Welcome to my stop on the TBR and Beyond Tours Book Tour for A Magic Steeped in Poison (The Book of Tea #1) by Judy I Lin. This cover is absolutely gorgeous and the idea that tea is magical poison sounds like an amazing read! I was lucky enough to be able to interview Judy I Lin and I’m excited to share that with you below. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see the tour schedule for other content creators to see their thoughts.
Thank you to Judy I Lin for taking the time to answer my questions.
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.
About The Book
Title: A Magic Steeped in Poison
Series: The Book of Tea #1
Author: Judy I Lin
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publishing Date: March 29th, 2022
Page Length: 384
Age Range: YA
Rep: Chinese, Taiwanese, Lesbian side characters
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.
Content warning: loss of parent (off page), grief, death (not explicit), mentions and threats of torture (not explicit, off page), and near drowning
In up to 9 words or emojis, without spoilers, what can readers expect from A Magic Steeped in Poison?
Magic tea, deadly competition, court intrigue
Without spoilers, what scene did you have the most fun writing and why?
I always have the most fun writing food scenes even though they make me hungry late at night when I am looking up various cuisines from different regions of China. I enjoyed imagining what sort of food would be cooked by the palace kitchens for the banquets and feasts, and aim to make my readers hungry while reading the story.
Were there any interesting facts that you found while researching for this book that didn’t end up being used?
There were lots of unique teas and Traditional Chinese Medicine ingredients that I encountered in my research and legends associated with them that I didn’t end up using. Like a type of tea called Broken Copper tea that was said to be so fragrant it would fill an entire house with a delicious scent when brewed, or a type of poison that causes such internal distress it is called the ‘intestine severing grass’.
There is a lot of tea brewing in this story, which I’m excited to read about. Do you have a favourite tea? What do you think Ning’s would be?
My favorite tea is a type of tea called Ruby 18. Which is a special Taiwanese cultivar that produces a black tea with notes of caramel.
Ning grew up drinking her mother’s specialty brews, so she would definitely have a preference for teas infused with floral flavors like jasmine tea or pomelo oolong.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Did the duology develop and end as you expected or did it grow/change with you? Was there a deleted scene you wished had stayed?
I am a plotter! I usually write a detailed outline and expand upon it into a zero draft. The zero draft has descriptions and snippets of dialogue and the general “feel” of the scenes I want to convey, then after that is done I start writing the first draft, then subsequently I revise from there. I worked on drafting the sequel while I was revising the first book, so I was able to go back and add a few things in order to connect the storylines.
There were scenes that were edited and then cut while I was revising, but nothing that I wanted to hang onto because removing those scenes strengthened the story in the end.
Do you have any advice for diverse writers trying to enter into the YA Publishing world?
Write the story that you want to tell. There will always be critics from within and outside of your community, but somewhere out there is an audience waiting for your story.
Melancholic Blithe – Interview
The Bookish Coven – Review
Gwendalyn’s Books – Review
Heylittlesiren – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison & Favorite Quotes
Books with Michelle – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison & Favorite Quotes
Nine Bookish Lives – Interview
dinipandareads – Review & Journal Spread
Ruei’s Reading Corner – Review & Favorite Quotes
paperbacktomes – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison & Mood Board
Stuck in the Stacks – Interview
Fanna for Books – Review
dragons & paperbacks – Review
One Book More – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison & Favorite Quotes
Betwixt The Sheets -Review
The Bookish Context – Asian Drama Recommendations
thisbellereadstoo – Review & Mood Board
PopTheButterfly Reads – Review
Ashes of a Book Dragon – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison
I Dream in Books – Review
belle.bookcorner – Review & Favorite Quotes
chaibooksandthemoon – Book Look & Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison
gwendalyn_books – Blogger’s Choice
heylittlesiren – Blogger’s Choice
bookswithmichellee – Blogger’s Choice
daphne.readss – Review & Playlist
tinybooknest – Favorite Quotes & Mood Board
thebookedbooks – Top 5 Reasons to Read A Magic Steeped in Poison & Playlist
ninebookishlives – Blogger’s Choice
paperbacktomes – Blogger’s Choice
thereadingowlvina – Review
starryworld_ – Asian Book Recommendations/Asian Insipired Elements Photo
stuck.in.the.stacks – Blogger’s Choice
1bookmore – Blogger’s Choice
theink.slinger – Blogger’s Choice