Rockstar Book Tours Blog Tour, Interview, and Giveaway: Blood Rose Rebellion (Rosalyn Eves)
Title: BLOOD ROSE REBELLION
Author: Rosalyn Eves
Pub. Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook audiobook
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.
Meet Rosalyn Eves!
Rosalyn 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.
She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.
Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.
Her first novel, BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, first in a YA historical fantasy trilogy, debuts Spring 2017 from Knopf/Random House.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The story came from a couple of places. I started thinking of the chosen one trope, and wondering what an anti-chosen one would look like—someone who, instead of having awe-inspiring power, lacked magic while everyone else had it. I wondered, why would someone lack magic? What would they do to fit in—or not—in a world where everyone else had magical powers?
As I was playing around with the basic idea, I also started thinking about setting. I’ve always been fascinated by the nineteenth century, but I didn’t want to default to England, though the story opens there. Mid-nineteenth century Hungary was a tumultuous time and place, and Hungary was a country I had lived in for nearly a year and a half and had fallen in love with, so that’s where I chose to set my story.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
This feels a little like being asked to name my favorite kid (answer: it depends on the day). But Mátyás, Anna’s cousin, was probably my favorite character to write, mostly because he refuses to take himself seriously.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The book definitely came first! I struggled for a long time with what to call the story—for a long time it was just “Hungarian book” (in fact, that’s still the title of the folder on my computer), if that gives you any idea of my title prowess. One of my brilliant critique partners suggested the name just before I started querying, and amazingly the name got my agent, editor, and publisher’s approval.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
I really like how the climax of the story turned out—I think it captures the image I had in my head while still carrying emotional weight. Also, the epilogue—solely because I’m told it has made readers screech and/or throw things. ☺
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
There are actually two important things I’ve learned, and they might seem a little contradictory. One is that a writer needs a community—this business can be exhilarating, but it can also be rough, and writers need a tribe that will celebrate and commiserate with them.
The other is to trust myself and my instincts as a writer. I can be a people-pleaser, and when I started writing and getting feedback, I often let other people’s perspectives shape what I was writing and how I was revising. This is something I’m still working on, as I’m still honing my craft and I’m still tempted to value other people’s opinions over my own.
So—surround yourself with a supportive community, but believe in yourself independent of other voices. It’s a delicate balance sometimes.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I really love the roses bursting from stone—I think it’s a cool symbolic nod to my heroine, Anna, who is strong and still conventionally feminine. It was important to me and to my editor that Anna is in many ways a typical nineteenth-century girl (she does not, for instance, learn to wield a sword!), but she still develops strength and agency. I think the cover reflects that. Plus, the red and white contrast is so striking!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
I always struggle with these pick your favorite or most anticipated, because the truth is, there are lots of books I’m looking forward to! There are tons of amazing 2017 debuts coming out this year. But the non-debut book I’m most curious about is Laini Taylor’s STRANGE THE DREAMER (which happens to come out the same day as BLOOD ROSE REBELLION).
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2016?
Can I go with a top 3? The YA books that have stayed with me the longest from last year were Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING, Julie Berry’s PASSION OF DOLSSA, and Katherine Arden’s BEAR AND THE NIGHTINGALE (technically, this came out in January 2017, but I got to read an ARC and was blown away by her rich history and folklore).
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m currently waiting for copy edits on Book Two, and muddling around in Book Three. (That is to say, I’ve started and gotten stuck several times, so I’m now back to replotting the story arc.)
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Writing a novel and then having it get published has been a surreal experience—one I dreamed of for a very long time. Now that it’s actually happening, I’m in awe of the number of people it takes to bring a book to life: editors, copy editors, proofreaders, designers, marketing and PR personnel and more. But I’m especially grateful to readers, who truly make the story live by giving it space in their imagination, and to book bloggers and librarians who help readers find books.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The true answer to this is a spoiler, so I can’t go into detail there. But the chapter after Anna arrives in Buda-Pest was the most difficult for me to write—I rewrote that chapter so many times in revisions with my editor! It’s a transitional chapter and Anna is facing some extremely difficult decisions, but I needed to show her forward momentum and the transition without simply sticking the reader in her head the whole time.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
I’d say that Gábor was the hardest character for me to write. As a Romani man, he comes from a very different cultural background than I do, and I felt a lot of pressure to try and present that background respectfully, which required a lot more research and care than the other characters.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
I actually like parts of both—I love drafting when the story pours out of me and I get to see a new world take shape. (Though there are times when drafting is like pulling teeth.) But there’s also something incredibly satisfying about taking a rough form of a story and pulling it apart and putting it back together even better than it was before. If I had to pick one, I’d say revising wins by a slight margin.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Focus is both my super power and my Achilles’ heel: when I’m deep into a project I can block out just about everything else and power through. But as a mom with three young kids, sometimes being able to block everything out is not a good idea! My husband frequently laughs at me because I can disappear so completely into a book.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
There are lots that I respect, including First Book, which works hard to get books into the hands of underprivileged kids: https://www.firstbook.org/
I also have a friend who has worked with refugee camps in Germany and the current plight of refugees is heartbreaking. I’m in a pretty small rural town where we don’t have many refugees, but I’m proud to support the work of the International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/
3 winners will receive a signed finished copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, US Only.
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