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