Today marks the official kickoff of the Notorious Book Tour presented by Storytellers On Tour, and we’re thrilled to welcome Sudha Kuruganti as we showcase the first novel in her YA Paranormal Urban Fantasy series, Legend Valley Academy! I’m excited to hear what our hosts have to say about Notorious in the coming days, so stay tuned for a fantastic week ahead.
Sudha stopped by to have a chat about what led to the creation of this book of hers, the importance of exploring diverse cultures, what lies ahead, and more! Keep scrolling for the complete tour schedule, learn more about the book and author, check out the fantastic interview, and enter a giveaway to win yourself a copy of Notorious!
We’ve enlisted a group of wonderful and talented bloggers and Bookstagrammers to help us feature Notorious. This is what we have going on, so make sure to check out each and every one throughout the week for some brilliant content, including reviews and more.
APRIL 11TH – THE KICKOFF
Whispers & Wonder (@whispersandwonder)
APRIL 17TH – THE ENCORE
Queen’s Book Asylum
For more about this tour visit Storytellers On Tour.
She’s just looking for somewhere to lay low…even if it’s a magical academy.
As the only child of a broke single mom, Mal Jones knows that whatever she wants; she has to get for herself, even if it means taking on a side hustle. It’s not exactly legal, but her magical powers keep her safe.
A streak of bad luck leads to the local police almost busting her, and Mal’s only escape is to accept a place at Legend Valley Academy, a paranormal boarding school.
Her mom doesn’t want her to go, but with a criminal on her tail—who thinks she’s a snitch—a magical Academy in another freaking dimension is the best place to hide. Right?
All she had to do was keep her head down and wait this year out, but not standing out is harder than Mal thought. Her deadbeat dad is more famous than she knew, and something horrible is going on at the Academy.
The worst part: Mal is one of the only witnesses…
Dive into this engrossing supernatural world for an intriguing mystery, slow burn romance, and mythical monsters and creatures from every culture in the world!
Meet the Author
SUDHA KURUGANTI has been writing since she was a kid of thirteen, first starting out in fanfiction. She loves books, anime, coffee, chocolate, manga, Beatles music, and dogs—not necessarily in that order.
Her fiction has been published in various anthologies, and has been featured on All India Radio.
When she’s not writing, Sudha is usually reading, trying out online recipes on her Air Force officer husband, or playing with their young son.
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Explore the world of Legend Valley at www.sudhakuruganti.com
Thanks so much for stopping by for a chat, Sudha. Since we already have your official bio, care to tell us about yourself in ten words or less?
I am: A night owl. Chocoholic. Fanfiction writer and reader!
Give us an idea of how Notorious came to fruition.
I wanted to see urban fantasy that drew from Indian mythology and folklore. I like Greek, Roman, and Arthurian myths as much as the next person, but I wanted to read about vetalas, rakshasas (demons), and yakshas (nature spirits) instead of just fae, vampires, and werewolves. And so was born the idea of a multicultural fantasy academy series. In the end, I wrote what I wanted to read.
Can you share with us something about Notorious that isn’t in the blurb?
When you read the book, you’ll meet a pacifist weretiger, a Brit peer who is actually a nature spirit, and jinns, aswangs, and more. And the main male lead is a shifter who looks like he could be a member of BTS. 😉
Was there any specific research you’ve done or inspiration you’ve pulled from for this story of yours?
I read up on mythology. Lots and lots of reading. And it was so much fun learning about all the mythical objects and legendary creatures from different cultures. You have flying chariots (Hindusim), shape-shifting were-creatures (Filipino folklore), enchanted forests (Norse mythology), fiddle-playing water spirits (Scandanavian folklore)…it’s all fascinating reading!
What do you hope your readers take away from Notorious?
I hope the book kindles a love for world mythology and diverse cultures. It’s so interesting to see the things we believe and the stories that form our cultures.
What do you think makes a good story?
A story is only as good as our ability to recognise ourselves in it. The story could be set in outer space, or in a fantasy realm, but the characters need to behave like real people would in their situations.
If you could go back and change how you approached writing your debut novel, what’s the one thing you’d do differently?
I’d drop my ‘Field of Dreams’ mindset! No one is going to ‘come’ if you just ‘build it’ – or in my case, write it. You can’t just hope your readers will find you. It took me a while to realise that wanting my book to sell well, and actually selling my book were two different things. Selling isn’t sleazy!
Writing can be a stressful pursuit. Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?
Learn as much as you can about the craft. Find out what works for your genre, and what your readers want. Find writing buddies. Outline and plan as much as you can, even if you’re the kind who flies by the seat of their pants (what’s called a ‘pantser’).
Ok, let’s see what kind of person you truly are.
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee – in all its forms.
Winter or Summer?
Summer! I love ice cream and cold coffee over chilly winds and icy toes.
Physical books or Ebooks?
Both, haha. I love the portability of ebooks, but I’m also traditional enough to love paperbacks.
Mountains or Oceans?
Beer or Wine?
Books or Movies?
Both again, hah. I love a good story, no matter its form.
Cowboys or Aliens?
Pie or Cake?
Rural or Urban?
Work hard or Play hard?
Thank you again for taking the time have a chat, Sudha. Tell us what lies ahead for you!
I’ll be completing the Legend Valley Academy trilogy in 2021. Then I’m planning a spin-off of urban fantasy shorts set in the same universe, featuring Laya Avasarala, Mal’s kickass relic hunter aunt. She’ll be dealing with cursed artifacts, haunted relics, and one very aggravating Brit werewolf named Malcolm Grant. Stay tuned!
Enter to win a copy of Notorious by Sudha Kuruganti!
GRAND PRIZE: Paperback, Replica Rune Bracelet, Personalized Academy Admission Packet
RUNNER-UP: Ebook, Printable Academy Admission Packet
INTERNATIONAL • Ends 4/18
That’s all I got for ya! Be sure to keep an eye on the official Notorious tour page over at Storytellers On Tour (https://www.storytellersontour.online/2021/03/14/tour-schedule-notorious-by-sudha-kuruganti/) to see what the other bloggers and Bookstagrammers have to say!