- What inspires you to write The Midnight Sea in a historical setting with a touch of fantasy within?
The concept of the daevas came from Zoroastrianism, which emerged around the time of the early Achaemenid empire (550 to 330 BC). I thought it would be a really interesting time period to set the story in since I’d never read a historical fantasy in that particular setting. Add in the invasion of Alexander the Great and I couldn’t resist!
- Revenge is a strong word. It was the reason that leads Nazafareen to fight the Druj. In the novel, I can see that she desires to kill Drujs in the process but along the story, she learns to understand and realize that not all of them are bad. How did you mold Nazafareen’s principles and beliefs? She’s intelligent and wise and she stands for what she wants to defend. Is writing a strong character, difficult?
I’m always drawn to strong characters. Giving them flaws is the hardest part for me! And yet it is usually the flaws that make them interesting and believable, and which add conflict to the story. So yes, she is a decent, moral person, but she’s also an impulsive hothead (a trait that becomes increasingly important in later books).
- How did you come up with Nazafareen’s Name? It’s kinda unique, at least, for me.
Yes, names are so critical! I believe it was an ancient Persian name I ran across in my research. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was right for her.
- It says on your Novel that by controlling water was paid with blood, with earth was paid with the flesh. Why do you think controlling power needs to be paid for?
Magic should always have a price, otherwise it’s too easy. You can make any rules you want in fantasy, but then you have to stick to them.
- Family of Nazafareen was mentioned at the beginning of the book and closely at the ending of the story, will we be seeing them at the future installment of the series? Will there be more revelations to look forward?
Yes! I have plans for them to play a role in Book 3 (which I am plotting at this very moment)
- How many books will there be in the series? Any thoughts about that gorgeous cover of The Midnight Sea? I want it on a hardback, it was definitely a must!
Oh, thank you! Yes, I loved that cover too. And the same designers are already at work on the cover of book 2, Blood of the Prophet, so I hope to be able to share that soon. As for this particular arc of the series, I have two more books planned for it. But then the series will continue with many of the same characters but a large time jump, up to the late Victorian era. I’m really looking forward to those!
- Victor and Delilah, I think has a past and Victor has a cruel side while Delilah has a soothing side. I want to know more of their past and their story. Do you have any future plans to include their past in the future installments or anything about a side story or a Novella to anticipate with?
Both of them get much bigger roles in the third book, when Darius and Nazafareen must face the evil Queen Neblis. I’m imagining a bit of tension between Delilah and Naz (the mother-in-law thing, lol). But Victor and Delilah do have their own very romantic love story, I think a novella of their own is an awesome idea!
- Queen Neblis is a mysterious woman and has a little exposure with The Midnight Sea, Can you describe her in 10 words?
A seductive, powerful demon queen with a giant crush on Victor! Sorry, that was 11 J
- Random Question: Name top 5 foods!
Good bread, homemade ice cream, sushi, pad thai, mac & cheese.
- Of all the genres out there, why write a fantasy book?
I just adore fantasy. Always have, always will. Maybe because my mother read me the whole LoTR trilogy out loud starting when I was about 10. It took years, but that was my Harry Potter!
- Being a writer is also being a reader, can you name at least 5 books and 5 authors that affect you as a writer and a reader both at the same time?
Oh, there’s so many. I love the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series, and anything by Jonathan Stroud and Elizabeth Wein. For sheer insanity, David Wong’s John Dies at the End and the sequel, This Book Is Full of Spiders. C.S. Friedman’s Coldfire trilogy and Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn. Leigh Bardugo is pretty awesome too.
- Can you give us your top 3 favorite fantasy books? I love reading author’s suggestions.
Again, Wheel of Time, it’s just an incomparable act of imagination and world-building. Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and American Gods.
- From all of your characters on The Midnight Sea, who is your favorite among them except our protagonist?
I have a weakness for antagonists, so definitely Ilyas. He’s a tragic figure in so many ways, even though he does horrible things. I spent quite a lot of time thinking about exactly how to push him completely over the edge, and for that I almost feel bad. Sorry, Ilyas! (:
- If you are going to cast your characters on Hollywood, Who will be Nazafareen, Ilyas, Darius, Tommas, Victor and Delilah?
Oh, I’m terrible at casting questions. But I can tell you that I always pictured James McAvoy as Darius, and Tom Hardy as Victor. I do have mental images of the others, but they aren’t famous actors.
- Among the quotes in your book, what was your favorite and why? Like a favorite line?
*blushes* Hmmm. I do like the atmosphere of anticipation and dread as they prepare to confront the rogue daevas (this is around the midpoint of the story):
As we galloped toward the sandstorm, I looked back only once. An unnatural twilight had fallen across the plain, but I could see a red glow in the distance, glimmering like a fallen star.
The High Magus had set the lake on fire.