Protecting the Princess Inspiration

Protecting the Princess  releases next week and I can hardly wait to share the story with you! It really is such a sweet story.

On top of that, there’s a castle, a ball, and so much fairy tale fun … truly I had a blast researching it and writing it. Seriously, I got to take virtual tours of castles (it would only have been better to take them in person!), and look through ball gowns, and envision how a  castle might look. I even got to create a fictional country.

“Shanna Hatfield is pure magic on a page and she doesn’t disappoint with Protecting the Princess with her enchanting tale of castles, a storybook worthy princess, a brooding, sexy cowboy, and of course…a goat.”

Ciara Knight

USA Today Bestselling Author

When I was trying to decide what the castle might look like, I started by looking at images of old castles. I didn’t want a huge castle, so that narrowed down the possibilities quite a bit. Most of the castles I liked ended up being and France. Some of them are even available to rent out. Who knew that was a thing? Wouldn’t it be fun to take a trip and stay in a castle?


Anyway, the castle I ended up liking the best is Chateau Chamborigaud, a castle built in 1575 in southern France. It has ten bedrooms, three turrets, and would make a Disney princess proud! I loved the beautifully landscaped park around it, too. It was so, so easy to picture Poppy (the heroine) growing up here.

Once I had the castle in mind, I created the fictional country of Briden. It’s set in Europe, although I didn’t give any exact details where. It has four seasons, with hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. I searched through lists of the smallest countries in the world and ended up drawing inspiration from Andorra. It’s a tiny country situated in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain.  Since I’ve never been there, I relied on photographs and details I found online, but it looks like a lovely place to visit!


In my story, Briden’s main source of income is salt. They export it in a variety of forms. Captain Cavedweller is the one who actually came up with the idea of having salt as their main industry. I turned to the Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland for the inspiration of the mine in Briden in the story. If you’ve never looked at photos of Wieliczka, check it out. It is spectacular!

Check out my Pinterest board for more images that inspired the story.

And don’t forget to pre-order your copy today while the price is just $2.99
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4 Responses

  1. Protecting The Princess sounds like a great read and the book cover is Beautiful! I love all the photos, they are all Beautiful! Thank you for sharing all this info ,I enjoyed reading this and looking at the photos. Have a Great weekend and stay safe. God Bless you and your family.

  2. The mine is fascinating. I am going to have to go back to the site and explore a bit more. If I ever get to Europe, that will have to be some place we visit.
    PROTECTING THE PRINCESS has many elements I enjoy in a story. I look forward to reading it.
    I hope you aren’t getting cabin fever from COVID restrictions. Take good care of yourself, stay safe and healthy.

    1. I think those mine and castles would be so fun to explore, Patricia. Thank you for stopping in and I hope you are doing well and staying safe, too!

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