Google+ YA Romantics: The Star-Touched Queen: a Q and A with author Roshani Chokshi

Monday, May 2, 2016

The Star-Touched Queen: a Q and A with author Roshani Chokshi

The Star-Touched Queen
by Roshani Chokshi

Published by St. Martins Griffin
on April 26, 2016
Synopsis from Goodreads: Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire. But Akaran has its own secrets -- thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most. . .including herself.
I'm excited to be part of the blog tour and featuring a Q and A with author Roshani Chokshi!

Q: What/Who were your biggest inspirations for the characters in The Star-Touched Queen? Which character in The Star-Touched Queen did you personally relate to the most and why?

For Maya and Amar, they were inspired by the Hades/Persephone. But I imagined those two mythological characters a little more differently. In Maya’s case, I knew that ambition was her defining trait, but I wasn’t sure whether that would manifest as seeking emotional or material fulfillment. Turns out, it was a bit of both. Kamala was inspired by my love of fiendish side characters like Mogget from Garth Nix’s SABRIEL and is probably the character I relate to the most. Her sense of humor can be a little abrasive. But she’s fiercely loyal to her friends. Other people in TSTQ were inspired by a collection of people whom I met/knew/heard of growing up.

Q: Have you always been drawn to Mythology and what are some of your favorite mythological tales? What myth specifically inspired Star-Touched?

Always! I was raised on mythology. It was one of the most important outlets for me to connect to my Filipino/Indian heritage. My favorite Indian myths are Shakuntula, Nala and Damayanti, and Savitri. My favorite Filipino story is the Igorot tale of the Sky Maiden. My favorite Western myth is Hades and Persephone. TSTQ was specifically inspired by Hades & Persephone.

Q: Let's talk inspiration.  What Indian folklore inspired The Star-Touched Queen and where could someone who might be interested in reading and learning more about it and other Indian stories (cough, me, cough) learn more?

The main Indian folktales/myths that inspired TSTQ or particular scenes were: Shakuntula (plays on the idea of memory and forgotten loves), Savitri & Satyavan (bargaining with Lord of Death, wily females!) and Narasimha (the fourth avatar of Lord Vishnu who defeated the demon king Hirayankashipu). Honestly, most of these were stories I heard growing up with my family. But my favorite thing to read when I was younger were the Amar Chitra Katha comics! They’re these illustrated tales from Indian mythology and I love them so so so much.

Q: What is your dream movie cast for STAR-TOUCHED? 

LOVE this question. I’ve always envisioned Lakshmi Menon (the Sri Lankan model) as Maya-esque. Amar has some definite Arjun Rampal undertones (swoons forever). Gupta is kinda cheeky and nerdy, and reminds me of Imran Khan (actor not Pakistani cricket player). Gauri is cheeky, but fierce, so definitely Preity Zinta or Deepika Padukone. Nritti: Aishwarya Rai. And Mother Dhina: Rekha.



Q: What is the most exciting part about publishing your first novel?
Interacting with readers. Talking to the YA community gives me so much life.

Q: What is your next project? Is it in the same world as STAR-TOUCHED?

I just finished the companion novel to TSTQ! So, I’m hoping to get started on edits soon. I can’t wait for y’all to read it. I love it so much.

Q: What is the one thing you want readers to walk away from STAR-TOUCHED with?

I hope readers see a little of how fairytales and folklore celebrate our shared experiences across cultural spectrums. And I hope their dreams are a little star-touched and that they close the book thinking they’ve tasted fairy fruit and walked through more than one life.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this post! I'm going to add this book to my wish list since it sounds really good!

    Andie

    www.andiereads.wordpress.com

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    1. I really liked it AND will be giving away an ARC on Friday!

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  2. great interview. I can't wait to read this book. I have it coming on audio. yay.

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  3. I cannot wait to read this book. And I think its fantastic to have more diverse stories coming from actual diverse authors themselves! This was a lovely interview, Jen!

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  4. Great post! I really enjoyed this story. I wish there was more!

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  5. This is such an amazing story - loved it! Thank you for the great author post as well. I love the answer for the last questions, as a fan of retellings its so wonderful to see different cultural spins on them!

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