When we’re not scrolling through YA author Roshani Chokshi’s gorgeous Insta feed, we’re counting down the days until we can get a new book from her. Thankfully, the wait is over: A Crown of Wishes is FINALLY here. This YA fantasy novel — a sweeping, epic tale of girls kicking butt — might just make your brain explode from the gorgeous writing. The sequel to last year’s The Star-Touched Queen (an instant New York Times bestseller, NBD), A Crown of Wishes is just as steeped in Indian folklore. We chatted with Roshani about creativity tips, the next books she’s dying to read, and more. Scroll on to meet this magical writer!
Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.
Roshani Chokshi: The power of stories and desire.
B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?
RC: IF ONLY I KNEW! That would probably cure all my deadline woes. Sometimes I write best in bed. Sometimes I write best at my desk. Sometimes I can only write by candlelight… and then the next day only in pitch darkness. The only constant thing I find that best helps me concentrate is removing myself from distractions. Which means at least one hour of no social media and putting my phone on airplane mode.
B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?
RC: Reread a favorite book! We may be writers, but we are readers first. Reading should be as critical to our jobs as much as dedicated writing time. For me, the books I turn to when I’m stuck are Deathless by Catherynne Valente and Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.
B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?
RC: Throwing in the word hero makes this rather thorny… what’s heroism? What’s “doing the right thing”? For me, the fictional “heroine” I love most is Scarlett O’Hara. She’s ruthless. Cruel. But she endures. My favorite IRL hero is Lakshmibai, the Queen of Jhansi, who became a symbol of Indian nationalism for her actions in the Revolt of 1857.
B+C: What’s your latest Instagram obsession?
RC: I’m so obsessed with the Visual Fodder account, @visual.fodder. It is so inspirational, beautiful, and surreal. I also stalk the SweetAmbs account, @sweetambs, because watching cookies get decorated is the most relaxing thing to me.
B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love + recognition?
RC: Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours is one of my new favorites! The writing glitters. The emotional themes are so tender, relevant, and devastating. I think everyone should read it.
B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?
RC: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
B+C: What advice do you have for aspiring creative ladies?
RC: There is no expiration date for success. You are a writer the moment you write (even if it’s on your phone, your palm, the margins of scrap paper). As much as you can, free yourself from self-comparison. Keep your head down. Keep writing. Keep reading. You’ll get there.
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(Featured photo via Aman Sharma)