About the Book
Title: The Princelings of the East (Princelings Trilogy, Book 1)
Author: Jemima Pett
Year published: originally published 2011
Publisher: Princelings Publications
Number of pages: 103
Recommended age: 10+
The Princelings of the East is the first of a trilogy telling of the adventures of Fred and George.
When the King’s Birthday feast is ruined by an unnatural power drain, our Princeling heroes leave their scientific experiments to set out in search of answers. They encounter the enigmatic businessman Hugo, the impressive Prince of Buckmore, the wise Lady Nimrod, the irrepressible barkeeper Victor, but find themselves threatened by those with vested interests. The scene shifts from a rural, feudal setting to the towers and heights of the curious Isle of Hattan, but where, or when, are they? Time is of the essence in solving this puzzle, and our heroes must keep their wits sharp and their heads clear if they are to survive.
Suitable for good readers aged 10 and over, The Princelings of the East is a fantasy adventure with the charm of the Wind in the Willows in a world reminiscent of Anne MacCaffrey’s Pern.
We are pleased to welcome with us today, Jemima Pett, author of the Princelings Trilogy here as we kick-off The Princelings of the East Blog Tour hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you scroll down this post, you will see the Tour Schedule with featuring book reviews, character interviews, author interviews, and guest posts from over 20 other blogs. The photos included in the interview are of the adorable guinea pigs who provided the inspiration behind the characters in the Princelings book series.
1. As succinctly as possible, tell us why someone should The Princelings of the East.
Start with the easy question, right? Charming characters, plenty of intrigue, an intricate puzzle, and lovely scenery. And it’s clean!
2. You recently released a second edition of The Princelings of the East. Can you tell us a bit about some of the changes you’ve made and why?
I wrote The Princelings of the East in the style I wanted to write it rather than specifically thinking about middle graders. I was influenced in the many calls on forums for books targeting 8 or 10 year olds who were advanced readers but didn’t want YA books with teen angst and vampires and so on. So I’ve always worried that it was too difficult. I had some great feedback from my friend’s ten year old daughter who said “I like the long words, but not in such long sentences.” So I’ve kept the long words, and had a go at improving my longer sentences!
Another comment that came up quite often was that it was hard to understand the time tunnel, and that seemed to me to be linked with another issue; namely that, more dialogue would improve the readability. When I looked through, there were three key places where I had described a conversation ( i.e., Fred & Lady Nimrod about the energy drain; Fred and the Buckmore team about the time tunnel; and, George and Victor about the time tunnel) rather than write the dialogue. So I’ve now written the dialogue of those conversations, and I think it’s much better for it. Hopefully it helps the reader understand the problem and possible solutions, too.
It’s interesting really, as The Princelings of the East was my first book, my first attempt at being a real author. I was very self-conscious about it, and unsure of whether I could write dialogue, in particular. Now with six books written, and a lot of short stories (with a lot of chat), I really enjoy writing dialogue – and the best thing is to just go for it!
3. What is YOUR favorite part of the book?
Oh, so hard to choose! If you asked me that about Lost City, the third in the series, it’s easy. (That’s also my favourite so far). Maybe it’s George’s adventure on the island of Hattan, with all the strange machinery, and shady characters following him and Saku home after they’ve eaten their meal in the diner. Or any time that Fred is Thinking (which he does with a capital T).
4. What is the main message you want to convey to your readers through your books?
You’d be surprised what you can do if you think things through and trust your friends.
5. What has been the best compliment you received as an author?
“I really enjoyed it and gave it to my friend”
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
“Stop apologising for your work.”
I’ve been lucky to get extremely helpful criticism, delivered kindly, although the person that said something (and I can’t remember what) about the sci-fi novel I tried to write when I was 19 convinced me that I shouldn’t bother writing stories. Took me over thirty years to discover she was wrong. Then I realised she was wrong about a couple of other things too. She’s still a friend, though! She was right that the sci-fi novel was rubbish, though.
7. Can you tell us about the challenges you have faced in marketing your books? What works? What’s a bust?
Oh crikey. Well, it’s really hard marketing a fantasy for older children in a market filled with raunchy adult fantasy and thrillers. I think my first year was a huge learning curve, and I was lucky to be able to pass on some of the things I’d learned when I met up with others writing for older children this year. That was the best thing that could ever have happened. The thing about having more than one book out is true – building credibility – but you still have to market that first one (hence this blog tour) to let people know your other books are worth reading too. Did I tell you that I think the third, Lost City, is the best? Mind you, Victor is a star in the second one, Pirates.
Marketing is also difficult because the e-book market is changing constantly – just look at what Amazon keep doing to their sales promotions. My first book came out just before Amazon brought out Prime, so had no free marketing days; the fourth book came off Prime just as Amazon announced they were changing the benefits to affiliates promoting free books. So I had to learn it all again for the fifth book, Talent Seekers. I do think having books out free helps sales but only a little. It gives you an exciting ‘event’ though, and as a self-published author it makes me feel I’m doing something positive.
All in all though, success in marketing comes back to the product. I never thought my books would be a ‘commercial success’. I always thought they would appeal to a small market. I just want other people to enjoy reading them. So I’d like them to be able to find them. The wonderful thing about ebooks is that they will be lurking in the bowels of the computer databases for many years. If they’d gone out for a 10,000 book launch in the traditional manner they would have been pulped after a couple of months. And I really, really hate that waste of trees.
8. If you could invite any 5 authors to dinner who would you choose?
Well, my first thought was Julie Grasso, Rebecca Douglass, Steve Lothian, Sally Harris and Stanley and Katrina (can they count as one?) because that would be really cool! If any of them can’t make it, then Paul Hewlett and Krista Michelle Breen! I know I’m supposed to think of more famous authors, but really, that’s who I’d like!
9. What is a typical day in your life?
Get out of bed, make myself a coffee and slice up some cucumber for the guinea pigs, get each of them out in turn for a cuddle (with cucumber) and run on the floor, clean out their cages and put them back. Get their breakfast. Get my shower and then have my breakfast. Next is to do a couple of hours on the computer or go out and play golf. Afternoons are usually spent getting some outdoor time, or coming home from golf and doing chores. If it’s a nice day the guinea pigs will be put to work mowing the grass (I put a run outside and they eat the grass between my vegetable patches). Watch some TV, have dinner, then online with my US friends on Facebook. I’ll be writing, blogging, networking or reading till they go home and I go to bed!
10. If you were a superhero what would your name be, what would be your super-power, and what would be your kryptonite?
I think I’d like to be Sand-devil. My superpower would be to attract or repel golf balls from bunkers (traps) so that the undeserving got their just rewards. And the deserving didn’t go in them, of course. The Kryptonite would be weed killer.
And one more because I can’t resist … If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
“Snorkeling with guinea pigs – the woman who learned a lot about many things, but never went into any of them too deeply.” I might write it 😀
• Sport to Play? Golf
• Food? Cheese
• Dessert? Crème brulee or crème caramel
• Movie? Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines or Local Hero or Casablanca
• Song? Mr Blue Sky
• Animal? Guess…. yes, guinea pig
• Flower? Hollyhock
• Actor? Viggo Mortensen [Can I second that? lol]
• Actress? Maggie Smith
• City to visit? Vienna
For more on Jemima Pett, please visit and follow here through these links:
Book Website: http://princelings.co.uk/
Author Website: http://jemimapett.com/
Pinterest: Jemima Pett
Google+: Jemima Pett
Goodreads: Jemima Pett
“Jemima Pett has woven a suspenseful mystery featuring a cast of memorable characters headed by the two charismatic guinea pigs, Fred and George. Pett dives into the story right away introducing Fred and George and establishing the crux of the plot early in the book – namely, the mysterious Energy Drain. The plot line, with its many twists and turns, is very intricate and complex; thus, making it enjoyable for older tweens and even adults. Science fiction aficionados in particular will be interested in the element of time-travel in this book.” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews, 5 Stars *CLICK HERE FOR OUR FULL REVIEW *
“It was easy for me to settle into Pett’s writing style; it’s been a while since I’ve read anything by Anne McCaffrey or J.R.R. Tolkien, and Pett’s writing is a welcomed reminder of how that style of writing can really add to a good plot-line. I have to say that I was impressed with the novel overall. Although it is for older children, it’s still written in a way that will appeal to many adults.” ~ Megan, Amazon, 5 Stars
“After reading The Princelings of the East, I felt as if my IQ had gone up a few points with Ms. Pett’s vocabulary choices – what refreshing text. This true adventure book which includes a fight, time travel and mysterious strangers is reminiscent of Wind in the Willows – with a twist…I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed it very much and look forward to reading the next book in the Princelings series.” ~Christine M. Goodreads, 5 Stars.
Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Barnes and Noble * Smashwords
The Princelings of the East Blog Tour Schedule (2013)
Amanda’s Books and More (Review)
Fiona Ingram (Author Interview)
*** The Princelings of the East Blog Tour Giveaway ***
Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash + a paperback copy of The Princelings Trilogy by Jemima Pett
Contest runs: September 23 to October 20, 11:59 pm, 2013
How to enter: Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: 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. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send us an email!
a Rafflecopter giveaway