Read on for more about Roshani and her book, plus a Q&A!
Meet Roshani Chokshi!
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched series and Aru Shah and The End of Time, book one in the Pandava series.
She grew up in Georgia, where she acquired a Southern accent but does not use it unless under duress. She has a luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. She is the 2016 finalist for the Andre Norton Award, and a 2016 Locus finalist for Best First Novel. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.
Meet Star-Touched Stories!
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
There is a tale whispered in the dark of the Empire of Bharat-Jain. A tale of a bride who loses her bridegroom on the eve of her wedding. But is it a tale or a truth?
Q&A with Roshani Chokshi
If you had a chance to sit down with one of your characters and ask about all their secrets, who would it be?
Hypnos...but you won't meet him until January in The Gilded Wolves!
What scene from Star-Touched stories would you love to step into, if only for a minute?
Anything Night Bazaar! I really want to go shopping for wishes.
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.
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 YA and MG? 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.
“Lush and ornate ribbons of language… rich and dizzying.”
—The New York Times Book Review on The Star-Touched Queen
"The sentence-level beauty of this book often stunned me: There's a smooth, understated loveliness to the writing that kept catching me off guard. In Chokshi's prose, voices have substance and texture while light has color and flavor; never have I wanted to munch on books so much as after reading...Solidly crafted and very engaging, this is a smooth, lovely and assured debut.”
—NPR.org on The Star-Touched Queen
“It's gorgeously written and exceptionally intriguing, and Chokshi's lush world is one you won't want to leave.”
—Buzzfeed “Top 18 Books to Read this Spring” on A Crown of Wishes
“The tale is spellbinding, each character is well developed and interesting, and obvi we are so happy.”
—Bustle “Best YA Books of March” on A Crown of Wishes