Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Interview with Swati Teerdhala for The Archer at Dawn

The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight Trilogy #2)

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 26th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, India, Cultural, Mythology
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The Sun Mela is many things: a call for peace, a cause for celebration, and, above all, a deadly competition. For Kunal and Esha, finally working together as rebel spies, it provides the perfect guise to infiltrate King Vardaan’s vicious court.

Kunal will return to his role as dedicated Senap soldier, at the Sun Mela to provide extra security for the palace during the peace summit for the divided nations of Jansa and Dharka. Meanwhile, Esha will use her new role as adviser to Prince Harun to keep a pulse on shifting political parties and seek out allies for their rebel cause. A radical plan is underfoot to rescue Jansa’s long-lost Princess Reha—the key to the stolen throne.

But amid the Mela games and glittering festivities, much more dangerous forces lie in wait. With the rebel Blades’ entry into Vardaan’s court, a match has been lit, and long-held secrets will force Kunal and Esha to reconsider their loyalties—to their country and to each other. Getting into the palace was the easy task; coming out together will be a battle for their lives.

Can you briefly describe THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT TRILOGY, its characters and what’s happening in THE ARCHER AT DAWN?

Sure! THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT is the first in a YA fantasy trilogy that follows the story of Kunal, a dutiful soldier, and Esha, a legendary rebel spy named the Viper. When their paths cross one night and Esha is accused of the murder of Kunal’s General, a dangerous cat and mouse game starts between them, one which throws everything they’ve known into question. In THE ARCHER AT DAWN, without giving away any spoilers, things have come to a head. Kunal and Esha go to Jansa with the mission of rescuing the Lost Princess just as the Sun Mela, an ancient celebratory tournament, begins. Problems ensue! 

Who would you say is your favourite character from the story and why?

This is a tough one! I love both of my main characters, Kunal and Esha, equally. They’re two halves of a whole. But I have to say in THE ARCHER AT DAWN, my favorite character is Alok, who you get to meet early on in THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT. He has a bigger, more fun role in this book.

How did the story occur to you? Did you find inspiration anywhere?

I first got the idea for The Tiger at Midnight when I was traveling and visiting an old Fort. It was the first spark of an idea of what would become The Tiger at Midnight and the first time I heard the voice of Kunal, one of the two main characters. I looked out from one of the old window openings and wondered what would be the most odd or startling thing a soldier of old might have seen. A girl. And that’s the opening page of THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT. 

If you could choose one song to describe each book in THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT TRILOGY, which one would it be?

Great question!

THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT: Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine

THE ARCHER AT DAWN: Don’t Let Me Down by The Chainsmokers

Book 3…you’ll have to wait for that. :)

If your book was going to be made into a movie, who would play your characters?

This one’s hard because I’ve never had a 100% fancast of my characters! I recently fell in love with the idea of Geraldine Vishwanathan as Esha and Avan Jogia as Harun. Kunal is a hard one to cast though! I don’t have the perfect fancast for him. But in a dream world I’d love to see a young Hritik Roshan.

What drink and place do you think will go with your book to have a perfect book date?

A hot cup of masala chai in a sunroom or out on the porch.

Can you recommend your readers any other books in case they are left hungry for more once they finish THE ARCHER AT DAWN?

Absolutely. I had the pleasure of reading A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown early and it’s the perfect blend of conflicted romance and thrilling fantasy that I think fans of THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT series would love. Additionally, THE WINNER'S CURSE is a classic YA fantasy trilogy that also blends romance and fantasy together perfectly.

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

I’d say more often than not the hardest part is keeping up your motivation and momentum. The way I do that is by making sure I have a really firm grasp on the story I want to tell and why it’s important for me to tell. That can keep me going even when it feels like nothing else is working. 

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently finishing up edits on Book 3 of THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT TRILOGY and working on something new!

Swati Teerdhala is the author of The Tiger at Midnight series, which has appeared on both Barnes and Noble and Book Riot’s Most Anticipated Novels lists. 

After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BS in finance and BA in history, she tumbled into the marketing side of the technology industry. She’s passionate about many things, including how the right ratio of curd-to-crust in a lemon tart. She currently lives in New York City.

1 comment:

  1. I have both books on my TBR and wish list. They will be fun books to read as I love fantasy.