Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Launch Week - Five Enchanted Roses


And we are back with day two of our week-long celebration of Five Enchanted Roses and the five authors who made this book possible! Today we are featuring Savannah Jezowski, whose story, "Wither," was the very first one picked for this collection. A fantastically frightening and strangely beautiful tale that has already left its mark on early readers . . .


INTRODUCING
SAVANNAH JEZOWSKI

 How did you find out about the Five Enchanted Roses contest?

Savannah Jezowski: I was already a fan of the Goldstone Wood Series and one of Anne Elisabeth’s mentoring students. I entered the Five Glass Slippers contest the year before and knew before the subject of the second contest was even revealed that I would be entering. I created a story world for the "Cinderella" contest that I felt needed further developing and was determined to branch out and explore some alternate stories in the same story world—a world I call the Neverway. Ironically enough, I was already putting together some ideas for a “Sleeping Beauty” story . . . and then “Beauty and the Beast” was announced, and I realized I had the right idea all along . . . I simply had the wrong Beauty.

Did your story idea spring immediately to mind or did you have to work to find it?

Savannah Jezowski: As I said, the story world had already been established. I knew that the Neverway was the setting for my story. I simply had to figure out what kind of characters would do the beloved fairy tale justice and still seem natural in my spooky, enigmatic world. I brainstormed with my husband and Marmie for a few days, playing with multiple ideas. I knew that I wanted roses to be significant—with a title like Five Enchanted Roses, I knew they would have to be. I even considered a humorous and outlandish storyline with a Cyborg beast and a spunky Beauty searching for her missing father on an airship . . . but the characters just did not grab me. I wanted a unique but still familiar retelling, with characters as endearing as the ones from the Broadway musical. Around this time, I also decided that I wanted the Beast to be as strong a presence as Beauty, perhaps even telling the story completely from his viewpoint. All at once, the pieces began to fall into place—the terrifying and tragic hero, the spunky but awkward Beauty, a brooding castle filled with mysterious but endearing servants. All these were familiar characters from the original tale, but when they began to explore the Neverway, bit by bit, they came into their own.

What makes this retelling of the classic tale uniquely special to you?

Savannah Jezowski: Corwin’s journey is the heart of my story. I did not want to tell the usual tale about a Beast who was cursed by an enchantress who then disappears and never reappears in the story. I wanted to dig deeper into what made him a monster, and what made him heroic. The idea came to me to create new circumstances for the Beast, to create circumstances for his ugliness that were not the result of his bad character . . . but rather a result of his good character. His true struggle would not come in escaping his outward appearance, but in maintaining his integrity and staying true to his calling. At this point, I began to realize how deeply I was sharing my own story while telling the tales of Corwin and Bet. I began to draw upon the questions I had asked in the darker times, upon the fears I had faced when I was alone for weeks on end while my husband drove long distance for a trucking company and while all of my family lived on the other side of the country. Out of my own struggles, theirs emerged.

If you had to pick a favorite fairy tale, which would it be and why?


Savannah Jezowski: When I was a little girl I liked "Cinderella" and "The Little Mermaid." I liked the star-crossed lovers, the pretty dresses, the dancing, the handsome princes . . . but when I got older, "Beauty and the Beast" became my favorite fairy tale, partially because I loved the music, but mostly because I felt the themes in the story had so much significance. In our world, where movie stars are more famous than real life heroes, I think we all need to be reminded that our outward appearance pales in comparison to the condition of our hearts. I also like that there are sacrifices made in this tale—when Beauty sacrifices her freedom for her father, when the Beast gives up his future to give Beauty back her freedom. I also love that theirs is a slow, painful love story—they grow to love one another once they put aside their prejudices and take the time to truly get to know one another. It seems more realistic than a “Love at first sight” scenario. Although we do not read fairy tales for their realism, the truer the tale, the closer it will hit to home. True love is often gritty and desperate. It is refined in difficult times and on dark days. It is a journey of small steps, of awkward looks, of blossoming affections that gradually lead to unbreakable bonds. Truly, of all the fairy tales, I feel this one is the most romantic. 

Keeping in mind the many themes of the classic fairy tale, have you ever experienced a "Beauty and the Beast" moment in your life?

Savannah Jezowski: In so many respects, I often feel like the Beastly character, while my husband is the kind, generous Beautiful one who loves me in spite of my shortcomings. I fear, of the two of us, I would be the one more prone to stumbling into curses and needing to be rescued and reminded of the things that truly matter. I sometimes feel like such an ugly duckling, and then my White Knight looks at me, with that dreamy “I think you’re adorable” look on his face, and then I feel like a princess even though I can’t figure out why he likes me so much. It’s the best feeling in all the world, knowing that you are not perfect and that you are loved anyway. Your “Happily Ever After” may not be all glitter and roses, but it is real, and it is enduring, and that is what truly matters.

As a fun conclusion, I thought I would share my favorite song from the Broadway production of this timeless tale.
“If I Can’t Love Her."
 _________________
 
 

SAVANNAH JEZOWSKI lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, who is no less shiny after eight years of matrimony, and a loyal brigade of kitties, who may or may not sleep on the job. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights, and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She likes books, faeries, writing hats, and having tea with her imaginary friends.



 GIVEAWAY!

  In honor of this exciting release, the authors of Five Enchanted Roses have teamed up with Rooglewood Press to offer an exciting Giveaway Bundle for one lucky winner! Included in the bundle will be:

1 print copy of Five Enchanted Roses
1 "Book of Omens" red leather journal from Kaycee Browning
1 Lilla Rose cameo hair clip from Savannah Jezowski
1 pressed rose bookmark from Jenelle Schmidt
1 pair of jaguar sunglasses from Dorian Tsukioka
1 gorgeous rose and pearl necklace

If you would like to enter your name for a chance to win this awesome bundle, here's what you do:

 Share any of the following images (or any of the images from our Launch Week Celebration) on your social media sites -- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, blogs, etc.

For every image that you share, copy a link and compile all your links into a list. Send your link list in an email to David Cross (david.cross@rooglewoodpress.com) using the subject header: "Five Enchanted Roses Giveaway." Be sure to send him your links NO LATER THAN MONDAY, AUGUST 3. The winner will be selected later that week.

You may also gain one free entry by leaving a comment for Savannah down below, congratulating her on her new story or asking her a question about "Wither."

Have fun spreading the news about this awesome new collection from Rooglewood Press!







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Don't forget to purchase your copy of Five Enchanted Roses today! Add the book to your Goodreads shelves and let your reader friends know how much you enjoy these beautiful tales.

27 comments:

Tracey Dyck said...

Congrats, Savannah! Your tale sounds perfectly chilling, and I love the sound of the Neverway (as well as the fact you'd used it before). What inspired the setting?

Hayden said...

I am SO looking forward to reading this story, Savannah! I especially love that we're going to be hearing more about Neverway :)

Savannah P. said...

Your story sounds so cool, Savannah! It's definitely one that I want to read sometime soon :). What was your favorite part of the publishing process? ~Savannah P.

Hannah said...

Hurrah for your first release, Savannah! The twists of this tale truly did surprise me, and I very much enjoyed it! I'm looking forward to the rest of your stories! :D

Savannah Jezowski said...

My husband and I were book shopping one day and the aisle we were in was FILLED with creepy zombie stories. Both of my brothers like the zombie thing, and I jokingly told my husband that I wanted to write a Christian story that had zombies in it, so that young men like my brothers might enjoy it. It's part of the reason I intend to tell most of my Neverway stories, at least partially, from a male perspective. My story After, which will be coming out later this year, is about a family of brothers trying to control the undead wandering the streets of their city. There will be a bit of romance in that story, but mostly the story is about the boys.

Savannah Jezowski said...

Thanks, Hayden! I am planning to read your story this week! So excited when I finally got my copy!

Savannah Jezowski said...

Your name is awesome by the way. :) my favorite part of the "publishing" process would probably be seeing all the design work. The stuff I did not have to do but got to enjoy from the sidelines: the gorgeous cover, the interior illustrations, the blog buttons and banners...that part was a blast for me.

Savannah Jezowski said...

Thanks, Hannah! It's nice to hear about the things that turned out well.

Kaycee said...

Wither was spellbounding. I loved every second of it. I am SO excited about reading After!!! Will Corwin and/or Lilybet ever make an appearance in any of the other Neverway tales? :)

Alaina Hornberger said...

I'm looking forward to reading your story! It sounds very interesting and different! I love surprising twists on familiar stories. :3 At least when they stay true to the ideas in the original, and it sounds very much like you have. And your new circumstances for the beast sound really interesting! I'm also thrilled that you're making the beast as strong of a presence as beauty. It's unusual to see a story like this making the male character as important and giving him as big of a part as the female character.

Meredith said...

Congratulations, Ms. Savannah. Wither was truly beautiful, and I particularly loved the chapters from Corwin's perspective. Do you find it easier to write from a male or female POV? Keep up the outstanding work. I'm looking forward to your future releases. God bless.

Tracey Dyck said...

@Savannah: Ah, that's so cool! There needs to be more male-oriented books out there, methinks.

Savannah Jezowski said...

Maybe... ;) But not too much in the first book. After is the prequel, so it will take us back a few years and set the stage for some of the events in Wither and for the ones that will come after it, in Sookie's story. There will be at least one familiar face, for sure, I can say that much...

Savannah Jezowski said...

I am attempting to do this in almost all of the Neverway stories. My husband and brothers are big fantasy and science fiction fans, so I am attempting to write a series they will enjoy reading.

Savannah Jezowski said...

Me agrees!

Savannah Jezowski said...

Meredith, it honestly depends. For Wither, Corwin was easier. I had a difficult time relating to Bet in my first draft. But I tend to feel a little overwhelmed in the male POV because I have to think so far outside the box. I am always nervous my heroes will do and say things I would say. Men think and react to things very differently. It is a challenge, but an enjoyable.

Christine Smith said...

A huge congratulations to you, Savannah! Wither looks and sounds chillingly beautiful and I am just bursting with excitement to get my hands on it. I absolutely cannot wait!

I love how deeply you decided to integrate your Beast character into the tale. Beauty and the Beast retellings that feature a lot of the Beast are always my favorites. I just know I'm going to love this one!

wisdomcreates said...

I haven't read your story yet, but I love what you did with the beast's backstory!

Savannah Jezowski said...

I think you will enjoy all of the stories in the collection. I only have one more to read, and from the rumors I have been hearing, it is the most heartwarming of the collection. Each Beast is different, but so far I have loved every one of them. :)

Savannah Jezowski said...

Thank you! I loved it too! Writing for Five Enchanted Roses has stretched me and enthralled me at every turn. It's been such an amazing experience.

Beth Andrus said...

congratulations on your success!!! Its obvious God is using you in so many ways and I am so so happy for you!!
God bless!!!

Savannah Jezowski said...

Thanks, Beth! It has been a humbling and challenging experience, that's for sure!

E.F.B. said...

Ooooh, "Wither" looks deliciously spooky! Congratulations on getting your story in this collection, Savannah. I look forward to reading it!

Sarah said...

This story sounds awesome, Savannah! I can't wait to read it!

Joy said...

Congratulations Savannah!! Wither sounds chilling and amazing, all at once. I don't usually care for zombie-like stories, but this one sounds too good to resist! Your series just might get me hooked. :) I can't wait to read it!!

Bookishqueen said...

Wow, these stories sound awesome! I just got back to the states and saw this on facebook. Glad I managed to stop by and see what is going on.

Georgina said...

Congratulations on having your story selected! It sounds VERY interesting. Looking forward to reading it in Five Enchanted Roses! :)