Ask the Author: Roshani Chokshi
“Hi! I do my best to answer questions once a week, so stay tuned :) ” Roshani Chokshi
Answered Questions (99)
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I love the Pandava Quartet series and I often wonder if Mini, Brynne, Aiden, and the twins are biased off friends from your childhood or are completely made up. Also I LOVE the end of book #1 were Aru says "I know where you live!" To Aiden : ) Also (WOW this is a lot of also) that was a great cliffhanger you added at the end of your newest book, Aru Sha and the Tree of Wishes. Also do you get a lot of fan mail?
Hi Roshni, I am very new to reading your books. loved the way you have put a spin on Indian Folklores and tales. Reading Star Touched Queen reminded me of listening to stories my granny used to tell me every night and me insisting on a new one each night. Would love to know if you ahve any favorite story from India Folktales?
Hey Roshani! I absolutely loved The Gilded Wolves, and dying it read The Silvered Serpents. So is there any chance you will be releasing some snippets or excerpts soon? And do you by chance have a time frame in mind for when book 3 will come out? Love you, and thank you for using your platform to speak about BLM. It’s nice to see someone I look up to acknowledge it, when it’s so important to help the black community.
Roshani Chokshi Thank you for saying so! I'm proud of how the reading community has rallied together :) As for snippets/excerpts, yes! We're gearing up for that soon. I'm also waiting on editorial feedback for my draft of TGW 3, so I'm hoping the third and final book will be out no later than a year from TSS <3
I am a big fan of your work! I was introduced to your books through the preview in one of Rick Riordan's books. I love the Aru Shah books and I am planning to read some of your other books next. I read a lot of books kind of like the book you write, but I am now kind of stuck on what I am going to read. At some point, I don't really know what to read anymore. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!
I'm an okay writer but I want to become more than that, I want to make the stories I write really interesting. I'm only in middle school but I love writing and telling stories to my friends and family. I read a lot already and I want to be better at how I write the story to make the reader interested. Any tips?
Roshani Chokshi Hi Nabiha! What a great question. I think you're already on the right path. Keep reading widely, and when you find a book that makes you FEEL a great deal of emotions...ask yourself why? See if you can replicate it in your own words. Ask your family for the memories they had growing up that made the biggest impact on them. Reading is deeply emotional. A great story can have beautiful words but if it makes you feel nothing, well, what's the point?
Roshani Chokshi Hi there! I'm not sure...at the moment, it's distributed through Listening Library, so I might send them an email and find out :) I hope it finds its way to you soon! As for the other question (which is wonderful!) I'd say not to forget the tale of Cinderella. So often, we see her as a doormat of a princess, when her true strength lies in her ability to believe in love despite the unkindnesses the world has heaped upon her from the people who were supposed to protect her. Now more than ever, I hope we guard our compassion and capacity for love instead of sleeping in the ashes of news feeds and indifference, thinking that perhaps that's all there is/will ever be.
Hello Roshani! We loved The Gilded Wolves and cannot wait for Silver Serpent. One thing that really drew us in was the use of multiple protagonists that all had their own very clearly defined storylines, despite all working together. It was as if we had five books all wrapped up into one. How do you manage to keep so many storylines and character arcs in tact while remaining true to the central plot of the story?
Roshani Chokshi Hi! Thank you so much!! The answer, for me, is furiously NOT MANAGING. TGW and TSS took many, many rounds of revisions so that I could focus on each character arc at a time. I think the most important pre-writing thing I could do was meditate on what each character needed from the other, and writing scenes around that emotional drive so that they felt cohesive rather than separate.
Roshani Chokshi This is a wonderful question! As one person, I can never satisfy the desire and demand for nuance and regional variation within myths, so I try not to put that pressure on myself. I rely instead on the "research" that came from my grandmother's stories, cursory glances at other variations, picking the things and themes that most appeal to me, and then encouraging my wonderful readers to seek out the version that appeals to them. My hope is that it inspires people to write their own take on stories because we can never have enough :)
Roshani Chokshi Thank you so much!!! I think my favorite is Bluebeard...which is deeply unsettling and unsatisfactory in that it gives us no explanation for why he kills his wives. But maybe that's why my brain constantly returns to it. I even wrote a short story based on my fascination with the fairytale! It's called "The Wives of Azhar."
Hi, Roshani! I really love The Gilded Wolves from the first time I read an ARC from NetGalley and I'm still pumped up for The Silvered Serpents. My W question is how do you develop characters in your story, especially in TGW Nad TSS where the cast is diverse and well-established? What inspires you to come up with this set of fictional characters representing people from various parts of the globe? Thank you!
Roshani Chokshi Hi! Thank you so much!! For me, I'm inspired by the people around me. I think particularly for TGW, I've always been enchanted with the idea of 19th century France so I really wanted to explore the cultural framework from a non-white/colonial lens because that would be reflective of my own heritage as a mixed race Indian/Filipino woman. As for character development, start with their secrets...what are they hiding from the people they love? What are they hiding from themselves? Don't be afraid to make them SAY things out loud to one another, and grapple on the page.
Hi! Your Aru Shah books always make me laugh! I was wondering if the cliffhanger in Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes made you feel delightfully evil (I would also WHAAAATTT? HOW COULD THAT BE?!?!!! AHHHHHHHH (runs around screaming)) and I am really excited to meet the last Pandava sister! Also, did you base the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in any museum you've been to? Sorry for the multiple questions.
Hey Roshani! I love The Pandava Quartet as it satisfies 12 y/o me's dearest wish to see Hindu mythology retold PJO style. Personally I love mythologies of all kinds and Hindu myths have been a great part of my childhood. Did you read mythological comics like Amar Chitra Katha as a child? Also, what were your favorite myths or epics as a child?
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)[Hey Roshani! This might be a little strange, but I was wondering if we'd see any more of Aiden and Aru moments in future books? I know that they're a little young but I can't help it. In the Tree of Wishes, when Aiden uses the key and has a vision it is implied that he sees something to do with Aru, but will we find out what that is exactly? (hide spoiler)]
Roshani Chokshi Ahhh thank you so much!! I love reading/writing romance, so I'm always glad to hear when someone thinks I'm doing a good job. As for how I come up with it...I'm not sure. I guess part of it is born out of the fantastical/dramatic wish fulfillment scenarios of my younger self. Sometimes, it comes from the ways I have loved/been loved in return. But always, I try to write from the perspective that I think will have the greatest emotional impact on myself and my readers.
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