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In Conversation With Arushi Aggarwal On Her First Novel 'Telescope'

Nirmala Garimella

Arushi Aggarwal is a sophomore at Lexington high school, a town she grew up in and lives with her family. Telescope is her first novel. 

What inspired you to write this book?

I have always been fascinated by the mystery that lies in the stars, so that was a good starting point for me to write the story. The idea of connecting stars to a telescope was inspired by my family, something that has a strong emphasis in the book as well. They inspired the plot and are the reason that the book is out in the world today. Also, I wanted to portray a lot of independent and unique girls/women. Showing that not all girls are the same and that they can be independent while also working together is a message that I want to put out into the world and this book is my way of doing that. 

Tell us more about the plot?

The story takes place on earth and a fictional planet Xylyphus, and revolves around Beatrice Stonefield and her friends. Telescopes have always been a part of Bea’s life. After Bea tries out an old telescope she is amazed by what she sees. Instead of stars in the night sky she finds a boy on a different planet. When Bea is unintentionally transported into this world she discovers a world filled with darkness and hardship. She learns that it was once a thriving place. But the land had fallen into ruin under the new leadership of an evil tyrant, who has changed everything, leading to hunger and widespread poverty. 

It is a thrilling, high-stakes sci-fi novel - told in rotating perspectives. It's a race against time to get to the palace and take down evil once and for all. Along the way Bea and her friends will discover truths about themselves and the pasts they never knew they had.

Why did you pick this particular genre?

I read a lot in the sci-fi genre and really enjoy it. I love how fantasy can become a part of science too. In my opinion, magic is just unexplained science. It is geared for readers 8-12 years old.

Who are some of your favorite writers of fiction?

One of my favorite fiction authors is Cassandra Clare. I am in awe of how she continues to write in the same world with characters and plot lines that all intersect with one another.

As a YA writer what can you share with us about the process of writing?

The writing process is a lot of fun. I really enjoyed getting to create the characters and their personalities. It was unlike anything I had ever done before, so I found it an interesting challenge. That said, it wasn’t always an easy thing. Overall the book took me 2 years from start to finish. It requires a lot of time and dedication to see it through.


I’m lucky because my sister is in the age group that the book is intended for, so she read it a bunch of times for me. Having others review and make their comments was an important part of improving the book, but taking others’ ideas and criticism isn’t always easy.

Finally, what are your other hobbies?

I love reading and baking. Reading other authors’ work is a great way to grow as a writer. I also love to cook and bake in my spare time. 


You can follow me at facebook.com/arushiaggarwalauthor.

One reader comments:

"The cover was enigmatic and I was hooked from page one. The story moved at a brisk pace through space and time. The complexity of the characters and the luxurious details of the events made the story rich and meaningful."


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