I am so excited to announce that Curly Tale Books will be publishing Princess Dangerous, a story written by Alan Grant and Abby Gray (me), with beautiful illustrations from Shalla Gray. Alan Grant, my grandad, first came up with Princess Dangerous as a character when I was little, to try and create a positive female role-model for young girls my age. She was brave, energetic, loved fighting bad guys and saving her kingdom. At seven years old, I of course thought she was the coolest. More than ten years later, I cannot believe that other people will be able to see inside the world of Princess Dangerous, and I also can’t believe that I’ve been a part of making that happen.
Writing the story began about three years ago when Grandad decided to revive the character and give her a proper story. Writing it together was such an amazing experience, as not only was I getting to write alongside such a fantastic, talented writer, but I also got to work with my family. Putting the story together was a long process, as we wanted it to be perfect, but soon after beginning to write, I fell in love with the characters all over again as I did as a child. Princess Dangerous and her witty sarcasm, the down to earth practicality of Princess Pieface and Kitty Bickerstaff with his general intolerance of people. It was fun to explore their dynamic, being able to put my experience of having 3 siblings to good use. I wanted them to be well-rounded and be able to show kids that everyone has faults, everyone makes mistakes, but it’s what you do about them that matters, how you change and evolve to become a better person.
The illustrations are done by my mum, the amazing Shalla Gray, who could practically read my mind when it came to deciding how the characters would look. Back before the book was even finished, she painted this amazing family portrait of all of the characters, which I’ve put below, that really inspired me to carry on writing, and helped me visualise the characters in my head. She has illustrated the book in a wide range of media, from gouache to pen and ink, and I cannot wait for you to see it because it is beautiful.
Princess Dangerous has been such a journey for us, and to finally be able to put it out into the world is just a dream come true. Keep your eyes peeled on our social medias (@curlytalebooksltd) for regular updates and information on pre-ordering. Thank you so much for the support so far!