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Friday, October 31, 2014

Author Interview : Pratik Kamat, author of 'Svaha : A Battle of Epic Proportions'



Pratik Kamat
A mythological thriller? A fantasy story? I do not know what it is to be called but it has a little bit of history, world affairs, superheroes, gods, monsters along with a little bit of love and a few relationships, thrown in and so… what do you call that? And this author, Pratik Kamat has it all in his book!

An amalgamation is what this book is. So, take up and buy this one : ‘Svaha : A Battle of Epic Proportions’ and give My Review, a definite read…

Could you describe the journey of ‘Svaha : A Battle of Epic Proportions’? How did it begin? What kind of research was put into it?

The journey for Svaha was quite a long one. I wrote the book back in 2012, it was optioned in 2013 and released in late 2014. The idea for a high-octane thriller was swirling in my head for a while and one day I just decided to put pen to paper.

A lot of research was done on a variety of topics that pop up in the book – everything from Indian mythology to hacking. I love learning about new things so I would say with me the research is always an on-going process.

How and why did you choose Slash as your heroine, exactly?

Slash is based on someone I once knew, although the version in the book is an amalgam of all interesting women I’ve met in my life.

Women in Indian movies are used mostly as a well-dressed prop with no real substance to their roles, and I thought a tough-as-nails girl with a mind of her own would be interesting.

How would you relate the lives of Slash, Nadar, Soldier X and Rahul Rao to the lives today? Any similarities?

I think there’s a common thread that binds all these characters, and that is that they are all caught in circumstances beyond their control. I don’t think of any of them as heroes or villains but more like ordinary people stuck in extraordinary situations.

I think being caught in something that is much bigger than you is a situation we can all relate to in our lives.

How do you think your book is different from everyone else’s?

It’s an exciting book to read! I think the pace and the combination of mythological and thriller elements in a contemporary setting is what makes it different.

Also, the lack of too many unnecessary details that often bog down great books is something quite a few people have liked. It is also very cinematic in its feel.

Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence?

I love my characters but the story gets the first preference, simply because of the genre it’s in.

A thriller that meanders too much would not be exciting to read.

What was the most challenging part of writing this book?

Having a full-time job while trying to write is definitely the most challenging part. Most people equate writers as social butterflies who party-hop literary festivals and write in a café.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. It’s a strenuous job with little or no reward for new comers, so yeah, managing work responsibilities with writing as a hobby is tough.

When would your next book be out? Is a second part to this story to be expected?

I don’t know if anyone is waiting for a sequel but yes, there is a sequel underway and it should be done, from my end at least, by next year.

I’m not contracted for a sequel, however. Publishing often takes a really long time so I can’t promise when and if it’ll be out. Story wise the sequel is bigger and far darker than Svaha, so I’m guessing people who read the first part should definitely check it out.   

Why do you think there is a sudden surge in stories based on mythology and fantasy, these days?

Mythology has always been a part of our lives. I guess as Indians get more and more westernised, these tales serve as ties to our glorious past. Also these genres offer a great deal of escapism, and that is something a majority of the middle class cannot get enough of.

Who are your favourite authors and why? / Who is you inspiration?

Dan Brown
Dan Brown is my favourite author, simply because no one can write a thriller like him. I also love Ian Fleming, John Le Carre, Tom Clancy, Salman Rushdie and Sidney Sheldon.

I also have to mention Alan Moore as a tremendous influence on me as a writer. All of his works have inspired me greatly.

Which book are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading 'Inherent Vice' by Thomas Pynchon.

What do you do on a day to day basis, besides writing stories?

I work in advertising, writing and shooting television commercials around the world and make music in my spare time.
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