I’m hosting Intisar Khanani on my blog today. Intisar is the author of YA fantasy novella Sunbolt, and she’s currently touring with her book. Thanks for answering my questions, Intisar!
1) Please tell us about yourself.
I’ve been writing on and off since the age of three, and while I knew there were full time writers, it never occurred to me that I could quit my job and make writing my profession … until I was quitting my job to become a full time mom anyway. Now I write night shift and dream of all those un-sleep-deprived daylight hours I wasted through the first thirty years of my life. Which is to say, if you want to be a writer, write. Now.
That said, I loved my job, and I don’t think I would have left it to write, had the idea ever presented itself. I worked in public health, which means I would look at a community, assess it’s health and the challenges it faced, and develop initiatives and projects to improve overall community health. I worked on projects related infant mortality, food access, and diabetes and obesity. It was my way of trying to save the world, one small (small) step at a time.
2) Tell us about your book in five sentences or less.
Hitomi has spent her life hiding. An orphan, a rebel, a thief, a girl with a powerful magical talent, if there’s one thing she’s learned, it’s how to survive. But when a dark mage attempts to arrest and execute a noble family in her adopted home of Karolene, Hitomi volunteers to help them escape–never expecting betrayal. Now it will take everything Hitomi has to escape with her life.
3) What inspired you to write Sunbolt?
Sunbolt was one of those stories that started as something else–a chapter without an ending–that sat for years until, one summer, it changed, morphed, and the first three novellas in the series came pouring out of me. That summer was a tough summer. My father-in-law had recently passed away after a difficult battle with cancer, and I was staying with my husband and his family overseas as we worked through our future plans. Sunbolt was my escape, and I suspect that some of the darkness, some of the imagery, and some of the sorrow in it come from that time in my life. That said, Sunbolt is an adventure story of sorts, a fast-paced run-for-your-life tale of magic and betrayal–neither of which, thankfully, I have seen in my life!
4) How many hours per week do you spend writing?
I try to get in at least seven hours a week–that is, a solid hour every night. When I have deadline looming, that can increase to four or even five hours per night (it’s just a question of how late I can stay up and still be a functional mom in the morning). With deadlines, I often sit down as soon as the kids are in bed, and only get up to stretch before getting back to work, right up until I go to bed. Have I mentioned my husband can be a superhero on demand? I don’t think I could make my “night job” work if it weren’t for his continuous, wonderful support.
5) If you could meet three authors, which authors would you choose?
Without a question, Jane Austen. Also, Michael Ende, specifically for The Neverending Story–if you haven’t read it, get it from the library today! And then I think I’d like to chat with Franny Billingsley, mostly because I would to write a book like Chime some day myself.
6) What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working through an expanded first draft of Book Two of the Sunbolt Chronicles. While I wrote the initial draft that summer overseas, a lot changed between the conception of the story and the publication of Sunbolt. Before I can consider this a complete first draft, I need to add in an additional storyline or two, expanding the draft probably by another ten to twenty thousand words. Lots of fun! 🙂
Thanks so much for having me on your blog!
Thanks for the interview, Intisar.
Author: Intisar Khanani
Genre: YA Fantasy
The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.
When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar is hard at work on two new projects. The first is a companion trilogy to her debut novel Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife. The second project, The Sunbolt Chronicles, is a novella series following the efforts of a young mage as she strives to bring down her nemesis, a corrupt and dangerous Arch Mage who means to bring the Eleven Kingdoms under his control.
Find the author online
Intisar’s Website: http://thornthenovel.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/booksbyintisar