Daughter Of The Salt King is an epic fantasy that promises to sweep readers away to a magical land. I got to chat with author A.S. Thornton on what inspired this story, her path from book blogger to author, what she’s writing now, and more!
Can you tell us what Daughter Of The Salt King is about?
In a few words, it’s a Moulin Rouge meets Aladdin retelling. It’s about Emel, a young woman trapped in her father’s court—destined to bed and wed a nobleman to strengthen her father’s rule. She dreams of a life where she can choose her fate. Stumbling upon her father’s best-kept secret—a wish-granting jinni—freedom finally may be within her reach. But the jinni’s magic is volatile and when she finds herself drawn to the jinni for more than his magic, captivated by both him and the world he shows her outside her desert village, she has to decide if freedom is worth the loss of her family, her home and the only man she's ever loved.
What inspired you to write Daughter Of The Salt King?
Surprise to no one: the movie Moulin Rouge. It’s one of my favorite tragic love stories, and when I was watching it, I thought “I want to read a book that takes me on a heart-breaking love story just like this.” Fans of the movie might even find a few Easter eggs from the movie in my novel.
I read that you started as a book blogger. How did you transition to an author?
I have always loved writing, but I never took it seriously as a hobby. When I was immersed in the bookish world as a blogger, surrounded by readers and writers, I started to realize that it was something that I should try again. I’m glad I did!
What was your path to publication?
I entered the #PitDark twitter pitch contest! I remember the day vividly—I was the surgeon at work (I’m a veterinarian, not a human surgeon!), and every time I left the OR I would grab my phone and tweet my pitch again and again. Camcat “liked" my pitch, so I sent them the manuscript, because I figured, why not? My husband and I were vacationing in Singapore when I got the e-mail that said Camcat wanted to publish my book. I thought it was a scam, but my husband was already celebrating. It took my many hours in our hotel, googling the heck out of Camcat before I decided it was real and celebrated with him.
I saw that when not writing, you are a veterinarian. How do you juggle being an author and a vet?
Before I had my daughter, it was what I did on my days off. I’d spend hours writing and I loved it! Now that I have a baby, juggling it all feels impossible sometimes! I really have to make time for writing so I end up waking up very early (4am usually!) to get an hour or two of writing in before work/mom duties.
GoodReads lists Son of the Salt Chaser as the sequel you are working on. Is there anything about the sequel you can tell us (avoiding spoilers, of course)?
Daughter of the Salt King is Emel’s story, but there is still the question of why the world is the way it is. Why does the jinni exist? Where did he come from? Where did the magic come from? A lot of questions still need to be answered, and that’s what Son of the Salt Chaser will do. It’s the final book in the Salt Chasers duology.
Daughter Of The Salt King sounds sooo good. Where can folks get it?
Where’s the best place to follow you?
I am the most active on Instagram (@AS_Thornton) where I’m usually sharing pictures of my bookshelves because who doesn’t love rainbow shelfies? You can also follow me on twitter (same username) and Facebook.