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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Author Interview : Anand Neelakantan, author of ‘Rise of Kali : Duryodhana's Mahabharata' (Part 2)

Read up, Anand Neelakantan, author of 'Rise of Kali : Duryodhana's Mahabharata' (Part 2). We find out what the most challenging part of writing it was, the answer is incredible, as you get the most out of writing of the Gita

How he thinks characters are more important, and a little about his favourite authors and future books and also about the TV show, Folks...

What was the most challenging part about writing both parts, now that they are done?

Critically analyzing Gita was the toughest part. I have been learning
Anand Neelakantan
Gita from the age of 5. It is a part of my belief system. But when I write Mahabharata from Duryodhana’s side, I have to critically see Gita and it is very tough task. 

Subconsciously, I kept answering my own questions, just as I have been answering the doubts of many of my friends who care to ask me doubts on the Gita for so many years. 

I overcame it by writing down arguments from either side without pausing to think too much.  The result was surprising, as I found that the stock replies that many Gita scholars or even a layman like me who attempts to answer the doubts on Gita give are really not that logical and there are many questions that remain unanswered. 

I have put them across in the book. Gita is dealt in three parts, 1 - as conversation between Suyodhana and Krishna,  2 - between Balarama and Krishna and 3 - between Arjuna and Krishna, each attempting to answer the questions raised in the previous chapters.

If the reader ends up with more questions than answers at the end of the book, I will consider my attempt a success.

How much of your thoughts and feelings are included in your books?

My writing is thinking aloud and making the readers to feel for my characters, along with me. 

Authors have different ways of telling their story, with elements that are most important. Between your storyline and your characters, which takes precedence? 

Characters - I do not plot for novels, but let the characters decide the course. I write in a flow, often allowing the characters to possess me while I write. 

As far as TV writing is concerned, detailed plotting is required. I am writing Sita’s Ramayan for Star TV now.

Who are your favourite authors and why?

Charles Dickens
For characterization - Leo Tolstoy and Charles Dickens, for plotting - Ken Follet and Frederick Forsyth, for sub text and depth - Somerset Maugham, for intuitive writing - Stephen King, for humour -  P G Wodehouse, for mystery - Agatha Christie, for depth of thoughts - Fyodor Dostoyevsky, for counter telling - Bhasa, SL Bhyrappa and M T Vasudevan Nair, for language - Salman Rushdie, for simplicity - R K Narayan, for imagination - JRR Tolkien, for dark humour- Joseph Heller. The list is endless. I read all genres.

How do you think your book was different from everyone else’s besides it being about the ‘defeated’?

I don’t know. I have not gone for comparisons with other popular authors. That is for the reader to decide.  I write what I know and in the way I know.

How is Amatya’, coming along?  

As of now, I am writing 'Devayani', a young adult fantasy. 'Amatya' is after that.

Do you have any other books planned? What else can we expect from you in
KR Meera
the coming years?

I am also planning nonfiction self-help book based on ancient Lokayutta philosophy, apart from 'Devayani' and 'Amatya'.

Which book are you reading, currently?

Aarachar (Malayalam) by KR Meera.

You can Read the Reviews of 'Rise of Kali' here and 'Roll of the Dice' right here.
You can also check out the First Part to this Interview, right here.
You can also Buy the Book here.

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