Thursday, February 16, 2017
Author Interview : Aroon Raman, author of ‘Skyfire’
How did ‘Skyfire’ happen?
I was trekking a few years ago in the Langtang Valley in Nepal when I saw a kind of freakish phenomenon : a kind of boiling cloud over a lone peak.
That triggered the question in my mind of whether ‘man made weather’ was possible. That was the start of Skyfire.
What kind of research did you put into the writing of this book?
Quite a bit of writing is informed by research. The whole are of weather manipulation is only, now being taken a little more seriously, but it was very interesting to see it happening in various ways since the 1960s.
Some of these very interesting incidents are covered in my article in Outlook Magazine.
The intertwining of two complete separate themes: freak weather incidents that threaten India, while children are vanishing from the streets of Delhi.
Two seemingly, unconnected incidents, which come together in a chilling way at the end.
How did you come up with the central idea and develop it?
As I said before, the weather manipulation idea came out of a trek. The rest of it flowed organically; I wanted another much more ‘human’ element to the thriller and what better, than the very real plight we have in India, of thousands of missing children?
This is what gives the author delight – letting the imagination flow freely, ideas sprouting out of the dark, and suddenly it’s as if the light bulb goes off in your head, and you know how it’s all going to fit together in that flash of a moment.
How would you relate the book and its characters to your day to day lives and which particular character did you feel most close to? Why?
Answering both the above questions, the themes in the book are a mirror to society today. Global warming and children going missing are uncontested realities.
What I have done is add a dramatic element to these, and some of
course ‘over-the-top’ thriller elements that keep the pages turning for the reader.
I would say both Chandra and Meenu in the book are people I feel very close to. I introduced them to the readers in my first book ‘The Shadow Throne’, and over the years, have become quite close to these two creations!
They have flaws and great redeeming qualities of all heroic figures. Pant and Hassan are also taken from real life research, though they are fictional characters. I did considerable research on our intelligence agencies before drawing their profiles.
What is the most fulfilling part of writing this book? And what is the most challenging?
Exercising the creative imagination, and then subjecting this faculty to the tight discipline of writing – that’s what is tough and so exhilarating about being a writer.
What is the next book that you have planned?
Too early to say… I’m still rotating a couple of plots in my head. One for Young Adults, and another a full blown murder thriller.