Shubham Pandey Interview – The Book of James Carrom Book

Nikhil Narkhede December 13, 2015 Interviews

Shubham Pandey is currently studying in 10th standard of The Bishop’s School, Camp. He has worked as an intern and student reporter for Times Of India Nie Pune, and have written several articles for Times. He also won Times Student Of The Year, Pune in 2013.  His debut book, The Book Of James Carrom, is nominated for The Hindu Young World Goodbooks Awards- Fiction, which will be held in January 2016. Let us know more about his writing.

Shubham Pandey Interview

What inspired you to start writing?

I have been writing short stories since I was eight. The Book Of James Carrom actually started out as a short story, but ended up becoming a novel.

What did you like to read when you were a boy?

I used to love reading abridged classics like Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, HG Wells and Jack London. I usually read urban fantasies like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and science fiction. Currently, I like reading psychological thrillers.

What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

I would say the greatest challenge is actually overcoming your laziness and finishing the book, and not just abandoning it after a couple of chapters.

How much research do you do before writing the book?

Research, I feel, is definitely necessary, because attention must be paid to the finer details. I usually go to the places where the story is taking place, and write about them in a journal. Later I use these lines in the novel. Parts of The Book of James Carrom take place in Lucknow, where I have lived for 5 years. I also write a lengthy character sketch of every character in the story.

Shubham Pandey Interview

What motivated you to write the book “The Book of James Carrom”?

I had a pretty vivid dream in 2011, on which I based this book. Apart from that, I was also motivated to write this by the boring lectures in school, when I used to sit on a bench at the back, and write the book.

Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Book of James Carrom”?

This book is about two 12-year-old boys who get caught in a war between two races: Zahabevs and Tarehonucks. The Tarehonucks are extremely clever, zombie-like beings who are expert at the craft of black magic, whereas the Zahabevs are dwarfs with magical qualities, said to have been created by the Gods to protect human beings.

How did you come up with the idea of writing fiction genre book?

I believe one emulates what one admires. I have always admired fantasy fictional books, and therefore, I ended up writing five of them.

Who are your favourite authors?

My favourite authors are Jules Verne, HG Wells, Charles Dickens, JK Rowling, Amish, Roald Dahl, RK Narayan, Dalton Trumbo, C S Lewis, Alexander Dumas, RL Stevenson and Jack London.

How much time do you dedicate to writing on a daily basis?

I usually spend half an hour writing something or the other. However, this is a minimum, and I usually exceed it.

What words of wisdom would you like to give to aspiring writers?

Write what you love, not what will sell, and you will have success. Don’t give up, no matter what.

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My interview after a year is with Shubham Pandey, who is a new writer only at the age at 15 years old. Recently debuted his new book “The Book Of James Carrom”.

Shubham Facebook page:


Topaz: Thank you for joining us at Bookworm’s Universe, Mr Pandey. Where are you originally from and currently residing?

Pandey: .I’m originally from Bihar, in India, but I live in Pune, and study in The Bishop’s School.

Topaz: What age did you start to write “The Book of James Carrom”?

Pandey: I wrote the book when I was eleven.

Topaz: What is your new book about?

Pandey: My book, The Book Of James Carrom, is a fantasy book about two warring races of supernatural beings, one of which are a race of super-intelligent undead people who have mastery over black magic called Tarehonucks, and the others are dwarf-like beings, blessed with magical abilities, called Zahabevs. Primarily, it tells the tale of a twelve-year-old boy who unknowingly lands up right in the middle of these two races, when he accidentally releases the King of the Tarehonucks from a book in which he was trapped.

Topaz: How many books have you written so far and is it a series?

Pandey: I have written five books so far, and am working on my sixth, which is actually the fourth installment in the James Carrom series.

Topaz: When will your book will be available for us to read?

Pandey: The book is currently available online in India, Denmark, UK, USA, Spain and a few other European countries. It will hit the bookstores across India in less than a month.

Topaz: Who is your favourite author so far?

Pandey: I have quite a few favourite authors. Prime among them is Jules Verne, for his foresight and for the way he shaped the genre of sci-fi. Also, I’m a big fan of Rick Riordan for his use of humor in his books.

Topaz: Favourite book?

Pandey: My favorite book! No fair! Can I choose only one? Alright, it has to be Animal Farm, for its sharp humor and political allusions.

Topaz: What music are you currently listening too? How’s your favorite band? What’s your favorite genre of music?

Pandey: Musically, I have a very unorthodox taste. I play five musical instruments, so, I like artists who are very talented with their instruments. I listen to all sub-genres of rock and metal, but I’m more inclined to old-school heavy metal and thrash metal. My favorite bands are Slayer, Alter Bridge and Judas Priest.

Topaz: Favorite movie, and tv series? What are you currently watching?

Pandey: Friends, Castle, Big Bang Theory and Death Note (anime) are my all-time favorite television shows. I’m currently watching Gotham. I’m more inclined to political and psychological thrillers, and for that reason, I love watching Momento, Inception, Shutter Island and Silence of the Lambs over and over again. But my favorite movie is The Dark Knight, because it has the elements of all of the others.

Topaz: I just finish Gotham 1. The show is really good. Going back to your book. Can you share with us about your book plot?

Pandey: My book begins with Arthur McKutcher, a twelve year old, who has recently shifted to a new house. In this house, he finds weird clues that hint at something fishy related to the Carroms, the previous owners of the house.  This takes him to a room in which he finds a book, which, on being opened, releases a terrible monster, the King of the Tarehonucks, whose name is James Carrom. Arthur is then helped by two Zahabevs and a monster hunter named Raymon Velmin to find James and destroy him.

Topaz: At what age did you start to get inspired to write?

Pandey: I started writing stories when I was around eight years old. My first story was about Spiderman being pushed into a pit of snakes by Green Goblin, who then tries to rule the world, and is stopped by Spiderman, who has returned as…wait for it…SNAKEMAN!

Topaz: That sounds like a very interesting story. Snakeman sound catchy. There’s a ring to it. Share with us what got you to interested in writing?

Pandey: I’ve always been a bookworm. So much so that while my parents danced around in the disco light at a party, I used to wait for the light to fall on my book so that I could read a little more. I guess I just got inspired by all the wonderful fiction that I read.

Topaz: Do you watch sports or play any kind of it?

Pandey: Living in India has two conditions: thou must call all thine neighbours ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’, or thou must love cricket. I do watch cricket occasionally, but I’m not a harcore sports head.

Topaz: Share with us a brief history of your background?

Pandey: My father’s an armyman, so I keep moving from one place to another every couple of years or so. I’ve lived in the deserts and the mountains, in cities and remote areas the names of which are not there even on maps! It’s ironic, thus, that I am not very fond of travelling. I’m from Bihar, and Biharis to Indians are the same as hillbillies to Americans. People are very stereotypical in their approach to us, and we are very misunderstood. But that’s okay. I love the expression on a person’s face when I tell them I’m from Bihar.

Topaz: Amazing. You have lead a far more interesting life than any 15 years old that I know. What do you think a writer need to do know when they start their own book?

Pandey: The only thing he needs is a story and the determination to get his lazy self to write. Everything else just works out on its own is what I’ve found.

Topaz: Ah, I know the feeling. I am too lazy to write. Any advice would you like to share to other inspiring writers out there

Pandey: Never let any negative criticism bog you down. On the other hand, don’t let positive criticism get to your head. I’ve had both these things happen to me, and trust me, they’re both probably the worst things to ever happen to writers.

Topaz: I usually like to ask this question to everybody. You’re first concert?

Pandey: There aren’t a lot of metal concerts that happen in India, and I’m not an EDM guy, so my first concert was in my school, and it was my band that was playing. It’s also the only concert that I’ve ever attended, which is sad. I so want to see Slayer play live.

Topaz: You’re in a band. I think we should add future musician besides being a writer. Who is your role model that played a huge part in your life and had an influence you?

Pandey: y role model is the late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, ex-president of India. He has been inspiring me ever since I first heard about him from my father. Also, Buddha.

Topaz: What book are you currently reading? I am going to start reading your book. Thank you for letting me have a chance to read it.

Pandey: I just finished reading Scion of Ikshvaku by Indian author Amish. It was a surreal experience, though the end felt a little rushed. Amish writes about modern retellings of ancient Indian myths, and he has an eye for details.


If you’re interested getting the book and start reading. Here are the links for it.

Pandey website:

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