Thursday, July 30, 2015

Launch Week - Five Enchanted Roses


And here we are, day four of our Launch Week celebration! Today I have the pleasure of hosting the author of "Rosara and the Jungle King," amazing talent, Dorian Tsukioka. Dorian has already published two other fairy tale retellings (including another version of "Beauty and the Beast," believe it or not!), proving her boundless imagination several times over! And her story in this collection is quite possibly her most beautiful, vivid, exciting adventure yet . . .



 How did you find out about the Five Enchanted Roses contest?
Dorian Tsukioka: A friend of mine (who also introduced me to Anne Elisabeth’s books) told me that Anne Elisabeth was hosting a writing contest for a retelling of Cinderella in 2013. I loved writing, but rarely finished anything. I decided to give it a try, and by golly, I finished my retelling of Cinderella and submitted it to the contest. 
Alas, I did not win that contest.

However, undaunted, I eagerly anticipated the next year’s contest, and in the summer of 2014, my friend informed me again of another fairy tale retelling contest, this time for Beauty and the Beast. I was so eager to try my hand that I wrote two stories!

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

Dorian Tsukioka: I always have a seed of an idea in my head. But, the idea is never a complete story. For example, in "Rosara and the Jungle King," my initial idea was what if the girl was actually the beast? That kernel of an idea sprouted very quickly, but I had to work very hard on the actual plot. I asked myself all sorts of questions like What kind of beast would she be? Where would the story take place? Why is she a beast?. Answering those questions lead me to creating a loose outline and then I was able to start writing the story.

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

Dorian's Inspiration for her heroine, Rosara.
Dorian Tsukioka: When I was brainstorming the idea for "Rosara," I knew I wanted to set the story in a very special and specific location. For some unknown reason, the Amazon rainforest came to mind. In college, I had studied about an indigenous Amazonian tribe called the Yanomami. All of this came back to me in a rush, and I knew I needed to set my story there. What if my Beauty was one of the Yanomami? What might that be like for her? This specific tribe provided a lot of inspiration for the tribe I created. The rainforest provided many different natural and supernatural beasts as well as a lovely, if dangerous, setting in which the story could unfold.

Heres a brief video that depicts some of the Yanomami peoples lives. (Note: It includes indigenous nudity.) 

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

Dorian Tsukioka: My favorite fairy tale from childhood was always Hansel and Gretyl.  It scared the pee out of me as a kid, and I loved it for that. I also loved the house made out of candy. If that was me out in the middle of the forest, I would have been a goner, too.

However, my favorite fairy tale retelling is the recent movie by Disney, Malificent.  I LOVED the story so much. Maleficent has always been my favorite Disney fairy tale villain, and I was so glad that she achieved some sort of redemption in the most recent retelling. 

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

Dorian Tsukioka: One of the most obvious themes in Beauty and the Beast is dont judge a book by its cover. This is the story of my life. Not only regarding me, but also all the people that I meet. I try to keep in mind that although I can only a persons exterior, inside of them resides a divine spark you just have to look hard enough to see it.

Another theme that I love in this story is about grace and love. Just like the beast, many of can be unlovable for a myriad of reasons. However, love is a choice. If we choose to love someone in spite of their unlovable state, were just like Beauty who falls in love with the Beast. By choice, we see beyond the exterior to love whats inside, regardless of their beastly, unlovable nature. This is grace.

Sorry to get all philosophical, but these themes of grace, love, and seeing beyond the exterior to the diamond in the rough, is something I experience daily. Im the recipient of grace because Im often very unlovable and beastly.

DORIAN TSUKIOKA writes fairy tale retellings, young adult fantasy, and science fiction wtih just a dash of romance thrown in. When she's not writing, Dorian teaches 5th graders in Kansas City, MO, or she can be found chasing after her two, pixie-esque daughters. She has a love of learning and teaching, and loves to talk about books with anyone who will listen, especially if the conversation includes cinnamon-chip scones and caramel lattes.


  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

 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 ( 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 Dorian down below, congratulating her on her new story or asking her a question about "Rosara and the Jungle King."

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


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.


Savannah P. said...

Your story sounds super cool, Dorian, I think it's really neat that you had a girl be the beast. What was your favorite part of the publishing process for this story? ~Savannah P.

Esther Brooksmith (wisdomcreates) said...

I'm fascinated by your setting and the tribes that inspired your characters!!!

Christine Smith said...

Congrats on being one of the chosen, Dorian! And I can see why. I've never seen such a unique setting for a B&B story. And the idea of the girl being the beast is such an interesting thought. Your idea is SO intriguing, I absolutely cannot wait to read it!

I totally agree about the Maleficent movie. In fact, it has become one of my favorite movies period. It was so well crafted and beautiful!

Congrats to you again. I can't wait!

E.F.B. said...

Hello Dorian. How fascinating that your story was inspired by the Yanomami tribe! I always think it's great when familiar stories like Beauty and the Beast get retold in unfamiliar and unexpected locations. I also must say that I'm envious of your ability to write two different retelling of the same story! Congratulations on getting your story in this collection!

Unknown said...

I completely loved Rosara and the Jungle King! I think my favorite part of the story was the conversations between Rosara and Tupa.

I've got to ask though, was Maor based on Disney's Gaston? Maor was a great addition to the story! He added a lot of urgency to the plot. I'm really curious as to how you came up with him. :)

Unknown said...

I really liked Rosara and the Jungle King
I fell in love with your characters very quickly!

Unknown said...

I really liked Rosara and the Jungle King
I fell in love with your characters very quickly!

Meredith said...

Congratulations, Ms. Tsukioka! I greatly enjoyed Rosara and the Jungle King, particularly the vivid descriptions of both tribes. The imagery was so beautiful and the story so suspenseful. I loved Rosara's fierceness and Tupa's loyalty. BTW: Ai of the Mountain was beautiful, too as was Cursed Beauty.

Questions: Would you mind expounding on the Karawara a bit? Are they an actual godlike deity the tribe that inspires your story worships, or did they come completely from your imagination?
Are you still planning to retell more fairy tales? Hansel and Gretel was my favorite fairy tale as a child, too. Best wishes with all your writing, and best luck with the upcoming school year.

Hayden said...

I really enjoyed reading this! I loved Rosara and the Jungle King, and now I want to look in to the other retellings you've done :)

Sarah Pennington said...

This sounds like a really cool idea for a Beauty and the Beast remake! I can't wait to read it, Dorian!

Unknown said...

Savannah P., my favorite part of the publishing process (besides holding the book in my hands!) was getting the notes back from the editors. I have to admit, I was a little nervous about what I would find as I opened the file, but I LOVED the comments. Everything was there to make my story stronger, tighter, and a more enjoyable read for the readers. I may be crazy, but I really enjoyed getting those notes and then going back to revise my story after I had another set of eyes point out several things that had escaped my notice.

Unknown said...

Kaycee, you are correct! Maor was definitely based on Gaston. I kinda giggled to myself when I had Maor shout out, "Kill the beast!" because it's a direct quote from the movie. He certainly helped to add a lot of tension to the story!

Unknown said...

Meredith, to answer your question - it's a little bit of both. In my research on Amazon tribes I came across the karawara as jungle spirits, but I didn't know what they did, so I made that part of up. I loved the word, though! So, the karawara and the iwa are actual names of things in the belief system of some Amazonian tribes, but I was quite liberal with my interpretation of what that meant to me.

Unknown said...

So much THANKS and LOVE to all of you for your support and your kind words. I truly hope those of you who haven't yet read Rosara enjoy it immensely, and thanks to those of you who have read it!

I'm working hard on my next retelling - a mashup of Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, set in ancient Egypt! I hope to be able to share it with you soon.

Joy said...

Congratulations Dorian!! Rosara and the Jungle King sounds so brilliant. The setting, the characters, the twists... It just looks so good! I can't wait to read it. :) And a new retelling based on Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin?? Please share soon! It sounds amazing. :)

Jay-nood said...

Great idea to flip the gender roles. The modern twist we've been waiting for. Best of luck on your next novella. Janie W.

Anonymous said...

Dorian, I loved your story! Looking forward to the next one :) Definitely an interesting spin on the Beauty and Beast theme.

Georgina said...

Your story sounds very interesting! Congratulations on being chosen. :) I'm excited to read it in full soon.