Today I get to share some a questions and answers interview from one of my favorite authors! Can’t even say how excited I am about having a chance to ask Roshani Chokshi about the Star-Touched Series, which I’ve absolutely loved. Don’t miss details below about her latest book, a story collection of tales called Star-Touched Stories.
About Roshani Chokshi
ROSHANI CHOKSHI is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen, A Crown of Wishes, and Aru Shah and the End of Time. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, “The Star Maiden,” was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.
Roshani Chokshi proved herself an author to watch with her young adult fantasy debut, The Star-Touched Queen and companion novel A Crown of Wishes. Debuting at #4 on the New York Times bestseller list, her novels received rave reviews from fans and critics alike and appeared on the most buzzed about lists for young adult novels. With STAR-TOUCHED STORIES (Wednesday Books; August 7, 2018), Chokshi adds to the Star-Touched world in three short stories, re-visiting some fan favorite characters. Exploring what happens after the happily ever after in Chokshi’s Star-Touched novels, her short stories are the perfect read for a taste of beautiful writing with delicious plots.
Q&A with Roshani Chokshi
Out of all the characters in your novels, which one did you have the most fun writing about and who do you relate to the most personally? What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters?
In the world of the Star – Touched Queen, I think the one who I related to the most was also the one that I had the most fun writing: Kamala! There’s just something about the demon horse that resonated a lot with me. I think it’s because she does everything that I would do in a fantasy story, which is frantically derail the plot and whine to her friends about how hungry she is all the time.
Where do your antagonists come from?
From my doubts.
What inspired you to create this fictional world? Were there anyRomo mythologies that particularly inspired you?
I was really inspired by the childhood stories that my grandmother told me. To me, they were so rich with details and texture that it really shocked me how these worlds and mythologies were never explored in mainstream literature. I was particularly inspired by Greek and Hindu mythology.
Why did you feel it was important to add Star-Touched Stories to this world you’ve created? What do you want readers to gain from the stories? Do you think there are any more stories to tell from the Star-Touched world, and if so, who you most like to write about next?
For me, this collection of stories is my farewell to the world that I created. It was extremely cathartic to write these three stories. I want readers to gain a sense of closure. I want readers to feel as much as I did when I with the stories. Who can say whether or not there are more stories left to tell in this world? 😉
Will you miss writing this world and characters?
Absolutely! They lived in my head for so long that I feel strangely weightless to be without them.
What was your favorite scene to write from Star-Touched Stories, and what was your favorite scene to write from the whole series?
Honestly, my favorite scene that I wrote was the last scene the last story. I think you’ll see why. As for my favorite scene that I wrote from the whole series, I think it would have to be the moment when Maya first enters the Night Bazaar.
Is there a scene or character from one of your stories that you’ve had to cut which you really wish you could share with readers?
There once was a speaking monkey character… But I had to let go of him. Maybe he’ll reappear some other time.
How is writing short stories different than writing a full-length book? How different is it to write young adult and middle grade fiction? How has your writing evolved?
Writing short stories is really different from writing a full-length book because you’re ultimately writing to a punchline in a shorter amount of space. There is less space to explore so the language must be very deliberate. I think my writing has evolved to become a lot more character focused than I once was. I still love gorgeous, decadent prose, but I believe that the best kind of language is that which is emotionally filtered through the feelings of a character.
What is the best advice you would give to inspiring writers?
Read often. I realize that sounds trite, but so many people retread the same path with stories out of comfort or nostalgia. I totally understand this and I’m one of those people who loves to reread my favorite books but I never found a sense of my own writing voice or writing style without reading a wide variety of works.
What sort of music do you listen to when you write?
I mostly listen to music to get me in the mood for writing rather than listening to music to get me through a scene. I think the only times I listen to music when I’m writing is if I’m in a third or fourth round of revisions. Otherwise I get distracted.
If any of your books were given an adaptation, would you rather it be a movie, TV show, web series, or stage musical?
For The Gilded Wolves, I would rather see that as a miniseries. For both books in the Star-Touched universe, I’d rather see those as movies.
Favorite myth and how has it inspired your writing? What was your inspiration for these stories?
I think my favorite myth is Hades and Persephone. I love the atmosphere, the goth undercurrent, the power dynamic. I love the movement of princess to Queen.
About Star-Touched Stories
Publication date: August 7, 2018
Three lush and adventurous stories in the Star-Touched world.
Death and Night
He was Lord of Death, cursed never to love. She was Night incarnate, destined to stay alone. After a chance meeting, they wonder if, perhaps, they could be meant for more. But danger crouches in their paths, and the choices they make will set them on a journey that will span lifetimes.
Poison and Gold
Now that her wish for a choice has come true, Aasha struggles to control her powers. But when an opportunity to help Queen Gauri and King Vikram’s new reign presents itself, she is thrown into the path of the fearsome yet enchanting Spy Mistress. To help her friends, Aasha will have to battle her insecurities and perhaps, along the way, find love.
Rose and Sword