about the merchandise just for an excuse to talk to him.
Of course, I was too chicken to actually ask him out, so I’d linger around for way too long. Then I’d feel really stupid and obvious, so I’d buy something as though that had been my plan all along. “I’ve always needed this Inuyasha keychain! It was exactly what I was looking for!”
I didn’t really know him, but in my head, he was the nice guy. Forget the bad boy. I think the “nice guy” is super underrated. I’ve always wanted one of those, but they’re very hard to find because they’re also the quiet ones.
P.S. I’ve finally found my nice guy.
Andy has many cringe-worthy moments throughout the book. What was your favorite scene to write, and was it one of those moments?
I don’t want to give too much away, but there are two particular scenes where everything comes to a head for the main character, both on Earth and the larping world of Asdor. They’re definitely cringe-worthy. I didn’t want to make things easy for my main character. In fact, I torture her a lot in this book. And I loved every moment of it. Drama, drama, drama.
What is the most important part of your writing process?
The outline. I’m the kind of person who likes to feel organized, to see it all spread out in front of me. Doing so allows me to know if I’ve missed anything or if I can up the stakes in the plot before I even start. By the time I put pen to paper, I can already imagine the book as though it’s a movie in my head, so the moment I start writing, it all just flows. If I ever come across a stumbling block, I know I need to return to my outline to work out some kinks.
When not writing, what do you spend your time doing?
My day job keeps me in a remote camp for ten days at a time, working thirteen-hour days. Then I go home to my busy family for ten days with two school-age boys, a fiancé, and a wedding to plan, so I have to use every spare moment I can to write. Sometimes that means staying up all night while everyone is sleeping, writing in transit to and from work, or jotting down notes on lunch breaks. With all this going on, when I come up for air, I appreciate a bit of downtime so I can turn off my brain. I like to watch a movie, play video or board games, or catch up on my favorite TV shows (I’m so behind on Dr Who, The Vampire Diaries, and Game of Thrones).
Thanks for stopping by, Casey!
Thank you so much for having me! It was fun
Don’t miss my review of Secrets of a Reluctant Princess here!
At Beverly Hills High, you have to be ruthless to survive…
Adrianna Bottom always wanted to be liked. But this wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. Now, she’s in the spotlight…and out of her geeky comfort zone. She’ll do whatever it takes to turn the rumor mill in her favor—even if it means keeping secrets. So far, it’s working.
Wear the right clothes. Say the right things. Be seen with the right people.
Kevin, the adorable sketch artist who shares her love of all things nerd, isn’t exactly the right people. But that doesn’t stop Adrianna from crushing on him. The only way she can spend time with him is in disguise, as Princess Andy, the masked girl he’s been LARPing with. If he found out who she really was, though, he’d hate her.
The rules have been set. The teams have their players. Game on.
Look at how lovely Secret of a Reluctant Princess looks in the (literal) wild! Here’s some pictures by yours truly (Moriah)!