Author Interview: Tanaz Bhathena

Exploring identity, class struggles, and high-stakes romance, Tanaz Bhathena’s Hunted by the Sky is a gripping adventure set in a world inspired by medieval India. We spoke with author Tanaz Bhathena about her inspiration, indie booksellers as advocates, and more.

Please tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write this book and how this story took shape for you.

I loved reading fantasy fiction as a child, but never had the courage to write my own story. Years later, in 2016, after failing to write a science-fiction dystopian novel, I decided to take a risk and rewrite the book as a fantasy. I also changed the setting to one inspired by medieval India—a historical period I was obsessed with as a teenager. Almost at once, everything began falling into place. It was as if a door had been unlocked and a whole world was waiting for me behind it. All I needed to do was write in the genre that scared me the most.

In two sentences or less, what’s something that might surprise listeners about your audiobook?

The twists in the last half of the book. Those surprised even me.

Have you listened to your own audiobook? If so, what struck you about the narration?

I haven’t heard the whole audiobook (I’m really looking forward to doing so!), but I did listen to the first sample chapter. What struck me the most is that the narration is almost exactly how I read the book, while giving live performances–or how it sounds in my head.

Are you an audiobook listener? If so, what are some of your favorite audiobooks?

I do listen to audiobooks! One of my recent favorites is The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee, narrated by Emily Woo Zeller.

What have independent bookstores and/or booksellers meant to you personally and professionally?

As a customer, I love the personalized attention and care I get from independent booksellers. As an author, I am grateful to indie bookstores who have promoted my books; it’s lovely to discover a bookseller who has not only read my work, but is also as passionate about it as I am.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

I started listening to audiobooks a couple of years ago to avoid eye strain and fell in love with the medium. Now, whenever I borrow a book from the library, I try to see if an audiobook option is available.

author tanaz bhathena on independent bookstores

Header photo by Nettie Photography

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