Thursday, 11 March 2010

Author Interview with Vijaya Schartz - talking about the Chronciles of Kassouk

We're here today with Vijaya Schartz, author of the Chronciles of Kassouk series. Book 2 in the series, Red Leopard will be avail in April! Now, onto the questions

STEPH: You must be thrilled about your upcoming release "Red Leopard" with Desert Breeze. Can you set the scene for us and give us a tease of what to expect?

VIJAYA: In charge of the fortress of Kassouk in the King's absence, what is Terek to do when a Goddian spacecraft lands in his medieval backyard, and the striking woman leading the galactic party insists on colonization? Galya, the Goddian Princess commanding the geological vessel, is bent on finding a crystal with unusual hyper-conductor properties. And the futile resistance of the local population isn’t going to stop her. Not even that defiant tribal chief nicknamed Red Leopard, like the infernal feline that follows him everywhere.

Terek and his band of swordsmen and felines must defend their people’s freedom, no matter the cost. But with this unexpected arrival, an old prophecy surfaces, taking new meaning and carrying a new threat... When political intrigues, greed, murder and betrayal tip the scales, whom can Galya really trust? Her fellow Goddians? the Mutants bred to serve her race? or her primitive Human enemy?

STEPH - Where do you get the inspiration for stories? Dreams?

VIJAYA: I get inspiration from dreams, of course, but also from ancient history, political events, newscasts, and people around me. In this case, my cats. So much so that I dedicated this upcoming book to my feline friends. In a world where large cats live alongside people as pets, and people take pride in borrowing traits from the animals they love, it helps to have a knowledge of feline behavior. I've lived with cats all my adult life and consider myself a cat expert. I also have a page just for cat lovers on my website. STEPH: I love cats. My cat, Bart, taught me a lot of things and I miss him very much. (I got him in 1991 as a 6 week old kitty. He passed in 2006)

STEPH - Where did the inspiration come from for "White Tiger? Red Leopard?"

VIJAYA: The idea for the first book in the Chronicles of Kassouk, WHITE TIGER, came about a long time ago. After spending some time in the snow, I was inspired to write about a frozen world. Of course the idea evolved. New Earth and the world of Kassouk are the consequence of the crash of a Human research vessel called Noah's Ark, on the frozen planet. People and animals struggled for survival. The people lost their technology. At the time of the series, they are in a medieval stage of civilization. Over the centuries, Galactic races intervened, were worshiped as gods, or softened the weather, but all refused to share their technology with a primitive Human culture. STEPH: Very creative!

STEPH - Do you have a favorite Sci Fi show or movie that resonates with you?

2010 QUASAR Award Winner from EPIC

VIJAYA: I'm a Sci-Fi fan. I believe Star Trek and Star Wars started it all and are priceless classics. Now I cheer for Caprica, the prequel to Battlestar Galactica. I'm interested in the ideas of Flash Forward. I'm eagerly awaiting the new season of The Visitors. Anaz-voohri, my last book with my previous publisher in 2007, was called a mix of X-files and Battlestar Galactica with sizzling romance, and I'm proud of it. Gail Delaney was my editor at the time. STEPH: How uncanny was that. I love Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica. I didn't know about Caprica, but I'm going to try to catch up - see if it's on ITunes.

STEPH - Do you have a book trailer you'd like to share?

VIJAYA: Anaz-voohri's book trailer won a Cameo Award. I don't have trailers for my most recent books. I've been too busy writing. Here is the link:

STEPH - Your cover won the Eppie for best SciFi cover and then the QUASAR award for best cover over all from EPIC. Did you have much input into the cover?

VIJAYA: I gave my suggestions for the cover and detailed descriptions on the author input form. Some authors might find it tedious, but I was amazed when I saw the cover for the first time. The citadel of Kassouk in the background is exactly what I visualized, with the snow-covered mountains in the far back and the large moon. The tiger's head with blue eyes represents the heroine. Her nickname is White Tiger and she has blue eyes. She learned to fight from tigers. The talented Jenifer Ranieri did a fantastic job of portraying my world on the cover, and I am grateful. I was thrilled when the cover won the Ariana in Sci-Fi Romance category. Then it won the 2010 QUASAR at EPICon. for the best ebook cover of 2009! Jenifer said it was like receiving her own Academy Award (since it was the same weekend) except that it was a plaque, not a golden Oscar. I'm so happy she is designing my covers for this series. The second book in the Chronicles of Kassouk has a similar cover, with a Red Leopard instead of a White Tiger. The third book, scheduled for November 2010 is titled Black Jaguar. You can imagine what that will look like (the jaguar has emerald eyes).

STEPH: What's the last movie you saw?

VIJAYA: I recently saw Avatar, and I'm still reeling from it. Did you expect anything different? Although I thought they could have done a better job of exploring the humanity and the depth of the characters, the special effects were absolutely incredible. At the movies you can actually see floating boulders, giant blue aliens with tails riding dragons spinning down at vertiginous speeds, and all the stuff of sci-fi and fantasy in action. I'm very visual, and when I write, I imagine my story unfolding on a big screen. There is a movie in my head. I hope it translates on the page.

Next, I want to see The Hurt Locker. I also write Girls with Guns for another publisher, and I need an update on current warfare. Movies are a source of research and inspiration as well as entertainment. My creative mind never stops. Everything is fodder for stories. Everything that makes me feel (good or bad) is good for the muse.

You can find more on my website at: and if you click on CONTEST on the left, you could win a pdf copy of RED LEOPARD. The drawing is April 1, 2010, when the book is released. Good luck.

I wish everyone a wonderful spring season.
Thank you so much, Stephanie, for the interview.
----- Original Message -----


  1. Vijaya,

    What a wonderful imagination you have! Congratulations on your cover winning an EPPIE award.


  2. Vijaya,

    Congrats on your cover winning an EPPIE Award. It is just beautiful. I cannot wait to read your books. I will be moved to AZ by April We must get together.

    I am now a member of AZ Authors Association and I plan on becoming a member of the other two soon

    Thanks for sharing
    Walk in harmony,