Friday, November 11, 2011

Jody Kihara - The Frankincense Trail - Author Interview

My thanks to Jody Kihara for stopping by The Character Connection for an author interview during the blog tour for her book, The Frankincense Trail.

Author Interview

1. Who is your favorite character?
My favorite character in The Frankincense Trail is definitely Alia, the main character. She’s a 15 year-old princess who lives in a small kingdom in the Arabian desert.

2. Why is he/she your favorite?
The book is Young Adult, and Alia is all that I would have wanted in a heroine when I was that age. I see her as a role model. She has her flaws yet is very strong, and sometimes her flaws even work for her. She’s very determined – that’s what sets her off on her adventure – and for all that she’s young and has had a very sheltered upbringing, she has a strong sense of self; she doesn’t back down even when things are adverse. (the good side of the princess upbringing!) She’s also deeply compassionate, and if she’s trying to help someone, she’s even more resolute.

3. How did you come to create him/her?
The book is set in a place and time (200 BC Arabia) that most readers won’t know anything about, so I needed a main character that they could learn ‘through’. This was a bit tricky, because obviously the character is already familiar with her surroundings. My solution was to make Alia a bit sheltered. Because she lives in a small, isolated kingdom and hasn’t traveled, she doesn’t know much about the outside world. So when she sets off on the journey, both she and the reader are discovering things for the first time.

4. When did he/she first enter your mind?
The first scene that came to me was a princess in a palace,nothing more! But one of my all-time favorite heroines is Modesty Blaise (1960s espionage fiction), so I ‘borrowed’ quite heavily from Modesty’s strength and compassion.

5. Where was he/she given life in the creative process?
I had to figure out her home life, and what would give her the impetus to go off on this journey. An unhappy home life took care of both of those! - and once you put your character in an adverse situation, then their traits really come out.

Also, like most teenagers, Alia feeling the stirrings of adulthood, that it’s time to forge her own way in the world. It’s that spark that really breathes life into Alia – and sets the whole plot in motion!

6. What do like the most about him/her and what do you dislike the most about him/her?
I love her compassion: she’ll go to any lengths to help someone she cares about, even if it means putting herself in danger. Dislike… she has a bit of princess attitude at the beginning of the book, but I put her through enough that by the end of the book, it’s completely gone!

About the Book
The Frankincense Trail

Book Details:
Publisher: Star Magnolia Publishing
Published: June 2011
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 265
Format: paperback, ebook
Price: $11.99 paperback, $2.99 ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle

In 200BC, frankincense was worth its weight in gold, making Arabia was the envy of the world. But wealth comes at a cost: the precious resin had to be transported along the Frankincense Road, a dangerous route through rocky mountains and barren desert.

Alia is a princess in a dwindling kingdom that lies on the Frankincense Road. Having grown up hearing tales of Bilqis, the Queen of Sheba, she dreams of finding a way to restore her kingdom's former might. When a caravan journeying to the mysterious incense lands stops to take on travelers, she sees her chance.

She soon realizes, however, that her trust in the caravan leaders has been misguided. They are not mere incense merchants, but traitors and mercenaries. Alia's journey soon turns from dangerous to life-threatening.

The Frankincense Trail is a story that transports the reader to a time and place reminiscent of the Arabian Nights tales.

About the Author
Jody Kihara

Jody Kihara is an author of children's and teen fiction. Shes write for several different age ranges, from chapter books to mid-grade to young adult. Her younger children's books are humorous, and her mid-grade and YA books have a strong element of adventure or mystery.

Connect With Jody:
Web Site
Facebook (book)
Facebook (author)


About the Tour

Lightning Book Promotions

Tour Participants:

2nd Freda @ Freda’s Voice
4th Jennifer @ Fictitious Musing
7th Mary @ Sweeping Me
8th Jennifer G @ Can’t Put It Down


  1. I am not sure who experience tours is but it should say Lightning Book Promotions as that is who did the blog tour. :(

  2. My apologies, Stormi - I made the correction.