Saturday, April 1, 2017

1 Rosalyn Eves, author of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, on blending fantasy and folklore

We are spellbound about the opportunity to sit down with Rosalyn Eves and learn more about her debut novel BLOOD ROSE REBELLION.

Rosalyn, what book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

When I first read Naomi Novik’s UPROOTED, it was like a revelation—this was the kind of book I’d been trying to write. Her blend of fantasy and folklore is pitch-perfect.

I think readers who like the blend of manners, magic, and monsters would also love Jessica Cluess’s A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING, set in 19th century England, and Jessica Day George’s SILVER IN THE BLOOD, set in 19th century Romania.

Stephanie Burgis has a lovely historical fantasy (though it’s adult, rather than YA) that takes place a century earlier at the Eszterháza estate featured in my book, during its height, when Franz Liszt lived there and the Viennese court visited: MASKS AND SHADOWS.

An older YA novel, but one of my favorites, is Juliet Marillier’s WILDWOOD DANCING, a 12 dancing princesses retelling set in Romania (and, perhaps not coincidentally, edited by my same editor at Knopf, Michelle Frey).

How long did you work on BLOOD ROSE REBELLION?

I got the idea for BLOOD ROSE REBELLION sometime in 2012 and wrote the first draft in 2013. The first draft was pretty long and messy—I wound up doing a couple more revisions and cutting over 20K from the story in 2014, just in time to get into Pitch Wars! I did another round of revisions during Pitch Wars and signed with my agent, Josh Adams, in December 2014. The book sold in early 2015. So, almost two years to write—and another two years from selling to publication! Traditional publishing has taught me a lot about patience. ☺

What do you hope readers will take away from BLOOD ROSE REBELLION?

I think a lot of us go through our teenage years feeling rather out-of-place (I know I did), and I wanted to reflect that in Anna’s experience of living on the fringes of her society. But it was also important to me that Anna come to recognize her own strengths and find that acceptance is less about conforming to someone else’s ideal and more about being true to yourself—and I hope that’s something readers take away too. That they can be strong and smart and wonderful all in their own way, and that’s enough.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was eleven and started writing short stories soon after. I wrote some novellas in junior high, and my first full-length novel (okay, really a very derivative epic fantasy trilogy) in high school. But I got distracted by college and grad school and life and didn’t come back to creative writing until I had two small kids at home. I wrote a middle grade novel that I queried and finally shelved before writing BLOOD ROSE REBELLION.

If you’d told 11-year-old me that it would take *decades* to get published, I might have quit then. But I’m glad I didn’t!

What are you working on now?

I’m in edits for book two, which picks up a few months after BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, and drafting book three and I’m excited (scared?) to figure out how the story wraps up.


Blood Rose Rebellion
by Rosalyn Eves
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released 3/28/2017

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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Eves author photoRosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.

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