Mundie Moms

Monday, April 23, 2018

ARU SHAH by Roshani Chokshi / Author Interview #AruShah #RickRiordanPresents

Today I am so thrilled to share my interview with Aru Shah author, Roshani Chokshi. I recently sat down with Roshani to talk about her MG debut. I am a huge fan of her YA series, and I'm thrilled she has a middle grade book out. She is one of my favorite writers. This book is FANTASTIC! I highly recommend picking it up! You can read my 5 star review for it here


Aru is so well written. I love that you made her this character that we can all relate to, whether you're a pre-teen reading her story or an adult. We've all gone through those stages or are going through of wanting to fit in. I love her journey teaches her it she doesn't need to fit. Something she desperately wants to do in the beginning of this story. She was so realistic. 

Aru was how I was in middle school. We have a lot of similarities. Middle school is so rough. You cry the most, but you also laugh the most. There's so much you go through. 

There are a lot of fun elements to this story. Which element to Aru's story surprised you the most?

I was most surprised with the emotionally journey of writing Aru. I genuinely felt like I knew her, because there are so many aspects of myself and my friends in her story. I knew exactly what she would do. She's self confident, and overly self aware all at the same time. The experience of writing her, and so many parts of this story genuinely made me cry. There are many things stitched with memory. At this stage you feel as though if something happens or you don't get it, you're going to die. 

Friendship is a huge part of this book, that I really enjoyed. What inspired it? 

Aru is dedicated to my best friends. While they are my best friends they aren't all necessarily best friends with each other, but with each of my best friends I get to share a different aspect of myself with each one of them. With Aru, and her sisters, that is their relationship. This book is totally inspired by Sailor Moon. I totally love this group of despaired girls bonding together, being magical, and loving one another. 

This story is such a good mix of an emotional journey that makes you laugh out loud, cry, sigh, and just enjoy the full on journey. It was so good. I loved getting to know Aru. How long has her story been in transition for you? 

This story has been in my head for eons. Literally. I think a large part of that is because when I was younger I wrote a lot of Sailor Moon fan fiction, and I also wrote a lot of fantasy stories, and wrote my friends, and myself in those stories. That is where the heart of Aru's story came from. It's been there for ages and ages. I did not come up with the plot until, any of it, until I actually heard about Rick Riordan Presents. There was just something that just cliched. I wrote three chapters and sent it to my agent, who is awesome. We went back and a forth a bit, and I had to figure out how to be true to myself, and my voice. Once I did, it clicked, and we sent it off to Rick. 

What came first when you created Boo? Was it his role in helping Aru on her journey or his own surprising story? 

His story came first. The great thing about ancient mythology and the very condiluted layered thing about it, is that everyone gets reborn. Everyone is reincarnated. Everyone's past life is, "I did this, and that's why x, y, z happened". I wanted to explore the consequences of someone's previous actions and what it meant if you had to remember what you did wrong. 

One of the major things I wanted to with this series was I really wanted to play with the idea of just telling your story. What makes you good, or bad, or a villain or what makes you heroic even.

That is one of the things I love about layered mythology. There is so much to the all the characters. I love that with mythology, you can take realism, and make it your own. I absolutely the Hinduism mythology. I'm beginning to see a lot of my Hinduism in books, and I love it.

It's a treasure trove of a story. That has been needed to come to light for a long time. I think the difficult thing with Hindu mythology, that because it's so closely intertwined with the religion, is that you never want to feel as though you are exoticizing your own heritage. So for me, that was the hardest thing about writing this was trying to be delicate about it, but also sharing the stories I grew up with, and hopefully making them coming to life in a new way. For me, these myths are alive, and deserved to be re-contextualized for a modern audience, and for every kid to still see themselves in every reincarnation in the story. 

I loved being immersed into this beautiful world you created. It was fascinating. What was your favorite part of creating your mythology for Aru's journey? 

There was a lot. Rick is the one who helped the most to organize the story structurally. He helped edit Aru. He was so supportive, and so helpful. He was most helpful in telling me that you have to give readers a road map of 'where we're going, why we're going here, and remind them what's the urgency with do this at this time'. Which is something I hadn't really done before. 

I am really excited about the diversity with the Rick Riordan Presents. I'm really looking forward to getting to know more of Aru's sisters. I'm so glad there's going to be a lot more of this story.

I can't wait for you to meet the next sister. 

I love that this series is about the sisters. 

It's sisters, and than Aidan. Who you meet at the end of book 1. 

YES! That meeting and the every end had me laughing, and wanting the next book. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 

Thank you to Roshani, and Disney for making this interview possible. Thank you especially to Roshani for taking the time to sit down with me to talk about Aru, and her story.

** This interview was transcribed from the audio portion of my in-person interview with Roshani. If there are any errors that is the fault of myself, and not of the author or publisher. 


By: Roshani Chokshi
Published by: Disney Hyperion / Rick Rioridan Presents
Released on: March 27th, 2018
Series: A Pandava Novel #1
Ages: 8 & up
Add it to Goodreads

Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school.

While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur?

One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again.

But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them.

The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?


Roshani Chokshi ( is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling novel, The Star-Touched Queen, and its companion, A Crown of Wishes. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Aru Shah and the End of Time, her middle grade debut, was inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani's all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in Georgia and says "y'all," but she doesn't really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @Roshani_Chokshi.


The Rick Riordan Presents imprint from Disney-Hyperion is dedicated to providing entertaining middle-grade fiction based on various world mythologies. Rick Riordan is involved in the selection, editing, and promotion of these books, working with great authors to tell exciting stories inspired by the mythologies of their own heritages.


Follow @DisneyBooks, @ReadRiordan, and @RoshaniChokshi on Instagram
Learn more about the book on the official Rick Riordan Presents site

. @CassieClare Shares CAST LONG SHADOWS Snippet / #Shadowhunters #MundaneMonday

Happy Mundane Monday Shadowhunters! This weekend while at North Texas Teen Book Festival, Cassie shared a snippet from CAST LONG SHADOWS, which she co-wrote with Sarah Rees Brennan, who was also at NTTBF. This ebook will be out on May 8th, and is part of the Ghosts of Shadow Market anthology. Below is the snippet, which Cassie originally shared here

Matthew understood that Alastair had sent Thomas away for a purpose. He bit his lip, resigned to a scuffle.
Instead Alastair said: “Who are you to play the moralist, talking about tricks and papas, considering the circumstances of your birth?”
Matthew frowned. “What on earth are you driveling about, Carstairs?”
“Everyone talks about your mama and her unwomanly pursuits,” said awful, unthinkable worm Alastair Carstairs. Matthew scoffed but Alastair raised his voice, persisting. “A woman cannot be a good Consul. Nevertheless your mother can continue her career, of course, since she has such strong support from the powerful Lightwoods.”
“Certainly our families are friends,” said Matthew. “Are you unfamiliar with the concept of friendship, Carstairs? How tragic for you, though understandable on the part of everyone else in the universe.”
Alastair raised his eyebrows. “Oh, great friends, no doubt. Your mama must require friends, since your papa is unable to play a man’s part.”
“I beg your pardon?” said Matthew.
“Odd that you were born so long after your papa’s terrible accident,” Alastair said, all but twirling an imaginary moustache. “Strange that your papa’s family will have nothing to do with you, to the extent of demanding that your mother renounce her married name. Remarkable that you bear no resemblance to your papa, and your coloring is so like Gideon Lightwood’s.”
His mama said his papa had such a dear, friendly, freckled face. Matthew had always wished he looked like him.
But he didn’t.
Matthew said, his voice strange in his own ears: “I do not understand what you mean.”
“Henry Branwell is not your father,” spat Alastair. “You are Gideon Lightwood’s bastard. Everybody knows it but you.”
CAST LONG SHADOWS comes out May 8!

WOW! I was not excepting that...... though I shouldn't except there not to be surprises when it comes to Cassie and Sarah's collaboration. It's one of the things I love about their writing. It was wonderful to see both Cassie & Sarah this past weekend. I've got video and pictures posted on our social media accounts. I'll be doing a recap and sharing the pictures and videos from NTTBF here on Mundie Moms later this week. 

Shadowhunters TV Series, S3E4; THY SOUL INSTRUCTED / Review #shadowhunters

From Freeform's Shadowhunters tumblr

                                            * * * *  S P O I L E R S   A H E A D * * * * 
Lillith tells Jace how Valentine came to her and asked for her blood to make a child. Jace stands perfectly still and you know, bravo, to Dominic for playing the perfect soldier and not flinching while Lillith's talons circle his neck.

Awesome moment of slo-mo as Jace re-enters the Institute and ignores people as they approach him until he hears Clary's voice. He tells her he has no idea where he has been.

*start playing "This is the Hunt" intro*

Clary tells Jace that she wasn't burned when she fought Jonathan, so he can't be the ShapeofWaterOwl. But, she also tells him that she knows there is something wrong with him. We have a repeat of what happened with Raziel because we may have forgotten that Big Ol' Plot Point. Eye roll time.

Heidi/Maureen tries to feed on a human in the subway. Ew, gross.

From Freeform's Shadowhunters tumblr
Simon literally runs into Kyle, and just like that they're going to be roommates. Yes, yes, eye roll time.

Jace in owl-hunting mode, is tired or at least that's what Clary's still blaming it on in front of everyone. But, Alec, keeps fixating on the fact his parabatai rune disappeared and presses Clary for more information. In fact, Alec goes on to confront Jace and reminds Jace of how his mother had a history of mental illness. Now, Izzy talks with Clary about Jace's tiredness. It seems everyone's onto the fact that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH JACE. But, they are all distracted looking for the wayward vampire and using that stupid tracking rune. UGH.

From Freeform's Shadowhunters tumblr
Jace, now reminded of the hereditary mental illness, goes to talk to Luke about his Mom, and guess what, her symptoms match Jace's. Are you eye rolling along with me?

Psycho Heidi/Maureen is going through all of Simon's things as one does when one is psychotic. Raphael tries to stop her, but she drugs him with the vamp tranq and yeah, our boy is down for the count.

Meanwhile Alec is feeling helpless with his inability to help Jace, and he and Magnus are just so darn cute. So, yay, cute Malec moment. Malec volunteers to help Alec solve the mundane murders. There's also a strange preoccupation with making sure Alec is fed. Ahem, is it time for another round of -

Sadly, no.

Izzy and Clary have a moment where they discuss the Raphael issue, basically how he can't keep his fangs off of her. Does anyone miss Edward? I know, I do.

Gif found on giphy.
When whoa, Heidi/Maureen, explains to Raphael, who is not only tied up in chains but also in boxer briefs (ahem, no reason given for that strip-that-down moment, but oooookay), that it's "almost time for the fun. She is waiting for sunrise and it's deadly effect on our second favorite vamp. We get her back story of going to a bleeder den to "escape her miserable life" and then she found herself wanting to have the strength and power of being a vamp. She tells Raphy that she felt lucky when he tried to resurrect her from the hospital morgue. What was Raphy Boy up to?

From Freeform's Shadowhunters tumbl
The Mother of Dragons, I mean, Demons, appears in front of Jace and puts him in a trance that allows her to control him. She wants to know what broke him free of her orders. SleepyJace confesses that Clary's love breaks him free from Lillith's spell.

More Raphy and Heidi/Maureen, where we find out that our Raphy Boy has been experimenting with creating more Daylighters.

And in the EWWW scene of the epi (there's now at least one per episode), Clary and Izzy fight a vampire and it's disgusting. Honestly. I get the idea that the powers that be wanted gore, but this is more ewwwwww than gory. Raphael is screaming while being burned alive, and our dynamic duo saves him. The girls realized Heidi is out there and Raphy LIES that he has no idea who she is.

Gif found here.
Our favorite Creature from the Lake Lyn Lagoon, I mean Jace (dressed in his owl finery) uses his best Decepticon voice to kill the possessed mundie girl prisoner in the Institute. But, no worries she's not dead and she's no longer possessed. Go ahead, eye roll along with me.

From Freeform's Shadowhunter's tumblr
But, guess who's busted? Raphy! Izzy figures out what he's been doing, and he confesses that he is trying to tap into the Daylighter trend. Props to the actor, because he delivers the dialogue with such passion and a reference to wanting to spend some daylight hours with his sister. Izzy promises to not report this to the Shadowhunters, but advises him to leave the city. We all know that this will end badly. Tiny eyeroll (it still counts).

The epi ends with Jace and Clary and he tells her that he thinks he's losing his mind. Honestly, this scene is so bookworthy.

BUT, the best part? Guess who's coming to get Magnus' help? THE MOTHER OF FREAKIN' DRAGONS DEMONS!

Ah, even I have to admit that it's a good ending.

Total Eyerolls 8
Cute Malec Moment 1
Shirtless and Pantsless Raphael Moments 1
Stupid Use of Tracking Rune 1
Ewww Moments 2
Parabatai Cuteness Even When Angry at Each Other 1
Mentions of the "owl case" 2
Stealing Another Shows Feels 4