I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on blog tour for THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN by Roshani Chokshi! I freaking LOVED this book it was so magical and beautiful!!!! I have an interview with Roshani to share with you today! And make sure to enter the awesome giveaway for a finished copy of the book!
Haven't heard of THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN? Check it out!
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you're only seventeen?
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire...
But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.
Now on to the interview!
Hi Roshani! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN was freaking awesome and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! I am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!
Thank you for having me!
For the readers: can you tell us a little bit about THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN and the characters?
THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN is my love letter to fairytales from all over the world. There’s constellations that spell out your doom and destiny, a demon horse you’ll want to exchange BFF necklaces with, a princess who’s power hungry and a king with his heart on his sleeve.
Is this a standalone or a series (I know this answer but thought it would be cool for my readers to know)? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2 yet? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on next?
Standalone! But there’s a companion coming out in April 2017 (don’t hold me to this date!) that follows the adventure of two side characters in TSTQ. I just finished my horrific draft of the companion, so now it’s with my editor waiting to be hacked at and cobbled into something resembling a book. I’m also working on a YA heist fantasy set during La Belle Epoque in Paris.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
Only one. Kamala is, without a doubt, based on the strange sense of humor me and my best friends share. (Yes. I did write myself as a flesh-eating demon horse. I regret nothing.)
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Favorite: Mother Dhina. I didn’t have quite enough room to flesh out her character as much as I would’ve liked, but I found her arc very satisfying. I hope I get to share a little more about her with readers soon! She’d surprise you.
My least favorite character to write was Amar. (Shocker!!!) I *adore* him, truly. But he was persnickety. I couldn’t always guess what he would do in a situation and more importantly *why* he would do something. Getting to know him was rough. He’s frustratingly enigmatic. Still, he was also the most satisfying to write J
What is your favorite passage/scene in THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN?
I’ve talked a bit about this, but THE STAR-TOUCHED QUEEN went through many revisions, both before/after I signed with my brilliant agent and before/after we accepted SMP’s offer. But there’s one passage that never changed even from my first draft. I love this, and I think it speaks a lot to the deep bond you create when you’re in love:
“Neither the secret whirring song of the stars, nor the sonorous canticles of the earth knew the language that sprang up in the space between us. It was a dialect of heartbeats, strung together with the lilt of long suffering and the incandescent hope of an infinite future.”
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Not much, actually. TSTQ drew a lot from the childhood stories I’d grown up with and my own studies majoring in 14th Century British Lit (try explaining that one at parties). In a way it was the best kind of research because all I did was go on walks and think about the stories that made me feel most at home.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Koschei The Deathless from Catherynne Valente’s DEATHLESS. Loved him. Without fail, I ALWAYS go for the villain type or the most magnetic dude. Loki, Scar, The Darkling, Jafar (in my head, I prefer the tumblr fanart of what he looks like) Malfoy, Gansey, etc…I love them.
What inspired you to write YA?
I don’t think I ever consciously decided to write YA. I’ve always been a huge reader. I wrote fanfic in middle school/high school and still consider myself a fan/reader first and a writer second. When I started writing, I wanted to write what I wanted to read! So, I wrote about people who looked like my family members and had magical adventures based off of our own folktales. The YA community is incredible and YA books are truly magical because they speak to a thousand different experiences growing up and each one is more unique than the last. I just wanted to add my own story in there :)
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m reading a couple books at once. I loved SIX OF CROWS and Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse short stories, so I’m in the middle of SIEGE AND STORM. I’m also reading THE PRINCE, which is Book 3 in Tiffany Reisz’s incredible THE ORIGINAL SINNERS series (love the writing and deft characterization). And I’m reading SIX GUN SNOW WHITE by Catherynne Valente, which is a Western retelling of Snow White.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Twitter or Facebook?
Never had one. But my favorite villain is Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
Favorite TV show?
I loveeee VIKINGS and I just finished the Jonathan Strange miniseries and loved that one too!
Sweet or Salty?
Sweet!!! I have the worst sweet tooth.
Being awake but not being able to wake up.
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Er…depends on my mood. I go through phases of my existence where I only listen to three songs over and over every day.
My get-pumped-to-write song is Tyga’s “Faded.” (I listen to a lot of hip hop). My get-ready-to-write-a-swoony-scene is Zhu’s “Working For It.” And my WITHOUT-FAIL-MAKES-ME-GRIN is Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place.”
Spring Movie you’re most looking forward to?
Thanks so much Roshani for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN!
Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling.
2 winners will receive a finished copy of THE STAR TOUCHED QUEEN, US Only.
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