I am super excited for today’s post! With NaNoWriMo coming up, I figured it was past time to do another author interview.
And the minute I read Lucy Tempest’s novel I knew it had to be her. I loved the world, the characters and the references to mythology! So thank you to Lucy Tempest for agreeing to do this with me.
So without further ado…
About the Author
Lucy Tempest is an indie author currently in the process of publishing FAIRYTALES OF FOLKSHORE – a series of interconnecting fairy tale retellings.
Q: To start, can you tell us a bit about Thief of Cahraman?
Thief of Cahraman is a gender-bent retelling of Aladdin set in the fantasy world of Folkshore.
It follows Adelaide, an orphan and petty thief, who is kidnapped off her isolated island and taken to the desert kingdom of Cahraman by a witch who tasks her with doing what she does best: steal. Specifically, stealing a gold lamp from the palace. If she refuses, her newfound family–her best friend, Bonnie, and her father–will be sacrificed to the famed beast of Rosemead.
Under threat of losing her newfound family, the only way for Ada to enter the kingdom is by assuming the identity of a noblewoman invited to partake in the Bride Search, a competition to win the hand of the Prince of Cahraman.
But when the lamp proves too hard to find, she needs to actively compete to avoid being among the competitors sent home on Elimination Day. In between the worsening tests, Ada befriends some of the competition, antagonizes a princess, and catches the attention of a mysterious palace servant who helps her in her search for the lamp.
As the witch’s literal deadline approaches, Ada has one last gamble to save the day.
But everything falls apart when the prince finally reveals himself…
Q: Why did you decide to self-publish your novels instead of going through traditional publishing?
It was a one-in-a-million chance for me to, not only have my manuscript read and bought, but to have it given the attention, marketing effort and cover it needed. Many books are bought and barely promoted and fall between the cracks of the market, so I thought my best bet was to do it all myself.
Q: Do you listen to music when you write? And if so, what song reminds you of Thief of Cahraman?
I do! I cycle through playlists as I write, sometimes even replaying the same songs over and over as I write certain scenes to capture the atmosphere and vibe they give me.
Thief‘s theme song has to be Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepsen.
Q: Do you have a favorite Disney princess?
Since most don’t consider Mulan a ‘Disney princess’ my favorite princess has to be Rapunzel.
Q: I love how real your characters are! Any tips for writing well-rounded characters?
And dialogue, mannerisms, and priorities!
The key to good personalities is giving each character their own voice–literally. I say their lines out-loud as I write to help describe how they sound, how they say it and how this sentence could only be said by them, keeping it in-line with their known personality.
You need to flesh them out to the point that them saying something as basic as ‘I like apple pie’ doesn’t sound right or needs more information or doesn’t make contextual sense.
Ada would say ‘I liked whatever leftovers of it I could get at my jobs. It’s not like I could be picky.’
Cherine would say ‘You BAKE your apples?’
Cora would say ‘I prefer berry pies, but I won’t say no to a slice. Or the whole pan.’
Fairuza would say ‘Pie is autumnal dessert, in spring we are served apple cake. What do you mean you don’t bake your fruits here? Then why do you import them?’
Q: Cyrus is a total bae. Do you have any book boyfriends?
I think my first childhood book boyfriend was Ron Weasley — I thought he was hilarious and the friend I always wanted.
The second was either Percy Jackson or Christian Ozera from Vampire Academy, I can’t remember which came first.
Q: Have any books inspired your writing?
I think every book I retain a piece of every book I enjoy.
Q: If you could sort your main characters into Hogwarts Houses, where would they go?
Ada is a Gryffindor, so is Cyrus, Bonnie is a Ravenclaw, Cora is a Slytherin (Cherine is too, in the driven, political sense), Ayman is a Hufflepuff.
Q: Which character was the hardest to write, and which was the easiest?
Ada herself was the hardest to write, because she, along with her perspective, underwent a lot of work to make her the person you read about.
The easiest had to be Cherine, writing her is a lot of fun.
Q: The setting of your novel is unique in the YA world! Do you find world building to be easy to difficult to write?
Is it, really? That’s very interesting. (In case you were wondering, I based Cahraman on Ottoman Turkey and Achaemenid Persia.)
The primary ideas developed as I wrote the first draft — the names of the places and the general settings — then I went back and expanded upon what I said as I made the map. For example, Ada’s island of Ericura didn’t exist, Cahraman had no lands bordering it, and Princess Ariane was from Labraudos not Tritonia.
The world-building is both my favorite and most exhaustive part of the story, because I needed everything to be vivid and realistic. I needed readers not only to know the Folkshore exists, but to believe that all the lands these girls are from do exist, with their histories, geography and cultures.
So, the set-up is easy, but the execution is less so. Especially since we’ll be visiting most places on the map in coming books!
Q: Any hints for your next novel?
Ada has one week to save her family. To find the lamp, she had to pass three increasingly difficult tests and suffer through their fallout as the competition takes a perilous bent and terrible secrets are revealed, unraveling her plans, complicating her relationship with Cyrus and demolishing the world as she knew it.
It all comes down to her being caught between two impossible choices, and whichever choice she makes will change Cahraman forever.
I hope you enjoyed the interview – I really loved hearing about the world and the characters! If this novel sounds interesting to you, I would highly recommend checking amazon (I believe the Ebook is free…).
Corvi argenti quinque,