Blog Tour: Author Interview With Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy, Author of “The Last of the Firedrakes”

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Hello Everybody!

As you can see in my last post, I’ve recently reviewed the amazing book written by Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy, “The Last of the Firedrakes”. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Farah recently, and I wanted to share her thoughtful responses with you guys. Without further adieu, here is Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy on her book, “The Last of the Firedrakes”.

What was your inspiration for your book?

FO: Every reader at some point in their lives comes across a book that inspires them to think beyond the boundaries. For me that was the Harry Potter series.

The wonderful world of Hogwarts and the magical beings that lived within it made me look at magic in a completely different way. I had always loved reading fantasy stories, and Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings series; along with C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia series were already my favorites. These books inspired me to write a story that would combine the best of the three series, and so The Last of the Firedrakes started to take shape.

I started thinking about this book nearly ten years ago. Building the world of Avalonia, whenever I got time. The actual world creation started 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 The Last of the Firedrakes is her story.

What do you want to convey to the readers of your book?

FO: Nothing is impossible, and it is ultimately your choices in life, strength of character, and courage in the face of adversity, that will determine who you truly are.

I think Uncle Gabriel expresses this very well in the book, when he tells Aurora:

When difficulties come, we must see them as what they are—opportunities and a new path to discover your potential. How will you ever know the magnitude of courage that you are capable of, if you have never experienced the hopelessness of fear?”

What was your most memorable memory when writing “The Last of the Firedrakes”?

FO: Even though the story has changed many times over the years the one thing that I will always remember writing about is the tapestry. It is the one thing that has been consistent throughout and in my mind is the only way for Aurora to get to Avalonia.

What challenges did you have to face when you were writing “The Last of the Firedrakes”?

FO: I think writing Aurora’s character has by far been the most challenging thing. Trying to make her a believable sixteen-year-old girl was not easy. She can come across as someone who you want to shake some sense into, but I wanted her to have faults and make mistakes just like any ordinary teenager, and it’s not always easy for teenagers to learn from their mistakes. At the same time she is brave and cares deeply for others. She is also very trusting, which is one of the things that gets her into trouble. It can be hard balancing such a multi-faceted personality, and at the same time making sure that the character grows throughout the book. There is a lot more to Aurora that you haven’t seen yet, and will be revealed in book 2.

In your book, you have many different types of creatures who make up “The Last of the Firedrakes” universe. What gave you the ideas for them?

FO: I can’t really pin point how these ideas come to me, but I think it is an amalgamation of all the stories I have read over the years. I have always been a voracious fantasy reader, and the world of magic feels very familiar to me. I have extensively researched different fantasy races, creatures, and species, but I also enjoy changing things around and creating something different, while still keeping within the general idea people have of fantasy, so that it feels familiar.

What did you enjoy writing about during the writing process?

FO: The best part of writing fantasy is the world creation and world building. It is the part I enjoy the most, drawing maps, creating kingdoms, and societies, playing with the magic system of the world, and incorporating and researching different fantasy races and species.

In your book, Aurora had to make an important decision whether to leave her friend to die, or revive her friend with bad consequences. What would you do in that situation?

FO: I would like to say that I would have been smart and listened to the warnings. But the truth is I would have done exactly the same as she did. At the time, Aurora knew there would be consequences, but she never knew what they were. The actual reality that was before her, in that moment, was her best friend dying.  So she did all she could to save her, it all came from a place of love, and from having a good heart.

Just for fun questions:

If you could be any character from the book, who would you be?

FO: I think I would be Rafe 😀

What place would you choose to live in your book?  

FO: Silverthorne Castle, in Eldoren.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors who might want to write a fantasy novel?

FO: One of the most important aspects of writing fantasy is the creation of your world. Although it can be anything that you desire it to be, there are certain rules that we must follow to make sure that the world makes sense.

The first thing to do is to decide what type of world you are going to create. Drawing a rough map is a good place to start. From there you can fill in the physical environment; seas, mountains, forests, rivers, etc. Once you have a map in your head it is a lot easier to navigate the world in which your story will take place. Magic is another very important element to consider when writing fantasy. A cohesive magical system should be created in order for the readers to immerse themselves in the story. If the magic doesn’t make sense, it becomes tedious to read. You should also consider, when creating your fantasy world, the races or species that live in this world, the powers they have, and the kingdoms that they inhabit.

Once you have a clear picture of your world in mind it becomes far easier to write an interesting story, and it almost grows from the limitations of the world you’ve created.

~ Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy

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And so ends the interview! Thank you so much to Ms. Farah Oomerbhoy for letting me interview her, and to Ms. Amy Del Rosso, the blog tour host for letting me take part in this event.

About the Author:

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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 The Last of the Firedrakes Blurb:

A fantastic adventure story that will transport you to a dazzling world of myth and magic.

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.

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Blog Tour Schedule:

August 14th – Reads All The Books – Review

August 15th – Dizneeee’s World of Books – Review / Guest Post

August 15th – Melissa Martin’s Reading List – Review / Top 5/10 Post

August 17th – Ya Fiction Queen – Guest Post

August 17th – Christine Abee – Review

August 18th – Books, Stars, Writing. And Everything In Between – Interview

August 18th – EndlessReading – Review

August 19th – Motif by Tanya – Author Interview

August 19th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 20th – Ramblings of a Perpetual New Girl – Review / Guest Post

August 21st – Book Addict – Guest Post / Author Interview

August 21st – Author of The Not So Public Library – Review / Interview

August 24th – Miranda’s Book Blog – Review / Guest Post

August 25th – BookishFever – Review

August 26th – The Reader and the Chef – Review / Top 5 or 10

August 27th – The Power of Three Readers – Promo

August 27th – Ashley Martinez – Review

August 28th – Bookish – Review

August 31st – The Renegade Zombie Reviews – Review / Author Interview

September 1st – Beauty’s Library – Review / Guest Post

September 2nd – Pixie Vixen Reviews – Character Interview

September 3rd – Creatyvebooks – Review / Author Interview

September 4th –

September 7th – serenastone – Author Interview

September 8th –

September 9th – Read with Royella – Review

September 10th – Reading with AngelaRenea – Review / Author Interview

September 11th – Atomic Pirate Girl’s Book Worm Booty – Review

September 11th – Triple T Tots tweens and teens – Review / Teasers

September 14th – Anything but Vanilla Book Blog – Playlist

September 14th – Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

Hollywood Witch Hunter

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Title: Hollywood Witch Hunter

Author: Valerie Tejeda

Type: Action, Paranormal, Romance

Rating: 3 stars

From the moment she first learned the truth about witches…she knew she was born to fight them.

Now, at sixteen, Iris is the lone girl on the Witch Hunters Special Ops Team.

But when Iris meets a boy named Arlo, he might just be the key to preventing an evil uprising in Southern California.

Together they’re ready to protect the human race at all costs. Because that’s what witch hunters do.

Welcome to Hollywood.

This action-packed book is definitely something you want to read if you’re in the mood for a quick, fun read with a little bit of seriousness in it to keep it interesting. This book also contains witches who eat spoiled, bratty, beautiful women, and a heroine who fights for her career in a workplace dominated by men.

Let’s start off with the main character, Iris. She is the first and only female witch hunter in existence, making her the target of many egocentric hunters who all think they are more skilled than her. She hates witches with a passion, and loves hunting them. At first, I really liked Iris. Despite being sent to a mental hospital by her parents because they tried to convince her that witches weren’t real, she still fought for what she believed in and finally landed a job as a witch hunter. She was really independent at the start of the book, but as I continued reading, she started becoming dependent on the men in her life. It also felt strange that after hating witches for most of her life, she started being friends with one incredibly quickly. Iris had her good points though, and she was willing to help her ‘enemies’ to protect the people she loves.

I loved the concept of the witches in this book. They had to kill women to stay beautiful and alive, but they only sacrificed the worst of the worst. This made me think whether the witches were really evil or not, and I loved how the author wrote about that dilemma.

Then of course, the plot twists. There was a surprising amount of them in the book, which made the read exciting and intriguing. Some of them though were expected, though, making the suspense less…well, suspenseful. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed reading through all the twists and turns in the book :D.

The reason why I only gave this book three stars was that it followed the paranormal-teenage trope too much. The writing was good, but not that great. There were times when the writing strayed to almost a middle-school grade level, which was the main reason why I deducted a few stars off my rating. Also, Iris’ constant character/personality changes were too frequent for my liking, which is also another reason why I deducted stars from the full rating.

Overall, I really liked Hollywood Witch Hunter. It had a great storyline, had interesting, complex characters, and was altogether a fun read.

*This ARC was provided by Netgalley*

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