Today we are very excited to share an interview with M.T. Khan (Nura and the Immortal Palace)!
Read on to learn more about her, her book, and a giveaway!
Meet the Author: M.T. Khan
M.T. Khan is a speculative fiction author with a penchant for all things myth, science, and philosophy. She focuses on stories that combine all three, dreaming of evocative worlds and dark possibilities. When she’s not writing, she has her nose deep in physics textbooks or glued to her CAD computer as she majors in Mechanical Engineering. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she currently resides in Toronto, Canada, with a hyperactive cat and an ever-increasing selection of tea. Nura and the Immortal Palace is her debut novel.
About the Book: Nura and the Immortal Palace
Nura longs for the simple pleasure of many things—to wear a beautiful red dupatta or to bite into a sweet gulab. But with her mom hard at work in a run-down sweatshop and three younger siblings to feed, Nura must spend her days earning money by mica mining. But it’s not just the extra rupees in her pocket Nura is after. Local rumor says there’s buried treasure in the mine, and Nura knows that finding it could change the course of her family’s life forever.
Her plan backfires when the mines collapse and four kids, including her best friend, Faisal, are claimed dead. Nura refuses to believe it and shovels her way through the dirt hoping to find him. Instead, she finds herself at the entrance to a strange world of purple skies and pink seas—a portal to the opulent realm of jinn, inhabited by the trickster creatures from her mother’s cautionary tales. Yet they aren’t nearly as treacherous as her mother made them out to be, because Nura is invited to a luxury jinn hotel, where she’s given everything she could ever imagine and more.
But there’s a dark truth lurking beneath all that glitter and gold, and when Nura crosses the owner’s son and is banished to the working quarters, she realizes she isn’t the only human who’s ended up in the hotel’s clutches. Faisal and the other missing children are there, too, and if Nura can’t find a way to help them all escape, they’ll be bound to work for the hotel forever.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
The reason for that can be chalked up to wanting to see the victims be their own heroes. When I heard about mica mining and the dangers those child miners face daily, it was shocking—not just because they were being paid dirt, but because of how invisible their efforts were to the rest of the world. As I watched documentaries, I saw foreigners and adults detailing the situation; the kids only seen as victims. I wanted to change that. I wanted to write a story from their perspective, their warped ideas of childhood and hopes, and how they can go on adventures and be the protagonists of their own lives.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
It’s hard to say… I don’t think I have a favourite in particular. But I did love writing the scenes the Craftsman is in. Embodying strange, otherworldly characters is quite fun.
YABC: How do you know when a book is finished?
I don’t think a book can ever really be ‘finished.’ I prefer moving on. As writers, we can be our own worst critics, and so improvements are always on our mind. Even now, I can think of changes and enhancements to apply to Nura and the Immortal Palace, but sometimes, you have to let a book go. Just like parents who send off their imperfect children, it’s inevitable and not rare to feel like you could do more. But you’ve done enough.
YABC: What research did you do to write this book?
I stumbled upon a mica mining documentary and was shocked to learn about the deadly labor behind products like car paint and shimmery makeup. I knew immediately I wanted to critique the global child labor crisis, and I easily could’ve done so from the viewpoint of an adult. But I wanted to write a novel from the perspective of a child who is living through it, and how she copes and overcomes the increasingly narrow options laid out for her. I also looked into the fascinating history of jinn, real-life anecdotes, and dug up texts for any obscure details I could find of them.
YABC: How do you keep your ‘voice’ true to the age category you are writing within?
One thing I love about writing middlegrade books is that they’re allowed to be whimsical and strange and kooky. You can have funny names for things, make nonsensical jokes, or even have your characters embark on the wildest and weirdest missions. When I think of what to write in a middlegrade novel, I let my inner child go free of judgement. That’s when the magic happens.
YABC: What type of scene do you love to write the most?
The quiet moments! Touching dialogue between two characters, the calm before the storm, the unwilling farewells, the glances that say more than words ever could.
YABC: What do you do when you procrastinate?
Consume more media. Read books, watch TV and movies, listen to music. That way, I have the excuse of calling it finding inspiration.
YABC: What other age group would you consider writing for?
I have plans to write across all ages! I think you’ll find common themes in every book of mine, but the angle at which I interrogate them will look different depending on the audience.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m currently writing my second book on contract – a book that is set in the same universe as Nura and the Immortal Palace but with a different cast of characters. Look forward to more tricks, magic, and mouth-watering food descriptions.
Title: Nura and the Immortal Palace
Author: M.T. Khan
Release Date: July 5, 2022
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Reader
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Age Range: 8-12
~ Giveaway Details ~
Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Nura and the Immortal Palace (M.T. Khan) ~US Only!
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
8 thoughts on “Author Chat With M.T. Khan (NURA AND THE IMMORTAL PALACE), Plus Giveaway! ~ US Only!”
Love the synopsis for this one!!
This is a beautiful cover and sounds like an exciting read for my daughter!
THIS COVER OMG ITS PERFECT
wow I love the synopsis of the book
I love the purple on the cover!
I love this cover and this is one of my highest anticipated reads.
This cover is gorgeous!
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