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Friday, January 28, 2011

Blog Tour: Interview with Sarwat Chadda, Author of Dark Goddess

I'm today's blog stop for Sarwat Chadda's DARK GODDESS, the sequel to DEVIL'S KISS (9/1/2009). Sarwat is a recurring face on my blog and I'm happy to have him here again to answer questions about his books.

Sarwat Chadda was brought up on the adventures of the great medieval heroes like Saladin and Richard the Lionheart. His passion for storytelling grew from his love for the history, culture and myths of Europe and the Middle East.

Sarwat used to be an engineer, working on projects like the Channel Tunnel and Hong Kong airport, but now he writes full time. He has travelled widely, from China to India, from Nicaragua to the Yemen, but there’s no place like home, and home is London. Devil's Kiss was his first novel.

DARK GODDESS is in a bookstore near you!

Which book was harder to write Devil's Kiss or Dark Goddess? Please explain.
Dark Goddess by far. There were practical details like deadlines. It took me four years to write Devil’s Kiss so I suffered from the classic ‘second album’ problem, how to produce something to the same standard in six months?

Then there were emotional issues regarding the characters. Billi had suffered terribly by the end of DK, so I needed to acknowledge that, and move her character on without losing what was best about her form the first book. Then DG is set in Russia. DK was based in London, my home city. Now the standard had been set, I needed to write the second setting with equal authenticity. The best way to do that was to spend a week in Russia, visiting the sights and getting a feel for the place. Worked wonders.

If you could do it over again, would you change anything in any of your books?
I could certainly have written DK even tighter, though it’s a slim book already. But in contrast I feel I’d liked to have been a little bit more patient, let the story unfold at a slower pace. If anything the book’s too hectic, but that lean and mean pace has its own appeal.

There are alot of strong heroines in today's YA books, what makes Billi so special/different from the rest?
Her lack of supernatural ability. At the end of the day Billi’s just human. She bleeds, she feels doubt, pain and has no special get out clause. Death is ever present and the end of Devil’s Kiss demonstrates people close to her will die.

In a fight to the death - who would win Billi or Buffy?
Does Buffy fight to the death? Okay, if you’re a vampire or some supernatural beasty, sure, the Slayer will slay you. I can’t recall Buffy ever killing a normal human. That could work to Billi’s advantage.

In a straight fight, it’ll have to be Ms. Summers. She’s superhuman after all and has years more combat experience. Remember when she sparred with Riley? Even holding back she totally kicked his butt. And Riley is at the top of his game human soldier, like Billi. But I think Buffy would hesitate to kill a fifteen year old girl like Billi while we’ve seen, under the right circumstances, Billi’s willing to kill anyone.

If your book was optioned for a movie, who would best fit the characters?My eldest daughter for Billi, or my youngest if it was in development hell for ages. James Purefoy as Arthur. Always saw Gwaine as either Robert Duvall or Ray Winstone. Mike would be someone like Ben Barnes, we saw he has a great dark side in Dorian Grey. Kay was based on a young David Bowie, we need someone pale and very interesting. Ivan’s based on a young Christian Bale, he’s got those razor-sharp cheekbones.

Would you like to share with your readers about what's next for you and your upcoming books? I’d love there to be a Billi Book 3, but that depends on how Devil’s Kiss and Dark Goddess do sales-wise. The fundamentals like setting and plot are in place, I just need an excuse to write it. Meanwhile I’ll soon be making an announcement (I hope!) on a new series I’ve been working on. It’s set in the same world as Billi SanGreal and there was a very subtle hint to it in Devil’s Kiss. A boy protagonist this time around but there’s a girl assassin involved who’d give Billi (and Buffy, while we’re at it) a real run for her money.

Well there you have it, I can only hope that we'll get to see more of Billi and crew. You can check out my review of DARK GODDESS here. Thanks for stopping by Sarwat! For more info on Sarwat Chadda and his books, please visit his website here.


  1. Wow what a great interview. I've seen these books around but didn't know much about them. Now I'm very interested in reading them. I love that the MC is human. I also love the Billi vs. Buffy question. :D

  2. I really enjoyed Devil's Kiss and can't wait for Dark Goddess. And I'll probably check out his new series now too.

  3. Im a new reader and i have to say Ive never read thesebut they sound awesome enjoyed the interview deff have anew fan

  4. When I read The Devil's Kiss, I really enjoyed the fact the Bailli had no supernatural gifts. I think it definitely made her more interesting and unique. Great interview. ^_^

  5. Thanks for the interview! This series sound very intruging, I will have to check them out soon!

  6. Thanks for the great interview! I've never read this series before but it sounds like a great one!

  7. That's interesting what he said about 'second album' issues. I can never finish a full story in six months, that very impressive!

  8. Wow, 4 years to 6 months? That must have been hard to pull off, but it looks like you did it! Yay!!

  9. I love this series. I think they should have more books with the Templars.

  10. Great interview I can't wait to read these books. Thanks so much.

  11. Billi sounds like an awesome character :) Love the name, too!!

  12. Thanks for the interview - Mr. Chadda sure has a great background & has seen a lot of the world.


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