“The Princess Who Conquered the Desert” was written by Verónica Chamorro and illustrated by Carla Moneta.

In the “How I wrote it” section of GlobeLiveMedia Lisons, authors and authors tell behind the scenes which have just been published. Why did they choose the themes or stories that ended up on their pages, how they organized their work, what revelations emerged in the writing process, what feelings there were as this process happened or what goal they have set themselves.

This time, the one who tells her writing experience in the first person is the author Veronica Chamorrodevoted especially to works of children’s and youth literature, among which are Tobias and his dog, The Moonstone there Michael is bored, among others. And also his latest book, The princess who conquered the desert.

Published by The Orlando Books, which is at the center of a story created by the text of Chamorro and also by the illustrations of Carl Moneta These are the questions that the protagonist of the play, a princess, is able to ask herself. It’s because the author preferred that his princess – an emblematic character of the most traditional children’s stories – have the time and the desire to question his wish, rather than the impulse (or the mandate?) simply fulfilling any objective. over.aim.

The novel was published by The Orlando Books.
The novel was published by The Orlando Books.

When you sit down to write, you don’t always know where you are going. Sometimes we have a clear picture, but the story around it remains obscured. And it can happen that these images or these ideas circle in our heads for months until, finally, the words settle down, little by little, as if they were testing the place they want to occupy.

The princess who conquered the desert it kinda comes out like that. He had the image of a princess crossing endless dunes, on the one hand; and, on the other hand, various readings at the expense of children’s stories where the happy ending lay in achieving the goal, defined almost from the beginning of the plot. And going through everything, my personal experience, which spoke to me of valuing the journeys more than the ends, that everything can change and that, sometimes, it’s valid to stop and ask yourself what you want, who you arewhat we want, and decide which path we want to follow.

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Write a story that raises the possibility of turn the tide and still have a happy endingwhich goes through the mandates incumbent on the different roles, and which offers love story that deviates from the concept of romantic, suffering and sacrificed loveIt seemed like a challenge that filled me with enthusiasm.

When I sat down to shape the story, I thought I would take inspiration from the various adaptations of classic tales that populated my childhood, but giving them a twist that would beyond changing the fragile princess, dependent on the prince, for a powerful one, capable of crossing an entire desert alone for love. I wanted the protagonist to find herself on this journey, ask herself questions, and when the time comes, she can make an honest decision about what she wants for her life.

Chamorro studied publishing at UBA and has published stories for children and young people. "The princess who conquered the desert" it is the last.
Chamorro studied publishing at UBA and has published stories for children and young people. “The Princess Who Conquered the Desert” is the last.

When I finished writing it, the story was just a short story. It slept in a drawer for a long time until, at the request of an editor, I presented it as a publication option. But the age the story was intended for required a longer length, so what was a story became a novel.

The path from a manuscript to publication is never direct. This first editorial wanted to publish it, but we were in the middle of a pandemic and the context was not helping. A second publisher agreed to publish it, but in their plan, the book would have a school circulation. In my imagination, however, my story was completed by the illustration. I imagined a book with images that would reinforce parts of my text, contradict others, add humor. And that he also circulated outside the school environment. I loved the catalogs from both publishers, but my gut told me I had to move on to another line.

Valeria, a friend and designer I work with regularly, had read the story and fell in love with it. She insisted that I introduce her to Marcela Citterio, with whom we formed The Orlando Books, a publishing house focusing on texts for young people and adults, but not on texts for children. To my surprise, Marcela liked it so much that she decided to include it in our catalog. She also imagined it as a picture book, just like I had in mind.

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Without these two fairy godmothers, the book would not be what it is today. without them and without Carl MonetaOf course, with his art, he brought the story to life in an even better way than I had imagined. I met Carla because she attended a workshop I gave for Soy Autor and we became connected. I started following her on Instagram and while passing by saw a short film illustrated and animated by her that really caught my attention. Something in his style, in himpoetic behind the imagemade me think I could be the illustrator I was looking for.

I shared my novel with him, so he could read it. I didn’t tell him what we were looking for, it was just an approach. A few days later, he sent me several illustrations. Something in the story had moved her, had led her to illustrate certain scenes just for the pleasure of seeing them captured. These images showed their marvelous way of appropriating the work, a look at the plot that represented what I wanted to convey and also enhanced it. It was exciting.

One of Moneta's illustrations for the book.
One of Moneta’s illustrations for the book.

The princess who conquered the desert it exists thanks to working with a great team. Ok, as a designer, she finished defining an aesthetic journey that guided Carla. The two were a very talented, super-professional yet loving duo with this long-dormant novel. I feel like there was a reason behind this expectation: I was expecting them. And Marcela, of course.

The passage of time has allowed me to find wonderful women who have contributed their knowledge to bring history to life, within a catalog that we continue to build with passion and dedication. Nail feminist epic novel which, I think, can cross and unite several generations: that of women who grew up under the mandate of romantic love, those who fought for a happy life beyond living together happily ever after, and that of the girls we raise empowered today, to dare to follow their wishes and conquer the desert, and change their minds and goals when something inside tells them the right path is another.

All the stories that begin with “Once upon a time” always take place in distant lands. Never come back here. And I have to report that it is no different.

Therefore, the beginning is the same as the others. The end… we will have to see. But let’s go in order:

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, so far away that even the wind had trouble reaching her, a beautiful princess. Like any princess, she lived in an elegant and huge palace. She had black curls, green eyes (some say emerald green, some say swamp green), freckles, and a dimpled smile.

In the morning, three young girls helped her put on a beautiful (and heavy) dress, a (very tight) corset, elegant (and uncomfortable) shoes and a beautiful diamond necklace (which irritated her neck). Two other young girls did her hair. And another sprayed it with an exquisite perfume. For this reason, as soon as she opened her eyes, the princess was already surrounded by a crowd of people who stared at her, very fixedly, until she got up, and who left her alone only when she was spotless.

Then, already dressed, combed and made up, she went out into the palace garden. Since the dress was so big, she spent hours sitting looking at the shapes that the clouds were drawing. If the sky was clear, he would walk slowly through the palace. So slowly that even the snails moved faster.

The princess had always been very calm. like a baby, she had never broken the peace of the palace with her tears. As a child, she had never had a whim. And now, as a young man, he was super nice to everyone in the kingdom (even his grandmother Florentina, who had a rather insufferable character). For this reason, and because she always had an easy smile and a soft voice, they called her “the modest princess”.

However, she was not always happy. Many times (especially when it was raining), the princess sighed in boredom. At those times, the most uncomfortable questions invaded his chest, the head and down to the bottom of the eyes. Would his life always be like this? Would each day be the same as the previous one? Of course, in these times he fantasized a little (and only a little) about the arrival of the prince that all the stories, since the dawn of time, had promised him. A kind gentleman, owner of a grand palace, smart, handsome… “and as boring as I am, surely”, he thought between two sighs when he came back to reality. And it is that all the neighboring princes were really boring to him. And none, not a single one, aroused even a little interest in the princess.

Not a butterfly in the stomach. Not even a fly. Nothing. Was she destined for no one, ever, to break the monotony of her days?

When the questions came to her, she closed her eyes, sat cross-legged (and let me tell you, that yoga pose was really hard to do with the thousand layers of each dress she wore) and He meditated until he managed to calm down and accept his fate.. After all, she was the most correct, sensible and good young woman that could exist. Who else but her could endure life without adventures and surprises from every princess worth their salt? “Everything is as it should be,” he repeated. And he kept sighing and sighing.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1979.

She is an editor and author of youth and children’s literature.

His books include Superhermanos de la salud, Miguel is bored, The New Year’s gift there The princess who conquered the desert.

Continue reading:

How I wrote it: I’m the youngest of four siblings and a lot happened in my family before I was born.
He accompanied his dog until death and came out of his mourning with a novel on euthanasia
He had leprosy, his parents hid it from him and he wrote a book to name a disease that no one dares

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