The Star-Touched Queen Interview
Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?
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.
Hi, Miss Chokshi! Thank you for agreeing to do this interview! I hope you enjoy answering the questions.
Please tell us a little about yourself. Who are you when you’re not writing?
When I’m not writing, I’m trying to find new things to write about! Sometimes that makes me a little bit of an explorer. I love to travel, and most recently got back from the Philippines! Sometimes that makes me a little bit of an oneironaut. Someone who goes places in their dreams (i.e.—I sit around and stare out the window…). And sometimes that just means forcing myself to wake up early and go out there and live. Make friends, listen to them, try new things and always be ready for an adventure J
Where did you learn to write so beautifully and lyrically?
Thank you! I’m glad you like my writing! I learned by reading and imitating. I love the
works of Angela Carter, Catherynne Valente, Vladimir Nabokov and Laini Taylor. My writing style has always been a bit flowery and purple, but I wanted my writing to be more than just a pompous exercise in vocabulary. Imitating my favourite authors until I stumbled on my own voice was invaluable.
What does your writing space look like?
Like Sherlock Holmes conjured a wind demon and the two decided to play tag.
My house is filled with strange knickknacks. My desk is a lovely antique cherry wood thing, with lots of tiny cabinets that hold stationary, letter openers that look like knives, knives that look like letter openers, glass flowers, magnifying glasses, boxes with beetle shells when my brother went through an entomology phase, buttons and stamps. However, all of these things are constantly spilling onto my workspace. Hence. Wind demon.
Do you have any favourite authors or books?
This list would take up pages, but here are some of the works that influenced me the most:
Deathless by Catherynne Valente
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt
Wildwood Dancing by Juliette Marillier
How do you feel about the cover? I find it stunning! Is it what you’ve always imagined it would look like?
I LOVE the cover! I think it perfectly fits the mood of The Star-Touched Queen.
What inspired the creation of the Night Bazaar, which is a salient location of the story?
The Night Bazaar was inspired by my experiences traveling through India and Istanbul
and visiting the bazaars. It’s a very magical and bewildering experience. So much glittering beauty (silks unraveling from the ceiling, sumptuous carpets unrolled in front of you every second, lights in the walls, food everywhere) and there are so many people. You’re constantly being jostled. Heaven help you when you actually want to buy something. You haggle and wheedle, shout and simper, and in the end you may not even get anything.
In the story, what scene is your absolute favorite?
I loved writing the scene with Maya and Amar in the constellation room.
Why choose to write a standalone fantasy instead of a series?
Around the time I wrote The Star-Touched Queen, I didn’t possess the patience to write a series. And I didn’t want to try and split the book up because I worried that it would become sloppy. Plus, I miss reading stories that are wholly contained.
What character was a challenge for you to write?
Mother Dhina. I dislike villainous characers who are villainous without reason, and crafting how she felt was emotionally difficult at times.
The Star-Touched Queen in three words?
Make your fate.
Interview by Hit or Miss Books.