Blog Tour with Interview + Giveaway: HUNTED BY THE SKY by Tanaz Bhathena,

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: June 23rd 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Gul has spent her life running. She has a star-shaped birthmark on her arm, and in the kingdom of Ambar, girls with such birthmarks have been disappearing for years. Gul's mark is what caused her parents' murder at the hand of King Lohar's ruthless soldiers and forced her into hiding to protect her own life. So when a group of rebel women called the Sisters of the Golden Lotus rescue her, take her in, and train her in warrior magic, Gul wants only one thing: revenge.

Cavas lives in the tenements, and he's just about ready to sign his life over to the king's army. His father is terminally ill, and Cavas will do anything to save him. But sparks fly when he meets a mysterious girl--Gul--in the capital's bazaar, and as the chemistry between them undeniably grows, he becomes entangled in a mission of vengeance--and discovers a magic he never expected to find.

Dangerous circumstances have brought Gul and Cavas together at the king's domain in Ambar Fort . . . a world with secrets deadlier than their own. Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India.

Add HUNTED BY THE SKY to Goodreads

Ends: August 31st 2020

Orders of a hardcover book will receive limited edition swag and be entered to win a $100 gift card. Open to residents of US and Canada.
Photo available on the dropbox folder.

Rules & Conditions on the link above.

1. Tell us a little about your writing process. How long does it take you to write a book? What does your work schedule look like when you're writing?
I usually start with a title or a character, then write a chapter or two to experiment with different narrative voices. Once I have ten chapters down, I outline a little more of the book and keep following that pattern until I have a whole novel complete. It can take me about a year (sometimes two) to draft the book and another year to edit it properly.
I’m not a full-time writer so I have to be really disciplined and always make it a point to have writing as a part of my schedule. I typically wake up at 5 AM to get a couple of hours of writing. Then I shower, have breakfast, and start my day job from around 9 am – 4 pm. When I’m on deadline for a contracted book, I work on it during the evenings as well. I take Sundays off—unless I’m on a deadline. 

2. What was it like writing a fantasy novel versus contemporary?
It was fun because I could stretch my imagination and play around with the setting without having to be nit-picky about historical accuracy! It was also challenging because I had to figure out a whole magic system and also assess how my fantasy kingdom of Ambar would be similar to and different from a typical kingdom in medieval India. 

3. Did you find it more challenging to start a series instead of a standalone?
The series was slightly more challenging because I had to plan out two books from the beginning. I couldn’t be a typical “pantser” and see where the story went. But that also helped ground me in some ways and plot-wise, writing the sequel to HUNTED BY THE SKY wasn’t as difficult as I expected. My biggest challenge was fleshing out the characters and pacing out their development equally between two books. 

4. What inspired the idea for your first fantasy novel?
I loved reading fantasy as a kid, but never had the courage to write a whole book. When my attempts at writing a SF dystopian novel fell flat in 2016, I began thinking again of fantasy. I switched the setting to one inspired by India—medieval India, specifically, as it was a historical period I’d loved learning about as a teen. I also decided to replace new technology with magic, introduced a group of women warriors, and voila! The idea for the book was born.

5. What research went in to creating the world of Ambar Fort?
For Ambar Fort, specifically, I was inspired by various palaces and forts across Rajasthan, especially Hawa Mahal in Jaipur and Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur. I also created a ton of secret Pinterest boards for architecture, art, clothing, and jewellery during 15th – 16th century India. 

6. Which of your characters do you relate to the most in HUNTED BY THE SKY?
When I’m feeling angry, I most relate to Gul and Amira. When I’m quiet and contemplative, I’m more like Cavas or Juhi (though I can’t say I’m always as wise as Juhi).

7. Without spoilers, what can readers expect in the sequel?
You’ll get to see more of Gul, Cavas, and the Sisterhood of the Golden Lotus. And there will be a war. 

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Tanaz Bhathena | Author
Tanaz Bhathena writes books for young adults. Her sophomore novel, The Beauty of the Moment, won the Nautilus Award for Young Adult Fiction and has also been nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award. Her acclaimed debut, A Girl Like That, was named a Best Book of the Year by numerous outlets including The Globe and Mail, Seventeen, and The Times of India. Her latest book, Hunted by the Sky, (releasing June 23 2020) is the first of a YA fantasy duology set in a world inspired by medieval India. Her short stories have appeared in various publications including The Hindu, Blackbird, Witness, and Room.

Born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada, Tanaz lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with her family.

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