One important thing to understand about The Prince’s Ball—versus other, smaller stories from the Milland world like Millhaven Castle—is that it didn’t originally have the division between the “Capsells,” a worldly majority who oppressed the “Sherbans,” a small, mostly rural demographic who kept to old ways. The Sherbans viewed the current ruling house as usurpers and they also didn’t like the way these Capsells dressed. When the heroine was asked to a dance by a Capsell ruler, Lord Timson, it tied Cinderella into the Capsell/Sherban divide and made the Sherbans even more the oppressed underdogs. (Can almost hear Cate Blanchett’s malicious purr, “A ragged servant girl is what you are and that is what you will always be.”)
But this had nothing to do with the original world of Milland. I left out numerous characters to make these short stories—well, shorter—and I realized these characters had been important. I wrote about Milland bit by bit, off and on, with no real focus, for years. I had thought all these characters were random, but they weren’t. Leaving them out, while adding the Capsell/Sherban thing, gave an entirely different view of Alyce’s situation. I had only added the Capsells and Sherbans to tie into the theme of Facets of Fantasy—each story was about someone from an unusual group or family culture who interacted with a larger world.
So The Prince’s Ball, once seen in its own right, is much more homogenous, with no divides other than that two royal families of different countries are always arguing. Within Milland, Alyce and the others are separated from Lord Timson only by rank and there is no division among the villagers at all. This opens the story up and gives it a lot more opportunity to be exciting. When not bogged down by a small conversation about a static minority, the world becomes a much more unpredictable place. Milland is not the secure land it seems.
And there will be more updates.
7 books published and 3 more on the way. Farmer's daughter, LOTR fan, loves to read rather than talk about reading. Always has time to finish her WIP.