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27 July 2019

Q&A With Rose Edwards

I picked up a copy of The Harm Tree by Rose Edwards when I was at NYA Lit Fest after hearing the author talk about it on a panel, and I devoured it. It's epic and exciting and fresh and fierce and feminist, and basically everything I need in a fantasy.

This is a bit of a different Q&A, because I AM AT YALC and SO IS ROSE and I was very hyped about the event. If you're at YALC pop over to UCLan Publishing's stall and grab a copy of The Harm Tree you will not be disappointed.

Q&A with Rose Edwards

Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to write The Harm Tree.
I’ve always been interested in stories about gods and spirits. The touchstone for The Harm Tree came from thinking about Joan of Arc, about how a teenage girl convinced a disenfranchised prince and his army that saints were guiding her, and they should trust her to guide them. When I was young I loved mythology, and during my studies at university I came across accounts of spirit possession and millennial beliefs, the kind that convince whole communities that the world is ending, and that they should give up everything they have to prepare for the conflagration. I knew I wanted to write about two young women who inhabit a world where these themes overlapped, and who find themselves in the eye of a storm that’s been brewing their whole lives. Those were the starting points, and the story grew from there.

By the time this Q&A goes live, you'll be at YALC - what are you most excited about?
Firstly, I’m excited to be seeing so many inspiring writers in conversation with each other! I’ll probably spend the first day just fangirling about that. Secondly, I’m presenting an award at the UKYA Bloggers Awards on Friday(!) - having seen the effort and love that goes into so many book blogs it’s an honour to be part of an event to recognise all the work that goes into sharing and promoting YA lit. And of course this means I get to wear a party frock (I ASSUME I mean surely?), which is always a win. I’ll also be in conversation with my agent Sandra Sawika at 2pm on Saturday, making friendship bracelets (come make friendship bracelets with me!) at 4pm, and doing signings at the UCLan Publishing stall, so it’s not like I’ll be at a loose end. Finally I’m definitely going to try to sneak in to Comic Con to see Kieron Gillian – I’m a massive fan of The Wicked & Divine comic series.

Earlier this year you were in a panel at NYA, what was your favourite thing about it?
It was a treat and a delight to be sitting alongside established authors like Melinda Salisbury, Laure Eve, and Samantha Shannon, sharing our thoughts on feminism in fantasy. I mean, how could that not be a dream? They all write such interesting female characters, and it was fun mapping out how we had all come to feminism through such a variety of routes, and what it meant to us as writers to include those beliefs in our stories.

How have you prepared for YALC?
With printouts of the schedule, a carefully colour-coded selection of pastel highlighters, and making sure I have cool clothes. That’s cool as in the temperature; I hear YALC is hot. It’s literally the first thing everyone has said to me. Also smelling salts in case Jason Momoa.

Why do you think events like YALC and NYA are so important?
As well as giving you a chance to see hear some of your favourite authors discuss the topics explored by their books, or give insights into their writing process through workshops, festivals have a practical, aspirational side too. They bring authors, illustrators, readers, agents, publishers, librarians and bloggers together, something that wouldn’t happen otherwise. I think these festivals are a great opportunity to get an overall view of how the industry works, and see just how many people are involved in bringing a story into the world and nurturing it. It demystifies that process, and helps people who aspire to be part of the industry understand more about the different roles available to them.

The Harm Tree by Rose Edwards coverAdd to Goodreads button
An epic fantasy set in a world still recovering from one war, and on the brink of another.

The resistance is rising and dark forces stir to take back what was once theirs. Belief in the ancient gods runs strong—the sacrificial Harm Tree still stands.

You’re too young to remember why we needed heroes. You should be glad…

Nine years ago, two princes waged a bloody civil war for the right to rule Arngard. The younger prince took the throne and outlawed the ancient beliefs, but some wounds don’t heal. New religion replaced the barbaric traditions and finally, there’s peace.

Torny and Ebba are friends. Sent away by their families, they work together and watch out for each other. Too young to remember the war that tore apart the kingdom, Torny dreams of the glorious warriors of old, while Ebba misses her family, despite the darkness she left behind.

But when a man is murdered on the street and Torny finds herself in possession of a dangerous message, the two friends must tread separate paths. These will lead them through fear, through grief, to the source of their own power and to the gates of death itself.

As Torny and Ebba are used as tools for the opposing factions of the war, a deep power is ignited in them both. Can they uncover their own strength to finally heal the wounds of a nation?


  1. Ooh I have this book! Made me want to read it now 😊

  2. Fab Q&A! I’m so excited to read this book! ��

  3. The interview is really lovely and the book looks promicing!

  4. This interview is wonderful! I met Rose in Manchester recently and she is such a lovely person!

  5. Such a lovely interview! I loved meeting Rose at NYA Lit Fest and I'm so excited to pick up The Harm Tree!

    1. I loved hearing her speak about The Harm Tree, it made me very excited to read it. I hope you enjoy it!

  6. I have a copy of this too and it sounds so good! This interview has just made me want to read it even more :)

  7. Ooo this sounds interesting I wish I'd picked up a copy at YALC. I loved the story of Joan of Arc when I was at school so the mentioning of that may have me persuaded.

  8. Such a beautiful cover and a great Q&A :)

  9. That book cover is to die for! And the book sounds super interesting as well!

  10. Loved this interview. I'm so pleased you liked the book. I loved it when I read it.

  11. sad that i missed breakfast with Rose in manchester,ended up having to work!! great interview though :D


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