Sandhya Menon: On Reinventing a Classic Fairy Tale

New York Times bestselling author Sandhya Menon shares her experience with reinventing the Frog Prince fairy tale in her latest young adult novel, Of Princes and Promises.
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Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels with lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been featured in many cool places, including on The Today Show, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue, NPR, Seventeen, Entertainment Weekly, and Buzzfeed. Two of her books have won the Colorado Book Award, and her Dimpleverse series was turned into a hit TV show with Netflix India. A full-time dog servant, Sandhya makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. With a glass of wine at her elbow, she also pens adult romances under the name Lily Menon.

Sandhya Menon

Sandhya Menon

In this post, Menon shares her experience with reinventing the Frog Prince fairy tale in her latest young adult novel, Of Princes and Promises, and much more!

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Name: Sandhya Menon
Literary agent: Thao Le at Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency
Book title: Of Princes and Promises
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Release date: June 8, 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Elevator pitch for the book: From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the second installment in a brand-new series set an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on fairy tales, this one a delightful, romantic twist on The Frog Prince.
Previous titles by the author:

  • When Dimple Met Rishi
  • From Twinkle, with Love
  • There’s Something About Sweetie
  • Of Curses and Kisses
  • (and more!)
Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon

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What prompted you to write this book?

Of Princes and Promises is the second novel in my Rosetta Academy series. It's a contemporary Frog Prince retelling, set at Rosetta Academy, an elite boarding school in the mountains that's steeped in secrets and a hint of magic, and is home to the children of the most rich and powerful people in the world. I've always loved the Frog Prince, and when I thought about how I could adapt it to a YA romance, I knew I had to make it a gender-bent makeover story!

(How to Write for Teens Without Sounding Like an Adult Writing for Teens)

How long did it take to go from idea to publication?

I sold the Rosetta Academy series in 2017, so it's been about four years! At the time, I knew each book would be a contemporary fairy tale retelling (with just a splash of magic and a heaping helping of romance) but didn't know what those retellings would be, exactly. Once I got to know the characters more, I figured out the specific fairy tales and how they'd serve each set of protagonists!

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

There are always surprises and learning moments in publishing! I was writing this book when my publishing imprint folded and I was absorbed into a much bigger YA imprint. I was really nervous about the change, but it's all worked out so well! I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and I'm excited for this fork in my journey.

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Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

Absolutely! I didn't expect to fall in love with the millionaire heiress heroine, Caterina LaValle, as much as I did. She's a bit of a gray character in book 1 (Of Curses and Kisses) and it was so much fun getting to do a deep dive into her past and her heart and soul.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope they feel transported into a secret place in the mountains where it feels like anything's possible!

Sandhya Menon: On Reinventing a Classic Fairy Tale

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Don't be afraid to take breaks! Nothing is as important as your mental and physical health, and nurturing those things will help you be a much stronger creator.

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