Monday, May 8, 2017

BOOK SPOTLIGHT & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Rise OF The Dawnstar, (Book 2 of the Avalonia Cronicles) By Farah Oomerbhoy

The Rise of the Dawnstar, book two of The Avalonia Chronicles.

The Rise of the Dawnstar by Farah OomerbhoyAurora Firedrake returns in the spellbinding sequel to The Last of the Firedrakes. The seven kingdoms of Avalonia are crumbling and evil is spreading across the land like a plague. Queen Morgana is close to finding a way to open The Book of Abraxas and it’s only a matter of time until she uses the power trapped inside its pages to enslave the entire world. With Avalonia growing more dangerous by the day, Aurora must travel through war-torn lands and deep into the heart of the fae kingdom of Elfi. Her goal is to find a legendary weapon infused with the last of the realm’s ancient magic—the only weapon in the world powerful enough to stop the queen. Aurora might have survived her first battle against Morgana, but the true fight to save her kingdom and restore her throne has only just begun…

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1.What inspired to start The Avalonia Chronicles?

I started thinking about this story nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia whenever I got time. The actual world creation started with a tapestry in my grandmother’s house. One day I stood before it and wondered, what if I could step into the tapestry, where would I end up? And so, the world of Avalonia sprang into existence.

From then on, the person who stepped into the tapestry was a young sixteen-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and The Avalonia Chronicles is her story.

2.Why did you want to become a writer? What or who inspired you? What author influences did you have at a young age?

One of the first books I ever read on my own was Enid Blyton's Magic Faraway Tree series. Since then I was hooked and continued to devour anything fantastical that came my way. From the magical worlds of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia, to T. H. White’s The Once and Future King and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. Books with an element of fantasy and magic have always fascinated me and influenced the way I look at literature today.

J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Roald Dahl’s Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Diana Wynne Jones’ magical worlds, Lewis Caroll’s Wonderland books, and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, have all in some way contributed towards my love for magical adventures and fantasy worlds and inspired me to write fantasy for young people.

There are many others that have influenced my writing in this genre. David Eddings' The Belgariad series and Terry Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara made me realize the true extent and scope of epic fantasy. Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet was very instrumental in the creation of my main character Aurora. It made me better understand what fantasy looks like with a young girl as the hero. 

These books inspired me to write a story that would combine the best of all I had learned from these wonderful stories, and so The Avalonia Chronicles started to take shape.

3.Do you have any other books in the making that your readers should know about?

I have a quite a few ideas for many new series and I am excited to start on them, but not until The Avalonia Chronicles are done.

4.What do you do in your spare time?

Spend time with my children.

5. What brews your creative mind to create these elaborate worlds in your books?

I’m not really sure where it comes from, and I didn't really think I'd ever publish this book when I started imagining the world of Avalonia.

Middle-Earth, Narnia, Hogwarts, Neverland, Camelot and the worlds on the top of the Faraway Tree influenced my understanding of concepts within children’s fantasy literature as well as help shape the creation of the world of Avalonia.

Initially, I just created the world. I enjoyed drawing maps, and writing down the history and culture of each kingdom, creating different societies and cultures, and it just kept growing and growing.

The creation of the world itself took me years. From detailed maps to notebooks filled with information on all the different kingdoms, their politics, societies, trade routes, races, cultures, etc. Each character has a backstory and a whole history including character traits, their likes, dislikes, family connections, physical descriptions, and more are all drawn out. In addition to all this, there is the whole mapping out of the magic system used in this world. Everything has to make sense.

One of the first scenes that I thought of in Avalonia was in a magical fairy market. But it was only when I stood before a tapestry in my grandmother’s house that I realized the magical market could easily be in the forest depicted in the tapestry. That’s when the whole story started taking shape.

6. What advice do you have for any aspiring authors about getting started in this business?
One thing I’ve learned through this whole process is never send your manuscript out to agents or publishers until it is absolutely ready. I would also advise working with an experienced editor in your genre to polish the manuscript before you send it to anyone.

For those of you who want input on your writing or just want people to read what you’ve written to gauge their response to your work, then Wattpad is a wonderful way to reach many readers and interact with them while they read your book. It is a great platform to meet other aspiring authors, make friends who love the same books and get your book noticed. Many authors have gone on to get agents or major publishing deals after their books did really well on Wattpad.
But the most important thing to remember is to always keep on writing. Even if you never intend to use that chapter, just get the words on the page. You know what they say, “you can’t fix a blank page”.

7. How many books have you written?

Two ☺

8. What book so far is your favorite and why?

I don’t think I really have a favorite. Both books are different in that they portray a part of Aurora’s life. The Avalonia Chronicles as a whole is a favorite.

9. Who is your favorite character in The Avalonia Chronicles?

Rafe ☺

10.Who was your favorite character to write in this series?

That would be Aurora ;)

11.Is there anyone in your life that helps to inspire you?

My children. They are my biggest fans.

12. Is there anything you would like to tell or say to your avid readers?

Thank you for being such wonderful supporters of my books. I truly appreciate each and every one of my readers.

13. What are some influental authors you had from your childhood?

There have been many authors that have influenced my writing and the plot of this story. But I think J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, Enid Blyton, Ursula K. Le Guin, Tamora Pierce, and David Eddings have really shaped the way I look at fantasy worlds and magic.

14. Why do you write fantasy type novels?  What appeals to you about the fantasy/scifi genre?

Ever since I learned to read, I gravitated towards books in the fantasy genre. As I have explained above, most of the authors I read while growing up wrote fantasy. It’s what I loved to read.

As Lloyd Alexander said – “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It is a way of understanding it.”

15. Any last comments or words to anyone reading this?

Nothing is impossible.

About the Author

Farah OomerbhoyFarah Oomerbhoy is the international bestselling author of The Avalonia Chronicles. Her first book, The Last of the Firedrakes, was originally published on Wattpad where it gained over two million reads and a Watty Award. Since publication, her debut has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards and the Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, along with winning a finalist placement in the USA Best Book Awards. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. With a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai, Farah spends her creative time crafting magical worlds for young adults. She lives with her family in Mumbai, India.


For each stop on tour, there will be a special number at the end of the post. Collect all the numbers, add them up, and enter to win one of three prizes! Once you have all the numbers you can enter the giveaway here: 

The giveaway closes on May 21st, 11:59pm Eastern US time. 

My number is 14. 

Good luck! 

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