Rosemary Groux is a 19-year-old author whose heartfelt fascination with reading, horseback riding, history and all things King Arthur inspired the Christian fantasy trilogy, Brenwyd Legacy.
On a family trip when she was just 14, Rosemary decided to entertain her younger sister with a story inspired by authors like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. In this seemingly mundane moment, she discovered a talent for storytelling that wove together her passions for adventure, mystery, faith and the world of animals.
Rosemary currently resides at Berry College in Georgia, where she majors in Animal Science and pines for her horse, Harmony, who lives back at home with her family in Broad Run, Virginia. Her love of writing continues as she travels on a new path of self-discovery.
Q & A Rosemary Groux
Written by: Warrenton Lifestyle
Brenwyd Legacy: Finding Truth
The Blue Ridge Mountains and Glastonbury, England have something in common, the setting of local teen author Rosemary Groux’s new trilogy, Brenwyd Legacy: Finding Truth. The seventeen year old just released her first Christian fantasy novel following the story of a young girl Cassie Pennington, who discovers she is a decedent of the Brenwyds, an ancient people who are in as much trouble as they are special. When her parents are kidnapped she starts to wonder if it’s because of her dad’s new research on King’ Arthur’s treasure or do enemies of the Brenwyds seek to prevent Cassie’s destiny. With the help of her two best friends, a new acquaintance named William and her animals, Cassie sets out on an adventure to rescue her parents and seek the truth.
Groux, a current junior at Highland School, got her inspiration for the book from some of her favorite authors as well as adventures on the school bus. An avid reader, she grew fond of books by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien at an early age and an interest in King Arthur. Shying away from writing about popular teen topics like zombies, death, murder and morality, Groux chose a lighter approach to offer readers something more quest- like.
“ I turn to the teenage section and it’s almost all dark cover art,” Groux said about visiting her favorite bookstores. “So if I see a patch of brightness I always end up going toward the book.”
Groux as able to fit us in to her hectic teenage schedule – balancing high school activities like the theatre club and her active membership in the Casanova Pony Club- for quick question and answer session about the books release.
WL: It was said that you wrote this book entirely on your own, and it started out as daydreams?
G: It started back in 5th grade when I was riding the bus, I would think of my favorite books and started thinking about their story lines by going through the sequence of events in my head. I’m pretty sure a lot of people have imagined themselves in their favorite books- going through the things that the characters went through. The difference is that I found myself within the story and eventually made that a character that represented myself. That was the birth of the main character. Once I had done that, I made up a back- story and it became much more complex.
WL: When did you do the majority of the writing?
G: I think a bunch of it happened over the school year, but I started over the summer. I wasn’t really that dedicated with it and by Thanksgiving I was up to nine chapters. As I got farther into it and it became more of a story and more of a book, I started working on it more. That part was mostly during the school year. Sometimes weeks would go by and I wouldn’t write anything, but then there were days that I would write through the whole afternoon.
WL: Did you bring any of it to school?
G: I had an all purpose notebook that I would bring to school and when I had free time I would continue writing the story where I had left off on the computer. Then I would get home or when I would have time I would enter what I had written on the computer. When I finally finished the book one and I had it in manuscript form I would print it off and edit it, but I was really careful not t let anyone see it while I was working on it.
WL: When did the story really take off?
G: It was years later on a family vacation; I was trying to help pass the time in the car with my little sister so I started telling her the story. When I finished my Mom mentioned that I should write it down, and I thought “ sure maybe.” It wasn’t until weeks later that the idea really grew on me. I never thought, “I’m going to write a seventeen chapter book.” It just all happened from there.
WL: Where did you find inspiration?
G: One of the things in this book is the King Arthur legend; I really took off with it. Bryan Davis’ series integrates it into his storyline where it’s not the focal point, but it’s still an important part. It’s where I first heard of King Arthur. Stephen Lawhead wrote a whole series on a King Arthur story and his own take on it. Lawhead was really good at recreating the culture of the time and what they were really going through. I read all of those and they were really interesting. Those books are probably where I got the first idea for the Brenwyd. The Brenwyd people are kind of like elves and have pointed ears and are really pretty, but they aren’t elves.
WL: Did you always know where you wanted this book to go? Did you have a clear vision?
G: I never really had a clear vision. I would say that I really started taking the idea and thought it really might become something when I introduced the fourth major character. For the first six to seven chapters I only had three main characters (two boys and a girl), and I like having my characters neatly paired up. At this point I was like, “well what do I do with her?” So I made up another character to help balance her out. That was a huge turning point for the story. That character becomes very important in the later books, and it gives the story much of its depth.
WL: When did you tell your family that you were working on this?
G: I don’t remember so much telling, but I remember my younger sister came upon me while I was typing. I would sit in my room with my door shut just working on the computer. I told my cousin about it voluntarily, because we are close and sent it to her for her birthday- it sort of came out that way.
WL: How would you describe the book to someone who hadn’t read it yet?
G: It’s how the character Cassie Pennington, expresses her faith through her life and through her actions. It’s a natural thing for Cassie, she isn’t trying hard to be Christian, it’s just how she lives. It’s her defining code of character in how she responds to situations.
The late character I was telling you about, William, he comes into the story as skeptic. He’s hearing, seeing and learning things that are so different than how he was raised. He tries to work through and reconcile his actions. Of course, he isn’t able to and has to pick a side, but he gives an outside perspective that I think people will be able to relate to more. He comes into the chapter pretty sure of himself, where he coming from and his worldview. He send’s a week with these people and he starts thinking about ‘what’s right?’ and challenges his views.
WL: Is there anything that you would want to tell readers specifically about the book?
G: I think mainly in Christian fiction actually isn’t a lot of fantast, adventure type of stories. There is the author Bryan Davis, his stories are amazing bunch of the other fiction stories are for a younger age group rather than older teenagers or they are Christian romances. I like the romances, but sometimes I really want to read an adventure story, Brenwyd Legacy is a Christian story but there is action and adventure and they are doing things along wish historical references.
WL: Do you see yourself writing more?
G: Maybe. It’s not something that I set out consciously to do. A lot of it goes on in my head, I think through stories and I add in my own characters and fuse thing- through that I will get ideas. My Latin teacher handed out an assignment last year and it’s a story I started. It was supposed to be about 1,500 words but I’ve written well over that and I’m still working. That’s not a book though, just something I’m working on.
WL: Did you have aspirations to get this published?
G: I didn’t really think it would get published, but it was sort of in the back of my head.
WL: Do you have any plans as to when you’ll release the second and third books?
G: The second book will be released next fall (2014) and the third the following fall (2015). If there is a higher demand for the book then the third will hopefully be released sooner.
WL: Where is the book available?
G: The website is brenwydlegacy.com with options for purchase.
Brenwyd Legacy: Finding Truth is currently available for purchase on Amazon and through Believe Books. The book recently received the honor of a silver medal from the Mom’s Choice Awards. Groux will have readings and book signings in the area over the next year. She also mentioned donating copies to the local libraries as well, that will be available to checkout. For more information on the Brenwyd Legacy series please visit their website at www.brenwydlegacy.com or get social media on Facebook and Twitter.