About the Author
A certified bookworm, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery…
A daughter of adventurous expats, she’s had the good fortune of living on 3 continents, learning 4 languages, and experiencing a multicultural life. Currently, she’s working on a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature, which she balances between writing, taking care of her clowder of cats, and searching for the perfect bottle of pinot noir.
So I finally got the chance to feature this amazing author on my blog and I cannot be more happy! Zoe Kalo is the author of ‘Daughter of the Sun‘, the first book in Cult of the Cat series. You can read my review of the book here: Daughter of the Sun by Zoe Kalo.
I absolutely adore this book as well as the companion novella Korian and Lucy which is about the parents of Trinity, the protagonist in Daughter of the Sun. I highly recommend both the books to fantasy/mythology lovers. I am sure you will love it!
Without further ado, lets hop into the interview!
1. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of the book?
I’ve always been fascinated with ancient Egypt. It started with mummy films, not only the latest ones but also the old ones from the 1930s. I’ve also had the fortune to travel to Egypt twice. I saw the pyramids, sailed down the Nile to Luxor and Abu Simbel. It was simply magical. Besides this, I love cats. They’re so sultry and mysterious. Of course, cats and ancient Egypt usually go together. Cats were revered during that time. I knew about Bastet, which is the better known cat goddess. While reading about ancient Egypt, I stumbled upon the names Sekhmet and the more rare Mafdet, and that’s when I came up with the idea for the series. The arc for the 4 books came to me in a flash of inspiration.
2. What cultural value do you see in writing?
I’ve learned so much while working on this series. I’ve read tons of books about ancient Egyptian myth, magic, mummification, and history. I took a 50-lecture course on ancient Egypt from TheGreatCourses.com. The cultural value applies to the reader as well. Many of the people who have read and reviewed Daughter of the Sun have commented on how much the book has taught them about ancient Egyptian mythology, or how it has sparked in them an interest in the subject.
3. Tell us about any interesting writing quirk of yours?
I like to write while listening to thunderstorm soundtracks.
4. What is one of the most surprising things you learned while creating your books?
That the most fun, satisfying moments of the writing process are exactly that—the surprises, those scenes or situations that I never plan but that spring up organically from the story and characters.
5. What was the hardest part of writing Daughter of the Sun?
Making sure I got the details of the mythology right. This involved checking and rechecking multiple times. I had to be especially careful with the information that I found online, which at times wasn’t 100% accurate.
Another difficult part was writing the story while keeping in mind the overall arc of the series. For example, I had to include details about things that will happen in book 4, so this required a lot of thinking and planning ahead. This “containing of the world” doesn’t come easy for me. I have to make sure that all those loose ends will be tied up in the final book.
6. Do you hear from your readers much? What do they have to say about your book?
Yes, I have received some reader emails saying how much they enjoyed my book and asking when the next one will be out. I love hearing from readers!
7. When can we expect the second book in the series to release? Honestly speaking, I am so excited for its release! Also, when can we expect the release of the second part of Korian and Lucy?
Thank you so much! It thrills me to hear that. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those super-fast writers, plus I’m in the second year of my master’s degree and that has required a lot of work that has gotten in the way of my writing. The second book in the series, Lady of the Red Linen, is scheduled to be released in January 15th. At the moment I’m working on Korian and Lucy (part 2), which will be out mid-September, with part 3 following in early November.
However, my dark, psychological suspense novella, Two Graves, will come out in October. I’m really excited about this one, as it was a challenge to write because of its topic. This isn’t YA fantasy, however. It is a dark tale of revenge aimed at new adults and adults.
I also have a standalone YA novel, not related to Cult of the Cat, coming out in February. It is a modern Gothic set in Puerto Rico in the 1970s.
8. Who is your favorite characters of all the characters? If you could bring any one of them to life, who would it be?
Oh, do I have to choose just one? That’s hard! All my characters have a special place in my heart, even evil Dr. Nassri!
Ara was a very nice surprise. She kept getting more and more real as the story progressed, to the point where I was afraid she would overshadow Trinity. This is the type of surprise I was referring to when I answered your earlier question.
And of course I love Korian, even though he plays a very small part in book 1 (I don’t want to reveal any spoilers, but you’ve read the book so you must know what I’m talking about!). You’ll see more of him in the next books, especially in book 4. But I didn’t want to wait that long, which is why I had to write Korian and Lucy. He is the impulsive, passionate rich kid with the warm heart, the tortured soul, the teenaged Lord Byron.
9. Which is your favorite book/book series of all times?
Just one? That’s a tough one. I can say that the most influential for me as a writer has been Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice.
10. Would you like to share anything with your readers?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Suhani! I enjoyed answering your questions!
About the Book
Sixteen-year-old Trinity was born during a solar eclipse and left at the doorsteps of a convent along with a torn piece of papyrus covered with ancient symbols. Raised by nuns in the English countryside, she leads a quiet life until she’s whisked away to the Island of Cats and a grandmother she never knew.
But before they can get to know each other, her grandmother dies. All that Trinity has left is a mysterious eye-shaped ring. And a thousand grieving cats. As Trinity tries to solve the enigma of the torn papyrus, she discovers a world of bloody sacrifices and evil curses, and a prophecy that points to her and her new feline abilities.
Unwilling to believe that any of the Egyptian gods could still be alive, Trinity turns to eighteen-year-old Seth and is instantly pulled into a vortex of sensations that forces her to confront her true self—and a horrifying destiny.
Buy from Amazon IN: Daughter of the Sun