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The Story of Zoulvisia, an Armenian Fairy Tale

As a children's book illustrator, Denise has many things to say about the process, her struggles, and children's books on the market today.

Z is for The Story of Zoulvisia, an Armenian Fairy Tale

Z is for The Story of Zoulvisia, an Armenian Fairy Tale

My Children’s Alphabet Book

Here we are at the end of my Fairy Tale Alphabet book series. I created a children’s book using fairy tales for each letter of the alphabet. I tried to keep them global, and not concentrate on only the classic Grimm’s fairy tales. This one is an Armenian fairy tale. This story was very long with different twists and turns. To keep it simple and short, I only used part of the story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

— Neil Gaiman, Coraline

The Story of Zoulvisia, an Armenian Fairy Tale

Zoulvisia was a beautiful girl with long golden hair. She wove her hair into trinkets and even made a string of pearls with her hair. One day, she lost the pearls in a river where it was swept downstream, and a water carrier found it and brought it to the wicked king of that land. Struck by its wealth and the beauty of the golden hair, the wicked king demanded his servant, the chamberlain, find out where it came from or he would lose his head. In a fright, the chamberlain sought any who could tell him the origin of the hair. Finally, he found an old woman that told him it belonged to the beautiful Zoulvisia.

The chamberlain wanted to know how she knew that it belonged to the beautiful Zoulvisia and she admitted that she was a witch. He promised that she would be richly rewarded by the king is she could find the girl and bring her the wicked king.

The old witch found Zoulvisia’s palace and fooled her into trusting her. She poisoned Zoulvisia’s servants and kidnapped the beautiful Zoulvisia to sell her to the wicked king. The king was overjoyed to meet Zoulvisia and intended to marry her but she resisted him. And so he had her imprisoned until she should change her mind.

The fairies saw that something had happened to the fair Zoulvisia and helped a young man to rescue her by giving him a magical fiery horse. He found the place where the wicked king was but could not get into the dungeons of his castle. The young man paid an old beggar woman to bring his ring to Zoulvisia with a message to be courageous. This gave Zoulvisia an idea. She told the beggar woman to tell the wicked king that she, Zoulvisia, had come to her senses and would marry him, and then to tell the young man who gave the ring to await her in a garden in three days.

The wicked king was happy she finally came to her senses to marry him and loosened his guard on her. She went to the gardens on the day of her supposed wedding, unattended by the wicked king's guards. There, with a flash of fire and crack of thunder, the young man rode down on his fiery horse and rescued Zoulvisia, returning them both to her palace by the river. There they married and lived happily ever after.

Value Sketch for Zoulvisia

Value Sketch for Zoulvisia

Collage Illustrations

I used several photo references of girls but finally decided on a photo I took of my niece holding a little statue of a bird for this illustration. This collage was one of the last I worked on before publishing my book so I do have a video to go with this story and collage. I hope you enjoy seeing my progress on the collage.

I thought of putting little fairies around Zoulvisia’s head but in the end, I liked the little birds more.

Color Composition for Zoulvisia

Color Composition for Zoulvisia

“If you happen to read fairy tales, you will observe that one idea runs from one end of them to the other--the idea that peace and happiness can only exist on some condition. This idea, which is the core of ethics, is the core of the nursery-tales.”

— G.K. Chesterton

Published with Lulu

This fairy tale has been shortened to fit into my book along with all the other letters of the alphabet. If you would like to read the full version, you can Google the title and find the story as The Story of Zoulvisia.

My book, The FairyTale Alphabet Book, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales from Around the World, was self-published last year with Lulu.com because Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing) refused to allow illustrations that spanned the central gutter of the page. They demanded at least a half-inch margin around the outside, which I could have done, and a half-inch margin through the center margin, which would destroy the look and cohesiveness of the double-page illustrations. I had to find a different publisher who would allow the illustrations the way I wanted them. KDP obviously does not understand illustrated children’s picture books. If you are interested in purchasing the book, go to the Lulu website and put my name or the name of the book in the search.

Did You Notice

In my collages, I use paper from magazines, old wall calendars, catalogs, and circulars. Often I will add things into a collage you can't see unless you are looking for it.

How the final illustration appears in the book.

How the final illustration appears in the book.

The most beautiful things in the world must be felt with the heart.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Final Thoughts

I hope you like my story and my fairy tale alphabet book idea. If you are interested you can purchase it on Lulu but not on Amazon. I’d love to read your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Comments

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on July 25, 2020:

Peggy Woods,

I'm thrilled that you think so. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2020:

The story of Zoulvisia is another cute fairy tale that you illustrated beautifully. I like your sketches, color compositions, and then the final collage art. You are very talented!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on June 10, 2020:

DreamerMeg,

I'm so thrilled that you bought it. Thank you. That makes 4 I have sold. Haha. I hope you enjoy it for many years to come.

Blessings,

Denise

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on June 10, 2020:

My copy of your book has arrived and I have been looking through it. The illustrations are beautiful.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on June 09, 2020:

Lawrence Hebb,

Well, I am a child at heart. You don't know what you are missing. Fun, play, fantasy, fairy tales, snacks, naps. It's actually a good thing. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on June 09, 2020:

Devika Primić,

I'm glad you think they are interesting. That's what I was hoping for. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on June 09, 2020:

Denise

A delightful tale once again. I didn't vote this time because i'm not a child at heart, but everyone needs a good fairytale once in a while!

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on June 09, 2020:

Denise you are doing well with having your tales published. I think you have an interesting batch to share with the world.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 14, 2020:

Devika Primić,

Thank you. I'm happy that it is published and available now. It makes me happy. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 13, 2020:

Hi Denise another fascinating tale from you. I like the idea of this unique tale. All my best to you on achieving another goals for having this published.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 12, 2020:

Ivana Divac,

Thank you very much. I'm humbled that you like them so much. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Ivana Divac from Serbia on May 12, 2020:

Amazing, like always! The writting style, the illustrations, and the portrayed stories leave me in awe. I can't wait to see what you plan to do next!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

William Kovacic,

Well, if you are interested, I can begin again with the next book I'm working on. I already have A through D done and I'm currently working on the collage for E. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

Marie Flint,

I wouldn't be surprised if that evil king did blame the guards for her escape. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

DreamerMeg,

Thank you very much. I wonder if I should start again from A with the next book I'm working on. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

Linda Crampton,

Do you think I should stop there? I've started a new one and have A through D already done and ready. Do you think I should share them or call it a day? Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

Eric Dierker,

Well, If you mean, am I stopping here? No. I have already started another book and have completed A through D and am currently working on E. So If anyone is interested I could start with them and see how it goes. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

Bill Holland,

I'm glad I unearthed one that you weren't aware of. It makes me smile when someone says they never heard that one before. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 11, 2020:

Lorna Lamon,

It is Repunzel like, isn't it? Without the tower. I'm so happy you liked the illustration and the birds. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 10, 2020:

MG Singh,

Yes, the original long version of this story takes many twists and turns. I have a dear Armenian friend who told me many things about the genocide. She lost her parents to the Turks and was raised here in the US by her aunt. It is a sad history. So senseless. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 10, 2020:

Liz Westwood,

Yes. I loved the flying horse in this one, and the rescue. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 10, 2020:

Well done, Denise. So what's next?

Marie Flint from Jacksonville, FL USA on May 09, 2020:

Zoulvisia looks so innocent and sweet, especially with the little birds around her.

I have a feeling the king's guards probably lost their heads!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on May 09, 2020:

This has been a great series, and I have very much enjoyed reading the stories you found and also the story of how you cam to create the book. Good luck with selling it.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on May 08, 2020:

I've enjoyed reading your fairy tale series very much. Your illustrations have been lovely, including the one in this article, and the stories have been interesting. Thank you for sharing your art.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 08, 2020:

Thanks tons I just love this series. I hope Z is not any indication of continuing.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 08, 2020:

I was not aware of that tale. Loved it, and of course your artwork is first-rate. Bravo!

Lorna Lamon on May 08, 2020:

How lovely this last tale is Denise, it makes me think of Rapunzel. The little birds are a perfect addition, and tie in nicely with the beautiful scene you have created. Wonderful work.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on May 07, 2020:

Denise, It's a lovely tale which I read for the first time. I did visit Armenia once from UAE to get an extension of my visa from Abu Dhabi. A nice place, so serene and calm. Sad that the Turks butchered a 100,000 of them. The original long tale must be awesome. Thanks

Liz Westwood from UK on May 07, 2020:

I was wondering how you would cover Z. This is an interesting tale with some familiar elements and a lovely illustration.