The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi was one of my top 10 favorite books I read in 2016 and I cannot stop shoving it at anyone who asks for a recommendation. IT IS SO GLORIOUSLY MAGICAL (see my review here). The companion novel, A Crown of Wishes, comes out in March and was just as brilliant (here’s that review as well).
Roshani has definitely become one of my all-time favorite authors, so I’m really excited to share this Q&A! And it’s perfect timing because I wanted to share some other fun news, too… I’m really looking forward to the new Death and Night novella (because Maya & Amar obvs) and now you can get it for free + a month early if you upload your preorder receipt for A Crown of Wishes! I have zero patience, so I’m pretty thrilled about this (I added more details at the bottom of this post).
Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes—a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.
Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels. Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen and the upcoming A Crown of Wishes, releasing March 28, 2017. 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.
• Since The Star-Touched Queen came out last spring, what has been one of the most fun parts of your past year as a published author?
So, I feel like I was never properly warned about how one’s fangirling tendencies don’t suddenly evaporate once you’re published. For instance, I met Eoin Colfer (author of ARTEMIS FOWL) at YALLFEST and I was so so so overwhelmed (I used to hide his books inside of my textbooks in school, and just DEVOUR them at all times…I was also low-key in love with Artemis…) that instead of saying something professional like “Ah, yes, I too know how to book” I just *burst* into tears and faceplanted into a couch. He took it quite well.
• What’s the weirdest or coolest place you’ve ever found inspiration for a story?
Picture those awful Christmas lights shows. Where you’re literally just driving past people’s driveways, and one of the reindeer’s lights is totally out, but your parents keep raving: “We should do more things as a family!” That. That was where the Memory Tree from The Star-Touched Queen originated. I was in highschool at the time, and haaaaated wearing glasses. I’d always take them off, and I didn’t care that I ran into things because at least I looked good (I would’ve known this was not true had I, ironically, been wearing glasses). Anyway, I left my glasses behind. Was utterly miserable. Couldn’t see crap. And when you can’t see what you’re *supposed* to see, sometimes your brain bends toward the impossible. We were looking at a Christmas tree and the lights were fuzzy. As if they were floating. And I started thinking that they seemed clustered, like fruit. And what, if, perhaps, there was such a thing as light fruit? Dream fruit…memory fruit? As you can tell, the image stuck 🙂
• If you could hang out with one of your characters for a day, who would you pick & what would you do?
Kamala!!! We would haunt Donald Trump, and she would eat his hair.
• What was one of your favorite books you read in 2016?
I loved Stephanie Danler’s debut, SWEETBITTER. It’s a coming-of-age tale about a young woman who works in the restaurant industry. The prose was vivid. The story was heartbreaking. And I felt like I could taste every word and image. Loved it!
• Necessary question: what’s your Hogwarts house and which quidditch position would you play?
Slytherin! But, in truth, I’m a bit more of a Slytherpuff. Also, QUIDDITCH?! Nobody wants me on that field. I’d be Lee Jordan doing the announcements like: “AND FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY BEAT AWAY THE BLUDGER! Speaking of the Weasley twins, they are lookin fiiiiine…”
• What’s one piece of advice you’d give aspiring authors?
Don’t rush. I don’t blame you for wanting to jump to the finish line, but there is no such thing as an expiration date for success. Even if the journey is long, the reward is great. Just keep your eyes on your own pages. You’ll get there <3
A Crown of Wishes Preorder Promotion
Before The Star-Touched Queen there was only 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.
Upload your pre-order receipt here to get this 100+ page novella a month early!