Author: Atima Kim
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing Date: February 2, 2021
Witch. Warrior. Dragon Rider.
Long ago, the covens of the east made a pact to bring peace to the continent. To unite the clans and create a new era of witches, starting with the next generation of matrons. Fang is the first witch of her generation to reach her debut, as the next matron of her coven she has the unique honor of being the first one to fulfill the pact. For the first time in centuries, a Miangese witch will take a foreign consort. Luckily, Fang already has someone in mind. Taken in by the Sun coven in the mountain kingdom of Anda, Fang is more than happy to entertain the alluring young lords of the ruby clan as they compete to win her affections, not knowing her choice has already been made. Or so she thought. Until a chance encounter brings to light the existence of something Fang previously thought to be quite rare, a male witch. The meeting of this young shadow witch— a boy who Fang now owes a debt— starts a chain of events that will make Fang question everything she thought she knew about her Andan allies. In an effort to help him escape his oppressors, Fang and the shadow witch discover a dark presence that is slowly poisoning the innocent citizens of mortal Anda, and a dangerous weapon that could threaten the very peace of the pact that Fang is bound to uphold. As she, her friends, and her new shadow witch companion work to fight against these looming forces, Fang’s feelings towards her own choices slowly start to shift. She must decide what is more important to her, who she wants by her side, and most of all- what she’s willing to give up in order to be the leader her people need.
Q- Hi! I’m so happy you’re doing this interview with me. We’ll start this off with something basic. Where did you get the story idea for Spark to Shadow?
A- Hello! Well for a start, for a long time I wanted to do a story that had Thai culture as its central inspiration. In the back of my mind I had this story about some kind of epic adventure that centered around a Thai main character who was suddenly removed from her homeland. The story at first was going to be about a royal, but actually I decided against that and shifted to a culturally entwined fantasy. For a few months I wrote several different books that had varying concepts but all somewhat resembled the same main ideas. Spark to Shadow was where I finally landed and when I finished I decided “yes, this is it. This is the series I want to publish.”
Q- When you write a book, do you usually plan out every aspect of the book? Or do you come up with a basic idea and see how it flows?
A- I start off with a main idea, who the main characters are, how they meet, and what is the main inciting event. Then I sit down and write an outline, roughly of what and where I want things to happen throughout the book. So I have the main events written down, but the exact details of how these things happen kind of write themselves as I go.
Q- Who are some of your favorite authors? Did any of them inspire you to write your own books?
A- There are a lot of authors who I maybe intentionally or unintentionally drew inspiration from. I think like a lot of YA Fantasy readers I was really drawn in first by Sarah J Maas and both of her series, I think her way of combining fantasy with romance was a big inspiration at first. An author that I think really encouraged me to write my own series was S.A. Chakraborty and her Daevabad series. I loved the series so much and loved even more how rich with culture and political intrigue it was and wanted to do something similar in my books, though I don’t think Spark to Shadow resembles her series in any way.
Q- Do you relate to the main character of your story, Fang, in any way? Or is Fang inspired by someone in real life?
A- No Fang isn’t like me at all, she is much more bold and adventurous than I could hope to be. I relate to her in that she is very connected to her family and proud of who she is, but she has a much stronger personality with a lot more- literal- fire. I can’t say she was inspired by any one person, but more I wrote her as the type of woman I admire most.
Q- Was the story of Spark to Shadow something that just came to you? Or was it a story that’s unfolded in your mind over some time?
A- I played with the main concept in a different way over several different books for a while. I knew I wanted to write a story that was rooted in East and Southeast Asian culture and that I wanted some form of elemental magic to be a big part of it, but this specific story really was something that just came to life all of a sudden and before I knew it I had a whole series planned out.
Q- What’s your writing process like? Do you have a ritual you strictly follow?
A- I’m a binge writer. Meaning I write down the main idea, plan out my outline and then I sit down and just write. I don’t stop until I’m done, I write all day for maybe a week, two weeks, and power through it. Its not a rule so much as it would drive me crazy if I didn’t finish.
Q- Finally, are you working on another book right now??
A- I’m kind of always writing books in my head, my imagination never really stops running through ideas. At the moment I’m going through the editing of books 2 and 3 of this series (yes, they’re already written) and I have more planned. I’ve only been brainstorming a new series, but haven’t put in writing yet because it keeps morphing into something else before I can sit down and write it. Either way, there will be more to come.
About the Author
Atima has been coming up with stories for as long as she can remember. As soon as she learned how to read and write she was putting pen to paper and dreaming up new worlds and adventure. Her life has always been on the page and as she grew up and her interests changed so did her writing. She loves creating places to escape, and more than anything she loves writing about love. She was born in the Midwestern US, to a Thai mother and American father. Her home has always been a mix of languages and cultures, and remains so today. She likee to draw on the places and people and culture that influence her life as inspiration in her writing and she hopes to join the ranks of other Asian American authors representing diverse cultures and voices in the writing community through her books.
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If you were given the chance, would you want to be a witch/ warrior, or remain human? Why?