16 October 2009

Rowan of the Wood & Witch on the Water Author Interview & Contest

Today's guest is Christine Rose. Christine and her husband Ethan created a YA fiction book called Rowan of the Wood. The follow up to Rowan of the Wood is called Witch on the Water and just released this week. Both are now available for purchase and Christine was kind enough to pay us a visit and bring along some goodies. Scroll to the end for purchase and contest details.

Let me begin by thanking you Christine for visiting Tales of Whimsy... it is an honor to have you here.

Q: Would you please tell us a bit about your series?
A: Rowan of the Wood is really a dual story: one a magical adventure story about a boy (Cullen) who find a magic wand hidden in a redwood forest; and the other a tragic romance between Rowan, the wizard from the wand, and his wife Fiana. Rowan and Fiana were separated on their wedding day. Rowan hid in his wand to avoid death while Fiana was able to escape into the Otherworld. Upon her return, the wand was nowhere to be found. She dedicated her existence to finding the wand and releasing her husband, but she failed again and again. When her own magic failed her after 100 years, she began delving into darker means to stay alive and continue her quest. 1400 years later, Cullen, a young foster child, finds Rowan's wand buried in the redwood forest. By this time, Fiana has abandoned her quest and has become something soulless and evil.

Q: Have you both always written or was it something that you came to together?
A: Ethan and I have both been writing for as long as we can remember. I was once told by a professor in college that my writing wasn't up to par, so I never thought of myself as a writer until very recently. I just didn't have the confidence in my writing. I still wrote, of course, but it was all mostly in screenplay format. The choice to try my hand at a novel was after spending nearly a decade in the movie industry, and I didn't want to have anything else to do with it.

Rowan of the Wood actually started out as a screenplay, but I new the best chance it had in finding an audience was to write it as a novel. So, with the help of my very well-read husband, we did.

Q: How did Rowan of the Wood and Witch on the Water come to be? What inspired or sparked the story?
A: I came up with the idea for Rowan of the Wood in December 2005. It was right after I had seen The Goblet of Fire at the cinema for the 5th time in just over a month. We walked in behind two 85-year-old women. Back at home, my 3 & 5 -year-old nephews were watching HP on DVD and playing with wands. Additionally, they were sleeping under Batman sheets and wearing Spiderman PJs. I reflected on how stories like HP, The Hobbit, and The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, as well as the Superheros, span generations and international borders. I started thinking about what all these stories have in common and it just hit me: a magical superhero whose ultimate alter ego is a little boy -- which, through later development, became Rowan and Cullen. We built the story from there.

Q: What has your journey to publication been like?
A: Our journey to publication has been quite rocky. We initially were going to self-publish, as I'm rather impatient and used to doing things by myself. Mistress of my own destiny and all that. But just a few months before ROWAN was set to release, I sent out a last-ditch effort query to an independent publisher. Their reader loved it and they picked us up for publication. It was very rewarding and validating to have a publisher pick us up. However, this high didn't last too long. Within the first 6 months of release, this indie publisher couldn't keep up with the print demand, as Ethan and I were marketing the book quite aggressively and readers were responding quite positively. It was unavailable in retail outlets twice in the first five months, the second time during a major promotional blog tour. Needless to say, that wasn't acceptable to us, as we were putting everything we had into the promotion of the book. We left that first publisher and went with another small indie who uses a POD printer. Then it would never be unavailable. Live and learn.

Q: Please fill in the blanks in this 3 for 4.

Rowan of the Wood: Magical, Hot Scotsman

Main character: Not Harry Potter

Plot: Time-lost Druid

Setting: Redwood Forest California

Witch on the Water: Sadistic, Beautiful Vampire

Main character: Angsty possessed tween

Plot: Revenge is tasty

Setting: Pacific Northwest Island

Q: Will there be a third book?
A: Yes. The third book will be called "Fire of the Fey," and it will be released in 2010. There will also be a fourth and fifth book released in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

Q: Any pearls of wisdom for aspiring authors?
A: I actually have many and have recently written them all out in a blog series I call "Publishing 101." In this series, I state plainly what it takes to be a working author, pitfalls to avoid, and a writer's options for getting published.

The most important thing is to keep writing and honing your craft. Solicit feedback. Don't be afraid to live your dream.

Q: Pen or pencil?
A: Computer :-D ... but Ethan uses a pencil and a legal pad.

Q: Favorite cheese?
A: Cranberry Cheddar - a SUPER DELICIOUS cheese we get from Whole Foods. It's available only in the Autumn & Winter.

Q: Favorite brain food (i.e. writer's snack)?
A: Dark chocolate. Always dark chocolate. Lots and lots and lots of dark chocolate.

Q: On your blog I noticed you occasionally give out recipes. Would you mind sharing one with us now?
A: Not at all! This is one of my favorite Autumn recipes:

Hearty Sweet Potato Hash

Serves 6 (Dairy-free)

30 minutes or fewer

Everybody loves breakfast for dinner; besides, this hearty hash is just too good to eat only in the morning!

3 Tbs. vegetable oil

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 Tbs.)
6 oz. ground soy “meat”
6 large eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped parsley for garnish


1. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potato and onion, and sauté 10 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Reduce heat to medium, add corn and garlic, and sauté mixture 2 minutes more.

2. Add remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and stir in soy “meat.” Stir in eggs, and season with salt and pepper to taste; cook 5 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, spoon hash onto individual plates and garnish each serving with sprinkling of parsley.


Isn't she great?

Want a chance to win Rowan of the Wood and Witch on the Water?


Comment below with your email address for a chance to win

a signed paperback copy of both

Rowan of the Wood and Witch on the Water

as well as a lovely pewter moon bookmark from Oberon.

Followers will receive on extra entry.

Additional entries are also available for spreading the word.

If you do broadcast this contest please provide me with a link to your post, twit, or page.

Contest is open to residents of the United States only and ends at midnight November 16th.

Good luck!

"After a millennium of imprisonment in his magic wand, an ancient wizard possesses the young boy who released him. When danger is nigh, he emerges from the frightened child to set things right. Both he and the boy try to grasp what has happened to them only to discover a deeper problem. Somehow the wizard’s bride from the ancient past has survived and become something evil."

To purchase Rowan of the Wood and Witch on the Water click here.

To follow Christine on Twitter click here.

To visit the Rowan of the Wood Etsy Shop click here.

Thank you Christine and Ethan.


  1. Cranberry Cheddar cheese sounds yummy!


    Put it on our sidebar at teensreadandwrite.blogspot.com

    Thanks for the contest!

  2. Great interview! That recipe looks delicious (although I'll haev to replace the eggs).
    Just from the interview I want to check these books out.

    Oh,and enter me in the contest.
    I'm a follower.

  3. Fantastic interview Juju - I'd love to be entered in this contest. I'm a follower and I will post about it on my literarygirls blog.


  4. Christine, since this is YA, my 11yo grandson should like these too.

    also now following.



  5. Alyssa - Oh. It is yummy!

    brizmus - You can use spiced tofu instead of eggs! We often have tofu scramble, and it's delicious!

    Mary - Thanks for stopping by!

    Dina - Your 11 yr old grandson will love them... and so will you! It's definitely a crossover/family book.

  6. Sounds like such a great series! And I really want to try that hash recipe-I love sweet potatoes! Thanks for the great giveaway!
    +1 I became a follower!
    beax0002 (at) umn (dot) edu

  7. Oh Brizmus please forgive me. The contest is only open to residents of the United States. I have since corrected my post. Sorry darling!

  8. Really great interview! What a good idea to ask about a recommended recipe. :) And favourite cheese, cuz why not? :)
    Great questions. Lovely book covers, very attractive.

  9. Thanks, Christine, for the lovely recipe!

    We're having such fun following the Samhain Blog Tour and seeing the success of Witch on the Water.


  10. Love the books and both of you.... congrats on the new release... I will be twittering under the name hockeyvampiress Keep up the great work and I can't wait for Fey....

  11. the books sound great. I had to put them on my list to get for my daughter.

  12. Great questions, Juju!

    I might have to write down that recipe. It sounds delicious!

    Please enter me in the contest.

    I am already a follower and I posted a link to your contest on my sidebar.


  13. Sounds delicious!

    I'm a follower!


  14. Following you =)

    Great recipe!!

  15. Oh wow! I didn't know anything about this book until now. (I was only vaguely familiar with the title...but now I want to read thsi!)

    I linked the contest to my sidebar! ;D


  16. Recipe looks delicious. I would prepare as is.

    Glad I saw your interview and will check out the books.

    Following you.


  17. These sound so good,,I would love to read them. I follow and your on my sidebar.


  18. Wow! Thanks for all the entries!

    If you guys check out the books, please let us know what you think!

    You can email us through our website http://www.christineandethanrose.com

  19. Awesome recipe! Will have to try it! I am a new follower! I tweeted- not sure how to get the addy from tweetdeck- @nicholandria I did it at Fri 16 Oct 18:40

    I also have the listings of the contests on my site-



  20. Oh, great interview and I love to cook :) I will definitely try that there recipe :)

    Please enter me and I'm a follower :)


  21. Don't include me in the contest coz I don't live in the US, but reposted your contest at: http://contests-freebies.blogspot.com/2009/10/rowan-and-witch-giveaway.html

    Goodluck to all who are entering the contest!!

  22. I love these covers! And this was a great interview, very fun and offbeat. Count me in. :)


  23. that hash sounds good. Count me in please for the contest.

    +1 follower

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

  24. I am a follower, please enter me. I have a copy of the first book on eversion, but I don't have a reader yet.


  25. Please enter me - I'm a follower.

  26. These are beautiful and look yummy! Please enter me:

    I follow


  27. These books sound really good - and that hash sounds really yummy :)

    Please enter me. I'm a follower.
    I posted on my sidebar (http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com) and tweeted it (http://twitter.com/WilowRaven/status/5246330591)



  28. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for the review and the interview.


  29. Dark chocolate is a good brain food. Can't wait to start reading this series.

    Im a follower

  30. I love cheeder in any form...Yum! Cant wait to read these books.
    entered in the contest

  31. *********PLEASE NOTE************
    This contest is closed.
    The winner was announced November 17th (http://www.talesofwhimsy.com/2009/11/rowan-of-wood-witch-on-water-contest.html).

    Thank you to every one who entered!
    Please continue to check back for more contests.