Friday, October 18, 2019

"The Frights of Fiji" by Sunayna Prasad

Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere. How do you like that statement? It comes from Sunayna Prasad, the author of "The Frights of Fiji." This book holds the potential to become a best-seller and is worth taking a closer look at.


A world of magic and adventure awaits…

Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

"Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere."

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled "From Frights to Flaws", this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the "Magical Missions" series.

Sunayna Prasad

How did you come up with the title? 

People thought that the original title “From Frights to Flaws” was weak and didn’t make sense. I used that same title, plus “2nd Edition” for when I republished the story. But my sales were suffering a bit, so I decided to change certain elements for marketing reasons. I did a poll for the former and current title and most people preferred “The Frights of Fiji”.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 

Except for a certain dinner scene, no. None of the characters are based off people I know. That being said, some were developed like people I know. Nothing is really based off my own life experiences. I tend to have a habit of creating characters, storylines, backstories, and setting the places I’ve had little to no experience with or knowledge of. Someone once suggested I write about a character more like me (South-Asian, living on Long Island, NY, etc.), but I would find that boring. My life has been pretty much straightforward.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

Certainly the “Harry Potter” series, which my “Magical Missions” books have been compared to the most. In book 2, “The Unruly Curse”, some of the inspirational influences were movies. Those include “Frozen” and “Paranorman”.

What are your current projects? 

I’m working on the third installment, which has taken 3 ¾ years. I’m hoping it’ll be done by the end of this month.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? 

Due to some unsatisfying feedback in previous versions, I’ve made significant changes to book 2, including cutting a couple chapters, while keeping the same storyline. But in book 1 and 2, there’s something I stated that isn’t true in real life (because I didn’t do careful research on it before), even though it’s a very minor detail and doesn’t play a role to the plots. However, in book 3, I’m going to correct that error by making my main character discover something about her past she never knew.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? 

Yes. Ten years ago, when I was a month away from my 16th birthday, the idea of my current MC (a blonde girl named Alyssa with magic in her life) popped into my head while I was in the shower. I got excited in the idea as it was based off my childhood imagination.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? 

Certainly. That is dialogue, character development (after a certain extent), and sometimes, but especially in my early writing days, believability. Creating things you have little to no knowledge or experience with is very difficult to make believable. For instance, my MC is Irish-Catholic, grew up in New Jersey, eventually moves to a Chicago suburb, was orphaned at age 7, lost her aunt at age 9, and lived a few miserable years with her harsh uncle. None of these apply to me. Research can take me as far as possible, though.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? 

Nope. I just do research on my computer.

Who designed the covers?

I hired an illustrator, whose name is a bit hard to remember.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 

A lot. One is how detention works in schools as my MC gets it in “The Unruly Curse.” But I never did.