Hey there, gang! It's been a little while since I began my impromptu break from blogging, right? Well, I'm back. And with a little gem that I've been sitting on for many months: an interview with the lovely Roshani Chokshi, author of the 2016 debut THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN!
Firstly though, what IS THE START-TOUCHED QUEEN about? Let's take a moment to familiarize ourselves with this upcoming book.
Summary: Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.
But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.
Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is a lush, beautifully written and vividly imagined fantasy inspired by Indian myth
Now... doesn't that sound AMAZING?! One to watch, that's for sure! Now... onwards for an interview with the author herself!
A Hades and Persephone-style tale with Indian mythology? What a unique mash-up! What inspired you to write The Star Touched Queen?
Oh gosh. So many things inspired THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN! Fairytales, spicy food, languages, secret rooms, shared history...family. Growing up in a mixed-race household, my siblings and I never learned my parents' native tongues of Tagalog and Gujarati. But they told us many stories from across the world, so that we could see for ourselves how stories wore different fabrics even though they were — in their heart of hearts — quite similar. This is my attempt to honor those shared stories and draw on the tales I knew and loved, but dress them in a different fabric.
How did you prepare yourself for writing such a story? There must be a lot of mythology and legends involved?
Originally, I spent a lot of time revisiting the stories I grew up with (the myths and legends of Shiva and Parvati, Savitri & Satyavan, the Mahabharata and Hinduism's treatment of otherworldly realms) and trying to find the most "true" version of those tales. The thing is, Indian folklore and mythology is very fluid. They've been retold, reinterpreted and reincarnated so many times that I decided not to stick with one version of a retelling, but to borrow from their themes and settings and emotions to make something recognizable, but (hopefully) different.
Describe The Star Touched Queen in ten words or less.
A life limned with, but not defined by, stars.
I love the title change from The Bride of Dusk and Glass to The Star Touched Queen! How did the new name (and the old one!) come into being?
Thank you! :) The new title came into being thanks to the guidance of my fabulous editor and agent (Eileen and Thao are my Dream Team). As much as we loved THE BRIDE OF DUSK AND GLASS, it was a little long! There's also a surfeit of titles with THE X OF Y AND Z or just X AND Y. We wanted this to be different. The phrase "star touched" was perfect because it reflects how horoscopes/celestial forecasts colors Maya's life. The original title "The Bride of Dusk and Glass" was also great because Maya steps into this Otherworldly role through marriage. Andddd I would tell you about why "Dusk and Glass" fits but then it'd be too spoilery!
What do you admire most about your heroine, Maya?
I think Maya is a thoughtful heroine. She thinks through her situations and she's not afraid to acknowledge when she's made a mistake. Even though she's prone to impulse, she doesn't waste too much time on self-pity and she's always one step ahead of her emotions. I respect that :)
Wasn't that lovely? Thank you so much for your time, Roshani! 2016 just can't come quick enough. You can buy THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN on the 3rd of May 2016. Want to read more about it? Roshani has your covered:
Visit the WEBSITE where you can find out more about the world of the STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN. In Roshani's words "Click on Extras to find star-touched makeup tutorials and a new feature called Myth Mondays where I talk about some of the beings you will find in the book! "
Want to add this book to your Goodreads? There's a link for that too.
You can pre-order this book already, so... what are you waiting for? Will you be reading THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN? I know I will be!