It really makes your day when one of your favorite authors accepts your request for an interview. The Star-touched Queen is one of the best novels I have read this year, and I am so proud and happy that it was written by a fellow Filipino. If you want to know more about my thoughts on TSTQ, feel free check out my review. Roshani’s new book, A Crown of Wishes, just came out last month, and I am confident that it will be an addition to my shelf of favorite books. I hope that this interview will encourage you to read Roshani’s outstanding works. 😀
“Hi Josh! I loooove these questions. Thank you so much for taking the time to come up with them! I really appreciate it. My answers are below!”
1. How did you express or manifest your Filipino heritage in the Star-Touched Queen (and/or A Crown of Wishes)?
“While my Filipino heritage was not explicitly referenced in TSTQ and ACOW, the motivation behind why I wrote the stories is a direct result of my Filipino and Indian heritage. Because I wasn’t taught my parents’ native languages, myths and fairytales from across the world bridged that cultural gap.”
2. Compared to many YA heroines, Maya is significantly empowered; Amar, her love interest, is depicted as both her equal and supporter. With that in mind, is The Star-touched Queen intentionally Feminist?
“I love this question! TSTQ is intentionally feminist in the sense that no sense of female power is denied. I wanted to express this not just in TSTQ but also ACOW, where the main character (Gauri) is equally comfortable in traditionally “masculine” and “feminine” settings and subverts both to possess the only identity that matters: hers. Gauri loves makeup. She loves swords. Maya loves strategy and power. She also loves fairytales. I wanted to challenge this idea that femininity is a soft thing, because it is intense and multi-faceted and I want my female readership to know that they contain multitudes and HAVE it all.”
3. Kamala, Maya’s horse, is a very peculiar character. What was the inspiration behind her creation? I actually imagined her as Maximus from Tangled. xD
“LOL! Kamala is actually based off of me and one of my childhood best friends. We have a rather dark sense of humor and I kinda imagined what *I* would be doing in a quest story, and honestly, I’d never be a main character. I’d be the sidekick constantly derailing the plot to go find something to eat…”
4. Are Maya and Amar self-sufficient characters? Hypothetically speaking, would they be able to attain a “happy ending” without each other?
“I don’t think so. And I don’t mean that in the sense that either of them needs a significant other to “complete” them or give them contentment. The reason why they need each other is because of the perspective and depth that comes from their relationship. Because of the value added to their existence by knowing each other. We don’t go through life as islands. We draw on the nourishment of relationships (platonic, romantic, familial, etc…) to bloom and grow, and I think that’s just as true with Maya and Amar. Perhaps they could’ve figured out how to find fulfillment without one another, but I’m a sucker for love stories <3″
5. Let’s go back to basics. As Filipino teachers ask, what is the “moral lesson” (#Redundant xD) of The Star-touched Queen?
“The moral lesson is that fate is a squishy thing that we must forge for ourselves.”
About the author:
Roshani Chokshi is the New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen. Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Shimmer, and Book Smugglers. Her short story, The Star Maiden, was longlisted for the British Fantasy Science Award.
Visit Roshani’s website