2017 Fantasy Extravaganza - Margaret Rogerson

Today's interview is with another debut author, only instead of starting a series with her first book, she's completed the story with just the one book so there's no year long wait to see what happens next!  With two stars and good reviews all around I'm really excited to have Margaret Rogerson here today, talking about her upcoming debut (it's out next Tuesday) An Enchantment of Ravens!

The Interview;

Once Upon A Teen Reader:  Fantasy is such a wide genre that encompasses so many different elements, what is it that drew you to writing about the fair folk/fae?

Margaret Rogerson: I’ve always loved fairy folklore, and in particular I love depictions of fair folk that delve into the more inhuman aspects of their nature. I was heavily inspired by Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which made me want to write about fairies in a Regency era setting.

OUATR:  Art, and painting in general plays a huge part in the story. Are you an artist? Why did you decide to make that such an important element?

MR: I am an artist, though not a very good one compared to Isobel! My own background with portrait art did help shape the story; I felt art was something I could write about meaningfully and authentically. Then I felt that for the book to say something meaningful about art, Isobel’s portraits needed to have a significant impact on the storyline not just at the beginning of the book, but throughout the entire plot.

OUATR: Going off of that, I don't think I've read a novel where the fae are unable to create things. Where did that idea come from; was it an original one or was it based off of some specific lore, and if so what kind of research did you do for the book?

MR: The idea that the fair folk are unable to perform Craft was inspired by an obscure bit of Celtic folklore, in which bread can be used as protection against fairies. For example, if you’d like to keep your child from being stolen by fairies, or if you’re going to go near a barrow mound where fairies are known to dwell, you should put some bread on your threshold or hide it in your clothing. I’ve always been fascinated by that superstition. Supposedly bread has power over fairies because it’s baked on a human hearth, and the hearth represents domesticity and the taming of nature, whereas fairies are wild creatures who are repelled by those concepts.

My thought progression went something like this: Do fairies not have bread of their own? What if they can’t make any kind of food? What if it’s not just food they can’t make—what if they can’t do anything that requires the use of human tools or human creativity? Are they then forced to trade with humans in order to obtain material goods? If humanity itself is oppositional to fairies, it makes sense that the fair folk wouldn’t be able to do art, to make clothing… and that they might be deeply envious of mortals as a result. What I liked most about the idea was that it gave me unique fairy mythology to work with that was still deeply rooted in traditional folklore.
Ultimately I didn’t do any research involving fairies or folklore—I’d already spent a lot of time reading about those topics—but I did research how pigments were sold back in the Regency era and some other art-related subjects.

OUATR: There are some things that are seen quite a bit in fantasy novels (epic quests, forbidden romance, huge battles, etc.). As a writer, how do you go about taking something that's been done before and turn it into something fresh and new? Or do you not do anything to it, and just leave it as it is? Did you do any of that in this book?

MR: I hugely enjoy classic fantasy tropes like forbidden love, and I think that as long as they’re well-written and involve engaging characters, they don’t necessarily need to be original or ground-breaking to be a lot of fun. So I just tried to have a good time with all the tropes I included!

OUATR: AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS is a standalone, which in the fantasy genre isn't nearly as common as a series. Why did you decide to write a standalone, and is there any chance that you'll return to the world/characters later?

MR: Interestingly, most debut YA fantasy novels are written as standalones “with series potential,” which means that while the author usually hopes the book will be picked up as a series, and in many cases even has a series planned out, that first book should ideally function as a standalone to increase its chances of being picked up by an agent or editor. So I wrote Enchantment with that in mind, and in the end, it just felt right to keep it as a standalone book. There are currently no plans for a sequel or companion novel, but I’d love to return to the setting one day.

OUATR: What books would you suggest to people who have finished AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS? (or are waiting on it, depending on when the interview goes up).

MR: Great question! I would recommend UPROOTED by Naomi Novik, WINTERSONG by S. Jae-Jones, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE by Diana Wynne Jones, A SHADOW BRIGHT AND BURNING by Jessica Cluess, and BEAUTY by Robin McKinley.

OUATR: What is it that drew you to writing fantasy, and is fantasy all that you write, or do you also write novels in other genres?

MR: I wish I had a sophisticated answer for this one, but I just really love fantasy! I love the sense of escapism and possibility, and I love writing about magic. I probably won’t ever write a novel in a different genre.

The Book;

Title: An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: n/a
Published: September 26, 2017
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Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.
Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There's only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.
Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.
Buy it from B&N | IndieBound | The Book Depository

The Author;

Prior to writing her first book, Margaret Rogerson worked a variety of jobs ranging from canoe livery counter girl to graphic designer. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some).  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.

Find her on Her Website | Twitter | Tumblr

The Giveaway;

While I'm not specifically giving away a copy of Margaret's book one of the prizes is a featured book of the winner's choice, of which Margaret's is, so enter the giveaway if you're at all interested!

US Giveaway;

International Giveaway;

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on your new book, Margaret!

  2. I've been really looking forward to reading An Enchantment of Ravens so I'm excited to see Margaret Rogerson included in your Fantasy Extravaganza! I especially love that the main character is an artist!