I am so excited today to be taking part in the blog tour for The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi! This is a gorgeous young adult fantasy that was inspired by the Hades and Persephone story. I was able to read an early copy of this one and trust me when I say you need to read this! The writing is phenomenal and the romance was awesome! If you want to know my full thoughts about it make sure to read my review here!
For today, I have a wonderful guest post from Roshani about her publishing story and any advice she has for aspiring authors. I am personally not an in any way shape or form hoping to ever be an author, but I loved this post because I feel like the things Roshani discussed are true to many other aspects in life besides just writing. Also, I know many people that are aspiring authors and I believe her story will give hope to many people that are hoping to someday be published! After reading the amazing guest post don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a finished copy of The Star Touched Queen!!!
Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she’s learning a new kind of storytelling.
Want to read more from Roshani Chokshi?
Roshani Chokshi’s Publishing Story:
Can you tell us your publishing story and give some advice to other aspiring authors who are hoping to get published!
I started telling people I was writing a book in NINTH GRADE. I would frantically scribble Twilight fanfic (in public places no less, so that people would feel bound to inquire what I was doing with such hellish fervor) and announce to anyone who cared to listen (read: my mom) that I was writing a book.
…that book sucked.
So did the next one. And the one after that. But that made zero difference to me. I queried them with infinite zeal. My query letters were peppered with horrible things like “Dear Agent, YOU want this book. It’s the next big thing.” Or, as time trudged onward, “Dear Agent: there’s no vampires in this one! LOL!”
I got all form rejections.
In college, my ego had thwacked me upside the head enough times that I no longer told people I was writing a book. I would frantically type in the caverns of the University library and hope/pray that no one would see the crap I was writing. I would query those projects too. Sometimes I even got a nice letter. (You’d be surprised how much of a difference following the instructions on a literary agency’s website can be).
Senior year, I had a degree in 14th century British literature and not much else. My family panicked. I panicked. Which meant one thing: time to go to law school. I spent the year after graduation working in a freezing tax law office. I was really lucky because there were huge chunks out of the day where things had hit a lull or where I had already done my LSAT prep for the day. So I started writing. I know it sounds corny, but I wrote from my heart. I wrote something that was close and personal with zero agenda of it ever being published. I wrote it because I had to.
That story was The Star-Touched Queen. I wrote it fairly quickly, from October 2013-April 2014. I had tons of critique partners and beta-readers, which I highly recommend. And then in April, I started querying. Things seemed different this time. I had actual REQUESTS for a change! In August 2014, I signed with my brilliant agent (Thao Le). I thought I had finally made it. I was over the freaking moon. And then submission happened…
We were on submission from October until March. In between that time, we were roundly (but kindly) rejected. There were too many “not quite there” rejections that in February, we decided to do one last major revision. That revision tore my brain apart. It was awful. It was starting right back over, cutting characters, changing tenses, changing the entire POV…but in the end it was worth it. As I revised, I saw that I had slowly unearthed the story I had been trying to tell and too many things (mostly adverbs and pretty sentences) kept getting in the way. On March 18th — a Wednesday around 1:30 p.m.— I got the most frantic email from my agent. I ran out of class. And lo and behold, we had an offer.
Publishing was a long and tortuous road. To all you aspiring writers, it’s been said before and I’ll say it again: keep trying. With every book, you get better. Through all of this, never lose sight of the person you’re writing for: you. Because even after you sign the deal and lose your head in numbers and ratings and reviews, the only person you will ever answer to is yourself. So, devour books. Write like your heart hangs in the balance. And be kind. Not just to others, but also to yourself.
The Star Touched Queen Blog Tour
4/25/2016- Dark Faerie Tales – Guest Post
4/26/2016- Fiction Fare – Review
4/27/2016- Once Upon a Twilight – Interview
4/28/2016- Pandora’s Books – Review
4/29/2016- Two Chicks on Books – Interview
5/2/2016- BookHounds YA – Review
5/3/2016- The Eater of Books! – Guest Post
5/4/2016- Mary Had a Little Book Blog – Review
5/5/2016- Brittany’s Book Rambles – Interview
5/6/2016- Storybook Slayers – Review
This contest is provided by St. Martin’s Griffin!
Two lucky winners will win a finished copy of The Star Touched Queen!!!
Available April 26, 2016 by St. Martin’s Griffin
About this Book:
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.
A lush and vivid story that is steeped in Indian folklore and mythology. The Star-Touched Queen is a novel that no reader will soon forget.