Author Interview with Ciye Cho

Hello all and welcome to the Apothecary – I hope you enjoy the interview we have put together for you today! Before we get started I’d like to take a moment to introduce the featured individual today; Ciye Cho, author of Florence.

“Ciye Cho lives in Australia and works as a graphic designer. He writes YA novels in his free time–and his head is often lost in the clouds or some place far from reality…”

Hi Ciye and welcome to the Ebook Apothecary! Thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few of our questions.

Thanks for having me!

The world that you have created for ‘Florence’ is quite unique – Why did you choose to write in an underwater setting?

I’ve always wanted to write a mer book–one with a different take on mermaids and sea culture. So I thought it would be cool to set “Florence” amid deep-sea volcanoes… at the bottom of the ocean.

What age group did you have in mind when you wrote ‘Florence’?

Well, “Florence” is a YA book–but I think there’s lots of stuff that adults can enjoy in Niemela. YA itself is one of those genres with a really, really broad readership. People read YA fiction to escape from reality.

Now this is a question I just have to ask – is there a sequel to ‘Florence’ in the works?

Yes! I intend to write a sequel… for Florence has many more challenges ahead of her.

Did you create the cover for ‘Florence’ yourself?

Yes, it’s an image I created. 

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In my mind the colors in the underwater city were extremely vivid, almost surreal – was this an affect that you had intended?

Totally. I’m fascinated by the colors of the ocean, from the neon hues of the Great Barrier Reef to the rainbow stripes of a cleaner fish. Bioluminescence and iridescence were big things that I kept thinking of when I worked on the imagery behind Niemela’s living architecture.

Do you scuba dive or spend any great amount of time in the water?
What accounts for your fascination of the world beneath the waves?



I’ve never been scuba diving, but I have snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef. I also live on the Gold Coast, which is near the sea. Beyond that, I’ve always found ocean life to be majestic. The colors, shapes, and hidden stories–there’s so much that goes on below the waves…

Now, I just have to ask… How do you pronounce “Ciye”?

Kai… like a blue-haired manga character. 

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If “Florence” was a recipe what ingredients and instructions would it contain?

“Florence” would be a Niemelan pasta dish.


To create this dish:
1) Gather some seaweed and mash it up with a mortar and pestle.
2) Mix the paste with squid ink, powdered crab shells, and iridescent fish scales
4) Add a lock of red hair. Preferably powdered… and from a human.
5) Serve the paste on a bed of kelp noodles.
6) Add sea salt.
7) Bundle everything inside a wrapper of edible kelp.

NOTE: This mer dish is not suitable for human consumption.

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Another huge thank you to Ciye for taking the time to answer all my ‘kooky’ questions. :)

To find out more about his new novel Florence, be sure to check out the excerpt I posted and of course… Enter the Giveaway!

Tune in tomorrow for my review of the novel!

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Book Description

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand–and find out where she belongs–Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart… and her very soul.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Tuten and NOAA Photo Library
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