Thursday, 10 December 2015


Title: The Princess Guide To Life
Author: Rosie Blythe
Publisher: Hallsworth Press Ltd
Release Date: 23rd February 2015

BLURB from Goodreads
Everybody has the wrong idea about Princesses. Sure, we dress like superstars and rarely have to buy our own drinks, but we're not divas. (Life's too short to throw a tantrum because a barista spelled your name wrong.)

In this entertaining and insightful book, Rosie Blythe offers a fresh perspective on what it means to be a powerful woman in the 21st century. Discover the intriguing secrets of the Princess life:

• How to dress for maximum impact – and why stylists get it wrong
• 6 types of toxic people and the surprising strategies you can use to deal with them
• How to make Valentine's Day amazing when you're single
• Budgeting so you can afford the wardrobe of your dreams
• How to use celebrity tricks to create a sexy aura of mystery and avoid answering questions you hate
• Why dependence on your phone is sabotaging your friendships
• How to make your home look stunning and feel inviting (even when it's smaller than your cubicle at work)
• What nobody ever tells you about getting ahead in your career
• How to get what you want while convincing everyone you're adorable

Packed full of smart (and sneaky) tips and clear, practical advice, this is the ultimate guide to living life beautifully... graciously...joyfully.... like a Princess.


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Rosie Blythe, and I’m from Hertfordshire, which is on the outskirts of London, England. It’s perfect because I’m twenty minutes from the heart of the city, but also not far from beautiful countryside.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’ve done lots of jobs over the years, from being a photographer’s assistant, to working with children, and finally ending up as a costume stylist for television and film. Being self-employed has been great because I’ve always been able to work on my books in between freelance jobs, but I’m writing more or less full-time these days.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
It’s called The Princess Guide to Life. A quick summary would be: light-hearted advice on creating your own style, developing your confidence, dealing with people graciously and feeling beautiful.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
The actual writing for The Princess Guide to Life probably took no more than six months, but it went through about twelve drafts, so with all the gaps in between, it added up to two years. I believe in giving yourself a lot of breathing space after each edit (writing something else or just having a break) so you come back feeling refreshed and able to look at your work objectively.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie more books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
Oh, I have a TON of Princess Guide books in the works! Probably the next one in the series will be The Princess Guide to Beauty, because that already exists in first draft form. It started life as a chapter of The Princess Guide to Life but it grew huge because I was having so much fun researching beauty tips. I also have plans to write advice on dating and positive thinking, so I’m going to be a busy girl.

What genre would you place your books into?
They’re officially categorised as self-help, with chapters on friendships, health, career tips, financial advice, and lots of ways to get more fun into your life.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
It’s literally impossible to please everyone, so if you’re getting positive reviews, it’s a sign that you’ve managed to connect with your target audience. So far I’ve been blessed with some really lovely feedback. I did have one lady who declined to review the book because I mentioned Kill Bill as a “Princess movie” and she was horrified I’d recommend something so violent! I could see her point – Uma Thurman with a sword isn’t exactly a fairytale heroine – but I was applauding the character’s courage and tenacity. I kind of wish that blogger had posted her review even if it had been negative, because it would have given other potential readers an idea of the kind of “Princesses” the book is about.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
I mentioned a few real-life examples of “toxic people” in my Teaching People How to Treat You chapter. I thought I might as well get something useful out of bad experiences I’d had, and hopefully what I learned from these situations will help my readers if they meet similar people in their lives.

Is there a certain author that influenced you in writing?
Susan Jeffers, who wrote Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, is probably my biggest influence. She was all about finding the positive aspects in everything, not expecting other people to make you happy but doing it yourself, and taking responsibility for the decisions that shape your life.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I recently got a kindle for myself and it’s amazing to have access to so many books on one little device that I can take everywhere with me. But I’ll always love paperbacks; they’re easier to flick through, and until I get my hands on a waterproof kindle, they’re my only option for reading in the bath! I’m not keen on hardbacks; they’re heavy and I find the removable covers always slip off. E-readers are revolutionary, but I think people will always enjoy having a collection of books which don’t require batteries, and a well-stocked bookshelf can tell people a lot about you.

Did you have a favourite author as a child? 
I loved anything by C.S. Lewis and Enid Blyton; I also enjoyed the Anastasia Krupnik books by Lois Lowry, and  the Ramona series by Beverly Cleary – I thought they both had a great understanding of what it feels like to be a child. When I got a bit older I was addicted to Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley High series, and thrillers by Lois Duncan. I do still read children’s books for fun if I feel like it   a good book is a good book, no matter what your age.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and why should we watch out for them? 
I thought Claire Kendal’s The Book of You was fantastic. It’s a thriller about a woman with a stalker, but as well as being a spine-tingling read I think it makes some really wise points about spotting the red flags in manipulative people.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I spent so long smoothing out the rough edges that by the time the book went to print, I never wanted to see it again, ha ha! I kept changing things at the last minute but in the end I told myself “This is the best you can do RIGHT NOW. Maybe if you were writing this in three years’ time it would come out differently, but this is now, so let it go and move on to the next!” Also, if I think of anything I wish I’d added (which has happened a couple of times) I can always slip it into a future book in the series.

What do you think about book trailers?
The first time I heard about book trailers, I thought it was a really strange idea to make what looked like a snippet of a movie to advertise a book. As a reader, I’m happy to stick with reading the blurb to decide if a book is for me or not. But I can see how a short video might grab your attention, and the way that we all share stuff on Facebook and Youtube all day, it might well attract people who would never have thought of picking that book otherwise. It’s probably also a lot of fun for authors to see a mini-movie featuring their work.

Where can readers follow you?



“The thing women have yet to learn is that nobody gives you power. You just take it.” Roseanne Barr

How would you define a “Princess”?                

Some people imagine the kind of entitled bimbo who makes crazy demands to prove how special she is. Others think of frothy pink dresses, diamond tiaras and passive damsels in distress; a dangerous combination to be idolised by  little girls. Whether they’re considered bolshy divas or simpering doormats, Princesses get a bad press.
But we’re going to change all that.

It’s time to rebel against the old rules: being a Princess is a state of mind. It’s about being self-possessed, poised, and dignified; forging your own path instead of following the herd, and unashamedly using all of your feminine wiles. We might not always achieve our goals of regal sophistication, but the important thing is being motivated to try again tomorrow.       

It’s said that well-behaved women rarely make history, but “exciting” isn’t synonymous with “obnoxious”. Dip into any book about what it means to be a member of the fairer sex and you’ll be informed that “Women have always been taught to be good girls; to be nice, quiet, and modest...” Maybe this was true in the past, but now? What planet are these writers living on? I don’t see any suggestion in today’s society that it’s desirable for girls to be demure, sweet, or even polite. It’s far more likely that the women presented to us as role models will be lauded for their seductive moves in a music video, their assertiveness in feuding with fellow celebrities and their business chutzpah in producing a sex tape. The press raves about them, but why would we want to emulate anyone so self-obsessed and shallow? Their money and fame give them the opportunity to make a difference, but they’re too busy tweeting about “haters” and fighting with family members and ex-boyfriends. (Occasionally they’ll put their own relationship dramas aside to preach to the rest of us about “peace” – oh, the irony.) Being “too nice” is the least of their problems.

Look at the ladies who have become legends – leading revolutions, breaking down gender barriers, creating art, literature and music – none of them won the world’s admiration by downing tequila shots or being rude to strangers on the internet. There’s nothing wrong with being feisty, but a Princess shrewdly combines her boldness with a cheeky smile and a genuinely kind attitude, creating a charm offensive nobody can resist.

This idea that women are all brainwashed to be docile and agreeable has become a mantra that everybody repeats without bothering to question whether or not it’s true (just like the “fact” that no older actresses get decent parts – tell it to Sigourney).
So are we ladies too submissive? When it comes to anxiety about our looks and sex appeal, maybe. It’s here that the notion of women being meekly compliant begins to make sense. 
What could we achieve if we stopped wasting time comparing our thighs to Rihanna’s?

Here in the 21st century, we women are in an entirely new place. We’ve come a long way, but in between taking control of our destinies and fulfilling our dreams we’ve somehow managed to keep all our old insecurities and even find some new ones. We’re saturated in advertisements and onscreen visions of what’s expected of us, and given “rules” to follow: fitting the shape that’s been chosen for us this season, getting the right clothes and using the right beauty products. (The worst part is that we happily buy into this and put more pressure on ourselves than anyone else could.) Then there are the insidious messages about how many people we should have sex with and how we should feel about it. Whatever we do, we’ll be judged. (Which would you prefer: “frigid bitch” or “worthless slut”?)

Certain aspects of being female are dismissed or ridiculed, but is it because they’re genuinely raw deals, or because they’re “feminine” and that’s enough for them to be considered demeaning? Some girls proudly announce that they hate romance novels involving vampires, love movies full of explosions, and would rather go fishing than get a facial. That’s all fine and dandy if it’s the way they really feel (for the record, Die Hard 2 is my favourite), but if they’re intentionally trying to distance themselves from “all those other girls” you have to wonder; what’s wrong with being female?

Women are powerful creatures, and sometimes we forget just how much influence we have. As Orson Welles once said: “If there hadn’t been women we’d still be squatting in a cave eating raw meat, because we made civilisation in order to impress our girlfriends.” (Strictly speaking, if there were no women, civilisation would have died out in one generation – but let’s not split hairs.) Men with high-status careers often claim they only entered politics, music or sport because it was a great way to impress the ladies; I even met a guy who dropped his plans to work in IT and trained as an architect for six years because a girl in his class laughed at him for being a computer geek. (He has no interest in architecture. True story.) So tread carefully, because you have no idea of your own force.  
Being a Princess means recognising the advantages given to us by nature, and choosing to enjoy the perks of being female.

It’s not a sin to like pink, baking, or shoe shopping.
It’s OK to feel out of step with the rest of the world. Being normal is overrated.
Women can buy their own diamonds, flowers, and Valentine’s Day gifts.
Not everyone has sex on the first date. Or second, or fifteenth, or eighty-seventh...
When someone says you have “balls”, inform them that the word they’re looking for is “ovaries” and yes, you have big ones.

Letting a man pay for the date doesn’t mean you owe him anything – he’s getting the pleasure of your company.
Flirting can be a way to get what you want and brighten someone else’s day in one fell swoop.
If you can live without needing anybody’s approval but your own, you have total freedom.

And when you discover your inner Princess, you can light up the world.   

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