Sunday, January 20, 2013

Showcase: The Scarlet Omen by Cinthia Koeksal

The Scarlet Omen

What do a clan of vampires, a hidden gateway and a three hundred year old prophecy have to do with a rebellious teenager? Everything. Being a good daughter is not easy. Being a bad one is downright exhausting. Anjeli, a girl plagued by visions of blood lust and magic, tries to live a carefree, teenage life but her over-protective Indian mother will not have any of it. The animosity between them does not subside and as a series of events changes the course of their lives, Anjeli tries to assuage her guilty conscience with good memories. Instead, Anjeli stumbles upon a prophecy that has come to claim her as its main performer.

Cinthia KoeksalHi. I’m Cinthia Koeksal and I’d firstly like to thank you for taking an interest in The Scarlet Omen. Without readers who bring characters to life, a novel is just fancy words--words with great potential but nevertheless undiscovered--and I am grateful for your support.

Let me tell you something about myself; I promise to keep it short. On the 13th of July in 1980, I took my first breath in a seaside town on the East Coast of Malaysia. After a few years of lazing on the beach and taking small-town life for granted, my family moved to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and made it our base. My mother and I travelled the deepest jungles of Malaysia following my engineer father from one timber factory to the next. We spent a few years in Kuching, a gorgeous town in East Malaysia, where I realized that I simply loved writing. My darling friends were my first fans as I forced pages and pages of high school romance novels on them. I hope that they are happy now that I have moved on to fantasy; although love and magic are still a very important part of my stories. There's always room in the world for tales of princes and evil witches, right?

A few years ago, I met my prince without any interference from sorcery. We’re married now and have been blessed with a son. We live in Germany with our dog, Sparky, and try to make every day as magical as possible.

Q.  What inspires your writing?

A. Writing has always been an important part of my life. It's my way of escaping life's dreary moments and also a way for me to further delve into the many realms that exist in my head. The people around me inspire my characters and my country Malaysia has always been a source of wonderful myth and legend that any writer would pounce on for material.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being an author?

A. I like seeing the many worlds that I've created come to life and I love getting great reviews. Five star reviews from people you don't know just makes you feel like all those years of slogging away at your laptop and all those missed weekends with the family have finally paid off.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being an author?

A. The competition out there definitely. There are just so many great writers with huge publishing houses behind them and elbowing your way through that to catch the eye of your potential reader is really hard. Thank God for Goodreads, though.

Q.  If you could not be author, what would you do/be?

A. A rock star, of course! Travelling the world with my guitar surrounded by really cute guys has always filled my daydreams. 

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?

A. Lord of the Eye Rings (authors don't get much sleep)

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?

A. The Book Thief. Heart-rending yet funny and dark with Death being the story teller. I simply loved it and have read it four times now.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?

A. Golem. With a slight personality disorder, I'm obsessive and protective about the things I love.

Q.  What character from all of your book are you most like?

A. Prince Kayanya the prince of the Lake People. He's flirtatious, adventurous, slightly cocky and falls head over heels when he's in love. He'd also do absolutely anything to keep the one he loves safe.

Q.  What is your favorite season?

A. The moment between the end of Winter and the start of Spring. It's like sitting on a rooftop at twilight, floating in a realm between death and life.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?

A. My protagonist Anjeli discovers a parallel world through a hidden gateway. This gateway is situated in a cave tucked away on the island of Borneo. On the book cover, you see an Indian girl inviting you with a bold stare to join her on her journey, standing in front of this cave. She isn't just asking you to come with her to the magical valley, Anjeli is inviting you to taste life and magic.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.

A. I once had to give a quick book summary to a very important person at a book fair while he was rushing off to another appointment and all I could think of was, "It'''s... a really awesome book. You know, with teenagers and magic and stuff." He looked at me as though I had just crawled out of a hole in mid-evolution. Needless to say, I don't work well under pressure.

Q.  Are you working on something new?

A. I've just handed in the sequel to The Scarlet Omen and am writing book three of my trilogy. 

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?

A.  Thanks so much for stopping by. I write a weekly blog where I discuss everything and anything about writing, reading and my novel if you're interested in learning more about my book ( Thanks for supporting our book bloggers without whom we writers would be lost. Have a great New Year!

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