Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Interview + Giveaway with Terah Edun, author of Red Madrassa

Hi everyone! I haven't shared an interview with you for a while, so I'm excited to bring you this one from author Terah Edun, whose new book Red Madrassa just came out. She is also offering a giveaway below! Please read the interview to find out more about her then enter yourself in the contest for a copy of her book :)

Tell us a little bit about yourself and the book(s) you've written...

I’m a young American living abroad in East Africa. Most of my time and energy is spent saving the world. I’m kidding. But I do love my job.

I’m a daydreamer who loves to read and at the moment I’m shaking my head at the crazy storm that has hit the Northeast, sending well wishes to all those affected and basking in the dry heat of my adoptive country.

Red Madrassa, my debut epic fantasy novel, will be available on Amazon on November 30, 2012.

Why do you write? What got you going?

I became an author after writing novels for my best friend and growing frustrated at the trickle of strong, young women being published in epic fantasy. *cough* There could be five hundred books a year and I still wouldn’t consider it enough. *end cough*

Which of your characters is your favourite? How is she or he different from yourself?

I have two favourites – though each of them has a special place in my heart. Allorna, the cover model, is favourite number one for her heart and her impulsiveness. Vedaris is favourite number two for his sarcastic wit. I’d love to have a little, just a little, of that sarcasm rub off on me. 

How much control did you have have over the cover design of your book? Do you like it? If you didn't design it yourself, how do you think it would have turned out if you did?

As an Indie author I had full control over the cover – from the initial design ideas to the little details. I adore my cover - it makes me smile every time I look at it! My designer, Amalia Chitulescu, did a fantastic job. She not only took my jumbled mess of an idea and brought it to life but also made wonderful suggestions for a beautiful print layout which you can see on my website! If I had done the cover it’s be a stick figure on a red background and the size of a CD cover.

How did you decide on the length of your book?

I looked at the industry standard for young adult books. I knew that in general they could vary in length, but debut epic fantasy novels tended to stay in the range of 50,000 – 80,000 words. I decided to go with a length of 55,000 and make each subsequent novel longer in length.

How do you relax after a long day of writing?

The crazy thing is writing is my way to relax. I couldn’t image a better day for me than sitting in front of my laptop, turning on my iTunes playlist and diving back into my fantasy world.

What will your next book be about?

The next book is the sequel to Red Madrassa – it features the Prince, who makes a guest appearance in Red Madrassa, and his struggle to find his powers. Now that the background is developed and readers know a little bit about the world there will be lots more action. Prior to this book I’m releasing a novella in March 2013 – set in the same world but focusing on one very special character.

What is your favourite tv show? Favourite movie?

My favourite T.V. show is Grimm with Scandal coming in a close second. I think they represent my two worlds. The world of fantasy fiction is the fairy-tale police procedural with a gripping edge and my foreign affairs career is the high-powered attorney Olivia Pope living in a swirl of Washington politics.

I don’t really crush as much on movies but two that I can watch over and over are Mulan and Air Force One.

What is the first line of the first book in your bookcase?

If I was home nine times out of ten this probably would have been a quote from a Twitches book from 2001.

Seeing as I’m relying on my Kindle the quote is:

“I should have known tonight’s watch would kiss the mule’s bum when Sergeant Ahuda stopped me after baton training.”

Is there a Y.A. novel you wish YOU wrote?

Yes, that would be everything ever written by Tamora Pierce and Cinda Williams Chima.

If you were to write non-fiction, what subject would you write about? Why does it interest you?

If I delved into writing a non-fiction book, it would probably be a continuation of my current writing on the formation of a vibrant democracy in South Sudan.

Would you prefer to be a dragon rider, a dragon slayer, or the dragon itself?

I thought about that for five seconds, no contest I would rather be the dragon rider but ONLY if I can set up a mental bond with my dragon.

What was the last thing you ate? Did you enjoy it?

Thai Chicken Salad! And yes, I did. It’s a rare treat and I loved the level of spiciness.

What advice would you give your teen readers about life?

Never give up on the things you love. If you like history or math or chemistry or English or whatever, then study it, live it, learn it and then work in it. Working in the field that you loved in high school is the best feeling ever.

Thank you for sharing with us, Terah! You can find out more about Terah Edun and her book below:

Book Summary:

Allorna thought being a guardian trainee meant catching bad guys, occasional duty in the city docks and, if she was lucky, a posting with the imperial family. Instead, she was stuck on an assignment to petty larceny, caught breaking into prison and went on the run from her fellow guardians.

The only reason she went to the prison in the first place was for Maride – a young mage practitioner accused of murder. With Sidimo, a close friend and healer in tow, she now has to clear her name. Easier said than done when she and her friends accidentally enroll at the Madrassa, a legendary school of magic.

Alongside Vedaris, a sarcastic dragon and Sitara, a storm-caller, they work to get through the endless classes. The road they choose is not an easy one and each must come to decide whether the Madrassa is worth the work that is cut out for them.

About the author:

Terah Edun is a young adult fantasy writer born and raised in the Atlanta metropolitan area, who transplanted to the Northeast region for college, and now lives in South Sudan. She writes the stories that she always loved to read as a young girl.

Find her on her Website and Goodreads

Terah is a hosting a $60 Amazon Gift Card giveaway on her website.

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Ebook Giveaway!

This giveaway is international. All I ask is that you be awesome and over 13 years old :D

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  1. I would like to thank you so much for this fantastic book giveaway, and a brilliant blog post. I would love to read Red Madrassa by Terah Edun as i am a huge fan of the YA genre and would love to be able to read something new and origonal. It sounds like a gripping and exciting storyline, hence i have already added it to my to-read list. Thank you so much x

    Email: lfountain12(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

  2. I LOVE the cover! And I LOVE fantasy books!
    It's been a long time since I've seen a cover that makes me shiver... In a good way.

    1. Best praise ever! Thanks vanillamoon :)

  3. The cover is stunning!! Thank you for the chance to win. I found you through Goodreads and I'm now your newest follower. Hope you can stop by sometime for a visit! :)

    Leigh Ann
    MaMa's Book Corner

    1. Hi Leigh Ann,

      I'd love to stop over at MaMa's Book Corner! Sending you an email. Thanks for the follow on Goodreads.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to share with us today. Looking forward to reading Red Madrassa (trying really hard to pronounce Madrassa in my head here LOL) I love a good story where the protagonist gets out there and gets the job done and it sounds like Allorna and I could be good friends. BTW I am so with you on the Thai chicken salad - Yum ;)

  5. Thank you so much for hosting me on the blog One A Day Y.A.! It's been such a treat and I'll be popping to answer questions. :) For all those interested Red Madrassa is now on sale on Amazon for only .99c! My special treat to my readers. - Terah

  6. Such a beautiful cover! It's so good to see some diversity in fantasy at last. Many thanks!


  7. I would love to see where that first line leads. Thank you.

  8. Congrats to the winner of the ebook giveaway. There is still time to enter Terah's $60 Gift Card giveaway! Get those entries in!