Writer Sunayna Prasad joins me today to chat about her middle grade children’s fantasy, The Frights of Fiji.
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Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website, sunaynaprasadbooks.com, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”. Sunayna graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.
Please share a little bit about your current release.
The Frights of Fiji was published a year ago. It’s about a girl who is living with her harsh uncle, but is kidnapped to Fiji by a warlock. She has to defeat him in order to leave the nation.
What inspired you to write this book?
The “Harry Potter” series gave me a ton of inspiration. In fact, many readers have compared the book to “Harry Potter”. One character was even compared to Harry’s Aunt Petunia, who actually had no inspiration or influence behind that other character.
Excerpt from The Frights of Fiji:
About a half hour had gone by, and footsteps thumped down the stairs. Alyssa figured out that Mathias had returned via his flying tube since Isabelle had said that he owned one too. Alyssa turned to the staircase and watched him carry a small cage with about six or seven mice. They had white fur with patches of green, purple, red, and blue. Mathias also carried a bag of silver, gold, copper, metallic green, red, and blue fronds.
He entered the living room and sat on one of the couch chairs. He placed the cage on the carpet. But Isabelle bent her eyebrows. “Mathias, don’t put them on the carpet. They’re going to—”
“Isabelle, it’s okay. They’re in a cage.”
“Still, they’re filthy wild animals, and they could get my clean carpet dirty.”
“Oh, Isabelle, stop being such a neat freak,” said Mathias.
“No.” Isabelle turned to Simon, who sat on the other couch chair and listened to his WiPod. “Simon, can you track the snake, please?”
Simon took out his earbuds. “What did you want me track? I didn’t get that.”
Isabelle repeated herself, and Simon made his tablet appear. Alyssa watched him press it; he probably programmed a way to track the snake.
“Simon, how far away is the snake?” asked Alyssa.
“Erm . . . about a hundred feet away,” he replied.
“Oh my god,” moaned Alyssa.
“Let’s go,” said Isabelle.
Alyssa’s stomach hardened as she walked up the stairs. She could even feel her heart throb through her throat. She hurried her breathing and followed everyone else out of the tent.
Alyssa stepped onto the sand and saw something move. She gasped, her muscles constricting to her bones. Her hands shook and cooled down despite the burning sun. Tingles spread through her toes and fingers and expanded to the rest of her body. She whined through her contracted throat. She wished that what she saw was just a mirage. But the smell of the ash hanging in the air revealed to her that she didn’t just see things—the snake drew nearer.
It opened its jaw, exhaling light gray ash. It stuck out its pointy black tongue and pushed its head toward Alyssa, and she coughed. But it sped up its slithering. Alyssa screamed and spun around. She dashed along the beach, and her feet sped up, thus kicking the backs of her legs.
“Alyssa, get back here!” yelled Mathias. “I can’t disappear holding the cage or mice! It’s impossible doing both!”
But Alyssa continued to sprint across the beach. Sand streamed into her sneakers. Sweat even trickled into the neckline of her shirt and her legs.
Something scaly slapped her legs. She flew into the air and screamed. Her body fought against the direction of the breeze, and she landed on her butt.
She moaned and quickened up breaths through her gritted teeth. The snake continued to slither and release ash. Shrieking, Alyssa bolted up and turned around. She headed into the rainforest.
Facing vines, twigs, trees, bushes, and fronds, Alyssa found her way around them. Her legs ached from all the different movements she made. She ran sideways from a tree, jumped over a couple of twigs and vines, and zigzagged around trees and bushes. A trail even lay in front of her.
Alyssa’s thin legs and body kept her energy going, but her legs felt like they’d been clogged with broken cobblestones. The snake kept chasing her, though.
What exciting story are you working on next?
The third installment, which will hopefully be done by next month. It took about 4 years to complete, which is a long time for me.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my teens, but my writing didn’t please a lot of people until I was 19. I’m 26 now and my feedback from readers is far better now.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Nope, I also work in an office, hang out with my friends, and cook. That being said, I also have a blog with different topics in the creative and entertainment categories.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I like to apply humor to it. As long as it’s believable, it’s acceptable.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Different things, ranging from pilot to zookeeper to baker.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I have recently launched a website about my books’ universe called magicalmissionsworld.com. It’s got details about the content and will gain more material soon.
Thank you for being a guest on my blog!
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