For those of you that enjoy YA books, and haven't had the pleasure of reading Frankie Rose, please welcome her to our blog again! Frankie is a real sweetie, down to earth and I just love chatting her up!!
Hi Frankie!! It's so great to have you back on our blog!
Hey, Rhonda! I just love coming over to visit you! You’re always so welcoming and lovely.
Well Frankie, you have been a busy, busy lady! We are here to celebrate your newest release Raksha,which is the third book you have published in less than a year. What can reader expect from Raksha?
Raksha is a YA dystopian novel, set in two different places—the Sanctuary and Freetown. Kit, the main protagonist, is a young girl on the run. She has spent her life as a falin, a fighter within the Sanctuary, participating in their monthly matches. She’s never asked questions, never been afraid of the fights, because the majority of people in the Sanctuary wear halos, a collar-like device around their necks that prevents them from feeling. The halos also have a secondary purpose in that they help heal the fighters when they’re wounded in the matches.
Kit is freed from her halo when she has to fight her best friend. She escapes and is found by Ryka, who leads her back to his home in Freetown. The story then follows Kit as she learns to handle feelings she’s never experienced before, as well as her struggle with the town’s priestesses, a group of supposedly holy women who want her dead.
Frankie, what inspired you to write this story??
Well, I wanted to write a novel built around knife fighting. In my first book, I covered a couple of fights where the protagonist learned to defend herself with blades, and something just stuck with me about the whole thing. I researched; I did a lot of reading about Filipino knife fighting. I thought it would be really fun if I were to create a world where knife fighting was a way of life, an important rite of passage.
I also had a lot of Kit and Ryka’s characters down and desperately needed them to be a part of the story. They’re both a little fractured from what’s happened to them in the past, and I wanted them to be able to learn to lean on each other.
I just started reading this book, and I have to ask... Who is your favorite character, and why?
I’m going to surprise people when I say this probably, but right now my favourite character is James. He doesn’t have a massive role in this book, but he’s incredibly complex and I’ve enjoyed how baffled people have been by him. I’ve been asked, “what’s the deal with James? Is he a good guy or a bad guy?” A few people have tried to guess what’s going to happen with him in the next book, but I’m keeping quiet. I want to surprise everybody. I have a few little tricks up my sleeve where he’s concerned.
Of course I love Ryka and Kit, though. Writing them was really fun, especially as the walls started coming down for Kit and she admitted how she was feeling.
Are any of the characters in this story similar to you or anyone you know?
No, they’re not. When I write something, I want it to be entirely fictional. Things get messy when you start putting little snippets of other people into your work. Perhaps other authors don’t experience this problem, but when I’ve tried to do that in the past, the character somehow always morphs into that person and I can’t separate the two out. That gets annoying.
Will Raksha be part of a series, or a stand alone??
At the moment there are three books planned in the series. I literally just started working on the second book today. I’m really hopeful that I’ll be able to get it out in September/early October, but we’ll just have to see. I have other projects on the go, and sometimes other things take precedence over others.
Moving in a different direction, I learned why you like to write YA from your last visit. Adult contemporary romance seems to be on the rise, do you have any plans to do any writing in that genre?
I’m about 70% of the way through writing my first NA novel, Icarus Rise, but I have to say I’m doing that in between other things. I’m not rushing it, because I want to stew on that storyline. It’s perhaps a lot darker than some NA novels, but then again I’ve read a few books recently that have been incredibly dark. It’s an interesting genre to write in at the moment and I definitely have a few other stories that would fall in the NA category that I’m going to pursue.
What are you curently reading?
Right now, I’m reading 1Q84 by Huraki Murakami
What is the next song in rotation on your ipod?
Only You by Ellie Goulding.
What is your favorite TV show?
The Walking Dead tied with Game of Thrones. You can’t make me choose ha ha!
Favorite fictional character (s) (Tv or Book)
Oh, toughie. Um, I think I’d have to say Jon Snow from Game of Thrones and Will Herondale from Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices series.
What do you do for fun?
Write! Ha ha… that’s a lame answer, but it’s true. There’s nothing I’d rather do than write. I’m a big photography nut so I do a lot of that, and I love going to the movies and reading. Also, I go skiing/snowboarding and bush walking, too.
Frankie, Thank you so much for stopping by today, as always it such a pleasure having you! I wish you all the best with Raksha and all your future work.
Thanks for having me by, Rhonda! I would love to come hang out with you again soon! I have a few new projects I’m working on, so hopefully you’ll be catching a fourth book before July and a fifth in October.
A HUGE, HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO IS PARTICIPATING IN THIS BLOG TOUR. I AM SO GRATEFUL TO ALL OF YOU, AND I SINCERELY HOPE YOU ENJOY READING RAKSHA. - Frankie Rose
I focus on him and clench my dagger in my hand. The sea of voices swells, and I’m certain I can pick out Miranda’s deranged shrieking, yelling over and over again, “End him! End him!”
Falin Asha’s brown eyes fix on me and it looks for a second like he’s crying. That can’t be right, though. I hover just out of his reach, staring at him. “What’s going on?”
He smiles crookedly and brushes his hair back out of his face. “It’s going to be okay, all right? Remember that.”
I’m so thrown by his comment that I am utterly unprepared for what he does next. The knife in his hand snakes out toward me, and I skitter away from him to the left. He knows how I react, however, and he moves with me, my mirror image. He darts for me and does the unthinkable, something that spells the end to the fight and me along with it: he grabs hold of my striking arm at the wrist. A low gasp runs around the Colosseum, growing in pitch until it’s a rushing echo in my ears. I try and fumble for the Balisong on my belt, hoping I can flick it open and use it, but Falin Asha is there before me. He doesn’t knock my hand away, just holds his over it. He pulls me closer to him and sucks in a deep breath.
“Don’t let them see,” he hisses. With that, I feel a twisting movement between our two bodies, and then his eyes go wide. He looks stunned, the way Elin children do when they fall and they’re unsure whether they’re supposed to cry or not. I look down and see his own knife submerged up to the handle in his stomach. A cracking, bubbling noise comes out of his throat, and he smiles slowly at me. The whole Colosseum has gone deadly silent. I can think nothing other than this: What have you done? What on earth have you gone and done?
Frankie Rose is a British expat, who is currently enjoying the perks of living in Australia- her awesome husband, sunshine, and vitamin D. She spends her time creating fictional universes in which the guy sometimes gets the girl, the heroes occasionally die, and the endings aren't always happy. But they usually are.
Available from 30 April.