I recently received digital copies of Heir of Ashes and its prequel The Curse and I was also fortunate enough to interview the author of these works – Jina S. Bazzar!
Jina was born and raised in Brasil and, like most authors, grew up with a love of reading. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with a chronic disease that caused gradual vision loss and became blind at the age of 23. Jina has since discovered screen readers so she can continue enjoying her love of reading but found reading was no longer enough and so she began to write her own book. Jina also writes for her blog, Author Inspirations, and is a columnist for Conscious Talk Magazine.
Jina’s debut novel is Heir of Ashes, an urban fantasy featuring Seelies, UnSeelies, shapeshifters and a hint other supernaturals, such as vampires and witches. The story follows Roxanne Fosch who has been locked in a scientific facility and had experiments performed on her since the age of 12. She escaped, is on the run and has no idea what she is, no idea what she is capable of and no idea of who she can trust.
The Curse is the prequel to Heir of Ashes and tells the story of Yoncey Fosch, Roxanne’s father. It provided background information on how and why Roxanne came to be in that scientific facility and found that some of the questions that remain unanswered in Heir of Ashes are addressed in this short story.
Keep an eye out over the next two days for my reviews of both the main novel, Heir of Ashes, and its prequel, The Curse!
Q: What was your favourite book as a child?
A: I was born and raised in Brazil and my very first book was a comic book with local – though famous – characters. Beyond that, I read most anything, but poetry books borrowed from the school library were my favorites. As I grew and began branching out, my taste was eclectic, going from textbooks – biology, English, Portuguese – to fiction books in all kinds of genres that I borrowed from friends, but the ones I can remember now are The Forbidden Game by L. J. Smith, The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike, Some Eve Duncan by Iris Johansen, and a handful of Steven King. Ah, and there’s Judith McNaught with all the historical romances.
Q: What is your favourite book as an adult?
A: Hard to choose… Let’s see… Blue Smoke by Nora Roberts has been read multiple times, The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Harry Dresden by Jim Butcher … and there’s A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – there are so many more, I feel like I’m being unjust here, but to list all is to fill out a short journal.
Q: What is your favourite genre to read and are there any new releases you are anticipating?
A: I love fantasy and romantic suspense. Usually, the books I read are part of a series, so yes; there are a few books I’m anticipating. One of them is the last book in the Kate Daniels’s series by Ilona Andrews, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher, Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts, book 7 in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah Maas, there are others too, like Mercy Thompson, Jane Yellowrock, Chronicles of the one and so on. What can I say, I’m a bookaholic.
Q: What is your favourite way to relax?
A: Easy one: Loud music, reading or baking.
Q: What inspired you to become an author?
A: All the ideas I had. I could continue a plot of a book in my head without needing to read it. Of course, the ideas in my head never matched the actual plot, and then one day I decided to try it. It had never been my intention to go beyond the writing, but life sometimes surprises you.
Q: What experience since deciding to become an author has been your favourite so far?
A: The outcome of a story. It never fails to surprise me when I pause and read back on what I wrote.
I get so lost in the words, I surprise even myself.
Then there’s the rush of accomplishment I feel every time I write a scene, finish a draft or a round of editing.
Q: How did you come up with the ideas for Heir of Ashes and The Curse?
A: At the beginning, when I first tried my hand at storytelling, I had a different story altogether in mind – different characters, different plot, different storyline. I had book one, book two and half of book three typed when I went back to book one and started reading. It was a horrible, embarrassing experience, and it made my English teacher look like a total failure. Roxanne Fosch started taking place in my mind while I was trying to fix that trilogy, and eventually, I hid all three books somewhere dark and deep and let Roxanne tell her story.
Q: How do you choose your characters names?
A: The same way most people find things nowadays: I google them. Sometimes I find the perfect one, other times I have to give the character a name at random, then replace it when I find something more suitable.
Q: How long did you spend working on Heir of Ashes and The Curse?
A: About a week on The Curse for a first draft. Two months on Heir of Ashes, also the first draft.
Like I said, I never intended to go beyond the writing, so there are long gaps between edits and proofread.
Q: What do you think makes Heir of Ashes and The Curse unique?
A: Every story in a way is unique: style, plotlines, and characters. Heir of Ashes and The Curse feature an array of diverse characters and supernatural community known out there, plus the fairies of the Sidhe world (the Seelie and Unseelie courts), though the latter will feature more prominently on book two, Heir of Doom and book three.
Q: Can you sum up Heir of Ashes in one sentence?
A: Roxanne Fosch is a young woman full of potential and untapped abilities that everyone wants a piece of.
Q: Is there anything else about Heir of Ashes you would like my readers to know?
A: Heir of Ashes is a story full of action. Because the main character, Roxanne, is yet ignorant about her abilities, she’s targeted by some of the stronger predators in the supernatural community – all trying to gain the upper hand in a bid for power.
There is a bit of romance in Heir of Ashes, though it’ll be slow to develop and leave you wanting for more. But maybe the romance will bloom in the upcoming books!
Q: Can you share any details about your next project?
A: Well, my next project is Heir of Doom, and here Roxanne is learning not to be dependent on others. She’ll learn not only to master her abilities but will find herself in dicier situations and have to make stickier choices.
Thank you so much to Jina for her time and answering my questions!
Until next time bibliophiles!