Title: Memories of Ash
Series: The Sunbolt Chronicles, Book Two
Author: Intisar Khanani
Cover Designer: Jenny Zemanek
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Publisher: Purple Monkey Press
In the year since she cast her sunbolt, Hitomi has recovered only a handful of memories. But the truths of the past have a tendency to come calling, and an isolated mountain fastness can offer only so much shelter. When the High Council of Mages summons Brigit Stormwind to stand trial for treason, Hitomi knows her mentor won’t return—not with Arch Mage Blackflame behind the charges.
Armed only with her magic and her wits, Hitomi vows to free her mentor from unjust imprisonment. She must traverse spell-cursed lands and barren deserts, facing powerful ancient enchantments and navigating bitter enmities, as she races to reach the High Council. There, she reunites with old friends, planning a rescue equal parts magic and trickery.
If she succeeds, Hitomi will be hunted the rest of her life. If she fails, she’ll face the ultimate punishment: enslavement to the High Council, her magic slowly drained until she dies.
*What would you be doing right now if you were not an author?
Reading a book. No seriously, I am at a stay at home mom and I do a hybrid homeschooling approach with my two young girls (so they take a few classes and we do the rest at home). When I decided to take my writing seriously, that meant that I was giving up my nights, since my days were non-negotiable. So if I weren’t writing, I’d be reading, watching movies with my husband, sewing, and possibly trying to keep up a super-flexible consultancy with our local health department (though I doubt that would pan out given my lack of availability during daylight hours!).
*5 years ago: what were you doing?
I worked part time for our local health department! I have a Masters of Public Health, and for about seven years I worked on various projects with the Cincinnati Health Department, ranging from minority health issues generally to maternal and infant health and reducing infant mortality, to improving food access and addressing diabetes and obesity. I loved the range of projects I was able to work on, and the many opportunities to work with communities to improve community health. By five years ago, my first daughter had been born and I was working only ten hours a week. Not too long after that, as my second daughter’s birth neared, I decided I wanted to stay home. I do still miss my work, though, and hope that I’ll be able to go back to it someday.
*Do you have a certain writing ritual?
Nope! Just sit down and write. I do often manage to write online with friends—meaning that we check in online and then log off for a writing session, then check back in at the end of it. This helps keep me accountable and makes writing much less of a solitary endeavour. But when we don’t have a writing session planned, I really don’t have rituals other than to sit down and start typing.
*What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
I really can’t say. I don’t recall anything that was tough in a personal way. I do find it tough when a story doesn’t speak to beta-readers the way I’d hoped, or when I get feedback about gaping holes in a story that I had heretofore resolutely denied the existence of, but that just means a few more rough rounds of revision.
*Is there an author you'd like to meet?
I got the chance to meet Tamora Pierce last November at ChessieCon in Baltimore, and even got to sit on a couple panels with her. She was a lovely, thoughtful, funny, and very humble person, and I think I can say I got my wish there. :)
*Biggest writing pet peeve?
Hmm. I have a lot of pet peeves when it comes to what I read—for example, I hate when the heroine must “choose” between saving the world and her love interest. It’s the world, every time, okay? There are many more fish in the sea. Also, where will you live if you choose him over the world? And do you have a conscience? *sigh* But in terms of writing, I’m really not sure if I have any pet peeves. I don’t like writing tropes, so if I do, I usually end up turning them on their head at some point in the story. That’s probably about it!
*Do you read other's reviews of your books?
I sure do! Sometimes I learn something that helps my craft, and sometimes it just gives me the motivation I need to keep writing that night. It’s nice to know that people read my books and care enough to leave a review. I have a pretty thick skin, so the negative ones help me to see what people don’t like without really slowing me down. Perhaps one day if I become a super huge bestselling author, I won’t have the time to read reviews. Until then, I’m really grateful to have readers who share their thoughts. ;)
OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES:
The winding streets and narrow alleys of Karolene hide many secrets, and Hitomi is one of them. Orphaned at a young age, Hitomi has learned to hide her magical aptitude and who her parents really were. Most of all, she must conceal her role in the Shadow League, an underground movement working to undermine the powerful and corrupt Arch Mage Wilhelm Blackflame.
When the League gets word that Blackflame intends to detain—and execute—a leading political family, Hitomi volunteers to help the family escape. But there are more secrets at play than Hitomi’s, and much worse fates than execution. When Hitomi finds herself captured along with her charges, it will take everything she can summon to escape with her life.
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She first remembers seeing snow on a wintry street in Zurich, Switzerland, and vaguely recollects having breakfast with the orangutans at the Singapore Zoo when she was five. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters.
Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. Intisar's current projects include a companion trilogy to Thorn, following the heroine introduced in her free short story The Bone Knife, and The Sunbolt Chronicles, an epic series following a street thief with a propensity to play hero when people need saving, and her nemesis, a dark mage intent on taking over the Eleven Kingdoms.