Blogger Note: Hi everyone! I am super excited today to share with you my interview with An Enchantment of Ravens’ author Margaret Rogerson! *squeeeee*
Meet Margaret Rogerson.
Margaret writes fantasy for young adult readers. Her books draw inspiration from old fairy tales, because she loves stories in which the beautiful and the unsettling are sometimes indistinguishable. She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, and when she’s not reading or writing she enjoys drawing, watching documentaries, making pudding, gaming, and exploring the outdoors in search of toads and mushrooms. She studied anthropology at Miami University.
Now onto the interview!
What would you say is the main inspiration behind the creation of An Enchantment of Ravens?
An Enchantment of Ravens was primarily inspired by my love of folklore and my own background as a portrait artist.
How long has this tale been waiting to be written? That being said, how long did it take to write and edit?
Enchantment happened quickly; I had the idea for it while I was in the shower one morning, and by the time I got out of that shower, I had come up with most of the plot, setting, and characters. It took me about two weeks to write the outline, three and a half months to write the first draft, and another month and a half to edit it before I began submitting the manuscript to literary agents. Once a publisher accepted it, we edited it a little bit more—I think developmental edits took me about two weeks, and copyedits only a few days (the copyeditor did the hard part for me). However, many of those stages involved months of waiting in between. This is a little embarrassing to admit, but honestly, I couldn’t have written Enchantment so quickly had I not lost my day job and moved in with my parents! I try to make sure I tell people that because I don’t want other writers to compare their schedules to mine and feel bad. I had a LOT of free time, not to mention familial support. I wrote one book before Enchantment (another YA fantasy that’s now gathering dust on my hard drive), and it took me about a year and a half to finish while I was also working a full-time job.
Tell us about your journey from half feral child to author. How did it feel to get that acceptance email or call and later your first contract?
Ha! I see you’ve read the bio on my website. I’ve dreamed of becoming an author ever since I was a little girl running around in the woods eating bugs, but I never imagined it would be possible. Even after I’d finished Enchantment and started querying literary agents, it still didn’t feel possible. So the feeling of signing with my agent Sara was indescribable—part of me was convinced I’d hallucinated the entire thing. The publishing contract was a little easier to digest because I was already so dazed with happiness that nothing could have really surprised me at that point. For about a month straight, I walked around smiling and bumping into things.
How has your view of writing and reading changed as you went through the publishing of your debut novel?
Writing feels more like work now, but even before getting published, I had to learn how to treat writing like work; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had the discipline to finish a book. Reading is a bit different too, because I tend to read more critically now, picking apart the strategies that other authors use to achieve tension or foreshadowing, or how they construct a good action scene, that sort of thing. I read a lot more slowly than I used to.
How do you tackle world building and setting in An Enchantment of Ravens? Did you base the fae world off of your desire to live in a forest that has a touch of witchery?
The fairy world was definitely inspired by my love of nature, especially the autumnlands, since fall is my favorite season. There’s just something special about the forest during fall: whimsical, enchanting, a little bit haunted, with those rainy, misty evenings that make it easy to imagine a sinister presence slumbering beneath the fallen leaves… Interestingly I came up with a lot of the fairy court-related worldbuilding several years before I wrote Enchantment, for a personal RPG-type project I created for some friends. Needless to say, I’m a huge nerd! My friends enjoyed picking out details they recognized when they read the book for the first time.
What challenges did you face while incorporating the themes of sorrow and mortality in your world?
Great question! In Enchantment, I wanted to convey the idea that mortality and the ability to feel emotion and create art are profoundly intertwined. Because the fair folk are immortal, they have a certain hollowness to them, a desperate, horrible emptiness that drives them to crave human Craft in the hope and fear it will make them feel something genuine. It was a little challenging creating a wide range of fair folk characters who all possessed that shallow emotional range while also giving them distinct personalities. But it was a fun challenge, and I really enjoyed writing side characters like Lark, Hemlock, and Aster—and especially Gadfly.
What is something you want your readers to take away from An Enchantment of Ravens?
Enchantment has some stuff to say about art and love, about the value of mortality and the importance of staying true to oneself no matter what, but in the end I’m not sure it matters whether readers take any messages away from the book. I’d much rather it simply make someone happy on a chilly night, preferably with a mug of hot chocolate and a crackling fire.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Sometimes people get confused by the title when they hear it out loud, and mistake it for “An Enchantment of Raisins.”
Congrats on the your debut novel release!
Thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Rae!
Happy Release Day An Enchantment of Ravens!
Go get your copy ASAP!
Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2)
Release Date: August 14th 2017
SOME LEGENDS ARE BETTER LEFT UNTOLD.
I wasn’t the sort of girl who believed in fairytales, let alone tales about faeries. But that changed the day Faeries came to my small town and Hunters rose from their graves.
On that fateful day, I received a book, a peculiar collection of myths and legends. Turns out it was so much more than stories. And just as I was on the verge of unlocking its secrets, it was stolen from me by someone I called a friend.
Now, I don’t know whom I can turn to, whom I can trust. All I know is that there are two sides, and I am straddling the great divide because I am both Faerie and Hunter. And although I swore I would never choose, I am slowly falling for one of those sides…
Fans of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series will adore Wildenstein’s Lost Clan series.
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About the Author
Olivia Wildenstein grew up in New York City, the daughter of a French father with a great sense of humor, and a Swedish mother whom she speaks to at least three times a day. She chose Brown University to complete her undergraduate studies and earned a bachelor’s in comparative literature. After designing jewelry for a few years, Wildenstein traded in her tools for a laptop computer and a very comfortable chair. This line of work made more sense, considering her college degree.
When she’s not writing, she’s psychoanalyzing everyone she meets (Yes. Everyone), eavesdropping on conversations to gather material for her next book, baking up a storm (that she actually eats), going to the gym (because she eats), and attempting not to be late at her children’s school (like she is 4 out of 5 mornings, on good weeks).
Wildenstein lives with her husband and three children in Geneva, Switzerland, where she’s an active member of the writing community.
Tour schedule can be found here.
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YA Bound Book Tours
Magic and Reality: Friends or Foes
How Early Folklore Illustrates the Connection between the Human and Faery Worlds
The sun begins to set outside, and dusk sets in like a twilight veil, stirring something deep within your heart and soul. You curl up in your favorite chair, the warmth of the newly lit fire in the fireplace a decadent comfort. The blaze sizzles, a hypnotic crackle that lures your senses to the edge of another world. With anticipation you flip open your book, thumbing through the well-worn pages to find the spot where you had left off. Settling in, it takes almost no time at all before you are whisked away, enraptured in the magical adventure once again.
Have you ever wondered why magical tales and myths captivate your mind and heart so deeply? What is it that has us reeling with delight and enchantment over those stories that weave the magical with the mundane – what is this powerful longing that they evoke within us?
For many of us, the “real world” seems to have lost its magic and wonder. The sensations and beliefs we once held as a child that said anything was possible become more and more difficult to hold on to as we grow up. This lackluster reality has many of us by the toes, and we can’t seem to escape the growing coldness we feel as its result.
The truth is that magic and reality don’t have to cancel each other out, and there was once a time when they even played nicely together. So to reiterate the point: magic is real, and until fairly recently this idea was pretty much understood in cultures all around the world.
Lucky for us, our ancestors left clues sprinkled throughout their folklore for us to gain a deeper understanding of how myth, magic and reality all swirled into one. Like a trail of breadcrumbs, we may follow these hidden gems not only to gain a greater understanding of our ancestors’ relationship with the Otherworld, but also in order to illuminate how the interrelationship of these elements supported them, challenged them, and was an intrinsic part of growth and development.
Myths and legends actually hold a layer of truth, seeds of wisdom from which spring the themes, characters and plots of the stories. The images and symbolism within these types of tales speak to the soul in a way that literal language never could. Oftentimes the folklore of a culture will inform on a much deeper level than even historical accounts will.
I’d like to use the Brothers Grimm version of Sleeping Beauty to illustrate the merging of the human and faery worlds. Before we dig in, let’s first define “faery” so we are on the same page. The word faery has two origins depending on the spelling. The first is from the Latin word fata and means “destiny.” The second origin is Gaelic, from the words “fear sidhe,” which means “man of the mound.” These mounds were considered to be entrances to an unseen realm invisible to many humans. So a faery is a being of light that exists within the spiritual realms of the Earth, deeply connected to the life force and evolutionary process of the planet.
The story of Sleeping Beauty begins with the birth of the beautiful princess, Briar Rose. At the christening all the faeries from the surrounding land are invited. These faeries come bearing gifts: not tangible objects but positive attributes with which the princess is to be imbued.
The first gift is very important because it is the gift of Beauty. Beauty has been used in many fairy tales as well as the Arthurian material to mean faery energy or origin. The use of the word here signifies that this is a story in which the faery theme is indicated, possibly even suggesting that the princess herself may be related to faery in some way. The faeries continue to bestow the gifts, and it is through this gift-giving we are told that this is a natural and very important part of faery and human relationship, the act of giving and receiving.
Then another faery arrives, one who had not been invited because she had not been seen in years and was thought to have vanished or left the land. Of course, she feels snubbed, and as a result gives a gift of demise – the princess will prick her finger on a spindle and die on her seventeenth birthday.
When viewed from a higher perspective, what we are being shown here is that faeries mediate forces of both life and death. We tend to perceive death as a negative, but it is not viewed the same way in the world of Faerie. Death is a natural part of life, without which life could not spring forth.
One other gift worth mentioning is the last one bestowed by the youngest faery in an effort to lessen the angry faery’s gift of death – she softens the effects so that the princess will not die, but instead will sleep for a hundred years until a prince can wake her with a kiss.
Typically sleep represents a level of consciousness. First it suggests something taking place at the subconscious level. Additionally, it tells us that from this seemingly dreadful fate an opportunity is born – to die to one’s old self and rise from that experience, awakened and transformed. This is the opportunity presented to the princess (and all of us at various times within our lives) if she can indeed accept it.
Finally, let’s fast-forward to the princess pricking her finger and falling asleep. Again this is where the opportunity for transformation begins on a very deep level. Around the sleeping princess, a seemingly impassable forest springs up immediately. The forest is a symbol used to signify the middle point between two worlds – the otherworldly realm of Faery and that of the physical or human world.
Now remember the prince needs to somehow pass through this forest, which means that he needs to step between the worlds, leaving behind the safety and perceived security of the material world. This quest is really signifying a change in consciousness.
As you will remember, the princess’s name was Briar Rose. Here the rose symbolizes the heart of transformation itself, which can only fully blossom as the inner forces of the masculine and feminine are brought into balance within each one of us. Thus the uniting of the prince and the princess with the kiss symbolizes the ultimate alchemical process of transformation, the sacred marriage that merges and activates the inner forces of polarity within the initiate– the awakening of the rose.
Within my book series The Forest Speaks you will find many of these traditional faery elements included as well, and while The Forest Speaks is a modern day work, I have sought to preserve many ancient codes and symbols in order to activate and awaken the soul magic of my readers. No doubt you can think of other examples in which some of these symbols have carried through into modern day literature. Even if only on the subconscious part of the author, the truth of the matter is that “magic as reality” lives on in our hearts and minds.
Interested in purchasing one of Diomira’s books? Click here.
Meet Diomira Rose
Do you want to remember the magic that lives within your heart and soul too?
If magic as reality stirs something deep within you, then why don’t you check out my free gift?
During the entire month of January 2017, you’ll receive a free e-copy of my first book, The Forest Speaks: Book 1 – Awakening the Rose.
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Diomira, and I love helping people reconnect to the magic that lives inside each and every one of us! But I didn’t always know what my purpose was or what I was supposed to share with the world.
When I was a little girl I knew, without a doubt, that magic was real! I couldn’t actually see the spiritual realms of enchantment; I just knew they were there! It never really did make sense to me that I could not see or hear the invisible realms around me, and at some point I even felt quite sad and misunderstood.
But the truth is, I never really gave up hope. Deep down I knew there was more to life than what meets the eye. I knew there was some deep mystery waiting to reveal itself, and I felt like one day, I was going to solve it.
Finally after years of searching through foreign lands and several languages, almost overnight the answer came. Magic had been staring me right in the face the whole time, and in fact it was all around me, interacting with me, talking to me!
Only I had not recognized it!
You see, up until that point, I had not understood the language it had been speaking in!
Once I began to unlock the secret language of the universe, the spiritual realms of light and love that I always knew existed revealed themselves to me!
It was then that I began to hear, see and feel in a new and exciting way, interacting with the world around me and awakening to my own soul’s magic and divine purpose!
From that point on, I started sharing what I had learned with others just like you. I traveled everywhere, teaching workshops and classes; I started a book series called The Forest Speaks; and I started working with people, mentoring and supporting them, so they too could find the magic that lives within their hearts and souls. If you’d like to learn more about how I help people like you find the magic of their soul and live a life filled with purpose check out Faery Light, home of the Faery Light Mystery Teachings.
Rose Petal Graves (The Lost Clan #1)
Release Date: May 15th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
I thought losing my mother would be the greatest shock of my life, but the greatest shock came after her death.
Founded two centuries ago by an aloof and powerful tribe of Gottwa Indians, Rowan was a quiet town, so quiet that I fled after graduation. Staying away was the plan, but Mom died suddenly, so I rushed home.
Dad said she suffered a stroke after she dug up one of the ancient graves in our backyard, which happens to be the town cemetery. Creepy, I know. Creepier still, there was no corpse inside the old coffin, only fresh rose petals.
As we made preparations for Mom’s burial, Cruz, the new medical examiner, arrived. I should have felt relieved, but how could I? He was unnervingly handsome, glowed like a human firefly, and knew absolutely nothing about examining dead bodies.
But, he did know what killed my mother…or rather who.