Interview with Author Lucy Tempest on her Newest Book, Thief of Charranm
First off, I just want to talk about the fact that you combined the story of Aladdin with The Selection. This idea is so brilliant that it’s almost hilarious, because of these two fits so surprisingly well and yet they are so different from each other. How long had this idea been in your head before it became reality?
Not long! It came to me last year when I was still brainstorming the series and trying to find ways to make a gender-bent Aladdin work. Namely the part where we now have a prince and heir, who—unlike Jasmine—won’t have suitors barging into the kingdom to win his hand and his father’s throne. Instead, he’ll need to invite them, hold a competition to choose his bride, which would be Ada’s excuse to get inside the palace. That’s when I thought ‘Huh, kinda like the Selection, I could work that in’.
The second the thought came to me I didn’t waste time writing it.
That cover is gorgeous! It’s classic indie style cover (for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, this kind of book covers are often used for indie books). Where did you get this cover?
Thank you! I made it myself.
I’m glad you liked it because I’ve created a unified look for Fairytales of Folkshore, so whenever you see the frame, font and logo, you’ll know it’s part of the series.
I am absolutely ecstatic that the sequel is going to be released in October. This means my suffering from having to wait would only be about one month and that is fantastic news. How are you able to get the sequel published so soon? Were the series already pre-written or something?
I had all three first drafts by January ’18, but spent most of the new year editing and making drastic changes to Thief of Cahraman, and developing the world of Folkshore for future retellings. I have spent the summer doing much of the same to Prince of Cahraman.
Prince is currently in review and will be off to the editor soon! Then I’ll get started on doing the same to Queen of Cahraman (expected in Early 2019) and writing the fourth book, Beast of Rosemead (Spring 2019)—a Beauty and the Beast retelling starring Bonnie.
We were introduced to the idea that Ada might be in some way related to a goddess from her mysterious ancestry/ethnicity and name origin, and I feel like this is even more hinted and made possible due to the existence of magic in this book. Can you give us some insight into this and maybe some premise of how this would be further developed in book two, if this would be developed at all?
In Prince of Cahraman, the goddess ‘Adalat will be the catalyst for uncovering Ada’s ancestry, as well as information about her mother’s life. Ada will get many answers about her identity, as well as new questions to be solved in Book Three.
Also, magic will play bigger and bigger parts as the story arc unfolds in Book Two and Three.
Gosh, Cyrus. Even the name is hot (yes, I totally just said that). How will the “revelation” affect his and Ada’s relationship pin the coming series?
The revelation will hugely affect where they stand with each other, and add conflict to her feelings about him. Both of their identities, and the changing dynamics the revelation brings, will be a big part of their relationship, and its development, throughout the next two books. Things are going to get very complicated—and very exciting!
I’ve been wondering about this for a while - if Loujaine knew who Cyrus was the whole time, how long did she know that Cyrus was developing feelings for Ada or that he’s been hanging out with her?
Loujaïne does not know that he’s been running around with Ada. The only time she notices anything is after Cherine’s accident and after that, he takes extra care to not be seen talking to Ada again. But from early on, she senses that Ada is a threat to Fairuza – Loujaïne’s niece and favorite to win. You’ll see the development of this situation in Prince of Cahraman.
Would you consider writing a novella in Cyrus’ perspective in Thief of Cahraman? (please say yes please say yes please say yes) If you do, can you basically make it the entire book haha (but seriously though, please)?
I was planning on writing a post-trilogy companion piece—an epilogue that links the end of Ada’s story with the end of Bonnie’s and the start of the other girls’ retellings.
As for Cyrus’s POV, I haven’t thought of that before. If I have time, I might write it – but I’ll need to find a good title for it as Prince of Cahraman is already taken!
I know this may be a little bit early, but I’m already interested in other works you have in mind. I’m really interested in what you have in mind because ANYONE who writes another selection-related book like this deserves my attention and commitment. So Lucy, any other series ideas in mind? Upcoming works?
Upcoming works include other retellings in the Folkshore universe, Beauty & the Beast, Sleeping Beauty, Hades & Persephone, etc.
Aside from those, there are two other series I hope to put out after Folkshore. One based on Norse mythology and fairy lore—think Outlander meets Lord of the Rings.
The other I’ve been working on for years is best described as X-Men / Shadowhunters meets Percy Jackson.
Would you add a little competition to spice up the relationship? Add a little jealousy with Cyrus to remind him that Ada is not his yet, and he has to…put work in if he wants that to happen. Also, maybe even some hate-love relationship/slow burn (*furiously praying you to say yes*).
Unfortunately, Book Two is written and Book Three has no room for new characters or plot-points.
But don’t worry, those elements will be featured with other couples in future retellings!
If there is one thing you can go back and change about Thief of Cahraman, what would it be?
Probably add another scene exploring Sunstone, have them visit more temples and landmarks.
Can you just give me…some sort of premise, or “sneak peek” to what kind of things we would see in book two (or maybe even book three)?
Before, she had to avoid elimination from the Bride Search competition. Now Ada needs to compete to win. But the prince’s presence causes conflict, both with the girls and within herself. It complicates her relationship with Cyrus and unravels her plans, tearing her between her duty to her family and her desire to be with him.
To make things worse, Ada and the rest of the Final Five have one week to get through three increasingly difficult tests fit for a queen. The fallout of each test takes unexpected or disastrous turns and uncovers secrets that demolish the world as Ada knew it.
As she finds herself in life-or-death situations, Ada can have it all—or lose it all. But no matter what, any choice she makes will change Cahraman forever.
As for sneak peaks:
Book Two: A king, a witch queen, and ghouls—real ones this time.
Book Three: A lost city, an otherworld, and genies, plural.
Was Cyrus, Ada, or any other characters an inspiration from another specific character (from TV shows, books, movies)?
Cyrus was initially inspired by Hrithik Roshan in the heist movie Dhoom 2. Ada is a merge of Disney’s Aladdin, Sailor Mars from Sailor Moon and Shahrazad/Scheherazade from A Thousand and One Nights.
As for the rest, bits of Cora were inspired by Annie from Attack on Titan and Mockingbird from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Ayman was inspired by Prince Zal from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh. And Cherine is a benign version of Haruhi Suzumiya.
If Cyrus did have a say in who stays and who leaves (looking at how he manages to get Ada and Cora, the two least-likely candidates made it to the final five), why didn’t do all that is in his power to make sure that Fairuza gets kicked out? Especially looking at how he now as a legitimate reason because she pushed Cherine off a roof. I can understand why this would be a really good alliance, but seriously?! I’m not mad at you (I just really hate Fairuza), but that is just one thing I’m curious about.
Fairuza is the princess of a major nation, therefore has diplomatic immunity in cases like her fight with Cherine. She is also the daughter of King Darius’s sister, so kicking her out would cause a lot more familial and political trouble than it’s worth.
This situation, along with Fairuza herself, are explored in Prince of Cahraman.
Who is your dream cast?! I love this question, because it’s always amazing to get to see what the author visualizes with their characters as well (and not just in my head).
Here’s my Pinterest board! www.pinterest.com/lucytempestauthor/folkshore/
But to summarize it, I have:
Ada — Emeraude Toubia.
Cyrus — Toni Mahfud.
Fairuza — Morgana from Merlin.
Bonnie —a brunette Sabrina Carpenter.
Cora is a merge between Josie Canseco and Camilla Christensen.
about the book
Thief of Cahraman
Author: Lucy Tempest
Series: Fairytales of Folkshore #1
Genre: Fantasy, Retellings, YA, Romance
Publisher: Folkshore Press
View on Goodreads
The Selection meets Aladdin ONE MONTH. FIFTY CONTESTANTS. ONE PRINCE. AN IMPOSSIBLE HEIST. You have been summoned to Sunstone Palace to compete in our search for the future Queen of Cahraman. After years on the run, Adelaide thinks her lonely and dangerous life as a thief is finally over. But her world is upended when a witch steals her away to a faraway kingdom, to perform an impossible heist. If Adelaide fails, her newfound family would be sacrificed to a beast. To complete her mission, she’s forced to assume the role of a noblewoman and enter a royal competition. The prize is the hand of the elusive Crown Prince. Elimination means certain death. As the witch’s literal deadline approaches, Adelaide has one last gamble to save the day, and to escape to a new life with Cyrus, the handsome and mysterious fellow thief who stole her heart. But everything falls apart when the prince finally reveals himself… Fairytales of Folkshore is a series of interconnected fairytale retellings that starts with the Cahraman Trilogy. Ada’s story continues in PRINCE OF CAHRAMAN.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I have been spinning magical tales since I learned how to speak. Now, as an author, people can experience the worlds I create for themselves. I live with one foot in fantasy and the other in Southern California with my family and two spoiled cats, who would make terrible familiars. My young adult fantasy series FAIRYTALES OF FOLKSHORE is a collection of interconnected fairy tale retellings, each with a unique twist on a beloved tale.