Kirthi Kishore, a budding author from Hyderabad, works in a multi-national chip design company. He devotes his free time in writing novels. He joins The Bibulous Bibliobiuli today to not only talk about himself but also about his books. His first book The Demon Deception is already creating a buzz in the Indian market. This book contains almost all the elements of a successful fantasy novel and takes the readers on an adventurous journey that is filled not only with excitement and action, but also with mystery. You can read my review of this book here.
Dear Kirthi, first of all, I would like to thank you for giving us your precious time for this interview. I really appreciate that. So, let us begin this interview by telling us something about you.
People call me an introvert. But, if books can be considered as a man’s best friend, I can be an extrovert at times. I am passionate about stories and had been an avid reader for a decade now. I love to read fantasy, thrillers and crime but it was fantasy that hooked me into reading in the first place.
What was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
Honestly speaking, I never dreamed of being an author. It was never in my mind. I was content to just read novels. I tried to write a few stories, strictly for self-recreational purposes. As it turned out, they lacked the quality needed to get published. It was in the latter half of 2011 that the seed of an idea crept into my crazy mind that later developed into a full-fledged story. The story developed at an alarming pace, new characters designed and their story sewn into the mainline story naturally. It took me just three months to design most of the characters. It was like a dream come true. And then, I decided to start writing. I was skeptical at first. I had read that only one percent of people actually complete a book, let alone get it published. But, I don’t know what overcame me. It was like I had unearthed a new skill from within me.
Could you describe the mundane process of writing? Do you follow a regular routine?
I wouldn’t call writing a mundane process. It is actually far more exciting than reading. Readers talk of that quickening of the pulse when reading an exciting part of a novel. But, the writer feels excitement twice that because he had been planning to write it for a long time and he feels the anticipation of writing an exciting sequence. Only a writer can tell you how exciting writing is. Before starting a book, I write the general outline and break it into chapters. It helps me in keeping track of the story. Most times than not, the final outcome is contrasting to the initial outline. I also follow a peculiar routine while writing. I prefer to write in short bursts, like dedicating the entire weekend to writing while using the rest of the week to prepare for that burst. I find that it brings out the best in me.
What would you say is your interesting quirk that only happens when you are writing?
When I start writing, I feel like in a trance. I lock myself up in my room. My mind feels disconnected from the rest of the world. During that period, I am really living in the story, breathing with the protagonist and seeing him with my own eyes. The words flow freely and in no time, I complete a chapter or two. I am so engrossed that sometimes, it is hard to notice when anyone else enters my room.
Was there anything surprising that you learned while writing your book?
During writing of the book, everything was surprising. Sometimes, I feel if there is a supernatural power driving me to write the story. Every part of the story feels so natural, everything meticulously planned as if I was doing that for a decade. Sometimes, things snap into position without my intervention as if they were planned to be there. In the two years of my writing, there were so many co-incidences that I stopped believing in them as a co-incidence.
What, according to you, is a good story?
A good story must grip the reader to the extent that he is living the story rather than reading it. The emotions portrayed must sway the reader’s mood to its tunes. A good character must create a bond with the reader. Again, each genre affects the reader in a different way.
Are there any occupational hazards of being a writer?
An author doesn’t react well to disturbances in his surroundings. The first ten minutes of writing is a very tough one indeed. The author has to clear his mind and apply himself to the story. It takes a lot of concentration to achieve the state of a mind where the story flows freely without interruption. A slight disturbance could break this concentration, which can frustrate writers. An occasional bout of day-dreaming and a desire for solitude are among others.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I watch Cricket and Hollywood movies. I also read a lot of novels in Fantasy, Thriller, Crime and Sci-Fi genres.
Tell us some “Good-to-know” fun-facts about you. What’s the most amusing thing that happened to you?
In 2014 when I had completed the first draft of my novel, I attended an author workshop. The others were all middle-aged with dreams of writing a book. When the time to introductions arrived, you should have seen their expression when I announced, I am Kirthi Kishore and I have written a novel. It was that of surprise that I, a 25 year old, could write a novel.
Let us turn our attention to your book. The Demon Deception is your first book. It is a fantasy. How did the idea of this book come from?
The first book is always the toughest one. During my time as an avid reader, I waited for a true novel on Indian mythology in the modern times (explained as magic rather than science). I was disappointed that I couldn’t find any (I confess that I didn’t search hard enough). As people say, need is the mother of invention. My need to read a book to my taste drove me to create one.
What would you like your readers to know about this book in general?
The Demon Deception is an Indian Fantasy novel that is rooted in Indian Mythology and true to its cause. I am sure lovers of fantasy and Indian mythology will enjoy it.
You have created so many characters in this book. Is there one particular character who speaks the loudest to you? Does any of these clamour to be heard over others?
There are two characters that I like the most. The first one is Subhash. Though he is one of the protagonists, his part in the first book is minimal. Subhash is a hard-willed character with a tenderness that can make a great combination. In short, he is an ideal character. But unfortunately, authors like characters with conflicts. The other one is Kritavarma. My opinion on him can be contested by his characterization in The Demon Deception, where he is portrayed as a minor antagonist. But, there is more to him than that meets the eye.
Did you do any kind of research for writing this book?
Obviously! No one can write Indian Mythology without extensive research. I did a lot of online research on a lot of topics on Indian Mythology, especially the different races mentioned in the Puranas as well as the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. A lot of facts mentioned in the novel had to be researched thoroughly. Even for those things that were imagined, they have to be grounded in mythology somewhere to make it appear genuine. Added to that, a lot of Sanskrit terminology had to be used. I even went as far as reading all the Puranas, extracting information on geography, medical herbs and many more which will come up in the forthcoming books.
What, according to you, is the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part of writing is in the head. If it is a fantasy novel, the author has to imagine the magical world while anchoring it to reality. Not to mention the author has to play the entire story in his head, analyze the different characters and the story threads for contradictions. With the addition of new characters, the exercise becomes exponentially tough.
And, which part of writing do you enjoy most?
I enjoy the hardest part of writing, which is playing the scenes in my head.
What kind of messages do you want to give through your works?
I don’t give messages. I just write the stories. The protagonist will surely have some good quirks. It is up to the reader to get it.
What question do you wish that someone would ask you about your works, but nobody has so far?
I had realized after completing The Demon Deception that the lead characters of the book, Sharath and Subhash, are similar to Sarath Chandra Bose and Subhash Chandra Bose, who were brothers. Especially the character of Subhash strikes close to the great patriot, the moment he builds an army against oppression, the moment everyone believes he is dead. It was a great surprise to me and one of those moments when I truly believed it couldn’t be a coincidence. I wished someone would realize the connection and ask me if it was intentional. And the answer is – No.
What are your future plans?
I am presently in the process of writing the second book in The Land of Origins trilogy, The Demon Resurgence. And then will come the final book of the trilogy, The Demon Conspiracy. Looking forward to writing it.
And, I will be looking forward to reading both of these. What can be expected from The Demon Resurgence?
In many ways, The Demon Resurgence will be a complete change-over from the first book. While the first book concentrated mostly on the academy, The Demon Resurgence will go beyond it and explore the rest of Prithu. It actually starts with a big twist that decides the rest of the book. The book will be fast paced and I am looking forward to the moment it hits the stores.
Do you have any suggestion to help others become better writers?
I don’t think I am in a position to give any suggestions to other writers. All I can say is, -read a lot.
The Demon Deception
Ten thousand years ago, the demons waged a war against the Gods to capture Amaravati. In the bloody battle that followed, the demon ranks were decimated. The few remaining demons went into hiding, waiting for an opportunity to strike back. For ten thousand years, they grew stronger and researched magic. The peace had prevailed until now.
With the disappearance of the Gods, the demons began to stir. The demon prince, Mrutyu, set about to unite the demon races and declare a war on Prithu, an ancient forgotten realm of magic. Prithu is now on the brink of a war that they are bound to lose. In the coastal city of Vishakhapatnam, Sharath is on the verge of his sixteenth birthday when he begins to have strange nightmares. He soon learns that he is chosen to train in the academy of ancient warfare in a strange land called Prithu that teaches Swordsmanship, Archery, Incursion and Magic. Is Sharath the answer Prithu is looking for? Can he rise to be the chosen and wield the most powerful weapon known to mankind and demonkind? Or is Prithu going to crumble internally like Mrutyu has planned? What part do the ancient tribes like Gandharvas, Kinneras, Kimpurushas, Ganas, Yakshas and Nagas have to play in this all-out war?