Shreyas Bhave Interview – The Prince of Patliputra Book

Shreyas Bhave is a final year BTech student at VNIT, Nagpur. Let us know more about his writing.

Shreyas Bhave Interview


What inspired you to start writing?

Reading and watching movies inspired me to start writing. My first writings were fan fictions. Then, I began to copy styles of famous authors until I finally developed my own style. Now days, whenever I read a new book, it drives me to go write something. Same is with watching a good movie or a nice TV Series. That is the way I deal with my writer’s block.

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

I read harry potter and hardy boys when I was very young. My grandfather, who is an English teacher, also put me up with tolerating Shakespeare and classical English literature by Charles Dickens etc. As I grew older, I discovered great works by novelists like Maclean, Dumas, and Verne. Now-days, I majorly read Nonfiction on various subjects.

What is the greatest challenge in writing a book?

The greatest challenge of course is the plotting of the book. Your book must have a great plot, it must have a great climax, or else, people will not love it. Your chapters must end on anticipation; your plot must be a page turner. Lot of thinking time goes into the plotting of the story and that is what I consider the hardest part. Once the plot is perfectly prepared, everything else flows very smoothly.

How much research do you do before writing the book?

I had to go through a lot of ancient documents before beginning to write this book. I read ‘Asokavadana’ which is a Buddhist text on Ashoka’s life. I also read modern books on the subject like the ones by Charles Allen to find out more about the period of that time.

Shreyas Bhave Interview


What motivated you to write the book “The Prince of Patliputra”?

I was visiting a mountain pilgrimage called Girnar in Junagarh district few years back. It boasts of a vast Jain temple and also the highest point of Gujarat state. When I enquired who had built the Jain temple, the answer I received was it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. The question which came to my mind is why a king from Patliputra which was faraway, was building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited an underground network of Buddhist caves nearby. I was impressed by its architecture. “Who built these caves?” I asked and the answer that came was “Samrat Ashoka.” This was the incident that drove me to find out more about this great Grandfather-grandson duo and the outcome is the Asoka trilogy.

Can you tell us more about your latest book “The Prince of Patliputra”?

The Prince of Patliputra is the book 1 of the Asoka trilogy. It is story that begins 272 years Before Christ when Bharathvarsha (India) is in a state of turmoil. Bindusar, the second Samrat of the Maurya dynasty rules over the subcontinent at that time and he is dying, riddled by unknown diseases. His foremost enemy, Avarak the one eyed has used this opportunity to incite the province of Avanti to a rebellion and has captured the city of Ujjain. Asoka is the least favorite son of the Samrat and has been sent to break down this rebellion. The story begins with an assassination attempt on Asoka’s life as he marches against the rebels of Avarak. From them on, it is a speedy thrilling ride which shows how he defeats the rebels, finds his assassins, falls in love and faces betrayals and solves puzzles. The book also has a flashback story, which tells how Asoka’s grandfather, Chandragupta established the Maurya rule in India.

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

I have always been fascinated by histo-political dramas, like HBO’s Rome and Boardwalk empire and CTV’s The Borgias. Going gaga over these for some time, I realized that thousands of such dramas are present in our own history. That is why I took on this genre. The prince of Patliputra is not just a Historical fiction. It is a histo-political thriller which will race the reader’s mind just as much as it shall race the reader’s heart.

Who are your favourite authors?

This is a tricky question as there are so many great souls to choose from! (Yes, souls! Because the top ten of my favorite authors are now dead.) In Fiction, I love the work of Alistair Maclean, Michael Crichton, Robert Ludlum, Ayn Rand. In Nonfiction, I’ll mention the great biographer Emil Ludwig.

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

In an ideal world, I will write 2000 words every day. This is quite an achievable target and takes roughly 1-2 hours/day. A standard fiction novel is 100k words, so that means in an ideal world, I’ll complete the first draft in 2 months. Of course, the world is not ideal and unforeseen circumstances do get in the way.

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

Write every day and complete your manuscripts.

  • Love your writing.
  • Get out there and tell people about your writing! Create your fans before you are published.
  • Maintain a blog on WordPress or blogger.
  • Learn image editing in Photoshop. Will really help you later in marketing of your book.
  • Learn Adobe after effects. Will help you in creating cool book trailer.

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In Conversation with Shreyas Bhave – Author of ‘The Prince of Patliputra’

Shreyas is a 21 year old guy currently pursuing his B.Tech in Electrical Eng. from VNIT Nagpur. His love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India. Apart from writing, his hobbies are songwriting, composing music, painting watercolors and sketching with pencils. He loves hiking in the hill forts of Maharashtra, is fond of blues & southern rock music, plays the guitar. He is currently working on a startup to provide quality services to the end users of Transformer and Switchgear products in the country. He is also presently working on the second part of this trilogy which shall be called The Scourge from Taxila.

Tell us something about yourself. IMG_20160124_102342897_HDR

Hi! I am Shreyas, currently studying electrical engineering at VNIT Nagpur. My debut novel, called ‘The prince of Patliputra’ has been published recently and is available in the market. Apart from writing, my hobbies revolve around songwriting, playing lead guitar and trekking in the hill forts of Maharashtra.

The theme you have chosen for your book is very unique and complex. How did you come up with the idea?

I am basically a fan of historical –political thrillers. Some examples would be HBO’s epic series ‘Rome’ or the famous ‘Boardwalk empire.’ Then, I realized that there were a lot of historical stories to draw from in our own country itself! India has a history of more than ten thousand years! That was when I decided that I wanted to write about ancient India.

How did you do the research to collect information about Asoka and other characters?

I tapped various resources for gathering information for my book. I went from reading the Ancient Buddhist text Asokavadana to ShahRukh Khan’s Asoka movie. I also read historical accounts on Ashoka written by foreign authors like Charles Allen. So basically I was open to exploring the times of the Mauryas as a traveller and wanted to paint a picture of how exactly the events of those days must have taken place. My main focus was to create a political thriller, based on those times. A book that was of great help to shape up the land of Bharathvarsha from those times is Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography by Sanjeev Sanyal. Finally, I let my imagination run its course and came up with fictious characters such as Kanakdatta, Avarak, Hardeo and Dileepa in the story. A brief note on the characters of the story is available at

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The hardest thing definitely was the amount of information I had to collect about the times of Ancient India. I realized that a lot of things that a writer tends to take for granted while writing didn’t exist in that period at all. It was a period of no glass, paper, artillery etc and had to write taking all that into account. I have detailed my experiences about writing this at

When did you first realize your passion for writing? What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I have been writing stories even since I was a child. I think I was born with that passion. I actually decided to sit down and write something when I entered my engineering.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

It’s too hard to choose an individual person as my favorite author. There are so many great souls out there! (:p Yes souls! Because the top 10 on my favorite author list are deadL) I would choose Emil Ludwig here. He was a German author who has written some of the best biographies of great historical personalities like Napoleon, Hitler, Bismarck etc. The way he deals with these legends as humans with faults is wonderful. His writing makes us keep guessing what will happen next even though history has already told us that.

Tell us something about the next books in the series.

The next book of the Asoka trilogy shall be called The Scourge of Taxila. I have already uploaded sample chapters from this book at The second part will detail the great siege of Patliputra by Sushem in 270 BC as well as by Chandragupta 50 years ago and will end at Asoka’s coronation as Samrat. The third book then will venture into the times during and after the Kalinga war.

After getting your first book published, do you think you have evolved creatively and how?

Yes definitely I have evolved tremendously after writing my first one. I am confident that my next works will be better than this one. I have improved in writing style, in storytelling and have now evolved into new genres. My next one coming out, apart from the Asoka trilogy will be a thriller set in modern times with historical bylines.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

The ambitions are the same as that of every writer out there. To see your books become bestsellers! To be loved by all your readers for quality as well as quantity. To have TV series and movies be based on your books. But gradually, I want to branch out into nonfiction writing and write about stuff that really haunts our world, like environmental problems, economical disasters and social inequality.

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