Hi everyone and welcome to my tour stop for A Magic Steeped In Poison by Judy I Lin hosted through TBR and Beyond Tours. I’m excited to share my interview with the author for my stop on the tour. .
You can check out the full schedule for the tour here.
About the BookA Magic Steeped in Poison (The Book of Tea, #1) by Judy I. Lin
Published by Feiwel and Friends on March 29, 2022
I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, "These are the hands that buried my mother."
For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it's her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.
When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom's greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning's only chance to save her sister's life.
But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.
About the Author
Judy I. Lin was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Canada with her family at a young age. She grew up with her nose in a book and loved to escape to imaginary worlds. She now works as an occupational therapist, and still spends her nights dreaming up imaginary worlds of her own. She lives on the Canadian prairies with her husband and daughter. A Magic Steeped in Poison is her debut novel.
. What was the inspiration behind the book?
A Magic Steeped in Poison was inspired by my love of tea! The spark started with the idea: if tea contained magic, what would it look like? It felt natural to pull in influences from my cultural background of Taiwanese mythology, Chinese history, as well as my love of Chinese dramas to create the world within the book.
2. There is a lot of discussion of tea and tea brewing. What was your research process like for this aspect of the book? Are you a regular tea drinker?
I grew up in a family that drank a lot of tea, and our family friends always gift us great Taiwanese tea when we visit. Because of that, I still drink tea on a fairly regular basis. But it wasn’t until I started the process of writing the book that I realized there was so much about tea that I didn’t know. I started by learning about the process of brewing tea, then how to grow and prepare tea. I also read books and articles about tea preparation in the Song Dynasty, and the history behind the cultivation and development of tea in ancient China.
3. I loved the magic system in the book. What was your process like for creating it?
It was inspired by Gongfu Cha, which is “tea made with skill”, a type of ceremony that is popular in Southern China and Taiwan. It is focused on making the perfect cup of tea, so using the right leaves, temperature, vessel and water are all essential. I used that style of tea brewing and then pulled in various legends that I grew up with to develop the magic system, with some influences from Traditional Chinese Medicine.
4. Can you give us any spoiler free hints about book 2?
In A Venom Dark and Sweet, you’ll get to see a lot more of the empire. I delve further into the origins of the gods and magic in the world, but you’ll see many of the characters from the first book return in the second!
5. If readers want to pick up more books like Magic Steeped In Poison, what titles would you recommend?
I love Descendant of the Crane by Joan He, and the Blood of Stars duology by Elizabeth Lim.
6. What do you hope readers take away from A Magic Steeped In Poison?
I hope readers will enjoy Ning’s story as I put in everything I love from YA fantasy novels, Chinese historical dramas, and wuxia movies into the book. There are details sprinkled throughout the book to those familiar with those genres, but perhaps it might interest someone in trying out a Chinese drama or watch a wuxia film. I also hope readers will want to follow Ning’s story through to the sequel!
What About You?
Have you read A Magic Steeped In Poison? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!