Title: The Twin Sisters
Author: Bridgette Portman
Series: The Coseema Saga #1
Release Date: July 6th, 2021
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Know more: Goodreads
My Rating: 3.75 stars
A magical journal. A world savaged by its own suns. An evil prince. A princess in hiding. And a teenage girl who learns to be the hero of her own story.
Sixteen-year-old Olive Joshi has obsessive-compulsive disorder, and can’t stop worrying about hurting the people she loves. She finds refuge in writing about Coseema, a magical princess on a distant planet. Coseema is fearless, confident, and perfect – everything Olive thinks she’ll never be. When she falls through a portal into her own unfinished story, Olive finds herself in a world in peril: double suns scorch the land, the brutal Prince Burnash seeks supreme power, and Coseema is nowhere to be found. Together with her friends – a bold poet, a cursed musician, a renegade soldier, and an adventurous girl from the desert – Olive will have to face her deepest fears to find the hero in herself.
An engrossing new portal fantasy in the spirit of the Wizard of Oz, the Neverending Story, and the Chronicles of Narnia.
Hey, Bridgette! Welcome to The Fictional Journal! Congratulations on finishing the onerous task of actually writing a book. Let me start things off with my first question – how would you pitch your book in one sentence?
The Twin Stars is a young adult portal fantasy about a teenage girl with OCD who learns to be the hero of her own story.
“Hero of her own story” – that’s so cool. Which brings me to my next question – when did you first realize that you wanted to be an author?
When I was 4 or 5 years old. I loved drawing pictures of dogs and then telling stories about them to my mom, who wrote them down and read them back to me. She kept them all in a box I still have. There are about 200 of them. Thanks, Mom!
Oh my god! That is the sweetest thing ever! Since, you mentioned that the main character (Olive) has OCD, did the writing/editing by any means impact you emotionally? If yes, would you like to share a few things with all the budding authors out there?
This was definitely an emotional book to write. Like me, Olive has OCD, and her struggles with her mental health in many ways mirror my own. Aside from that, I felt what all authors feel when they complete a first novel – happiness, relief, but also worry that it’s not good enough or won’t do well. I’m sure that even established, bestselling authors feel this way. My advice to budding authors is to push through the fear and do it anyway. The only way your book will never succeed is if it remains unwritten.
Absolutely! You just have to start! That is such an important advice. Thank you Bridgette. Now, how did you come up with the title and the character names?
Great question! The title, The Twin Stars, refers to the conjoined suns that are at the center of this fictional star system. The “twin” theme can also be seen in Olive’s relationship to her idealized self, Coseema. I tried to come up with character names that were thematically appropriate and said something about each character’s personality or role. I like word play. For my main character, Olive, I wanted a name that was a little nerdy, quirky, and old-fashioned. For her idealized fictional counterpart, I wanted an unusual, cosmic-sounding name, so I went with Coseema. Jambol is a cursed musician who can’t play the melody he truly wants to play. His name is a play on the word jamble, as in all jambled up, as well as a songbird found in India and Southeast Asia called the jambul. And Burnash is fun – it sounds like “burn”, “gnash,” and “ash,” as well as “burnish,” i.e. to make shiny or gleaming. That seemed to fit a character who’s full of destructive power.
Okay, knowing the reasons behind their names, makes me adore them threefold! After reading the incredibly eccentric and heartfelt, The Twin Stars, I know for sure that I will be in line to get your next book. So, *rubs hands evilly* when is your next book coming out?
Thanks! Right now, the plan is to release book two next April. I’ve got a full outline and am hard at work writing it.
Ah, I whole heartedly look forward to it. Good luck! Lastly, do you have any favorite book blogs?
One of my go-to book blogs is Inverarity’s (https://inverarity.livejournal.com). The blogger reviews a wide range of books, many in the YA and sci-fi/fantasy genres. He’s also an author, and it’s fun to see him post updates about his writing process. I'll be adding your blog to my list, too. Thanks for having me!
Ah, you are the sweetest. Thank you soo much. That is very flattering. And gosh, I just checked out Inverarity’s and ended up finding quite a few intriguing books, so thank you for that too!! It was great having you here! <33
Bridgette Dutta Portman is an author, playwright, and teaching artist. Dozens of her plays have been produced across the United States and overseas. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Spalding University, as well as a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine. She is past president of the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco and is currently a member of Same Boat Theater Collective, the Pear Playwrights’ Guild, and the Dramatists’ Guild. She recently joined the board of the Pear Theatre in Mountain View, CA. The Twin Stars is her debut novel, and the first of a planned trilogy. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Deepanshu and their two young children.
*Thank you to Lola’s blog tours for hosting this and letting me be a part of it. Check out the rest of the schedule here.*
*Thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.*
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