Interviewing a Princess
*Originally posted on Smart Girls Read Romance on April 10th, 2015. http://smartgirlsreadromance.blogspot.com/2015/04/interviewing-princess.html
researching for PRINCE OF SOLANA, I had the rare privilege of
interviewing a princess of Namibia, Ms. Nene Nwoko. I stumbled across
her name from another writer in our critique group who took an acting
class with her and was kind enough to share her information with me.
Who gets to speak with real royalty? Research gold for my series!
before our call started, I was suddenly nervous, getting to speak to a
real princess. I had a list of questions written out, by topic, hoping
not to take up too much of her time or ask the wrong question. I didn’t
want to blow my only chance at this incredible research opportunity.
of all, Nene was a joy to speak with, extremely personable and seemed
down to earth. She had a slight accent, but was fluent in English and
sounded like she grew up in the States. Nene briefly explained her
family, and while drastically different than the scenario I’ve depicted
in my series, I couldn’t pull the phone away from my ear.
is the brother of the current king in Namibia. The king (her uncle) has
more than twenty wives, and over fifty children. The family tree and
dynamic she explained were fascinating.
They aren’t ultra-wealthy,
like the royals of the UK or Denmark, and many of her family members
live in the United States (herself included). They lead normal lives
with families, jobs, and careers. Amazingly enough, she lives right in
my homestate of Texas.
Though she is married, she explained an
interesting custom that the eldest daughter of the king traditionally
never marries. Her cousin is a representative of the royal line, and the
eldest son inherits the throne. Nene is an actress, model, and
entrepreneur. She formed and runs a commercial advertising and marketing
When she asked about the books I’m writing, she was genuinely
intrigued, especially since it was an international setting (though far
Overall, the interview lasted about an hour, and
several of my questions had her laughing. Such as were they restricted
by what clothes they had to wear, or what places they could go to (much
like my interpretation of the British Royal family). I felt like such a
newbie, but she was more than gracious enough to answer my questions.
the interview, I had some valuable research for my series, and I
laughed at how nervous I was before the phone call. One of the biggest
things I learned was that you never know who will cross your path in the
simple conversations you have every day. Just put yourself out
there—put your work out there—and see who’s reading.