Today I'm so excited to have author, Rosalyn Eves, on the blog! Her debut novel, Blood Rose Rebellion, is the first book in a Young Adult historical fantasy trilogy, and it hits stores on March 28, 2017!
Welcome, Rosalyn, and congrats on your debut. Can you tell us a little bit about Blood Rose Rebellion?
Blood Rose Rebellion is a historical fantasy novel set in 19th century Europe on the eve of the Hungarian Revolution. It’s the story of a girl born without magic in a world where everyone else in her class has magical gifts—and how her struggle to find a place in that world uproots everything she thought she knew and thought she wanted.
What was the inspiration for the story?
A lot of fantasy stories follow a chosen one narrative, and while I love many of those stories, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to *not* be chosen. To, in fact, lack the powers that your peers have. The experience of not fitting in is a very common teen experience (at least, it was for me!) and I wanted to see how that would play out if magic was the defining factor of in versus out. Also, I love the nineteenth century, and I lived for a while in Hungary, so when I was trying to decide where and when to set the story, it seemed like a natural fit.
How much, and what kind of research did you do in preparation?
Lots! I started by reading history books, ethnographies, and academic articles (one of my favorites was on the politics of the dance floor, how the 1848 revolution was won in part by sentiments cultivated in balls held by Hungarian noblewomen). I read folk tales and entries from the Oxford World Mythology. To flesh out some of the day-to-day details, I also read English translations of 19th century Hungarian novels, and travel narratives of 19th century British travelers to Hungary. Research is pretty much an ongoing process when I write—but at some point I have to put the books down and just write.
Who was your favorite character to write?
Anna has a lot of my teenage self in her (though she’s much more decisive than I was!), so she was in some ways easier to write. But my favorite character to write was Mátyás, simply because he’s funny but has surprising depths.
What was the biggest hurdle you faced on the road to publication? Querying? Finding an agent? Revising?
Self-doubt, I think! While drafting and revising took a lot of work, they were also pretty straight forward in that the book got better (and shorter!) with each revision. Thanks to Pitch Wars, I didn’t query all that long before finding an agent (unlike previous experiences querying), and the book sold within a couple of months of signing with my agent. Working on edits for book 1 and drafting book 2 proved harder, because once I signed the contract I had something to prove, and I wasn’t always sure I was up to the challenge. Self-doubt is something I still struggle with, to be perfectly honest.
What are you currently reading (or currently obsessed with)?
I just finished reading Stacey Lee’s The Secret of a Heart Note and it was lovely! As moving and immaculately researched as her historical novels (which are also great).
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write because you love writing. I was so focused on finding an agent and getting published that for a while I lost sight of why I started writing in the first place—because of that profound satisfaction that comes when pieces of a story begin to come together and a world in your head comes to life on the page. I’m starting to learn that's as exciting as a contract, positive reviews, book conferences, and the other parts of publishing can be, those highs are always temporary (and sometimes out of your control!), and in between there can be moments of doubt and uncertainty. But the joy you find in writing—that’s one thing you can control. Hold onto that joy—it can get you through a lot of tough places.
"The joy you find in writing—that’s one thing you can control."
-Rosalyn Eves click to tweet
Thanks to Rosalyn for taking the time to answer these questions, and for the wonderful reminder to stop and celebrate the great joy that comes with writing! Be sure to show her some love by adding Blood Rose Rebellion on Goodreads, or pre-ordering your copy of her romantic and magical novel from Amazon (where it's currently the #1 New Release in Teen & Young Adult European Historical Fiction!) or Barnes & Noble. Blood Rose Rebellion hits bookstore one week from tomorrow!
Rosalyn can also be found on Twitter at @RosalynEves, and on her website at: www.rosalyneves.com.