The 27-year-old art history graduate writ­ing epic fan­tasy

SFX - - Red Alert -

What is Rebel Of The Sands about?

It’s a Wild West meets Ara­bian Nights fan­tasy about Amani, a 16-year-old sharp­shooter des­per­ate to get out of her dead end town, and Jin, a fighter wanted for trea­son. Their fates get tan­gled at a sharp­shoot­ing con­test and the pair wind up on the run across a desert crawl­ing with deadly ghouls.

How did you build the world?

The foun­da­tion of the world came from mix­ing some of the tropes from clas­sic West­erns with the mythol­ogy of the Ara­bian Nights, two desert worlds com­bined. I also think I was drawn to­wards in­clud­ing a world-chang­ing re­bel­lion be­cause much of my stud­ies fo­cused on the French Revo­lu­tion.

How long did you work on it?

It was prob­a­bly about three years from the mo­ment it en­tered my head to sell­ing the book, from let­ting the idea build while I was try­ing to fall asleep, and tak­ing long, some­times un-earned, writ­ing breaks to try to un­knot the plot.

Which sci-fi/fan­tasy au­thors would you like to be com­pared to in a dream re­view?

I’d love for my book to stay with young read­ers dis­cov­er­ing fan­tasy, the same way Tamora Pierce, Robin McKin­ley and Mercedes Lackey have stayed with me. In terms of con­tem­po­rary fan­tasy au­thors, I’d be over the moon flat­tered if I were to be com­pared with the likes of Rae Car­son, Leigh Bar­dugo or Marie Lu.

Rebel Of The Sands is pub­lished by Faber & Faber on 4 Fe­bru­ary.

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