- Rin Chupeco
- 7th published book; Book 1 of a Series-The Hundred Names For Magic
- Genre: YA Fantasy Fairy tale Retelling
- Heritage/Background: Filipino-Chinese
- IG: @RinChupeco; Twitter: @RinChupeco
- Website: https://www.rinchupeco.com/
- Release: 3/3/2020 (Go get it NOWWWWWWW)
- Publisher: Source fire books
- Favorite Character: The Firebird… I think the Firebird is my spirit animal y’all because it cuts up without saying a word!
- Favorite Quote(s): “I’m not a picky eater, but this looks like a llama just vomited into a tortoise’s regurgitated mashed potatoes, and that’s not meant as a compliment.”-Ken; one more “Guys like him are itching to be punched. In the Throat. With a car.“-Ken (I’ve definitely met a few that fit in that category)… Ken says some wild shit, Tala is hilarious too! I do live for this cast of characters!
BGM: I’m going to open this by saying you know that I love your work. We met while you were in New York and I had all your books ready to be signed. You saw me look at the ARC of Wicked As You Wish sitting with a stranger with Book lust in my eyes, asking how they got it and you didn’t know. It turns out that that look was hella warranted because I fucking LOVED that book! It makes me excited to get to the rest of the series but also into The Never Tilting World, which has unfortunately gotten pushed back in my TBR but you know I’ll get to it! Thank you for being my first interview for Bookish Girl Magic, by the way! Now, I’ll get to the questions and let’s keep this as spoiler free as possible, please and thank you!
BGM: How many books are set to be in this series? I need to know so I can get my coins together!
RC: The HUNDRED NAMES FOR MAGIC series is a trilogy!
BGM: I gotta make sure I have my coins together then!
BGM: What is your favorite favorite fairy tale from your childhood? Have you ever cosplayed it? Are there pictures and can we see (LOL but really doe)?
RC: Haha, I never even thought about cosplaying fairy tales before! My fairy tale would have been so obscure that no one would have been able to tell! I love two – Maria Makiling, whose story is very important to Tala’s bloodline, as she is a descendant, and this very obscure tale called The Traveling Companion. Both are actually integral plots in the series. It’s obvious as to what for Maria Makiling, but The Traveling Companion is about a man who did good things without expecting a reward, and as a result one of the people he helped in turn helps him gain a kingdom and a princess – but with a very poignant twist at the end, when it’s revealed that his companion was a corpse he’d saved from robbers, who regained life only long enough to aid him. This one plays a bigger role in the sequel, though I won’t say who this tale affects!
BGM: What event or person motivated you to finally sit down and write this book so I…I mean the world could have it in our hands?
RC: I was bad at finishing books, because I felt disheartened (writing wasn’t a livable career in the Philippines) and so many people dissuaded me from even attempting. But then a local writing contest was announced that was being sponsored by a Big Name Author whose books I love. So for the first time ever I finished a short story, sent it in, and won third! Part of the prize was a dinner with said author, and when I mentioned feeling disheartened he told me writers ought to write – and since I was a writer, I should keep doing it. I wrote WICKED AS YOU WISH the following year! He was my main source of motivation for that.
The author? Albert Einstein.
(It was actually Neil Gaiman.)
BGM: Are there any people, in particular, that the characters are modeled after? This is such a diverse cast of characters & I’m not just talking about ethnic backgrounds!
RC: For most of them it was about my identities, split into different characters. I’m Filipino, so that was obviously Tala. But I’m also Chinese, albeit one who’s removed from a lot of Chinese culture that I only relearned it when I was older, and that was Loki. I’m also enby like them (they originally had he/she/they pronouns, but I couldn’t figure out how to write it without being confusing, so I thought they/them was a good compromise.) West has a bit of Asperger’s, something I’m also familiar with, and both Alex and Zoe sort of channels my rage, though Alex is more obvious about it in the first book. A lot of the rest I based on friends! Ken was somewhat based on my husband (an amalgamation of him and me, really), who is also the most cheerful person on this planet. Zoe is based on my best friend, and Nya on one of the oldest and closest friends I have – the first ever one I befriended online when I was a teen.
BGM: Awwwwwwwwwww, now I’m a little in my feelings!
BGM: Which character is the most like you and in what way? *tents fingers together in anticipation*
RC: The firebird! You know that if it could speak in human words it would constantly be sassing everyone and making sarcastic remarks about everything, which was very much teen me. Among the humans, I would say Ken is the closest with his constant needling and comebacks, though I’m not really one to have optimism and cheerful energy (that part was based on my partner!).
BGM: Why is the firebird the way it is? I mean, it’s my favorite character but you can’t take the firebird anywhere and Tala & the crew can’t seem to have nice things because of it!
RC: That’s the biggest reason why I chose the firebird for this! In the original Ivan Tsarevich tales that feature the firebird, the implication always is that the firebird in the fairy tales represent something that is powerful and beautiful that everyone always wants to have, but that it will always bring misfortune to its owners in the process. And that’s the theme coming into the book: if you want to control the firebird, you’re going to get hurt a lot. Every spell in WAYW has an accompanying curse, and this is its curse. That’s the nature of firebirds – you’re always gonna get burned.
BGM: If you had to go on an adventure of any type to save a world from destruction, who would you pick to be in your crew? It could be characters from any of your books, celebrities, authors…sky’s the limit!
RC: Every Marvel, DC, and anime character I know sounds like a great place to start!! If I’ve had to limit them to maybe three, though… I’d say Scarlet Witch, Son Goku from Dragonball, and Superman! And me with the Infinity Gauntlet! Or inside the Hulkbuster, at least!
BGM: Will Alex get his life together in book 2 or will I expect to be yelling at him/the book?… Because I really wanted to knock his ass out at times!
RC: That was intentional! He’d been constantly on the run since he was a kid, he’d seen his parents killed, and he’s never really had anything to call home until meeting Tala. Before that he was always someone’s responsibility, being shuffled off from ally to ally and never getting the chance to bond with anyone. And then he sees how his whole kingdom has been wrecked and how nobody even seems to care that Avalon is gone, and all he hears is about other countries’ interest in the magic he technically owns, and how they can get at it… so naturally, there’s a lot of anger that’s building up there, and it also translates into his inability to trust anyone, even if it’s Tala, since he feels like he’s been used his whole life. Even the love interest he’d managed to have seemed to have given up on him so easily, plus he can’t manage a decent love life anyway because one of the effects of the destruction of Avalon was him getting cursed with the ability to turn people into frogs! I think I wanted to show the various reasons why he’s always so angry and mistrustful, even when you don’t always approve of his actions. I can’t say yet if it gets better in the sequel, but he’s definitely taking some steps toward stabilizing his life!
BGM: If you were to write any celebrity in the acknowledgements in this book (or future ones) like you did in The Bone Witch Series, who would it be? What would you say and why? (You know I love you for life for the Idris Elba mention but I’ll also fight for him…not his wife but other people, LOL).
RC: I did write a celebrity into my acknowledgements for WICKED! Rory McCann is one of my favorite actors, and in my head he is absolutely my dream cast for Kay Warnock. I might be biased because he played Sandor Clegane, one of my most favorite characters, but I’ve adored him since Hot Fuzz!
BGM: What do you hope the biggest takeaway from this book will be for readers?
RC: That it’s ok to sometimes feel like you’re an outsider, because it’s normal to worry about whether you belong or not, and that it’s more important to stay true to who you are. That mythologies and tales from other countries should be discussed on equal footing with Western fairy tales, and that your unfamiliarity with one doesn’t make them any less relevant or interesting! That diverse identities build a book up, not bring it down!
BGM: *Allllllllll the Hearts*
BGM: What was you biggest lesson/takeaway/challenge from this book?
RC: It’s all about perseverance. It took me ten years from writing this book to seeing it published, and it taught me that it’s more important to stick to my principles and do what I think is the best for the book than to publish it immediately and make bad compromises that will both make it worse and also make me regret agreeing to it!
BGM: *Runs around victory lap style* YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BGM: Last question…WHY YOU LEAVE US LIKE THAT with the ending Rin?! Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?! *lightly sobs*
RC: =) In that case, you might also hate the ending of the sequel! BGM: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *Falls out*
BGM: I hope you had a good time with these questions just as I have! And I do hope you come back to NY soon so I can have you sign yet another stack of books…also known as “your stuff”, lol! *And End Scene* LOL
I hope you all enjoyed my very first author interview! I seriously loved this book and I think you all will love it too! Go out and get it…and just make sure to let your people know you won’t be hanging out because you won’t want to put this book down, it is that good! Thanks for reading y’all! Bookish Love to you all!