Ask the Author: Roshani Chokshi

“Hi! I do my best to answer questions once a week, so stay tuned :) ” Roshani Chokshi

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Roshani Chokshi I think the scene I was most looking forward to writing was the backstory for each character. They became so fully alive in my imagination that I was eager to get that on the page for readers :)
Roshani Chokshi Maybe one day...for now, there's some other stories knocking around in my skull that wish to be told :) I hope you enjoy them!
Roshani Chokshi I love books of all genres. I'm in the middle of a nonfiction right now called THE POISON KING about Mithradates. I also looooove mystery/thriller books!!
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
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.
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."
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.
Roshani Chokshi I am currently attempting one, but it's more like scrap pieces of a book than a cohesive tale...

I'm not sure yet what issues would be the main focus. I guess that's what I'm trying to figure out right now! :)
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Roshani Chokshi Oh yes...there's a scene I wrote in Book 4 that gave me particular joy and which I can't wait for readers to get to <3 And yes, you will find out.
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.
Roshani Chokshi Sometimes! I get to listen to brilliant auditions and help choose, which I really enjoy!
Roshani Chokshi Thank you so much!! I love fanfiction, and I am always ridiculously flattered when it is inspired by my own work. That said, I try not to read it when it's about characters in my ongoing series :)

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