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.


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!

Twitter Goodreads
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


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

Yuki only plays the games she wins.

Book links:

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo


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.


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!

Goodreads ~ Twitter
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


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

“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

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—
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

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

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


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!

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!

Goodreads| Twitter

Interviews · Uncategorized

Sereadipity Interviews… Annie Sullivan!

Hi, hello! I’m honoured to share this interview which I did with the amazing Annie Sullivan about her latest release, Tiger Queen. You can read my review of the book here!

About Tiger Queen:

Publication date: 10th September 2019

From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-old Princess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought. The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.

Hello and thank you for doing this interview with me! Tiger Queen is a retelling of ‘The Lady, Or The Tiger?’. Which elements of the short story did you adapt and include in your novel?

Yes! Tiger Queen is heavily inspired by that short story, and I kept a great deal of the original story. Everything from the king throwing the princess’ lover into the arena to the princess having to help choose what door gets opened made it into my version. But I also included a lot of new elements in my novel, like the fact that the society is running out of water. Plus, the original story ends with a cliffhanger. In my version, I give the story the ending it always should have had!

The world that the book is set in has very interesting and unique customs, legends and beliefs. What were the inspirations behind these various cultures and traditions?

I love coming up with new creatures. I often do a lot of research into what animals and insects live in a certain environment, and I then I see how I can twist them so they belong in a fantasy setting. For example, I created Grieving Spiders, which are so named because if you get bitten by one, everyone around you will be grieving because you’ll die. So overall, the setting was inspired by the creatures that live in desserts, but it was also inspired by the time I spent in Antarctica. Believe it or not, Antarctica is actually one of the world’s largest desserts because it is so dry, and I wrote a lot of Tiger Queen while I was there. I simply replaced the endless stretches of snow with sand. However, since I was writing about the desert, I worked with a sensitivity reader just to ensure that I didn’t delve into any harmful stereotypes of desert cultures.

Kateri was a brave, strong character who went on a great journey of self-discovery. What inspired her character and what were the challenges of writing her?

I loved writing Kateri because she is so strong. She was practically born with a sword in her hand and won’t back down from a fight. She’s fiercely loyal and a little bit stubborn. I think she gets those elements from me. I loyal to a fault and can be stubborn when I think I’m right. But overall, her strength was inspired by the landscape she lives in because you have to be strong in order to survive the Achran desert.

I would say the challenge of writing such a strong character is making her relatable and giving her a softer side that can still come through. It takes her a while to open up, but Kateri eventually learns to trust others.

Did you have to do a lot of research before writing Tiger Queen? What was your main method of research and what interesting things did you find out?

A lot of the research I did was into what types of creatures live in the desert. I had so much fun taking actual insects and twisting them into something new and dangerous. I also did some research into clothing and food that would be common in the desert. Outside of that, I made a lot of it since it is a fantasy world.

How do you write? Do you carefully outline or discover the story as you go? Was writing this book a different experience from writing your other book, A Touch of Gold?

I’m a total “panster,” meaning I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline. I like to discover the story right along with the reader. Sometimes that means I write myself into a corner, but then I go back and start again until I get it right. I might know where the story is going to end up, but I don’t always know how we’re going to get there until we do.

And I would say this book was very different. Just the fact that there’s no real magic involved made it easier to write because magic complicates things—who has it, how you get it, how can it be used, etc.

Which books would you recommend to people who enjoyed Tiger Queen?

What a fun question! I think people who love Tiger Queen will love books like:

About the author:

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairy tales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

Website |Twitter | Instagram

Thank you so much to Annie Sullivan for doing this interview with me- it was a pleasure!

Goodreads | Twitter