Scattered Thoughts

Friday, 6 November 2015

Interview with Author Sachin Dev

~ Book Blast ~

About the Book:
The Third Yuga is slowly drawing to a close. Nam – the greatest Empire on Janani – is going to face some fierce winds of change. Seers foresee omens of death and destruction in the return of the Banished One – A God who will claim the ashes of this world as revenge. While out in the streets, rumours abound - of older forgotten powers stirring.

Caught in this maelstrom of a power struggle between Gods are three ordinary lives: General Fateh, the most celebrated soldier in Nam who starts to question his faith, Ishan – a gifted orphan who struggles to comprehend his destiny and Abhaya – a young monk in search of truths about this world. Their choices and actions will shape the destiny of this scarred world that becomes the playground for vindictive Gods.

In a world where Rakshasas arise out of left-over traces of Maaya and twilight forms the portal to countless worlds around us for Daityas and Yakshis to dance through, a God is only as powerful as those who believe.And when Gods rise, faith of men will be tested…And broken.

Buy Links:
Paperback: Flipkart * LandmarkOntheNet * Infibeam * Pustak Mandi 
eBook: Newshunt * Google Play

Interview with the Author:

When did you decide to become a writer?
Well, there was no clear “The penny dropped and realization dawned” moment that told me I had to follow my heart and be a storyteller. My love for reading gradually transformed into one for the writing along the way. I have always been a big bibliophile. From the time I got gifted the storybook of “Noddy and his friends” when I was five – and then somewhere in pre-teen years, I thought I should write my own version of a story that is perhaps more exciting than the Secret Seven and Famous Five series. Must have been eight or nine when I penned my first story that I called the Famous Trio series#1. A bad mash up of some Tintin adventures and my over worked imagination set in Florida and the Amazon jungles.  

What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Well, the outer space is the limit when it comes to my writing career ambitions! While I have always wanted my first book to be an epic fantasy ( that’s the genre that I love the most!) I want to try and experiment across genres. So for starters, I would like to wrap up my first trilogy – Wheels of Janani, onto book-2 and 3. I am sitting on an incomplete manuscript for a contemporary boy-meets-girl falls-in-love Cinderella story set in modern day India – as well ideas bubbling up for countless other sub-genre stories. Like a zombie apocalypse set in Kochi, a space opera that I’ve started writing, a historical fiction about the port city of Muziris in Kerala. So, as Calvin tells Hobbes, the days are just packed! 

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
So there are three main protagonists in this story – each of them unique in their own manner. 
There’s Ishan – a gifted eleven year old boy studying as an acolyte within the Palace whose curiosity knows no bounds.  But this trait of his leads him to trouble all the time – and this one time, stumbling upon secrets that will unravel everything that he has been taught so far about himself and his world – might just prove too costly. 
Abhaya is part of this monastic sect banned within the Empire for being unbelievers to the true faith – a resolute young man born and bred of the desert. However one drunken mistake with his friends sets him fleeing from the wrath of the Empire – and the only thing that can save him are hidden truths about this world and its rulers. 
General Fateh is a living legend – a man even whom Graaki, the ancient God of death fears. But he is sick of the war and bloodshed in the name of the Empire and only wants to retire in peace to the Capital. But the shadowed hallways within the Capital may be far bloodier than he bargained for. And soon enough, he starts to question his own faith and loyalty. 

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Morning person all the way! So I get most of my writing done before my hectic work-day starts. I try and put away a thousand words per day – but there are periods of lull when I sit and stare at the blue sky without putting down much. 

Where do the ideas come from?
While I’m heavily influenced by a lot of the stuff that I read – I keep myself updated on the latest in speculative fiction as I get sent books for review all the time, so a lot of my writing style is inspired by the authors I love. 
The Ideas – well, they come fast and furious all the time. For every novel I have an “idea” file where I collate all those cool little nifty ideas that strikes me whenever (you could try Evernote app to tag such!) and I always do a “story outline” – and “character” outline – then divide stories into chapters filled with side notes what characters POV is featured and which major plotline would I write about. 
It has helped me so far! Books on Indian mythology (For example, the legend of the Andhakan killed by Shakti – was a demon who could re-generate from every drop of his blood spilled on the ground. This caused me to start thinking about ‘rakshasas’ – as demonic creatures born of the union of the left over traces of Maaya that originated from the seeping wounds of a Goddess punished to sleep buried deep inside the Earth and spirits from the netherworld. Different forms arise depending on contact of the blood with different substances!) Different folklore and world mythology stories from books and the internet - they all help form different parts of my own world building. 

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Frankly while I would like to be more organized in terms of plotting, I usually let the story write itself as I go along. More of a pantser as opposed to a plotter.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
I frankly don’t think I am qualified enough to answer that question. What with just one book published (wink!) 
I myself have gone through blue phases where I’ve sat and doodled staring at my empty laptop screen. Being methodical in terms of plotting probably helps. You can always utilize that time to do research for the book! If you are the type who gets fired up by deadlines, then by all means set some for yourself. Have daily goals if it motivates and pushes you. One thing about writing – like any other craft, it only gets better with practice. And it definitely requires a lot of discipline to keep at it. You wont get it right the first time but the important thing is to get it done. You can always edit and spit shine polish up your manuscript a hundred times over. But getting that first draft out is very important where you don’t self-check yourself. It’s tough but very doable. My first draft of the novel was around one-hundred thirty thousand words. The final edited version stood at less than hundred thousand. 

What can we expect from the series?
First book, Faith of the Nine introduces us to this world, Janani – on the brink of an impending apocalypse at the end of the third yuga. We get acquainted with some of the major players whose deeds and action can rewrite the last chapter of this crumbling world.  Pawns are being moved around and set in place for a showdown later in the series. The bugles of war are beginning to sound in the distance. 
Wheels of Janani is a three-part series– So the second book, Rise of the Nine will chronicle the struggles of the group tasked with saving the world – exploring their ill-fated journeys. The battle-lines are being drawn. Conspiracies come to light, truths are shattered and a desert-city becomes the central point of a massive battle for survival as drones of shadowy assassins and armies of the undead converge during the night of the blood moon. 
Third book (tentatively called Triumph of the Nine) – which I am still plotting out – will finally see the shadows of war converge and the explosive showdown between the two opposing forces – gods and human alike - as the fate of the world, Janani hangs in balance.

About the Author:
Sachin discovered Tolkien in his teens, alternative rock as a new adult and digital marketing in pretty much his late twenties. These still form a large wedge in his circle of life. Travel, radio and theatre have also figured in that ever-expanding and diminishing circle.

On perhaps a more prosaic note, he is an engineer from BITS Pilani and holds an MBA from Indian School of Business. Attribute the love for numbers and pie-charts to this. He is currently based in Bangalore and happily married to Harini. He spends an inordinately large amount of time chasing after his two dogs (who love the free life a bit too much) when he is not busy dreaming up fantasy worlds full of monsters. And beautiful Yakshis, of course.

He can usually be found ranting on twitter under the handle @xenosach, devouring books and talking about them on his blog. You can always stalk him online at his official website

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