Author Chat with CoCo Ma (Shadow Frost), Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with CoCo Ma, author of
Read on for more about CoCo and her book, plus an giveaway!
Meet CoCo Ma!
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.
Meet Shadow Frost!
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.
~ Author Chat ~
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Nearly a decade of devouring every book I could get my hands on, a hyperactive imagination, and the sudden whim to write something. Actually, I originally wrote Shadow Frost for a short story project in tenth grade, but it kept getting longer and longer and longer. Eventually, I found myself with over 50,000 words and half a story left to tell, and I realized that I needed to finish telling it.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Someone literally asked me that question a week ago, but in the space of a mere few days my answer has changed! Probably because I recently finished writing the first draft of the sequel to Shadow Frost, and… Things Happened™, to say in the least. To play it safe, I’m going to say Lux. He’s a horse.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
Definitely the novel. My first draft working title on Google Docs was: ???. The second draft was ?!?. Other working titles have included: >_<, :’D, and many variations of %#$@.
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
Are these answers supposed to be spoiler free? If so, maybe the scene where *redacted* and *redacted* emerge from the *redacted*, and then *redacted* exposes *redacted* and *redacted* stabs *redacted*. Or the scene where *redacted* falls into a trap and must outwit the consequences in the aftermath. It involves skin and a vegetable peeling metaphor. You’ll know when you read it.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
When I look back on my writing and think, I know how I could have made this so much better… I now take it as a sign that I’m growing as an author. I can’t let myself fuss over the tiny things. It would drive me out of my mind! So the most important thing I’m learning is how to move onward, and to apply the knowledge I’ve gained from past work to better my current and future work.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book? Oh, that one is easy. Just looking at it!
What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019? So, so many. Of the stuff that has yet to release as I write this: Queen of Nothing! Ninth House! Gideon the Ninth! And, er, my own book. :P
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2018? VENGEFUL BY QUEEN V.E. SCHWAB.
What’s up next for you? Visiting a few book festivals and launches in New Haven and New York City! And finishing revisions for the sequel to Shadow Frost. It’s really hard for me to travel to other cities because… well, I have school. I’m only allowed to miss a certain number of days at Yale, and things move so quickly here that being absent for a few classes could make the difference between passing and failing my exams! And I’d really, really prefer not to fail…
YABC: Is there anything that you would like to add?
Anytime anyone doubts your capabilities, sit down, get to work, and prove them wrong. Shattering expectations is my favourite pastime and the most satisfying type of revenge. It’s better than taking the high road because it’s also a road that you’ve paved with your own bare hands.
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
I’d have to say heartbreak and falling in love. A lot of how I romanticize relationships derives from what I see in the media since, personally, my relationships at 15 (and even now) were never terribly serious—everything usually happened (and ended) quickly. And I think that’s okay, especially when you’re a teenager. Sometimes, though, it’s hard not to project onto your characters. But that’s also the beauty of getting the opportunity to publish as an author who is the same age as her characters… we get to grow up. Together.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Probably Asterin. She makes a lot of mistakes after Shadow Frost, and she definitely faces the consequences. She has so many opportunities to give up and to turn against those she is loyal to. I really had to dig deep to find where her breaking point was, and what would finally drive her over the edge.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
What a great question! Bits and pieces of both. I love the process of drafting, and I love seeing the differences after revising. And also seeing how trash some parts of the drafts are, haha. Like, did I write them sleep-deprived at 5am? (Answer: Almost definitely.)
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
Eating copious amounts of banana bread. Or telepathy. There is no in between.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
The SickKids Foundation! They have done so much incredible work in improving and saving the lives of many children. I performed a concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra a few years back and we raised about $50k for the foundation, which was definitely a very proud moment for me. <3
By: CoCo Ma
Release Date: October 1st, 2019
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Three winners will receive a copy of Shadow Frost (CoCo Ma) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
A very pretty cover. This book sounds very intriguing and I have heard good things about it. Best wishes on your new release.
I've been following this book for a while, already added to GR. LOVE the cover, the design is gorgeous. The plot sounds very interesting, my type of fantasy. Looking forward to it!!