Friday, July 26, 2013

Interview: From Flights to Flaws by Sunayna Prasad (Middle Grade)

Twelve-year-old Alyssa McCarthy can no longer stand the toughness of her uncle and wants a better life. But one day she discovers not only the existence of magic, but also a villain hunting her down. The villain uses magic and magical technology to kidnap Alyssa to the Fiji Islands. As much as she wants to go home, she has to face some dangerous challenges first. Not only that, the villain himself must also be defeated. Can Alyssa succeed, even with the help of her mentors?

    What inspired your book?
Before writing this book, I wrote a very amateurish and sloppy one called Alyssa’s African Adventures. I self-published it two years ago, but then people on a writing forum complained about how they couldn’t read past a certain point and that it was so awful. I rewrote that book a few times until I realized that it would be better to write a completely different book. However, I felt too uncomfortable with changing this main character’s first name and making her physical appearance completely different. But everything else in this book is different from Alyssa’s African Adventures (with the exception of the main character being twelve years old and an orphan).

A lot of the inspirations came from Harry Potter. There’s an invisibility poncho, a potion called Impersonaide Potion (which turns you into another person, but very differently than the Polyjuice potion in HP), some of the spells with similar effects (but different names, of course), and even one of the characters roots to a character from HP, which is Sirius Black. Alyssa has a godfather, who’s a minor character in this book, but will play a major role in the rest of the series (I won’t say how, though). Like Sirius, Alyssa’s godfather also has long hair and a goatee (even though Sirius may not have on in the books, just in the movies). But he has a completely different personality. He’s affectionate, sweet, cheerful, and sometimes enthusiastic. He and Sirius share no other traits.

    What inspired your characters, where they based off anything in real life?
Nope, not at all. Although I did make one of my characters a little bit similar to my cousin. But she wasn’t based off of her.
    What other books have you written?
Alyssa’s African Adventures, two other books related to it that I never published, and a fan fiction novel of Ed the Penguin which I’d done in third grade.
    If you could only keep 5 books because of some world ending event, which would you keep?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, School of Fear, Confessions from the Heart of a Teenage Girl, Incantation, and Solving Zoe

    What is your favorite food?
I don’t know. I like so many of them that I can’t name one.

    If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’m happy in Long Island, NY.
    What are your favorite genres?
Fantasy and Literary.

    What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up. The more you practice writing, the better it will get.

     What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
I don’t know, but I learned a lot over the nearly two years it had taken me to write my book, From Frights to Flaws.

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