I just read the Lost Photos of Penang … right before I read this! My phone just isn’t letting me know. I agree … it’s incredible. Of course I have to quibble with him a bit — it’s obvious the two girls are not twins, they are an older and younger sister. I also think no one in the audience in the speaker photo is paying much attention. The young girls in the 70s photo look just like my own school friends.
Like Fire IS fantasy. But the main character is an adult woman, a mother of a teen daughter. And all the characters are inspired by real people in my life. Not just people I know, but those I am closest to. It’s not “British” or “Eurocentric” either. The first chapter could be a mistake; it’s the only one until much later in the book from these characters’ point of view and I thought a lot about them. They’re based on my 2nd fiance and his brother.
I was thinking and have always thought a lot about nature and animals. I just went on a walk with our friend Gambit (Jack Russell Terrier). Bruce (my husband) and I talk a lot about what animals think and feel.
That’s part of the book, too. Shula the Salamander is a “magical” animal that has had a very hard life due to people using and abusing her.
I’m working on the second book. It’s harder because this one was about love even in times of trouble.
The second book goes back and covers Beroos’ life before. It’s tough. A lot of abuse.