Pre-Pub Adventure: June

Today we are excited to have a new author joining us for Pre-Pub Adventure and another authors who has her book out in the world!

Every third Friday of the month we follow authors on their publishing adventure. Have you ever wondered how authors prepare for a book release or what they are working on while also getting ready to publish a new book? How do they multitask? What is publishing like? Find out on Pre-Pub Adventure as we follow authors to publishing their books.

Let’s welcome S. A. Chakraborty!

S. A. Chakraborty



1. Welcome to the publishing adventure! Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks for the welcome, and thanks for having me! I have my official bio over here but in short, I’m the author of The City of Brass, a historical fantasy coming out this November from Harper Voyager. It’s my debut novel – and the first book I ever wrote! I got into writing fiction through my interest in history – it seemed a good way to put to use all the hours I spent pouring over manuscripts in Cairo and DC. I’m from the Jersey shore originally…

(yes, I know: I’ve heard all the jokes), and while I’m still proud to call it home, I’ve been living in New York for about ten years where I’ve found an excellent writing family in the Brooklyn Speculative Fiction Writers. I have a toddler who keeps me on my toes, a husband whose brain I unabashedly pick for all the medical elements in my work, and three deeply lazy cats. In the little spare time I can cobble together, I like to run and read. Besides science fiction and fantasy, I have a soft spot for historical fiction; my favorite authors are Naguib Mahfouz and Amitav Ghosh.

2. Tell us about your book? How did you come up with The City Of Brass? The cover is gorgeous by the way!

Thank you! I was literally speechless when I first saw the cover!

The City of Brass is a historical fantasy that takes place in the 18th century about an Egyptian con artist who gets a bit more than she bargained for when one of her schemes ends up dragging her into a brewing magical war. It actually started not as a novel, but as sort of a passion project/exercise in world-building that I never intended to show a soul! I’m a big history buff and with The City of Brass I wanted to recreate some of the stunning worlds I’d read about while also exploring traditional beliefs about djinn. A bit contrary to Western lore, djinn are said to be intelligent beings similar to humans, created from smokeless fire and living unseen in our midst—a fascinating, albeit slightly frightening concept, this idea of creatures living silently among us, dispassionately watching the rise and fall of our various civilizations.

It’s also a concept that offers a great opportunity to imagine how djinn might have built their world, mimicking the ways of their human neighbors. So in The City of Brass, there’s a djinn version of Baghdad’s great library, filled with the ancient books humans have lost alongside powerful texts of magic; they battle with weapons from Achaemenid Persia (enhanced by fire of course); the medical traditions of famed scholars like Ibn Sina have been adapted to treat magical maladies; dancers conjure flowers while singing Mughal love songs; a court system based on the Zanzibar Sultanate deals justice to merchants who bewitch their competitors… not to mention a cityscape featuring everything from ziggurats and pyramids to minarets and stupas. I also pushed a little further with the idea of the unseen, imagining a world of enchanted creatures created from other elements passing through ours: marid raising rivers into great serpents, peris whipping the air into tornados, djinn conjuring maps of smoke and racing birds of fire. And then, of course, there’s scheming con artists, irritatingly handsome ancient warriors, and rebellious princes to round things out!

3. What is your writing quirk?

I’ve heard enough other authors confess to this to know I’m not alone, but I love writing to soundtracks. And not just any soundtracks, but the ridiculously over-the-top music for things like Pirates of Caribbean and Game of Thrones. And then, like, the orchestral re-mix version to make it even more epic. It just sets the mood!

Follow S. A. : Twitter * Blog

Congrats to Kayla for the release of The Sandcastle Empire!

Kayla Olson

kayla      pre-pub-4


1. How does it feel to have your book out in the world?

It’s been so exciting to have The Sandcastle Empire out in the world—people have been so wonderfully supportive, friends and strangers alike, and it’s been fun seeing everyone’s reactions. I was on deadline for my second book at the same time my debut hit shelves, and while it was emotionally/physically taxing to flip between YAY DEBUT and ACK, MUST REVISE, it was incredibly encouraging to receive so many messages from friends and family who’d already finished the book and were ready for another one.

2. How has your book tour been going?

The book tour has been so much fun!! We sold out of books at both BookPeople in Austin *and* Brazos Bookstore in Houston, and had an amazing turnout at every single stop—it’s been so excellent to connect with family and friends, and to meet new readers. I also had the opportunity to participate in a teen day + author panel at the South Irving Library, which was really fun; not only did I get to hang out with five other brilliant, talented authors, but the reader turnout was fantastic! The library staff was wonderful, too, and made these GIANT stand-up posters of all our book covers. It was pretty amazing.

3. What’s next for you?

I just turned in my second book to my editor, so right now I’m taking a few weeks just to read and rest and brainstorm some other projects I’ve had in mind for a while! Hopefully I’ll get to share more details about that second book soon…! 🙂
Follow Kayla: Twitter * Instagram * Tumblr * Blog

Nic Stone


1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo in May, how was it? 

Oh man. It was like my own personal version of heaven. Books and people everywhere! I met SOME of my heroes/heroines (like as in more than three of them), did lots of fun author-y things like sign books and read aloud and sit on/moderate panels, went to fancy dinners and a fun party, spent some quality time with friends over food… it was incredible! Can’t wait to do it again one day (hopefully, lol!).

2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your book?

Surreal, I think would be the best word. I’m still blown away by the fact that I HAVE a book, so the fact that people are willing to stand in a line and wait for me to sign it was unreal. By the end of the second signing (I had THREE. What is even happening??) I’d perfected what I put in the book, so now I’m ready for the next round. **cracks knuckles**

3 .What was your favorite part?

Definitely the meeting-new-friends-and-connecting-with-people-I-only-knew-online part. Like I got to meet some of my favorite bloggers (Like CJ @sarcasmlemons, and Joey @afterthoughtAn, and Shelly @shellysrambles, and Mishma @chasingfaes, and Vee @findmereading–those are their Twitter handles and you should follow them all), some fellow debuts (Stephanie Garber, Chelsea Sedoti, Jeff Giles, Karina Yan Glasser, Jake Burt, as well as some 2018 debuts like Samira Ahmed), and some cool agents and editors (like Matt Ringler from Scholastic. Follow him [@doesntmattr] on Twitter, too. He’s hilarious!).

Follow Nic: Twitter * Instagram * YouTube

S.F. Henson

1. What have you been up to since last we checked in?

Editing, editing, editing. Pretty sure this was my response last month too! I’m working hard to make sure this book is the best it possibly can be, though. And I can see the finish line! I’m soooo close.  Then I can start planning my launch party!
2. What book do you wish you could have written?
This is a tough one because there are SO many. My first impulse is to say Harry Potter (I mean, who doesn’t wish they could’ve written HP??) but if I’m being honest, I wish I’d written A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s the first book I remember reading as a kid that I couldn’t get enough of. The way L’Engle crammed so many world-building and characterization details into such a small space, gahh. I envy that so hard.
3. What are you working on now?
Well, technically still my debut, but I have a WIP drumming its fingertips impatiently. It’s about a girl who travels across the world to find her missing brother. There’s complicated family relationships, mental illness, a forest fully of mysteries, and coming to terms with the things that hold you back and push you forward. I can’t wait to dive back in.

Follow S.F. Henson: Twitter * Goodread *Facebook

Amanda Foody

1. You just recently went to Bookcon and Book Expo, how was it? 
BookExpo and BookCon were amazing! Since I got some of my start in blogging, I’ve been waiting to attend for years, but college and conflicts always got in the way. I was able to connect with so many friends from Twitter, and I came home with several bags full of ARCs! Absolutely magical!
2. What’s it like going as an author and signing your own book?
It was definitely surreal. My signings were in the morning, so when I first arrived at BookExpo, I was dumbfounded to see the line circling around the Harlequin TEEN booth for DAUGHTER. We were out of tickets almost immediately, and we had no copies to spare! I cannot being to describe how much I appreciate that enthusiasm and support. I spent my afternoons waiting in signing lines for other authors, so I feel like I got to attend as both author and reader.
3. What was the most memorable moment there?
Probably meeting and introducing myself to some of my favorite authors. I almost collapsed several times when a few of them had already heard of me and DAUGHTER. So many of these authors are ones who I loved as a teenager, who are still huge names in YA, and it would be so fun to tell my 17yo self that in a few years, my favorite author would know who I am because I’m also an author. I pinched myself several times.

Follow Amanda: Twitter * Tumblr * Pinterest * Instagram



One thought on “Pre-Pub Adventure: June

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s