Pubblicato in: intervista

Vanessa Len interview

Hello, booklovers! I’m here with a interview with the brilliant Vanessa Len! Before diving in it, I present you the AWESOME BOOK!

It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.
But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.
As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .
. . . she is not the hero.

Only a Monster is out: 1 February 2022 in Australia and New Zealand (Allen and Unwin); 17 February in the UK (Hodderscape), and 22 February in the USA and Canada (Harper Collins). 

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First of all, thank you so much for this opportunity. I loved your book so much and I can’t wait to hold and hug a physical copy!

Thank you so much!!!

1) Only a monster is the first book in a trilogy, set in a world where monsters exist and they can time travel stealing other people’s (humans) time and where the main character is not the hero… What inspired you to write this original and captivating story?

ONLY A MONSTER is told from a monster girl’s point of view, and it blurs the lines between good and evil by humanising the monsters and depicting the hero as a threat.

The inspiration came from my own experience of loving big blockbuster action films as a child. They often have very clearly demarcated ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys, but when I was growing up, there weren’t many heroes who looked like me in them. Instead, I would sometimes see myself in the ‘bad guys’. Sometimes, the only Asian characters onscreen would in the fight scenes, getting beaten up and killed by the hero.

I have a line in the book about how in movies, the camera follows the hero after the bad guys have been killed. But I know that in my own viewing experience, I can find myself aware of the few people who look like me onscreen, which sometimes means being aware of people lying dead on the ground as the camera moves away.

I thought it would be interesting to write about that feeling when a good, upright and decent hero – like the ones in the films I’d loved – is fighting against you rather than for you.

2) If you were a monster, what family would you belong to and would you use your powers or would you feel guilty/conflicted about them?

The Hathaway family has a special affinity with animals, and they can take their pets with them when they time travel. In the book, it’s described by one of the characters as ‘the most useless family power in London’, but I love the idea of being able to travel with an animal friend!

Having said that, I wouldn’t time travel if I were a monster haha – I would feel too terrible about the cost. But then again … if I were faced with the same dilemma as Joan … I’m not sure what I would do!

3) What’s the character you feel is the closest to you and why and who was the most difficult to write?
I personally loved Joan and Aaron! (Okay, I love them all, it’s impossible not to, but they are my favourites!)

I suppose I feel the most affinity with Joan because she’s the protagonist, but I like aspects of them all – Joan’s resourcefulness, Nick’s tragic backstory, Aaron’s haughty exterior and soft interior, Ruth and Gran’s amorality, Tom’s under-the-radar intelligence, and Jamie’s stoicism. Nick was the most difficult to write because he’s concealing so much at the beginning, and Ruth and Gran were the most fun to write!

4)If you could choose one time period to live, what, or better, when, would it be?

I would like to live in a time period when the pandemic is just a memory!

5) Could you tell me more about your writing process and future projects? Maybe a little bit about the sequels?

My writing process is different for each project, but right now I’m editing the sequel to ONLY A MONSTER, and for this one I figured out the plot beforehand, and then wrote the manuscript after that.I’m really excited to be back in this world – it’s been so much fun to delve deeper into the characters, and to pay off what I’d set up in book 1.

Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Thank you so much for these great questions!

Vanessa Len is an Australian author of Chinese-Malaysian and Maltese heritage. An educational editor, she has worked on everything from language learning programs to STEM resources, to professional learning for teachers. Vanessa is a graduate of the Clarion Workshop in San Diego, and she lives in Melbourne.
Pubblicato in: intervista

Intervista a Caterina Costa

Ciao Caterina, prima di iniziare vogliamo ringraziarti per il tempo che ci dedicherai e farti i complimenti per il tuo lavoro.
La prima domanda che vogliamo farti è la seguente:

Come mai hai deciso di suddividere ogni storia in una striscia di quattro quadrati? E’ un formato che ti è stato richiesto da altri o da esigenze esterne, o che hai deciso tu in maniera indipendente?


Forse mi sono involontariamente ispirata ad altri webcomic che ho visto negli anni, ma la ricordo come una scelta molto naturale. Inoltre, postando su Instagram, questa struttura rende molto più facile la condivisione dei miei lavori, perché la somma delle vignette quadrate è sempre un quadrato.

La forza del tuo lavoro è anche nella sua brevità, ma hai mai pensato di creare una storia molto più lunga, magari una graphic novel completa, partendo da una o più strisce?


È sicuramente qualcosa che mi piacerebbe molto fare! Il primo esperimento con storie più lunghe è stato con il mio primissimo libro, Vita da Pomodoro, un’antologia realizzata insieme ad altre 6 fumettiste.
È stato molto difficile per me scrivere qualcosa di più lungo, perché in genere nei miei lavori cerco sempre di trasmettere un’emozione, una sensazione, un concetto, e per questo tipo di comunicazione la vignetta breve è ciò che più mi è congeniale.
Al momento sto cercando di leggere più fumetti e di imparare a narrare storie più lunghe, perché penso che potrei farne qualcosa di bello!

Ci racconti la tua esperienza dell’Inktober e di cosa ti ha insegnato come fumettista? In futuro pensi che parteciperai nuovamente all’evento?


Per me l’Inktober del 2018 è stato la svolta, mi ha cambiato la vita.
È iniziato tutto come un gioco, un esperimento, ma mi ha portato tante cose fantastiche. Ho deciso di fare un fumetto al giorno anziché un’illustrazione e ho scoperto la mia vocazione!
Intanto mi ha fatto capire che sono in grado di produrre tanto in poco tempo, perché le parole a cui ispirarsi uscivano il 1 ottobre e ogni giorno c’era una nuova parola da usare, io all’epoca andavo in università tutti i giorni e da pendolare tornavo spesso a casa verso le 20. Però ce l’ho fatta! Ogni sera mi mettevo lì e creavo i miei fumetti.
È stato anche l’inizio del mio successo su internet, perché dai miei fumetti per l’Inktober è arrivata la prima ondata di lettori su Instagram.
Penso parteciperò ogni anno e spero di riuscirci ancora!

Abbiamo notato che molti colori – ad esempio il giallo – sono ricorrenti: c’è un criterio particolare dietro questa scelta? E quali tecniche e/o strumenti grafici usi per creare i tuoi disegni?


La scelta di usare il giallo è stata casuale, è sempre stato uno dei miei colori preferiti.
Disegnando e sperimentando mi sono accorta che stava meglio di altri colori come sfondo, faceva risaltare le immagini in primo piano e illuminava la scena.
Durante gli anni ho usato diverse tecniche, ho iniziato con la china su carta e le Bic, ho usato Photoshop, Paint Tool Sai, gli acquerelli… Ora uso Procreate su un iPad 2018, che penso sia il software meglio sviluppato per i disegnatori. Il suo unico problema sono i livelli limitati, però in confronto a Photoshop o ad altri programmi conosciuti ha dei pennelli meravigliosi e insuperabili.

Nelle note del tuo libro racconti che il tuo primo approccio al mondo dei fumetti sono stati i cartoni animati che vedevi da piccola: quali erano i tuoi preferiti? E oggi, invece, quali sono le tue fonti di ispirazioni principali?


Il primissimo che ho iniziato a ridisegnare penso sia stato Futurama, sapevo tutti i personaggi a memoria e i miei compagni di classe mi chiedevano sempre di disegnarli per loro.
Poi A tutto Reality, che è stato il cartone animato che mi ha fatto iniziare a disegnare in digitale. Avevo un gruppo di amici a distanza, nato su Facebook, in cui ognuno si creava il suo personaggio in stile ATR e insieme giocavamo e ci sfidavamo a gare di disegno. È iniziato tutto da lì!
Oggi invece non ho più un’ispirazione precisa, ormai il mio tratto e il mio stile sono abbastanza radicati da non aver bisogno di copie così fedeli. Questo non significa che abbia smesso di sperimentare!
Spesso mi piace provare a cambiare stile, fare qualcosa di più cartoon o di più realistico, cambiare il tratto e i colori… solo che ora sono tutti esperimenti che partono da me.

Ti piace la cultura giapponese, nello specifico i manga e gli anime? E, invece, nel panorama italiano c’è qualche fumettista che ti ha ispirato o che ti senti di consigliare?


Da bambina guardavo tanti anime e leggevo qualche manga, ho avuto un periodo attorno agli 11 anni in cui ho provato a ricrearne lo stile ma non faceva per me. Ho iniziato a creare fumetti per puro caso, sono sempre stata interessata sia all’animazione che all’illustrazione e il fumetto è ciò che univa queste due tecniche al meglio. Quindi non ci sono veri spunti a cui mi sia ispirata, non sono mai stata una grande lettrice di fumetti (anche se di fiera in fiera mi è venuta sempre più
voglia di iniziare) fatta eccezione per Dylan Dog e W.I.T.C.H..

Hai dei nuovi progetti in lavorazione? Cosa ti piacerebbe creare prossimamente? Ci puoi dare qualche anticipazione o è ancora tutto segreto?


Per il momento sono abbastanza ferma, fatta eccezione per la mia piattaforma su Webtoon che è stata appena aperta e mi sta portando molte soddisfazioni!
Spero di avere presto qualche progetto nuovo!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

Zara Hossain is here by Sabina Khan- Hear Our Voices Book Tours

Hello and welcome to my stop for Zara Hossain is Here by Sabina Khan! A huge thanks to Hear Our Voices Book Tours and Scholastic Press for the chance to read and review this book!




Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Genre: YA Fiction

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop.org | Book Depository |




Zara’s family has waited years for their visa process to be finalized so that they can officially become US citizens. But it only takes one moment for that dream to come crashing down around them.


Seventeen-year-old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Corpus Christi, Texas, since her family moved there for her father to work as a pediatrician. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family’s dependent visa status while they await their green card approval, which has been in process for almost nine years.


But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended. As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara’s entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she’s ever called home or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.


From the author of the “heart-wrenching yet hopeful” (Samira Ahmed) novel, The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali, comes a timely, intimate look at what it means to be an immigrant in America today, and the endurance of hope and faith in the face of hate.

TW: racism, Islamophobia, homophobia, biphobia

Zara Hossain is the only Muslim student at her High school in Corpus Christi. She’s “used” to microaggession, while trying not to show her anger and true feelings, because she and her family are waiting for their green card and she’s afraid seeking justice would jeopardize that goal. But one day her tormentor, a star football player, Tyler Benson, takes things too far and get suspended. Tyler and his racist friends so decide to vandalize Zara’s house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime and a consequences that could jeopardize their lives and Zara’s future.
Zara is forced to fight between staying in the place she considers her home, while her parents don’t feel safe anymore, or losing the life she knows coming back to Pakistan.

Zara Hossain is here is a heart-wrenching novel about what it means to be an immigrant in America, the struggles Zara and her family face, the Islamophobia, the racism, the feeling of don’t belong. It was so intense reading this book and it filled me with rage and sadness realizing how people can be so ignorant and hateful, how, sometimes, there’s no justice. The author talks about white privilege and the acute difference in the way the system (police, racial, social ones) treats and considers white people and people of color. Sabina Khan also addresses issues like homophobia and biphobia and how religions are often used as excuses to ignorant and hurtful behaviour.


I love the tight bond between Zara and her parents, who would do anything for her and her future and between Zara and her friends, Nick and Priya. Zara and her family are surrounded by a wonderful and tight community and it was so amazing to read, how supported and helped they were during these crazy times. Zara is a strong main character, stubborn, loving, ready to fight for the right thing. She’s smart and passionate and I really love her energy and her bonds with her family, biological and found.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s the kind of book that hurt my heart and made me think about how unfair are things in America, how spread are the double standards and the white privilege, how money can buy things and people. And also how important is to fight for the right thing, not to be silent and to seek justice and fairness.

One of the things I loved the most is how the author doesn’t sweeten the hard reality. Unfair things happened and are still happening, families are torn apart, people, who only tried to find a better place for themselves and their families, can find, and do find, racism and injustice. It’s not the kind of book with an happy ever after. Sabina Khan doesn’t lie and she shows how unfair, how injust the life can be. Zara Hossain is Here is a painful book to read, it’s about unjustices and racism, but also about family, endurance of hope, fighting for justice and against hate.

It’s heart-wrenching and hopeful at the same time and I loved Zara and her family.




Sabina Khan is the author of ZARA HOSSAIN IS HERE (Scholastic/ April 6, 2021) and THE LOVE & LIES OF RUKHSANA ALI (Scholastic, 2019). She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband, two daughters and the best puppy in the world.


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  1. Where did you get the inspiration for Zara Hossain Is Here?

I wrote Zara Hossain Is Here largely becasue of my own experience with the US immigration system. In the 90’s I lived there with my family and we were all awaiting our green cards. Unfortunately a clerical error by our lawyer derailed the entire process and we had no choice but to leave the country before our visas expired. It was a difficult time to move and start all over yet again. Luckily we were able to build a good life in Canada with our young children, but at the time the experience was quite traumatizing.

  1. Could you describe the book with one sentence?

A young Muslim immigrant fights back against Islamophobia, racism and the inequities of the US immigration system.

  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’ve discovered that my creative juices don’t start flowing unless I’m sitting in my favorite recliner with my puppy by my feet. And I need to have complete silence, as in even my husband’s breathing annoys me when I’m in the zone.

  1. Zara experiences Islamophobic harassments. What advice would you give to people in her same situation?

I think that every such situation is unique so it’s hard to give any general piece of advice. But I do think that it’s very important to consider all the variables such as safety, access to resources, a support network etc.

  1. Do you have future projects? Could you tell us something about them?

I do have a few things in the works. Right now all I can tell you is that my next book is another YA contemporary that plays with time and POV.

  1. What are five random things about you that you love?

This is a fun question! Let’s see:

I love that I don’t care where I am when there’s music playing and I can just start dancing.

I love that I finally found the courage to sing in front of people, because I love it so much!

I love that I sometimes laugh so loudly that I scare people, but I don’t care.

I love that I can make myself laugh, even when other people don’t think my jokes are funny.

I love that I still feel excited about what life will bring my way.

Thank you so much for these wonderful questions!

Pubblicato in: As Travars-Recensioni

This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria- Book Tour

Hello and welcome to my stop for This Golden Flame by Emily Victoria book tour, organized by Tbr and Beyond tours! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publishing date: February 2nd, 2021
Goodreads Amazon Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound Indigo

Orphaned and forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, Karis wants nothing more than to find her brother, long ago shipped away. But family bonds don’t matter to the Scriptorium, whose sole focus is unlocking the magic of an ancient automaton army. 

In her search for her brother, Karis does the seemingly impossible—she awakens a hidden automaton. Intelligent, with a conscience of his own, Alix has no idea why he was made. Or why his father—their nation’s greatest traitor—once tried to destroy the automatons. 

Suddenly, the Scriptorium isn’t just trying to control Karis; it’s hunting her. Together with Alix, Karis must find her brother…and the secret that’s held her country in its power for centuries. 


Thank you so much, Netgalley and Inkyard Press, for the chance to read and review this book!

Karis is an orphan and she’s forced to serve her country’s ruling group of scribes, but she wants to find her brother, who was taken away from her years ago. But the Scriptorium doesn’t care about bonds and family, its only goal is to discover the magic of the automaton army. When Karis manages to awake a hidden automaton, intelligent and conscious of himself, Alix, both of them are forced to flee, because the Scriptorium is hunting them. Helped by Dane, Karis’ best friend, pirates and rebels, Karis and Alix fight to find her brother, uncover the truth and for freedom.

This Golden Flame is a thrilling and brilliant standalone fantasy. The worldbuilding is intriguing and captivating and the story is told by two POVs, Karis’ and Alix’s and it was really interesting reading about their journey, both physical, from their little island through oceans and psychological.
Karis is a stubborn and brilliant character, made cynical by the brutal world she was forced to grow in and she’s determined to find her brother and to be free with him. It was amazing reading about her journey, both physical and psychological and her growth.
She was taken by the Scriptorium and forced to work for them, but managed to defy their rules, teaching herself the language of runes, curious about the world and fighting to find her lost brother.
Alix, on the other hand, is a peculiar automaton, woken up after centuries, finding everything he’s ever known dead or lost, like his home and memories. Sensitive, intelligent and stubborn, he’s a great character. His relationship with Karis is complex and truly beautiful, if wary at the very beginning.
Karis and Alix grow so much in The Golden Flame, through their experience and their relationships with other characters.
Karis’ relationship with her best friend Dane is intricate and I love how much they help, support and rely on one other, growing up in the Scriptorium and then, when they are forced to flee and make choices, choosing to fight for the freedom and their future and for the truth about their country. It was interesting realizing, through Alix and his memories and the present, how much the story was written by winners and how much the ruling group is hurting people.

I really loved reading this book, not only for the amazing worldbuilding, but also for the characterization. The characters are complex and well written, relatable in their fears, desires and mistakes. Karis, Alix, Dane and Zara are such brilliant characters, it’s impossible not to love them. Like Zara. I love her so much. She’s a great character, sassy and brave and I love reading about her ship, her crew and their fight and rebellion.
I loved that Karis was aromantic and asexual (it’s so rare reading books with aro characters) and I love her growth and her relationship with Alix, Dane and the others. I’ve also loved the cute and romantic moments between side characters. I’ve also loved Matthias with his low vision and cane, his disability never a hinder to his stubborness, bravery and fight.

It’s a story about freedom and the fight for it, about the strength in be oneself and the importance of family and relationships. 

Emily Victoria is a Canadian prairie girl who writes young adult science fiction and fantasy. When not word-smithing, she likes walking her over-excitable dog, drinking far too much tea, and crocheting things she no longer has the space to store.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

I’ve got the chance to interview the author!

  • When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for basically as long as I can remember. When I was really young, my elder sister would write these fairy stories and I was always so amazed of what, at the time, seemed like her stunning writing talent. So as soon as I was old enough, I started writing stories too and I never really stopped.

  • What inspired you to write This Golden Flame?

For me, it really started with the world and the characters. I knew that I wanted my next novel to be set roughly in Ancient Greece and I had this idea where one character was going to be human and the other wasn’t, and they were going to have to figure out how to work together and to trust each other.

  • Could you tell us your writing routine and where and how do you prefer to write? Do you use pens, pencils or pc writing programs?

So I am definitely a morning/afternoon writer. As soon as it gets towards evening, I have a lot harder of a time concentrating on writing, so I do try to write as early in the day as possible. I also like setting aside a solid block of time to write. I’m not really a person who thrives when I can only steal 10 or 15 minutes at a time.

I used to write all of my first drafts longhand in a notebook, but that was just so slow I eventually started writing them on the computer (a fact which I still mourn, because I did love notebook writing). I usually use Scrivener, since I like the way I can subdivide my manuscript into different scenes.

  • Do you like writing while listening to music? If so, do you have a playlist for This Golden Flame?

I do like listening to music while writing. That being said, I listen almost exclusively to instrumental music. I just find that if the music has words, it distracts me while I’m trying to write. So it’s a lot of movie soundtracks (most recently the instrumental tracks from Frozen 2) as well as Lindsey Stirling, because her music is awesome.

  • What character was the most challenging to write and why?

I’m going to say Alix, just because it was really quite challenging writing a nonhuman character. I’m so used to being able to use bodily sensations to describe things. For example, things like noting how the character’s heart pounds when they’re nervous or having their palms go sweaty. And Alix didn’t have any of that. So I had to get a lot more creative when showing his emotions and what he was feeling.

  • You answered a question on Goodreads about the main character being aromantic. Do you have any books or movies or TV series recommendations with aro characters?

You know, I don’t actually know any movies or TV series with aro characters (they’re probably out there—I’m just not aware of them). Even in books, I feel like it is somewhat of a rare thing still. But there are some books out there like Loveless and Tarnished are the Stars.

  • What are you favorite writers and books?

This one’s always so hard to answer! I love basically anything by Victoria Schwab and when I was young, Tamora Pierce was a huge influence for me. Some recent books that I have loved are Belle Révolte and Elatsoe. Both of those books were just so amazing!

  • Could you tell us if you have more books planned in the future and what are you working on?

So my next book coming up is Silver in the Mist and it’s another standalone. It’s set on a divided continent with dying magic and a malevolent force called the Mists. The main character is a spy and she is sent across the border to capture the most powerful magical caster that is left. But things do not go as planned.

Here’s the tour schedule!

And also a giveaway!

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/fc15a59524/?