1. Were you good at English, in school? And when did you decide to become a writer?
I did enjoy studying English in school. In fact I loved reading, researching, and studying English so much that I went on to do my Master’s degree in English Literature.
Everywhere! Anything can spark the promise of a great story or character. But most of all I enjoy creating fantasy worlds and exploring them through my stories.
But for this particular book and series, it all started nearly ten years ago, 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 16-year-old girl who didn’t know who she really was, her name was Aurora, and this is her story.
3. Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover?
Nothing can replace the feel of a paperback in your hands as you settle down on a cozy window seat. And hardcovers are so beautiful that I like to keep them on my shelf. But in reality the most accessible form of books I’ve found is the e-book, especially when travelling. You can buy it at the click of a button and since I do tend to read more than one book at a time, e-books have become the most convenient form of reading for me.
4. List 3 books you just recently read and would recommend?
At the moment my favorite books are the whole Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I am just finishing the third book, Heir of Fire and can’t wait to read Queen of Shadows.
I would also recommend the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer starting with Cinder. I’m still waiting to read Winter, the last book in the series.
*I completely agree! Controlling fangirl joy.*
5. If you gave one of your characters an opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?
I think Aurora is quite capable of telling me to stop interfering in her life. ☺
6. What books/authors have influenced your writing?
There have been many influences in my life that have influenced my writing and the plot of this story. But I think J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Enid Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree series, Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Quartet, Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness Quartet and David Edding’s The Belgariad series, have really shaped the way I look at fantasy worlds and magic.
7. Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when. And if so do you experience writer's block? Do you have any tips to over come it?
I think I really should have some sort of schedule but I don’t really. I do intend to follow one from now on and try and write every day, since I have to get going with books two and three of this series. It does tend to get difficult since I have three little children and it is hard to write at a specific time. Usually I prefer to write at night, after the children have gone to sleep and the house is quiet. But during the day I do research, read, and make notes about the book. Then I sit down and write when I have some time.
I have faced writers block quite a few times in fact, and sometimes it’s hard to get out of it. But you have to push yourself to keep writing, even if you are never going to use it, just put something on the page, and the rest will sort itself out.
8. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?
One thing I’ve learned through the whole saga of trying to get my first book published is never send your manuscript out to agents or publishers until it’s 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.
9. Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?
In my bedroom on my couch, with a cup of black coffee and a jar of Nutella. ☺
10. Coffee or tea?
Coffee! Although I do enjoy a cup of tea once in a while.
11. Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I write notes in longhand in an A4 journal, draw maps and things; plot each chapter, then I write on the computer.
12. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I think I would loved to have been the author of The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton. It’s just such a wonderful and original concept. And the lands at the top of the Faraway tree leave way for infinite possibilities. There is just so much you can do with that with hundreds of worlds to explore and magic that makes anything possible.
13. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Well! There are some people who are very generous and kind and it’s always wonderful to get a five star review. If a person likes a book I think it is nice to leave a short review. It is such a small thing but it is a nice way of letting the author know you appreciate their work. Even one genuine five star review can boost an author’s confidence, and it really means a lot to know that someone enjoyed your book.
As for bad reviews, I think everyone is entitled to their own point of view. Not everyone can like every single book. It comes down to a matter of taste. All literature is open to interpretation and everyone has a right to express his or her opinion. But what I do appreciate is a person who reviews the book and not the author.
Please everyone I without a doubt encourage you to buy this book. It is amazing and you won't regret it.
About The Last of the Firedrakes:
16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn’t seem so bad.
Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms—including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora’s arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.
With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.
About Farah Oomerbhoy:
For Farah Oomerbhoy, writing is a passion and reading her solace. She is a firm believer in the fantastic and magical, and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest.
Farah lives with her husband and three children in their family home in Mumbai, India. She has a Master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Mumbai. Her first novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of the Avalonia Chronicles will be published worldwide August 15th, 2015.
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Thank you so much to the author for participating in my interview.