Friday, March 9, 2012

Interview with Jasmine Richards

Today we have a guest all the way from England! I'm so excited to introduce you to this amazing and very beautiful Jasmine Richards. Now a little background about her. She was born in London, grew up in a library, and was the first in her family to go to university. After graduating from Oxford, and following a brief stint at New Scotland Yard, Jasmine chose a career in publishing over being the next Sherlock Holmes. Today she's a senior editor at a leading British publishing house. She now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband in an old wool mill. The Book of Wonders is her first novel and she would love to know what you think about it. Her website is

Jasmine, I love the idea of you living in a renovated mill. I bet it could help give someone great writing ideas. Others (like myself) enjoy nibbling on something while working. What is your A+, number 1 writing snack?

On a good day it is hummus and pitta bread and on a bad day it is sweets, especially chewy cola bottles! Chewing helps me think!

I agree, gummy treats are awesome. Real quick, give us one cheesy “writing is like cooking” thought.

Writing is like cooking because sometimes the best dish is the one you didn’t know you were going to cook.

Speaking of writing, your book just came out. Share with us what inspired The Book of Wonders and what "ingredients" do you hope make it a tasty treat for readers?
The Book of Wonders draws on the tales of 1001 Nights also known as Arabian Nights. Many of the stories in 1001 Nights are well known and include Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves and The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor. For those of you who haven’t read Arabian Nights they begin with a young woman called Scheherazade who tells tales to a cold-hearted sultan for 1001 nights in order to escape execution [the sultan has a nasty habit of executing his new wives!]. Through her stories, she manages to melt the sultan’s heart and they end up living happily ever after.

As a young reader, I loved these stories. I loved that Scheherazade was such a good storyteller and that she always made sure that she was at the most exciting bit of the story when the sun rose so that she would get to live for another day.

However, the 9 year old me was enraged by the idea that the sultan got a happy ending after killing lots of innocent young women! Even back then I wanted to create a new story, where the sultan was challenged and maybe even defeated.

With The Book of Wonders I have created an alternative version of events which I hope will keep readers guessing!
In terms of the ingredients that make my novel a tasty read I would say magic, friendship and adventure. That is what I like writing about and I hope that is what readers will get from my book. I also hope that reading The Book of Wonders might inspire them to read some of the tales in Arabian Nights. That would make me very happy indeed!

Can you share a bit about your next project?

At this very moment, I am writing the second part of Zardi’s and Rhidan’s adventure. It is provisionally called the Spell Scrolls but I still need to agree that title with my editor! In this second novel we get to learn more about Rhidan’s home, The Black Isle, and Zardi’s and Rhidan’s relationship is put under massive strain. I’m having an absolute blast writing it.

Sounds like you are busy writing away then. What’s your go-to meal when you need to serve something quick and easy?

Chilli Prawn linguine – it is so easy and so tasty.
Here is a link to this amazing dish!

If Pots ‘N Pens could grant you the wish that you could only live with one book and one food, what would it be?

I would choose Sophie’s Worldby Jostein Gaarder. This book had a huge influence on my understanding of the world and people when I was a teenager. I almost did a philosophy degree because of it! I love this story for its clarity yet complexity and urge you to have a read – you won’t see the world in the same way afterwards, I promise. I think if I could have only one book this one would keep me entertained.
In terms of food it would be my Grandma’s soup. This is a good old fashioned Caribbean soup which I have whenever I feel low or am feeling run down. I do a pretty good version of it but it is never as good as my Gram’s! It has pumpkin, chicken, carrots and dumplings in it. Yum, yum, yum.

Looks like we are out of time. It was a pleasure chatting with you. Congratulations on your book release.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog. If you would like to find out more about my book, read an excerpt or see the book trailer, please visit

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