Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Intisar Khanani!

Greetings, booksicles!

A while back I interviewed Intisar Khanani about Thorn her spellbinding retelling of The Goose Girl which came out earlier in the year. It is with great excitement that I share that interview with you today and I really appreciate the time Intisar took to answer my questions.

Here’s a bit about the book:

A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Interview:

Hello and thank you for doing this interview with me! Thorn is a retelling of The Goose Girl. Why do you like this fairy tale and therefore decide to retell it?

The Goose Girl is a rather strange story about a princess who goes off to marry her betrothed, has her identity stolen by her maid along the way, and happily goes off to be a goose girl upon arrival in her new land. She also has a talking horse (who never tells anyone what happened) and, in the original, can command the wind, though she apparently forgot to use this power to defend herself from the maid.

The story raises so many questions for me – mostly beginning with “Why?” Why not protect yourself from the maid? Why go off to be a servant without even attempting to reclaim your position? Why be complicit in your own silencing?

All these questions gave me lots of room to play, and to make the fairy tale my own while still remaining true to it. I loved the story growing up, even with all its plot holes and oddities, and so it was the perfect story to adopt when I decided to try my hand at writing a novel.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Alyrra, and her journey.

I wrote Alyrra in large part because I was sick and tired of seeing YA fantasy heroines who saved the day by transforming into warriors or superheroes or sorceresses – because, frankly, if that’s what it takes to save the day, we’re all in very big trouble. In trying to understand Alyrra further, I realized that the answer to one of the “why” questions above – why a princess would walk away from a position of privilege and power – was because she had never experienced it as such; she had never felt safe in her rank or title, so the opportunity to escape it would certainly appeal. And so, Alyrra comes from a history of abuse, something she struggles to overcome over the course of the book (because no, you can’t snap your fingers and get over it), and she saves the day by being true to herself and principles, and finding her own strength and voice. Honestly, I’m in awe of her.

[I’m in awe of Alyrra too!]

One of the main themes in the novel is justice and the many forms it can take. Why did you decide to explore this theme?

This was actually an issue I was really struggling with – not just justice, but mercy, and justice without mercy, and the line between justice and revenge – in the years that I was working on these revisions, and my questions found a natural home in this story. My first draft was a much lighter, fluffier book, but the story grew with me over the years, into what it is now.

Describe the prominent characters in Thorn as recipes.

Tough question! Augh!

Princess Alyrra (aka Thorn): Honey cakes, maybe? She’s naturally sweet and rather understated. Admittedly, she has a core of iron, but you shouldn’t put that in the recipe.

Prince Kestrin: Cinnamon bun inside a puzzle box. Seriously. There has to be a recipe for that somewhere.

Red Hawk (a thief lord): Tagine made with ghost peppers. Yeah, that’s not a recipe, but he’s down home and friendly and also hecka dangerous.

Sage (a friend): A nice bowl of lentil soup, no airs, all substance and warmth. You know, all told, I think Sage is the safest bet here.

Sorry if these were not quite the answers you were looking for… XD

[These were exactly the sort of answers I was looking for! And for anyone who doesn’t know, ghost peppers are some of the hottest in the world!]

Were there any specific cultures/ mythologies that inspired Thorn?

Not per se. I drew very, very lightly from specific North African cultures (and, actually, climate, flora, and fauna), but I wanted the kingdom of Menaiya to be more fantasy than a clear parallel to reality. Similarly, Alyrra’s homeland of Adania has only a passing resemblance to an old German hall, and only if you squint just so.

Are there any other fairy tales would you want to retell in the future?

So many! I am currently trying really hard to refrain from writing a gender-swapped Sleeping Beauty set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future, in which a young girl accidentally wakes up a Fae lord who was put in cryogenic sleep for Very Good Reasons. And I’ve also got a Red Riding Hood retelling beckoning me, featuring a military courier and a pack of enemy werewolves. So many books, so little time!

[Please write these stories Intisar, PLEASE!]

Thorn was originally self-published as an e-book. How were the experiences of self-publishing and traditional publishing different?

In a lot of ways, they were very similar, except that I had a team of support through my publishers. So, for example, I always go through multiple rounds of edits with beta readers and freelance editor. In this case, I did everything I could do with those folks, and then took my manuscript to my editor and her team in order to kick it up another notch.

With marketing, my UK publisher, Hot Key, was incredibly engaged and came up with some fantastic ways to reach and engage readers. HarperTeen was much more opaque, though I suspect a lot was going on out of sight. But I still had to do all the same marketing I would have done for an indie release, plus whatever else I could do – not a surprise, mind you! Whether you publish yourself or go the traditional route, authors nowadays are fully expected to engage in their own marketing.

Can you tell us a bit about The Theft of Sunlight? And will we get any more books featuring Alyrra?

The Theft of Sunlight features Rae, who is introduced at the end of Thorn via the included short story, The Bone Knife. In Theft, Rae heads to the capital city from her home, and somehow (strangely enough) finds herself serving Princess Alyrra as an attendant. (It is rather odd, but you know, I think there was an author involved in arranging that.) The story picks up within a week or so of Thorn ending, so we do get to see Alyrra (and Kestrin, and a few other friends) again, but all from Rae’s perspective as she takes up a few strands that were left loose at the end of the last book. I’m afraid I don’t have any more books featuring Alyrra as a point-of-view character – her story is largely told – but we will get to catch up with her through other folks’ eyes. 🙂

About the author:

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

To find out about new releases, giveaways, and so forth, subscribe to Intisar’s monthly author newsletter.

Thank you again to Intisar Khanani for answering my questions!



Sereadipity supports Black Lives Matter and stands against racism and discrimination in all its forms. I intend to work harder to uplift Black voices and books by Black authors.

This carrd is constantly being updated with petitions, ways to donate, resources to educate ourselves and more. This thread by Myonna @itsmyoreads on Twitter has a list of videos by Black booktubers talking about Black Lives Matter, allyship and being Black in the book community that I’d recommend to watch and subscribe to their channels as well.

Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Kathryn Purdie!

Hello my booksicles!

I’m so excited to share the interview I did with Kathryn Purdie a while back about her latest novel, Bone Crier’s Moon, which came out earlier in the year. I’m really appreciate the time she took to answer my questions!

Here’s a bit about the book:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

Interview:

In the book, women called Bone Criers enhanced their abilities through bone graces- magic obtained from animal bones. What inspired this concept?

The spark of my book idea came from “Les Dames Blanches” in French folklore, women in white who kill men who refuse to dance with them on bridges. But the bone magic was my own creation. I wanted the Bone Criers’ power to come from the gods. They receive their life force from the moon goddess, but their bone magic is a darker magic that comes from animal blood rituals made to the god of the Underworld. It’s supposed to be something the reader morally questions, and the character Sabine does that as well. I’m not sure where the idea of bone magic came from originally. It was just part of my brainstorming all possibilities for magic when I first conceived this book idea.

Much of the story takes place in vast catacombs sprawling below the ground. Were they inspired by a real place?

The catacombs in the story were inspired by the catacombs below Paris. My fascination from them started when I watched a movie adaptation of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA years ago. I have a good friend who has toured illegal sections of the Paris catacombs twice, and I consulted her extensively to try to portray them accurately.

Describe the three main characters- Sabine, Ailesse and Bastien- in three haikus!

Ailesse:
Heir of her famille,
a girl with tiger-shark strength
dares to love boldly.
Bastien:
Best thief of Dovré,
a boy who lived for revenge
finds love deadly sweet.
Sabine:
Loyal, kind, and wise,
a gentle friend discovers
her own inner strength.

The phases of the moon were very important to the Bone Criers- particularly the full moon and new moon. Why did you give the moon such significance?

A natural by-product for me of writing a story about a matriarchal society was featuring the moon. Most cultures’ moon deities are female, and the moon often carries a female connotation and is connected with feminine power. The new moon is the night the Bone Crier’s have been restrained to ferry on for generations, but they were meant to ferry on the full moon, too, when their goddess’s strength is at its full power. That’s all I can say without spoiling too much, but you’ll see how this idea comes into play in the book if you read it carefully. 🙂

How do you create your characters? Do they walk into your mind fully formed or do you build them up gradually? How do you decide on names?

I let a book idea percolate for a while, and then the main characters tend to land in my head. I didn’t want BONE CRIER’S MOON to just be about a star-crossed romance between Ailesse and Bastien, and so I quickly formed the character of Sabine. Female friendship, or “sisterhood,” is really at the core of this story for me. Sabine is also an important character in that she is the one Bone Crier who questions their way of life. She really balances out the story and gives the reader constant eyes on the villain, as well.

I spend a lot of time thinking about names. They’re a critical part in developing each character for me. It takes me several days to find the perfect name for each one. In BONE CRIER’S MOON, most of the names are French, and if they’re not French, they’re very ancient, like “Odiva.” For me, that was an important way to give the story a mythological feel. I make sure that the character’s name meaning also goes hand-in-hand with who they are. For example, “Ailesse” means “supernatural victory.”

If you had to choose one Bone Crier’s Moon character to swap places with for a day, who would you pick and why?

I would choose to be Sabine. Her graces aren’t as overwhelming as Ailesse’s–I really wouldn’t like to have a sixth sense pricking at me all the time–and Sabine is also with Odiva often. I think Odiva is fascinating, and I’d love to study her for a day.

Are there any ideas or research that you really wanted to include in the book but couldn’t make fit?

I researched many animals and their awesome abilities extensively. Several animals I didn’t include in the book because they either don’t have bones (I’m looking at you, amazing sea creatures like jellyfish) or they wouldn’t live in a geographical area like southern France (the region that inspired my world).

Can you give us any hints as to what to expect from the sequel to Bone Crier’s Moon?

In the sequel, BONE CRIER’S DAWN, you’ll get to know a new character really well, one of the Bone Criers will obtain two new grace bones, and another one will travel to a very exciting and dangerous supernatural place. You’ll also come to understand the two major gods in the story better, their motives, more.

About the author:

Kathryn is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the BURNING GLASS series. Her love of storytelling began as a young girl when her dad told her about someone named Boo Radley while they listened to the film score of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Kathryn is a trained classical actress who studied at the Oxford School of Drama. She also writes songs on her guitar for each of her stories and shares them on her website. Kathryn lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband and three children.

Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Zoraida Córdova!

Hello my booksicles!

Today, I bring you a Q&A I did with the brilliant Zoraida Córdova about her latest novel Incendiary (being released on April 28th). I was lucky enough to get a review copy of this book and it truly is spectacular. It is an honour that I got the chance to ask her a few questions as a part of the Incendiary blog tour!

Here’s a bit about the book:

I am Renata Convida.
I have lived a hundred stolen lives.
Now I live my own.

Renata Convida was only a child when she was kidnapped by the King’s Justice and brought to the luxurious palace of Andalucia. As a Robari, the rarest and most feared of the magical Moria, Renata’s ability to steal memories from royal enemies enabled the King’s Wrath, a siege that resulted in the deaths of thousands of her own people.hbg-title-9781473677579-22

Now Renata is one of the Whispers, rebel spies working against the crown and helping the remaining Moria escape the kingdom bent on their destruction. The Whispers may have rescued Renata from the palace years ago, but she cannot escape their mistrust and hatred–or the overpowering memories of the hundreds of souls she turned “hollow” during her time in the palace.

When Dez, the commander of her unit, is taken captive by the notorious Sangrado Prince, Renata will do anything to save the boy whose love makes her place among the Whispers bearable. But a disastrous rescue attempt means Renata must return to the palace under cover and complete Dez’s top secret mission. Can Renata convince her former captors that she remains loyal, even as she burns for vengeance against the brutal, enigmatic prince? Her life and the fate of the Moria depend on it.

But returning to the palace stirs childhood memories long locked away. As Renata grows more deeply embedded in the politics of the royal court, she uncovers a secret in her past that could change the entire fate of the kingdom–and end the war that has cost her everything.

Interview:

The spellbinding world-building in Incendiary was heavily influenced by 15th century Spain. Why did you find this period of history inspiring?

When I was brought on to this project, I was instantly drawn by the idea of a magical group of people struggling for survival. I’ve often thought about Incendiary as a sort of Star Wars set in a fantasy landscape. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve written for Star Wars or because it’s so embedded into my subconscious. But it’s all there: A group of rebels fighting against a ruthless ruler. An agent of that leader who is tasked with destroying these rebels, but could actually be turned. Of course, the setting is inspired by historic Spain. Reading about that time period was very frustrating and painful at times because there are some things in the texts, like Daily Life in Spain in the Golden Age by Marcelin Defourneaux, that made it clear how cyclical hate is. That alone felt very timely.

Tell us a bit about the main character, Renata Convida, and what you want your readers to learn from her.

I love characters who are seeking redemption because it is one of my favorite themes to explore! Ren’s POV is the toughest one I’ve ever tried to tackle. She has suffered so much and she spends most of her young adulthood feeling guilt over things she couldn’t control as a kid. She was a weapon and she’s still a weapon. In the context of Puerto Leones, this fantasy kingdom, what does it mean when her whole being is suspect? When her own people distrust her? How long must she atone for? Should a child have to atone for the things they did, while under manipulation? It’s all so difficult to answer. Ren’s mind is so dark, and a lot of my other books have so much comic-relief, so this was definitely a challenge for me! But I loved the girl Ren is and the one that she chooses to become.

In the book there were four types of magic wielder: Robári, Persuári, Ventári and Illusionári. What inspired a magic system heavily based on the mind? And which one of these powers would you choose for yourself if you could?

Developing magic that was based on the senses and mind was a great world-building exercise. My other books (The Brooklyn Brujas series) have elemental magic, so I wanted to stay away from that. If I could be any of the Moria, I think I would be a Robári! Having the ability to remove some of my own memories? Yes, please. Although, I would use my power for the greater good… Though isn’t that how all villain stories begin?

What kinds of lives would the characters in Incendiary lead if they lived in our world?

I’d like to think that the rebels of my world would continue to be rebels in this world as well. Ren would be an activist, Sayida would be a psychologist, Margo and Dez would be in politics. They’d continue to fight for people. Though I’m sure they’d appreciate telephones and indoor plumbing.

Incendiary is full of riveting plot twists that kept me gripped throughout. What is the secret to crafting heart-stopping twists and turns?

For the writers out there, I think the secret is writing characters that feel real. You can have any kind of plot you want, but if the reader doesn’t care about the characters, then who is going to care or follow them to the end of their journey? Create someone worth rooting for and then put them to work. Don’t make things easy for your character. I always draft a scene one way, then once I’m editing I always ask myself the questions: how can I make life more difficult for XYZ?

Thanks for having me, and I hope you love Incendiary!

About the author:

Zoraida Córdova is the author of nine fantasy novels for kids and teens, most recently the award-winning Brooklyn Brujas series, Incendiary, and Star Wars: A Crazoraida-cordova-author-photo-credit-sarah-youngersh of Fate. Her short fiction has appeared in the New York Times bestselling anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, Come on In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home, and Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft. She is the co-editor of Vampires Never Get Old: Eleven Tales with Fresh Bite. Her debut middle grade novel is The Way to Rio Luna. She is the co-host of the podcast Deadline City with Dhonielle Clayton. Zoraida was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. When she isn’t working on her next novel, she’s planning a new adventure.

Thank you so much to Zoraida Córdova for taking the time to answer my questions!

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Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Liz Lawson: Rapid Fire Style!

Hello my booksicles!

I hope you’re all staying safe in these trying times. Today, The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson is out in the world and in celebration I’m doing a rapid fire Q&A with her about her debut novel. Her book launch, along with everything else, had to be cancelled (although there is a virtual launch today) and now more than any other time it’s important to band together and show our support.

Here’s a bit about The Lucky Ones:

May is a survivor. But she doesn’t feel like one. She feels angry. And lost. And alone. Eleven months after the school shooting that killed her twin brother, May still doesn’t know why she was the only one to walk out of the band room that day. No one gets what she went through–no one saw and heard what she did. No one can possibly understand how it feels to be her.

Zach lost his old life when his mother decided to defend the shooter. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends bailed, and now he spends his time hanging out with his little sister…and the one faithful friend who stuck around. His best friend is needy and demanding, but he won’t let Zach disappear into himself. Which is how Zach ends up at band practice that night.

The same night May goes with her best friend to audition for a new band.

Which is how May meets Zach.

And how Zach meets May.

And how both might figure out that surviving could be an option after all.

Interview:

What is your favourite quote from The Lucky Ones?

“People aren’t just the sum of their mistakes. The world isn’t black and white – the best thing you can do for yourself is to look at the spaces between those poles to see that extremes aren’t useful to anyone.”

Whilst writing: music or no music?

Music! It’s a huge part of how I get into the mood of my books.

Are you a pantser or a plotter?

Plantser! (Although more a pantser than a plotter if I had to choose between those two!).

What was your most interesting piece of research you did for the Lucky Ones?

I read the book COLUMBINE, which is not light reading, but was incredibly eye opening.

What is your favourite writing snack?

Coffee!! Always coffee (not actually a food, but SO NECESSARY).

What was the main inspiration behind The Lucky Ones?

All the survivors of school shootings and all the kids who are faced with a world where shootings are a reality.

What were your favourite books as a child?

  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman

What was your favourite book of 2019:

How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow.

And your most anticipated book of 2020?

The Cousins by Karen McManus (which I actually got the opportunity to read already and it’s SO GOOD).

Who is the author that most inspires you?

Leigh Bardugo. She’s succcccch a badass.

Books you would recommend for fans of The Lucky Ones:

  • How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow
  • The Truth Project by Dante Medema (out fall 2020)

What is the main message for readers to take away from The Lucky Ones?

I’d love for people to get a strong message of hope — that there is light on the other side of darkness.

A fun fact about one of the characters in The Lucky Ones:

Lucy is loosely based on an old friend of mine!

What came first: the characters or the names?

The characters!

Were there other contenders for the title of The Lucky Ones?

Nope that was the only title from the start, and I’m so glad it stuck.

Describe your upcoming release, In Silent Seas We Drown, in one sentence:

A story about addiction and secrets and the ripple effects those things can have on both family and friends.

Sum up both May and Zach in a few words each:

  • May: angry lost lonely
  • Zach: bewildered anxious tentatively hopeful

About the author:

Liz Lawson has been writing for most of her life in one way or another. She has her Masters in Communications with a Concentration in Rhetoric from Villanova University, and has written for a variety of publications including PASTE MAGAZINE. When she’s not writing, she works as a music supervisor for film & television.

Liz resides in Los Angeles, CA, where she lives with an adorable toddler, a fantastic husband, and two VERY bratty cats. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @lzlwsn.

Thank you so much to Liz Lawson for taking the time to answer my questions!

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Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… A. K. Larkwood!

Hello my booksicles!

The Unspoken Name is one of my favourite books of this year with its sprawling, imaginative world and loveable characters. Therefore, I am honoured to bring you an interview I did with the author, A. K. Larkwood, where I asked her some questions about her debut novel.

Here’s a bit about the book which came out on the 20th February in the UK and the 11th February in the US:

Unspoken UK small.jpg
A. K. Larkwood’s The Unspoken Name is a stunning debut fantasy about an orc priestess turned wizard’s assassin.

What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does–she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin–the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn–gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.

Interview:

Hello and thank you doing this interview with me!

Thank you for reading!

What would you say the initial inspiration for The Unspoken Name was? And why did you think Csorwe’s story needed to be told?

In some ways The Unspoken Name is quite a conventional fantasy story – there are wizards, gods, mysterious missing artefacts, and lots of swordfights. But I’m interested in coming at this kind of material from unexpected perspectives. Given that she works for this highly ambitious larger-than-life wizard, Csorwe could have been the sidekick character. She doesn’t have world-shaking ambitions and she’s largely motivated by saving herself and her friends, rather than by saving the world. I wanted to write a fantasy book in which we get to learn what characters on the periphery are up to.

The book was filled with lots of exciting places, people, cultures, deities and worlds- all connected by the Maze of Echoes. Which world building aspects were the most fun to create?

Early in the book Csorwe spends some time infiltrating a fortress ruled over by an infamous mercenary general. Creating that little world with all its layers and factions and secret ways was a lot of fun, and I got to introduce my favourite character, the giant snake.

Which character in the novel would you say you relate to the most?

All of them to an extent – I expect you get this answer from a lot of writers, but it’s hard to write a character without trying to relate to them. Even High Inquisitor Qanwa, who is pretty diabolical, only came into focus for me as a character when I had to write scenes from her point of view and had to figure out what she thought about what she was doing.

Did you always know how you wanted The Unspoken Name to end? Or did it take a few tries to figure out the best conclusion?

Without risking too many spoilers, I always knew where Csorwe was going to end up by the end of the book, but it took a lot of rewriting to realise how she was going to get there. In the first draft of the novel Csorwe was much older and more embittered, there was no romance subplot, and Tal and Shuthmili were fairly minor characters who bore no resemblance to their current incarnations. Revising is a process of discovery as much as writing the first draft!

Csorwe, Sethennai and Tal are tasked with destroying the One Ring in Mordor… what happens?
Such a bad idea to let Sethennai anywhere near that thing! He would instantly just put it on and that would be the end of the book.

Which books would you recommend to fans of The Unspoken Name?

I recently really loved Shelley Parker-Chan’s She Who Became The Sun. It’s a queer fantasy reimagining of the life of the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty – it’s beautifully written, full of twists and turns, funny and heart-wrenching. And as in The Unspoken Name, the main character’s early life is spent in a strict religious community, haunted by the dead. Sadly, it’s not out until next year – but keep your eyes out!

Can you give us any hints as to what to expect from the sequel?

It’s hard to give a lot of detail without spoiling the first book, but it’s like Sethennai says towards the end of The Unspoken Name: “Things cannot be put back the way they were.”

About the author:

Photo: Vicki Bailey /  VHB Photography
A. K. Larkwood studied English at St John’s College, Cambridge. Since then, she has worked in higher education & media relations, and is now studying law. She lives in Oxford, England, with her wife and a cat. Her debut novel, The Unspoken Name, will be published by Tor in 2020.

Thank you again to A. K. Larkwood for taking the time to answer my questions!

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Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Apaay! (Below Blog Tour)

Hello my booksicles!

I’m so glad to be participating in the Below blog tour hosted by the FFBC as I read an early copy of Below last year and it truly was one of the most phenomenal books I have ever read. You can read the review here. Today I’m doing something a bit different as instead of interviewing an author, I’m interviewing the main character of the book, Apaay! Basically, I asked the questions and the author answered them from the point of view of Apaay which is exciting because who doesn’t wish they could directly ask questions to their favourite book characters.


About the book:

  • Book: Below
  • Author: Alexandria Warwick
  • Publisher: Wolf Publishing
  • Release date: February 4th 2020
  • Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the author of The Demon Race comes a YA dark fantasy series inspired
by Inuit mythology.

In the heart of the frigid North, there lives a demon known as the Face Stealer. Eyes,
nose, mouth—nothing and no one is safe. Once he returns to his lair, or wherever it
is he dwells, no one ever sees those faces again.

When tragedy strikes, Apaay embarks on a perilous journey to find her sister’s face—
yet becomes trapped in a labyrinth ruled by a sinister girl named Yuki. The girl offers
Apaay a deal: find her sister’s face hidden within the labyrinth, and she will be set
free. But the labyrinth, and those who inhabit it, is not as it seems.

Especially Numiak: darkly beautiful, powerful, whose motives are not yet clear.
With time slipping, Apaay is determined to escape the deadly labyrinth with her
sister’s face in hand. But in Yuki’s harsh world, Apaay will need all her strength to
survive.

Yuki only plays the games she wins.

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo


Interview:

How are you so strong, Apaay? What keeps you going through hardship?

I don’t see myself as strong, really. In my mind, there is one choice: do, or do not. If I do not spear a seal, then we do not eat. If I do not get Eska’s face back, then our family will never be whole. The North teaches my people that a certain resilience is necessary to endure. Ice cracks, but water flows. As well, there is a saying among the Analak: The night is long, but the sun will soon greet you.

What is one thing you wish you told or did with your sister before her face was stolen?

I wished I could have apologized for snapping at her on the ice. If I hadn’t done so, her face might never have been stolen.

After you left to find your sister’s face, what did you miss most about your home?

I missed my family more than anything. In truth, they are my home. Being in their presence is enough for me, most days.

What is your greatest fear and your greatest dream?

My greatest fear is dark water. I was named after my maternal grandmother, whose name-soul I was given at my birth. When my grandmother was a child, she fell through the ice and nearly drowned. Thus, her fear of dark water was passed onto me during the naming ceremony.

As for my greatest dream . . . I wish I had an answer for you. Before the labyrinth, I wished to lead the summer hunt, and for my people to see me as worthy of the task. Now, it would be enough for Eska’s face to be returned to her, and for my family to be together again.

If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice before you set out to find your sister’s face, what would it be?

The in-between will play tricks on the mind. Trust no one.


About the author:

Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the author
of The Demon Race and the upcoming North series.

Links:

Goodreads | Website | Instagram


Click here to see the whole blog tour schedule

Click here to enter the giveaway

Thank you so much to the FFBC and Alexandria Warwick for letting me interview Apaay!

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Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Sara B. Larson! (Sisters of Shadow and Light Blog Tour)

Hello my booksicles!

It’s been a while but I’m finally dragging myself out of my blogging slump starting with this Fantastic Flying Book Club tour for Sisters of Shadow and Light. My stop is a video interview with the author, Sara B. Larson. The scheduled date was November 5th but due to technical difficulties surrounding the video, that date wasn’t possible but it’s fixed now so without further ado let’s get going!


About the book:

Book: Sisters of Shadow and Light
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of DEFY, Sara B. Larson, SISTERS OF SHADOW
AND LIGHT is a timeless and fantastical tale of sisterly love and powerful
magic

“The night my sister was born, the stars died and were reborn in her eyes…”.

Zuhra and Inara have grown up in the Citadel of the Paladins, an abandoned fortress
where legendary, magical warriors once lived before disappearing from the
world―including their Paladin father the night Inara was born.

On that same night, a massive, magical hedge grew and imprisoned them within the
citadel. Inara inherited their father’s Paladin power; her eyes glow blue and she is
able to make plants grow at unbelievable rates, but she has been trapped in her own
mind because of a “roar” that drowns everything else out―leaving Zuhra virtually
alone with their emotionally broken human mother.

For fifteen years they have lived, trapped in the citadel, with little contact from the
outside world…until the day a stranger passes through the hedge, and everything
changes.

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon |B&N | Bookdepository (CD) |Kobo


Video interview:

I sent off a few questions about the book and Sara was kind enough to answer them by video! She even got her son involved!

Click here to watch the video interview!

About the author:

Sara B. Larson is the best-selling and critically acclaimed author of the YA fantasy DEFY trilogy (DEFY, IGNITE, and ENDURE) and the DARK BREAKS THE DAWN duology. Her next YA fantasy, SISTERS OF SHADOW AND LIGHT, comes out November 5th from Tor Teen. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband, their four children, and their Maltese, Loki. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting for her sugar addiction.

Author links:

Goodreads | Website | Twitter |Facebook |Pinterest |Youtube |Instagram

—Tour schedule—
—Excerpt—
—Giveaway—
Thank you to the FFBC for choosing me for this tour and thank you so much to Sara Larson for taking the time to answer my questions!
Goodreads| Twitter
Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Rin Chupeco!

Hello my bookish dolugongs! I’m so excited to share this interview I did with the lovely Rin Chupeco about The Never Tilting World. You can read my review of the book here!


About The Never Tilting World:

Publication date: 15th October 2019

Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.
Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.


Hello Rin, thank you so much for doing this interview with me! Climate change and the balance between humans and nature are very important themes in The Never Tilting World. Why did you decide to base the novel on these themes and frame them in a fantasy setting?

I live in a country (the Philippines) that is extremely susceptible to the effects of climate change, and would be very vulnerable should bad policies be enacted. I haven’t read a lot of YA books that focused on this particular aspect and thought there should be more books that reflected that reality, which I know is a weird thing to say when it’s very obviously a fantasy book. But I’ve always found that fantasy can take aspects of reality and put readers at a respectable distance from those issues, enough that the themes can have some measure of objectivity that the readers can later choose to unpack once they’re ready to deal with them personally. Someone else actually suggested that initial visual – that of a world torn between night and day – and I was excited by the idea of taking that image and turning it into a story, of making it a conflict that people can relate to. Eyeball planets are actually a thing in science, and hypotheses suggest that they can actually sustain life, albeit very limitedly.

I loved the world building in the book, especially the history of the goddesses and the story behind why they always had to be twins. What inspired you to create and integrate these fascinating legends into the novel?

A lot of the myth I took from Assyrian mythology, primarily from the legend of the goddess Inanna, who obviously has the same name as the very first goddess in the book and is the ancestress to my goddesses Haidee and Odessa. I took a very general summary of that mythology and then added my own spin to it by making them less about being a revered, distant goddesses of worship and more like your average girls who also just happen to have exceptionally powerful abilities capable of wrecking the planet if they so chose – and, as the story reveals, they in fact did choose to!

If there’s one thing about this novel it’s that it’s incredibly imaginative. Everything from sand deserts to rainbow haired goddesses to shadow demons to milking giant sandworms. Where do you get such awesome ideas from?

I seriously have no clue! Ideas pop into my head on the daily, traipsing in and out with impunity into my brain because I never bothered to change the lock. With the goddesses and their rainbow hair – well, I’ve always been a huge fan of anime, and the joke is that you can spot who the main character is in the first episode if they have differently colored hair. So I just really doubled down on that. Dolugongs, for example, are probably just a spin on my pets, except I tried to think of the coolest but most inappropriate/ inconvenient pet to have, and came up with the dolphin-dugong hybrid. Giant sand worms probably came from my interest in cryptozoology, where some massive worms are said to live in deserts and eat people.

The Never Tilting World is written from four different points of view, which perspective did you enjoy writing the most?

I hate to admit it, but I like writing Arjun’s POV best because he is the most like me. He’s really fond of acting tough because acting tough is how he’s survived so far, but at his center lives a very soft cinnamon roll of a boy who really just wants friends and falls very easily for the person who is nicest to them. He also has a bit of my snark – I usually describe him as a Hufflepuff who’s convinced he’s a Gryffindor, and I think that’s very accurate. That said, there’s a little bit of myself in all four – Haidee who can be a bit bossy, romance-loving Odessa, and Lan who really hates asking other people for help.

If Odessa, Lan, Haidee and Arjun lived in the modern world, what would their hobbies be?

Odessa would be an avid romance book blogger and would be The Ripped Bodice’s biggest customer. Haidee would still be a gearhead and work in auto shops and would absolutely have her own car that she’d built with her own hands. Lan would be very into fitness and martial arts, and would have tried to make a go for the Olympics at some earlier point in her life. Arjun would probably just like doing as little work as possible, staying in and playing video games (but would be horribly embarrassed for anyone to learn he helps out at soup kitchens on Saturdays)

Do you have any recommendations for other climate change related books?

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis, The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi! I don’t know if The Word for World is Forest by Ursula Le Guin counts, but I wanna give that a shoutout all the same!

Can you give us any hints as to what to expect from the sequel to The Never Tilting World?

Indiana Jones-style adventures. The arrival of more characters you’ve only been shortly introduced to in the first book. A lot more unraveling of the facts behind the goddess myths and their repercussions. More demonic shadows seeking blood, more politics. Arjun complaining about everything, and Haidee shutting him up. Unexpected deaths. And, as always, more chances for redemption!


About the author:

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.

She is represented by Rebecca Podos of the Helen Rees Agency. She is also fond of speaking in the third person, and may as well finish this short bio in this manner. While she does not always get to check her Goodreads page, she does answer questions posed to her here as promptly as she is able to. Find her at the following places instead:

Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Blog

For updates, events, and new releases, sign up for her newsletter at http://www.rinchupeco.com/newsletter.


Thank you so much again to Rin Chupeco for doing this interview with me- it was an honour!

Goodreads | Twitter

Blog Tours · Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Brittni Chenelle! (Kingdom Cold Blog Tour)

Hello my bookish butterflies! Welcome to my first stop on the Kingdom Cold Blog Tour where I interview Brittni Chenelle about her book, Kingdom Cold.


About the book:

Title: Kingdom Cold
Author: Brittni Chenelle
Publisher: Self-published
Publication date: 14 February 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:
Attempted murder, that’s how sixteen-year-old Princess Charlotte’s engagement starts. It seems like the only thing she has in common with Prince Young of Vires is their mutual discontent. When her kingdom’s attacked, Charlotte’s parents renegotiate her hand in marriage to a handsome stranger with a sinister plan. With the people Charlotte loves dying around her, and her kingdom’s future at stake, the only person she can turn to is the prince she betrayed. But, should she save her kingdom or her heart? One must fall.

Book links:
Amazon |Goodreads 2019-09-25 232135740362..jpg


Interview:

What was the initial inspiration behind Kingdom Cold and how did your ideas change and develop whilst writing the book?

I think when I first started I knew I wanted to do an arranged marriage story but I kind of discovered the rest as I went. Luckily by books 2 and 3, I had a clearer idea of where it was going. I remember this one critical moment in the process when I realized I had the perfect opportunity to add a third POV but I was afraid because I planned on having only two. I ended up with 8 by the end of the series and I’m so happy I was brave enough to try it.

Which character to you most relate to and why?

Kingdom Cold is made up of morally gray characters. It’s easy to relate to because everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. The characters are the best and worst that humanity has to offer so I’m not sure I can pick just one.

Why do you think it’s important for there to be more books with diverse representation?

I don’t think it’s important, I think it’s essential. There are heroes from every culture, customs worth exploring, and other battles worth facing–ones that have yet to see the light of day. At times, the world feels so divided and unfair but fiction can be whatever we want it to be. Why not diverse?

If you had to pick three Kingdom Cold characters to go on a road trip with who would you pick and why?

Merlin, Minseo, and Leon probably. Merlin is the coolest character ever. She’s so strong and her magic so beautiful that I’d hardly notice the other two. Minseo because… well… for eye candy and the bard because he seems like the most fun.

Which books and authors do you think have influenced your writing?

Everyone. I read any fantasy I can get my hands on and I always feel so impressed and try to learn as much as possible.

What are your future writing projects and aspirations as an author?

My short term goals are to finish my new Academy Series, called The Fae & The Fallen, by the end of this year, as well as release a Greek Mythology novel that I’m co-writing and a surprise short story for Halloween. Long term I’d like to publish 12 books per year moving forward. Ultimately I’d like to see one of my stories turned into a Netflix movie or show. I think that would be really fun because I’d be partially responsible for improving representation in multiple industries.


About the author:

Brittni Chenelle currently lives in Seoul, Korea, which inspires her multicultural fantasy books. Her favourite genres to read and write are young adult fantasy, young adult romance, fairytale retellings, and young adult dystopian novels. She’s very passionate about equal representation and makes a point to include characters from different backgrounds and cultures in her fantasy stories. Here are five fun facts about Brittni:

  1. She lives in South Korea. It’s true. She does most of her updates in the morning or at night to account for the time difference. She also infuses most of her novels with her observations about Korean culture.
  2. She’s a Type 1 Diabetic. She uses an insulin pump for survival and refers to her diabetes as “Beetie” which is what inspired her children’s book “Life with Beetie”. When she wants something from her parents she tells them, “My Beetie hurts.” It’s a trick that has never failed her.
  3. She doesn’t really BELIEVE in fiction. Despite all the; Dragons, Elves, and Magic present in her novel “Involuted the Tale of the Red Ribbon Tree”, Brittni INSISTS that it’s a true story.
  4. She’s OBSESSED with dark chocolate. She made me put that in and would also like me to inform you (on an unrelated note) that her birthday is in May.
  5. Sorry guys, she’s married. If you ask her, she’ll tell you her husband saved her life but every time someone asks “how?” she gives a different reason. I’ve overheard her give about 4 different reasons, but I bet she has more. He must be an amazing guy.

Author links:
Author website (and newsletter) |Blog |Goodreads |Instagram |Facebook |Twitter


Blog Tour Schedule:

schedule (kingdom cold series)205166772..jpg

Thank you so much to Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me to do this tour!


Goodreads| Twitter

Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Coco Ma!

Hello my bookish badgers! Today I’ll be sharing the interview I did with the wonderful Coco Ma about her debut, Shadow Frost! Read my review here.


About Shadow Frost:

Publication date: 1st October 2019

IN THE KINGDOM OF AXARIA, a darkness rises.

Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down.

Not one has ever returned.

When Asterin Faelenhart, Princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields — though has yet to fully understand — Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless, trained soldiers have failed.

To kill it.

But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the Princess herself instead. Asterin and her companions begin to wonder how much of their lives have been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known.

That is, of course… if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

From young author Coco Ma comes a dazzling new tale of adventure, power, and betrayal, weaving together a stunning world of magic with a killer cast in an explosive, unforgettable debut.


Hello and thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me! You wrote the first draft of this book at the impressive age of fifteen- what was your initial inspiration to start writing this story and how did it develop and change over time?

Thank you for having me! A very long time ago, I fell in love with fairy tales and fairy tale retellings. And I also fell in love with writing in general before it ever occurred to me to try and write a book… Shadow Frost initially started as a school project in tenth grade. I meant to write a collection of short stories, but then the first one just kept getting longer and longer until I suddenly realized that I had over 50k words and half a story left to tell! Which, of course, led to a lot of problems in terms of pacing and plot, so those were main editing points later on. I recently finished the first draft of the sequel, and it was such a different experience going into the manuscript with the intention of actually writing a book! Still, I can really appreciate the editing process I went through in the first book, because I definitely learned a lot from it. A lot of authors will tell you that the only way to write better is to write, and I think the same applies to editing and publishing, too, so even though it was scary diving into the industry at fifteen, I’ll always be grateful for it!

The novel is written from multiple perspectives. Was it challenging to keep track of so many points of view?

It really depends! I actually think that writing in first person can be a lot more challenging because you lose so much of what is going on in other characters’ heads. My process for choosing what character’s perspective to tell the story from correlates very directly to the story itself. I never force a perspective when it isn’t natural to the story, and I try to think about which character a certain chapter or chapter section is going to affect most in advance, whether emotionally or physically or mentally. Or maybe I know there is going to be a big reveal affecting Character A in the next chapter, in which case I might pick a different POV because I want to showcase Character B’s specific reaction to that reveal. Since there are so many main characters in Shadow Frost, the hardest part was probably making sure all of them had a consistent presence—not an equal presence, which is a very important distinction—but just making sure that the reader isn’t startled by a character’s appearance because they’ve disappeared for like, eleven chapters!

Shadow Frost is full of elemental magic, centered around a complex stone system. I loved the idea of being unifinitied all the way up to being omnifinitied. What inspired this magic system?

I’ve heard a lot of people relate the magic system to Avatar: The Last Airbender, but I didn’t watch that until waaay after I wrote the book, haha. If I’m being super, super honest… I think my liking for elemental-based powers came from the Rainbow Magic Fairy books, which I read when I was like, seven. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them, but I owned. A lot. Of those books. So I felt very comfortable in an elemental magic word, and I loved spicing it up with other spoken-word spells derived from the Immortal Tongue, which is basically the only other existing language in the Shadow Frost universe. Pretty early on, the first idea I had for the magic system involved wands instead of stones, actually! The idea was for there to be wands made of different materials—like wood, or iron, or sapphire, etc. It was based off the Mohs scale, so a ‘level ten’ wielder would use a wand made out of diamond, which ranks as a ten on the Mohs scale. And the elements and their respective kingdoms were a completely separate entity on their own. Then, during one of my revisions, I realized that the wand idea kind of sucked. And it suddenly occurred to me that the characters were already mostly using the magic originating from each of their kingdoms. Everything kind of clicked and fell into place after that, and it was just a big moment of, “well, of course it should be like this!”

Imagine that all of your characters were invited to Hogwarts. Which houses would they be sorted into?

Oh, god, I love this question. Let’s see.

  • Asterin — Gryffindor. Like, the hat wouldn’t even touch her head before screaming out.
  • Luna — oh this is hard. Like, if I tell you honestly, it will spoil sequel stuff. I’ll just leave it at that.
  • Orion — Hufflepuff. I know that might come as a shock. But what can I say, he’s a good finder! Or maybe he would be a hat stall between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff. I don’t know.
  • Eadric — Ravenclaw. Or Gryffindor. But IMO he thinks more with his head than his heart.
  • Rose — Ravenclaw.
  • Quinlan — I kind of want to put him into Slytherin. He would look really good in green and silver.
  • Harry — Either Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. Immortals, I’m so bad at this, I can’t pick a single house! I should do a poll and let all of you decide for me…
  • Garringsford — Slytherin. *hisses*

I’ve heard that you’re a brilliant musician, which instruments do you think Asterin, Orion, Luna, and Quinlan would be good at playing?

Aw, thank you! Wow, okay, never thought about this.

  • Asterin — er… for some reason, I feel like Asterin would be tone deaf. And not have the patience, at all, to practice any instrument. Maybe she could do the cowbell. Or another instrument that involves hitting/beating/striking something.
  • Orion — I can see him playing classical guitar. I don’t even know why. Or maybe the accordion so he can serenade people (badly) as they walk by.
  • Luna — She gives me violinist vibes. Like one of those scarily talented seven-year-old prodigies. And also, she can probably sing really well while playing the ukulele or something like that.
  • Quinlan — Undoubtedly, the flugelhorn. Just kidding. Probably jazz piano, although that might just be me projecting. He has a really smooth voice, so I would die to hear him sing some slow ballads while accompanying himself on the piano. Think Chet Baker It’s Always You, or I Fall In Love Too Easily, or But Not For Me. All of which are really amazing songs that you should listen to if you haven’t heard them before if you like the kind of jazz that melts you into a puddle of ahhhh.

Which books and authors inspired you to write?

It’s a cliché answer, but basically every book I’ve ever read has inspired me in some way or another (yes, even those Rainbow Magic books). The first five off the top of my head are: VE Schwab, Vicious; Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom; Laini Taylor, Strange the Dreamer; Holly Black, Cruel Prince; and Alex Bracken, Never Fade. Obviously, there are so many others. Oh, god, I didn’t even mention Sarah J Maas and Marie Lu. I think the first two YA books I ever read were by them, and obviously, they are Queens™. Anyway, the point is, these are just a few (and only from YA) out of a gazillion.

Can give us any hints as to what the next book will have in store for us?

For a lot of characters, time is running out… in every sense of the word. You’ll get a much richer look at the Immortal Realm and one Immortal being in particular. You’ll meet a few new players in the game… and lose a few more. Relationships get tense. Some end well, some just… end. Lots of happy/sad/angry crying from just about everyone throughout. If you thought the betrayal stung in Shadow Frost, get ready for a world of hurt. Also…… Luna. Just… Luna. Overall, stuff is gonna hit the fan. But there’s cake involved! With the sequel in general, not the stuff hitting the fan.

And I, for one, cannot wait. 😉


About the author:

Coco Ma is a Canadian author and pianist. She wrote her first novel, Shadow Frost, at the age of 15, and since she began playing the piano at the age of five and a half, she has also performed on some of the world’s greatest concert stages and graduated with a pre-college diploma in piano performance from The Juilliard School in New York City. Currently, she studies at Yale University. When she isn’t practicing piano, writing, or studying, you might find her bingeing Netflix or eating cake. Lots of cake.
Follow Coco on Twitter @shadowfrost2019 and Instagram @CakeForCoco or visit her website at Coco-Ma.com!


Thank you so much to Coco Ma for doing this interview with me, it was a pleasure!

Incidentally, I also used to be obsessed with the Rainbow Magic books when I was much younger so it’s cool that we have that in common!

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