Today I am thrilled to be hosting authors, Christine and Ethan Rose on their virtual tour of Rowan of the Wood. This is a fantasy novel for pre-teen and teen readers that adults will enjoy too. The book, which is the first for spouses Christine and Ethan Rose, is an engrossing story of magic, timeless love, and tragedy. Rowan of the Wood was recently named a 2008 National Best Books Award Finalist in the young adult fiction category.

Please welcome Christine and Ethan Rose to Melody's Reading Corner!

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.

Excerpt from book:
A quick set up for this section. Cullen is trying to bury his last remaining book in a safe place so he mean foster father won't take it from him. The safest place he can think of is in his special tree-cave, so he digs and digs and finds something buried there already...

“A magic wand!” he exclaimed, as he examined the strange knotty piece of wood. It was about as long as his arm from fingertip to elbow.
The wind died down as suddenly as it had picked up, and the clouds moved away from the moon. The wind didn’t fully stop, however. It whispered. All the trees were whispering in harmony with the wind and the stars and all life around him. They whispered, “Seann.”
“What?” Cullen asked out loud, in spite of himself.
They whispered again, “Seann, Seann, Seann–Daonnan Seann.”
“Daonnan Seann?” Cullen asked.
Was he hearing things? That didn’t make any sense! But as soon as he spoke the words aloud, the wind whipped into a frenzy around him, blowing much more fiercely than ever. A huge bolt of lightning cracked directly above the grove. He jumped out of the tree and screamed, opening his hand to drop his wand; but it didn’t fall. It stuck like glue. He tried to shake it off, but it wouldn’t budge. Terror filled him, body and mind.
The wand in his hand began to grow. First, it sprouted vines and wrapped around his hand, then it began to crawl up his arm. Cullen fell to the ground in utter terror, thoughts of alien invasion throttling his senses. His mind raced and he screamed inside his head, but it didn’t reach his mouth. He was too scared to even scream. Up and up his arm the vines grew. They felt cool and warm at the same time, as they snaked through Cullen’s jacket. When they reached his throat, they spread out down his chest and back and around his neck. Now Cullen really panicked. He would choke to death! He would die out here, alone! No one would find him. He would rot here alone. He desperately clawed at the vines around his throat with his free hand, feeling them squeeze the breath out of him.
Then they were gone.
The wind stilled.
The sky cleared.
The forest was silent.

An interview with Christine and Ethan Rose:

Melody: What inspired this story?

Christine: Our inspirations began decades ago, and this book is the culmination of a lifetime of reading and dreaming. I found more immediate inspiration in my nephews. They were just 5 and 3 at the time I had the initial concept for this book. I found so much joy through their joy of discovering magic wands and playing as if they were superheroes, that I wanted to create a magical superhero to add to that magical joy.

Ethan: Christine came up with the basic storyline, but since I grew up in the redwood forest in a home for unwanted kids, it inspired a great deal of my own contributions.

M: What is most challenging while writing this story?

C: Making the time to write! Then when I made the time, getting into the zone of writing... unfortunately, it's not just a switch you can turn on, although it does get switched off pretty quickly with the slightest distraction! Finding the patience to let the entire process unfold was (and continues to be) a huge challenge for me. It's a long, long process. From conception to publication was three years...and now comes the promotion!

E: For me it was finding time to write. I run a small construction business, which is like having two full-time jobs, so I really had to schedule time off from that to get any writing done at all.

M: Tell us more about the protagonist. What factors of the protagonist do you think will influence the young readers in particular?

C: The name of the protagonist is Cullen Knight. He's 12, and he's having a rough time in life. Like many of us experience in school (I certainly did), he's an outcast. He doesn't really fit in with anyone other than his own two misfit friends. He has a difficult home life, so he prefers to be anywhere else other than home, even school! His favorite thing is to spend time reading in the redwood forest. Even though Cullen thinks he's a coward, he finds strength and courage through his fear.

E: We really tried to make Cullen a real person. He is not anything spectacular, like an unknown prince awaiting his appointed place as a person of consequence. He doesn't have anything particularly special about him, except maybe that he is a good person who tries to do his best. He is just someone who got his wish and is trying to deal with the consequences.

M: What do you think are the pros and cons of co-writing?

C: I had a great time writing with Ethan! We wrote the book together with deep respect for each other's process and ideas. Ethan's strengths compensated for my weaknesses and vice versa. Instead of composing together, which I could see many more problems arising if we were to have written it together that way, our "co-writing" took place in the revisions, which is the bulk of the writing process. Rowan of the Wood was my concept, my story; so Ethan deferred to my vision in this case.

E: The best part is having someone with whom to bounce ideas back and forth and also having someone to expand or clarify one's writing. I can't think of anything negative about the experience of writing with Christine.

M: Finally, are both of you currently working on other novel(s)?

C: We are currently working on the sequel to "Rowan of the Wood." It will be a series of five books in all. I also have another story or two working in the deep corners of my mind. Ethan has been working on his own hero's journey novel for about ten years, and he continues to work on that when time permits.

Christine and Ethan Rose have marvelous imaginations. Often finding their inspiration among the trees, they write as they lead their lives - with plenty of adventure, magic, and love. Ethan grew up in foster care in Northern California reading every fantasy book he could get his hands on (and still does), while Christine holds her M.A. in Medieval/Renaissance Literature & Folklore. Their premiere novel, Rowan of the Wood, follows the magical adventures of a young boy after his life merges with that of an ancient druid. They enjoy traveling and relaxing with their family: three dogs and a cat named Shadow.

The authors are also hosting a contest on YouTube and giving away a digital camcorder just for following four simple steps. Check it out!

The authors will be available all day today and tomorrow to answer your questions. Every comment on this blog is an entry to win a signed, limited edition print of Christine's Green Man II painting. The authors are also giving away autographed books and over $600 in other prizes through their website.

Rowan of the Wood’s Geekalicious Yuletide Blog Book Tour Dates:

Thursday, 12/4: YA Book Realm
Friday, 12/5: Bookluver
Saturday, 12/6: Free Book Friday TEENS
Sunday, 12/7: Dejah View Book Review
Monday, 12/8: Harmony Book Reviews
Tuesday, 12/9: Bookish Ruth
Wednesday, 12-10: Flamingnet YA Book Blog
Thursday, 12/11: Midnight Twilight
Friday, 12/12: Free Book Friday TEENS
Saturday/Sunday, Dec 13/14: Tweeting
Monday, 12/15: Someone’s Read It Already
Tuesday, 12/16: Fresh Fiction
13 Responses
  1. Alice Says:

    What a great interview, Melody! The co-authors really worked well together.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    We had a great time doing it, too! (both the interview and writing together)

    It's getting late here in the states, but I'll be around tomorrow to respond to more comments/questions. :-D

  3. Iliana Says:

    I really enjoyed reading the interview, Melody! I have always wondered what it must be like to co-author a book... How do you decide who writes which parts, etc? Were there any instances where you each wanted to write a particular scene and how did you decide who would do it?

  4. The Bookworm Says:

    Great interview melody :) Its interesting reading thier answers.
    I like how she says its a 'culmination of a lifetime of reading and dreaming'.

    My question for them is: Who are your own favorite authors?

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Iliana: Since the story and characters were my concept, I wrote the first draft. Ethan then took that draft and added in some subplot and embellished some of my writing. Then I took the draft back and did the same! We were inspired by each other's writing! It really was a great process, and we look forward to writing the other four in the series. (We're halfway through #2!)

    Naida: Ethan's favorite authors are Tove Jansson & Terry Pratchett. Mine are Kurt Vonnegut & William Shakespeare; however we both completely adore the Harry Potter series, so J. K. Rowling is right up there, and I liked the Twilight series as well.

    Make sure you all go to our website ( and sign our virtual guestbook!

  6. I haven't heard of this one before but it sounds like a lot of fun! And how neat that they write together--very interesting interview!

    I hope you have a great day, Melody!

  7. Melody Says:

    Alice - Thank you! :)

    Christine - Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity of hosting this blog tour. It's a pleasure doing the interview and corresponding with you via emails! I'm hoping to receive your book soon! ;)

    Iliana - Thanks! :) I'm simply in awe of Christine and Ethan's talents.

    Naida - I enjoyed reading Christine and Ethan's answers too! It was fun doing the interview with them. :)

    Trish - Thank you! I hope you've a great day too! :)

  8. This sounds like a good one that my friend's son might like. He tends to be a picky reader, but this sounds right up his alley. And from the description and excerpt, I may just have to give it a try too.

    Thank you for posting about it, Melody! And thank you also for the interview with the authors. I always tease my husband that we should co-write a book together. It's interesting to read how Christine and Ethan decided to go about writing their book.

    I love the authors' website, by the way.

  9. Shana Says:

    Wow, I cannot even imagine co-writing a book with one's spouse. Actually, I think it would be a challenge to co-write at all. Very interesting interview, Mel.


  10. The Bookworm Says:

    Thanks for answering my question :)
    I've heard good things about Terry Pratchett. I love the Harry Potter series and Twilight too.

  11. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I hope you and your friend's son will enjoy this book! I think co-writing a book is a great idea! At least it's not as pressurizing as writing it all on our own, eh? ;)

    Shana - Me too. Anyway, I quite like the idea of co-writing because it sounds so much fun! ;P

  12. Melody Says:

    Naida - Thanks for commenting! I hope you've a great time reading it. :)

  13. Anonymous Says:

    What a great interview! It's so good to hear all about an author and then have them actually respond to the comments that people left. I look forward to reading this book and hopefully catching them on their Greekalicious Grand Book Tour! Check out the Rowan of the Wood book trailer I found! (

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