Sachin Dev with his book
Magic and myth find new expression in Sachin Dev’s debut Faith of the Nine
If escapism is a guilty pleasure, fantasy as a genre provides ample opportunity for a reader to indulge. There is no denying the surrealism of fantasy with its heroic protagonists — a world where gods and humans collide in a cataclysmic tale of the Nam Empire with its characters and plot twists — fantasy fans in India have a new book to pour over. Faith of the Nine by Sachin Dev has the earthy appeal of a traditional fantasy novel. The book bears a complex plot that is accompanied by a simplicity of language.
Excerpts from an interview
What was the inspiration for the book?
I read only fantasy as a genre. One of the blogs I follow came up with an anthology of fantasy-themed short stories. I wrote a short story for this anthology. The story that I wrote got a lot of feedback that, ‘we need to identify more with the world and the characters’. Hence I sat down and started fleshing out a story of the world behind that. That short story is now the prequel to the trilogy.
Would you call the book a mythological fiction or a fantasy fiction novel?
If I were to strictly term it I’d like to call it a high-fantasy or an epic-fantasy. But the world is actually inspired by a pre-Vedic India because pretty much the mythology, culture and religion in the book follows what happened in India a long time back. India has a vast reservoir of mythology. When you read through the book you’ll identify certain elements which are picked from actual stories we’ve heard in our childhood like the concept of a rakshasa or a yakshi or a goddess that patronises art and music. At the heart of the book the story is about a clash of faith; a forgotten faith which is coming back to power and the current prevailing faith. It is inspired by Hindu mythology but I have created a world from scratch.
Fantasy fiction in India has a very large following and the books written around the world and in India have set a standard that’s hard to beat. Did you feel the pressure of living up to those?
Frankly no, I don’t want to be compared at this point because pure second-world fantasy written by Indian authors are few. If I could cite examples they would be Samit Basu with the Gameworld Trilogyafter which the gate broke with Amish writing The Shiva Trilogy. You have 333 million gods and counting in India, so you pretty much have everyone writing about one single god, or an advisor of a god, or a demigod. That will continue to happen. The way I’ve tried to write is, my gods are imaginary but you can relate to them as elements of nature, stuff that you heard about as a kid. I don’t want to compare myself to the plethora of mythological fantasy writers but it is definitely in the same genre. Comparisons can’t be helped.
What kind of research went into the book?
I read mythological stories from around the world. Some reviewers compared the yakshi concept in the book to the Greek mythology’s succubus. A lot of the ideas in the book are inspired by some of my favourite authors I read these days.
When did you begin writing?
The love for writing has always been there. I am a voracious reader who grew up on Enid Blyton and The Hardy Boys. Somewhere along the way I felt that I needed to put my own spin to the stories. When I was younger, I started writing my own series of mystery stories; sort of like fan fiction. I called my characters The famous trio based on a combination of The Hardy Boys and The Famous Five. That was in class six or seven. I wrote three or four small books, which were printed, bound and kept in the school library — I am pretty proud of that.
You talked about Samit Basu and Amish. What do you think about fantasy or mythological fiction in India?
Indians have woken up to the genre. It has picked up because we always knew the stories but it had not been categorised as a separate genre till today. The Indian audience has always been hooked to sword-and-sorcery sagas. It became mainstream after Amish’s books. We have a lot of great works in the genre, like the Mahabharata and Ramayana. They are subject to so many interpretations and the whole wave is still continuing with different, countless stories based on just the two of them. Also, the Game of Thrones television series has popularised the genre in the country. This is the right time to be writing mythological fiction.
This week interview is with Sachin
Dev who recently published “Faith of the Nine is the first book of the trilogy, Wheels of Janani”. Sachin is currently 33 years old from Kerala.
Topaz: Greetings, Sachin! Nice having you here at Bookworm’s Universe and Thea Topaz.
Sachin: Thank you!
Topaz: So Sachin, tells us more about yourself. Where are you from?
Sachin: I was born in this small state at the southern tip of India called Kerala, better known as God’s own country in the bustling port city of Kochi. Born and brought up amongst coconut glades and green mountains, I shifted to the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore for work.
Topaz: Tell us more about your book. I know this is your first book from the trilogy.
Sachin: Faith of the Nine is the first book in my trilogy, Wheels of Janani.
It’s an epic fantasy adventure with themes borrowed from the rich tapestry of Indian mythology and folklore. The story is set in a secondary world called Janani and features three ordinary mortals caught in the crossfire of a war between forgotten Gods and ancient powers come to life – their decisions and actions dictate the last chapter of this world on the brink of an impending apocalypse. And hell yeah, it features blood thirsty rakshasas and beautiful Yakshis and tons of swashbuckling sword fights and dollops of magic or Maaya as it’s called in this world.
Topaz: Do you have any other books written yet?
Sachin: This is my first published work – I have honed my craft on all my previous “trunk” novels that’s not seen the light of the day yet. So I have a 150-thousand words long western fantasy adventure that was my fan fiction tribute to Stephen King’s Dark Tower Series that influenced me a lot while growing up. As well as lots of unfinished works – among them a space opera that I’ve started and of course Book 2 and 3 in the series that I am penning right now.
Topaz: Usually I ask this question to everybody. Do you have a favorite color?
Sachin: My favorite color would be Indigo. After one of my favorite ‘hero’ characters in my unpublished book and my favorite radio station in Bangalore.
Topaz: Has your book hit the shelves yet?
Sachin: The book should be hitting the retail bookstores in November beginning. The e-book is already started listing on Amazon, Google Play store and Newshunt. The rest of the ecommerce stores listing will be up soon as we head into winter!
Topaz: Who is your favorite author on your list?
Sachin: Many to list down – but this current book has been heavily influenced by some of my current favorite fantasy writers doing a brilliant job out there. Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch. My all time favorite would probably be Stephen King for his ability to spin magic and infuse realism with words. Among Indian writers, I love Krishna Udayasankar’s work on her nuanced thought provoking series Aryavarta Chronicles based on Mahabaratha. Of course, Tolkien set me up on this fantastical journey and George RR Martin only fuelled the fire sky high.
Topaz: I am going to ask a question that many authors feels uneasy, What is your favorite book.
Sachin: The whole of Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Dune by Frank Herbert. Lots of others come close second or third. Unfair question! It’s like asking you to choose your favorite child.
Topaz: What music are you currently listening too? How’s your favorite band? What’s your favorite genre of music?
Sachin: Currently my listening has been restricted to FM hits on the radio. But my favorite band would be U2. And my favorite genre of music would New age alternative rock.
Topaz: Favorite movie, and tv series? What are you currently watching?
Sachin: Fight Club. Tyler Durden all the way !!
TV Series – Lots recently but my pick would be Daredevil, Season One.
Currently am watching Modern Family reruns, slowly returning back to Central city with Flash Season Two, brushing up my FBI secrets with Quantico. I will shut up about the others.
Topaz: I think I must have seen Modern Family from season 1 to five at least three times. Going back to your book. I am going to ask for the plot.
Sachin: Janani, the world created by the Ancient Nine, is slowly rolling to the end of the third yuga. Seers portend that the end of the third yuga is when ancient terrifying prophecies of an impending apocalypse will come true. When the Banished One will come back to claim the ashes of this world as his bloody revenge. In the meanwhile, in Nam – the greatest empire on Janani – three ordinary mortals get caught up in an increasingly murky web of events connected to the prophecy.
Ishan, a precocious young boy who’s too curious for his own good is discovering truths about this world that will shatter all that he’s learnt yet. Abhaya – an outlawed monk who escapes the clutches of the imperial soldiers discovers that magic comes at a terrible cost and General Fateh, an ageing soldier weary of the bloodshed and battle decides to come back to the Capital city only to discover that the battles he fought in the border are going be far less bloodier than the one he is currently up against – within the shadowy walls of his Empire itself.
Their action and decisions decide the fate of the Nam Empire – and the whole of Janani itself – as the apocalypse looms closer.
Topaz: Did you start writing from an early age?
Sachin: Pretty early. Must have been ten years old when I wrote my spin-off on the Hardy Boys and Three Investigators. I called mine the Famous Trio – and actually wrote 3 books in that series, all proudly printed and displayed in my school library!
Topaz: What inspired you to start writing?
Sachin: Love for the written word. And the power it gives me to imagine new worlds up from scratch. I have been reading fiction since the time I can remember – and I always wanted to write.
Digging deeper, there are two major driving forces for my inspiration today.
The Digital revolution and the growing readership in India. That combined with the fact that today, Fantasy as a genre is no longer a geek’s closet-dream discussion but is brought into main stream pop culture through the popularity of Game of Thrones and the wild success of India mytho-fantasy tales, there never has been a good time to start.
Topaz: Are you a sports person or at least watch any kind of sports?
Sachin: Stopped watching sports sometime back. I play board-games if it counts. And a lot of Badminton.
Topaz: A standard question I ask every writer I meet. What do you think a writer need to start their own book?
Sachin: Healthy imagination. A strong will to put that imagination down on paper ( or onto a word document). And then extreme discipline not to give up and falter mid way but to continue to write till THE END is written.
Topaz: Any advice of other inspiring writers out there?
Sachin: There’s never a good time to start writing. All those nebulous ideas you start jotting down in your little red diary thinking one fine day I will write a book, unless you start on them today, like right now – its never going to happen. So believe in yourself and pump yourself up. The journey might be long but as.
Topaz: You’re first concert?
Sachin: BITS Pilani, 1999. Heard Euphoria and a lot of Indian rock bands come to perform in our cultural festival in the middle of a desert.
Topaz: Who do you find is a suitable role model in your life?
Sachin: My mother.
Topaz: I am currently reading “The Moonstone:”. What about you?
Sachin: Generation V by M L Brennan, a fun rip roaring take on vampires and a new spin to the whole urban fantasy genre.
Topaz: Are you a morning or a night person?
Sachin: Definitely a morning. The early bird who gets to hunt the first worm down types.
Topaz: What do you usually have for breakfast?
Sachin: Like it heavy. Love my South Indian Dosa, Vada and Chutney.
Topaz: I love Indian food but sadly in the morning. I usually stick with a cup of coffee or tea. What’s your future plans?
Sachin: World Domination. That’s a long term plan. Immediate concern would be to finish off marketing my first book in the series as well finish writing book two in good time.
Topaz: Looks like we have to end the interview here, Sachin. Thank you for joining us. I think you are the third person I know beside myself to take over the world.
Sachin: Haha! Thank you for having me here.
For more information about Sachin and his books. Just check the links below. The author bio. More about the author. Scroll down.
Update: There is a discount going on Landmark.
Source :- http://theatopaz.com/2015/11/07/interview-sachin-dev/