- Ashvamedha is a political thriller, how did you get an idea to write on this topic?
Politics is ubiquitous, one cannot escape it. Starting from the office to controlling oil fields politics is everywhere because the power to control is innate. Since childhood I was abreast with global politics and systems by reading a lot of journals and newspapers, however, it was a boring subject/topic of discussion couple of years back. Now, the dynamics of politics is changing across the globe; with an introduction of social media and on the go technology, the youth of today is not only aware of the political arena but is also actively voicing its opinion and participating in discussions. Head of states/ governments of the globe are also considering the opinions of the young generation in taking critical decisions (e.g. Brexit)
Hence I felt it is the right time to write a political thriller because now youth can relate to many incidences in the book. Also, it is a lesser explored genre, I wanted to give readers a break from contemporary romantic comedy/ pop fiction.
- The book blurb starts with the line: “You have to dethrone a powerful man to become the most powerful. I was itching to defeat the single most powerful person, but there wasn’t any. I was left with only one choice — to create one.” That is one powerful start to a story, how did you get an idea of adding this angle to your story?
Alexander wanted to be the ultimate king of the world and to quote him “heaven cannot brook two suns, nor earth two masters” earlier, claim to ultimate authority means defeating the existing power. Ashvamedha yagna of ancient India was a ritual to achieve the similar objective (the crowned, undefeated king was called Chakravarti Samarat). The current dynamics –especially post World War II changed the way global powers are defined, now the power to control lies in many hands; from technocrats, global leaders to even terrorist organizations. This is an interesting topic and needs hours of discussion- I was discussing the same with my husband when he came up with the idea of ‘creating a powerful person’ the idea clicked and I started to weave a story around it, which stayed latent for two years before I got the time and opportunity to write the entire novel around it.
- Did you have to spend time researching for your book, or did it come from your heart?
Because of the topic and the genre, I have to spend hours in research and validation of certain points on global dynamics and politics.
- If this book were to be made into a movie, who would be the best people to play your characters? Why?
I am sorry I don’t watch movies or TV; I am sure I will end up giving names I know, which may not be a perfect fit (considering the Bollywood changed too)
- Is there any tip that you would want to give to the authors who are penning their first story?
Don’t give up, your story is different and you should tell it to the world. Write, express.
- What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Writing comes naturally to me; I guess I can express myself better in writing, so there is nothing hard about writing per se, however, validation and research becomes boring and tiring at times
- What, according to you, should be included in the story to make it ‘a bestseller’?
There is no ‘mantra’ an honest story always makes to a best seller list
- If there is one thing, that you would want to say to your potential readers, what would it be?
Buy books. If you are a reader don’t borrow, don’t ask for free copies, purchase books, promote authors.
- Are you a reader yourself? Can you name some of your favorite books?
I read a lot. I have a list of favourite writers for each genre. For Crime and thriller, it is Robert Ludlum, Michael Crichton, Alistair Mclean (I have all their books in my bookshelf). I love Russian literature, and I admire most of the authors of its golden era. In Hindi, besides my mother, my favorite author is Harishankar Parsai. I just love the wisdom of Kahlil Gibran, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, John Keats… it is a very long list of authors and books that are rich in words and literature- I will end up using all the space J
- Are you working on your next project?
My next project is crime novel loosely based on true events. I am almost done with my editing but due to my new role as a mother, I am not getting time to polish it, the way I want.