For my first guest here at Get Lost in a Story, I'm very excited to introduce a writer I met years ago and I'm so thrilled for all the success she's having. I hope you fall in love with her writing as much as I have.
The Princess of Dhagabad
When, on the day of her age-coming, the princess opens a mysterious bronze bottle--a gift from her grandmother--she has no idea that she is about to unleash a power older than the world itself. Worse, she is not prepared for the bearer of this power to be a handsome man whose intense gray eyes pierce her very soul. Hasan, her new slave, is immeasurably wiser and stronger than anyone she has ever heard of, and he is now hers to command--if she can handle him, that is. Sensuous and delightfully intelligent, The Princess of Dhagabad is the first book in a trilogy by a talented new author. "a fine recasting of Arabian Nights material into a fable for our times."
Anna Kashina was born in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994. She is a molecular biologist and a published fantasy author in Russia, Germany, and the US. The Princess of Dhagabad is her debut novel, originally published in 2000. Its sequel, The Goddess of Dance, has been published in 2012, along with her other fantasy adventure, The First Sword.
Clover: How often do you get lost in a story?
Anna: All the time. Reading was my favorite pass time since the age of 4, and writing became my favorite activity since 6 or so. Both are attractive to me primarily because I love getting lost in my favorite stories.
Clover: Your first couple of books were published in Russia where you are originally from, and then also in English. When you first sit down to write, do you prefer one language over the other or does it just depend on what you are writing?
Anna: Actually, it depends on the language I am reading in. Originally Russian was my primary language of course, but I have been in the US for nineteen years and about ten years ago I finally made the switch. English dominates now, and I naturally write in English—unless I happen to be reading a Russian book. If I do, some of my past language skills kick in and Russian becomes more natural.
Clover: What drew you to write in the genres you do?
Anna: I guess this was driven by the genres I love to read in: fantasy and historical fiction. I love romance elements too, and some memoirs, but I have rarely written, or read much, outside these genres.
Clover: What’s your favorite fairy tale?
Anna: Aladdin and the Magic Lamp. This fairy tale definitely inspired The Princess of Dhagabad, where a romance develops between an Arabian princess and a djinn she freed from a bottle.
Clover: Which already filmed movie represents your writing style?
Anna: Oh, this is a hard one. Can you imagine a blend between Star Wars, Disney’s Aladdin, and Sense and Sensibility? All three movies influenced my writing style, but I am not sure a reader can tell it from my writing. In The Princess of Dhagabad I paid a lot of attention to world-building, which in a movie can be shown by a sweep of a camera. I also focused a lot on human relationships and character development, which, to me, made the story very emotionally intense but with less of an outward action. So—how about the world building of Star Wars, combined with the setting from Aladdin, and with the emotional intensity of Sense and Sensibility?...
Clover’s GOTTA ASK: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?
ANNA’S GOTTA ANSWER: Have a glass of my favorite wine! Then, go back and re-read it again.
Thanks for stopping by, Anna, and can I just say your covers are Gorgeous with a capital G! What are you working on next?
ANNA: Mistress of the Solstice, a dark romantic fantasy based on Russian fairy tales.
Anna is offering an e-book copy each of The Princess of Dhagabad and The Goddess of Dance (mobi or e-pub), as well as a pdf copy of The First Sword, e-mailed anywhere on this planet with Internet access. She's also offering a print copy, in North America only. So looks like a few lucky commenters will get to sample her writing.
Winners are Linda Thum, J. Kathleen Cheney, Barb Han, and Lysette Lam. They each received a copy of The Princess of Dhagabad.
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