The Hazel Tree by Julia Debski

Julia Debski was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1996. Her family moved around a lot during her childhood before finally settling down in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It wasn't until the 8th grade that she found her passion for writing. It was thanks to a particularly inspiring English teacher and a story that needed to be told. So she began to write, and she never stopped.

Four years later she found herself with nearly a dozen started novels and short stories. As junior in high school she was introduced to Greg Wilkey, a self-published independent author of four novels. He soon became a mentor to her as she worked to write and self-publish her own novel. After two years of hard work, and a nearly a year of mentorship The Hazel Tree was published in October 2013.

Twitter: (@juliadebski)

The Hazel Tree revisits a classic Cinderella tale of abuse and sought after freedom from the confines of a cruel life.

Ivy Lune is not your ordinary girl for within her blood flows the secrets of an ancient species of werewolf; a secret that also foretells of a great war and a struggle for ultimate supremacy.

Ivy lives a life of isolation torment at the hands of her aunt and cousins for the majority of her life. Mistreated and neglected, she longs to escape the shackles of her prison-like life. And in that longing, she learns the truth of her identity. She learns her place in a long line of events that were set into motion many years ago. She finds intimacy and belonging in a much larger family.

All the while, unknown to her, there are dangerous forces are at work; old blood ties and murderous plots threaten her chance at happiness beyond her current life.

The Hazel Tree is a tale of mystery and romance set against a supernatural backdrop of terrifying and awesome power.

Book Trailer

Q) What inspired you to write this story?
First off, you should know that The Hazel Tree began as a retelling of Cinderella, except with werewolves.

Fairytales have been told for hundreds- thousands even- of years in one form or another. They depict classic morals struggles faced in our life, but where good always wins. (Which doesn’t always happen in real life.) While the Disney versions are great, my preference (and the growing preference of readers everywhere) is to make everything darker, dystopian, and deadlier. The Grimm Fairytales are definitely darker than the Disney versions. I wanted to write my own twisted fairytale retelling with an additional supernatural twist. I wrote it because I wanted to read it.

I also wrote it because I wanted to point out something I find is sometimes ignored in these big classic fairytale endings– good always wins, but at what cost?

Q) How long did it take you to write?
It took me about a year and a half to write The Hazel Tree. I began in December 2011 and finished in October 2013, but I took a “vacation” for about 3 months in the middle there. Oh! And I also wrote an additional chapter and added it to the novel this past February, which took about two weeks.

Q) What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love the feeling of finishing a really intense or important scene/chapter in the novel or short story I’m working on. I spend weeks planning it in my head, so, to have it down on paper and just the way I pictured it to play out both with imagery and action.

Q) What is your least favorite thing about writing?
Getting each painstaking word down on paper. It is one thing to have it all planned out in my head. It is quite another writing it down and getting it right. It doesn’t help I write slowly, and am extremely picky over word choice. Why can’t it just write itself??

Q) If you could be any famous person for one day, who would you be and why?
I think I would love to be Willam Belli, the drag queen. She was the first drag queen I really knew, and through her I was introduced to the world of drag. She is incredibly hilarious, very smart, and gorgeous. I would love to spend a day as her, just so I could know what goes on in her head, and plus she travels on tour to some of the most amazing places! Dubai, Ireland, Japan, etc…

Q) What is the oldest thing in your fridge and how old is it?
New England Maple Syrup. We bought it for pancakes and waffles for my brother’s birthday last year--so February 2013. But it doesn’t go bad, kind of like honey!

Q) What can readers expect from you in the future? 
I am a huge fan of the supernatural and mythology, so I think it is safe to assume I will be staying with the fantasy genre. I’m experimenting with short stories at the moment, but I am also working on a novel called Along Shiloh. I’ll have more details on that in a couple months!

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