I am so delighted to introduce another author interview today, this time with Shveta Thakrar! Shveta’s debut novel Star Daughter will hit shelves in summer next year and you will not want to miss it, especially if you love fantasy or books based on mythology. To hear more about Star Daughter and the inspirations behind it, keep reading!
Interview with Shveta Thakrar
- First, can you tell me a little about your upcoming book, Star Daughter, and what inspired you to write it?
I read and adored Neil Gaiman’s and Charles Vess’s illustrated novel Stardust, and because I already wrote exclusively desi characters, I came away inspired to think, “I want to write a short story about a girl whose mother is from a Hindu nakshatra [constellation]!” (I quickly realized it would involve a quest, which meant it really needed to be a novel . . .)
Star Daughter is meant to be a modern-day fairy tale about a girl from our world who’s half human and half star but, in her star mother’s absence, has been hiding her astral qualities. Unfortunately, you can’t hide from what you are, and when her suppressed flame flares up and burns her human father, she has to go to the starry court, find her mother, and win a celestial competition to save him.
- On the cover of Star Daughter (which is SO gorgeous by the way), Sheetal is holding a lotus flower. Unless it contains spoilers, is there anything you can tell me about the importance of the lotus?
I love the cover so much. My publisher asked for my thoughts the entire way, and when I asked for Sheetal on the cover, the design team agreed and then incorporated all my feedback. I am a lucky author.
As for the lotus, it’s a moonlight lotus! It came from the starry court in Svargalok (the Hindu heavenly realm). That’s all I’ll say for now.
- What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always made up stories, and the first one I wrote down was for a contest in elementary school, about a unicorn with a silver horn. It even placed in the first round!
As an adult, I looked around and realized I didn’t see myself or any of the mythology and folklore I’d grown up with in the books I loved so much, so I decided to do something about it, first selling desi-centered fantastical short stories and poems, then signing with my agent and selling my debut novel. It definitely wasn’t easy, and it took its time, but so far, the journey’s been worth it.
- How did Hindu mythology play a role in Star Daughter‘s creation?
This is just an extension of my answer to the first question: Once I knew I was writing that book, I added figures and names from Hindu mythology and blended them with my own imagination, et voilà!
- What is one thing you hope that readers will take away from Star Daughter?
That whoever and whatever you are, there’s a place for you. Embrace it—and embrace others’ places, too.
- What is something you love about your character Sheetal that made her fun to write about?
I love a lot of things about her, but I’ll go with the fact that she has to deal with her overbearing auntie/aunties she’s not related to. That was taken directly from my own experience growing up.
- Thank you so much for participating in this interview! I can’t wait to seeStar Daughterhit the shelves next summer! 😀 Since this is the last question, I thought I’d make it extra fun: If you could sum up Star Daughter in two words, which words would you choose?
“starlight serenade” Thank you for having me!
Doesn’t Star Daughter sound absolutely magical? Here is the gorgeous cover and a link to add it to your TBR on goodreads.