It is our honor to have Mr. Shreyas Bhave, author of Prince of Patliputra here with us to share his thoughts….
So here it goes ….. 🙂
1) What brought you into writing?
Reading and watching movies inspired me to start writing. My first stories 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.
2) What are trying to convey through this story?
The Prince of Patliputra is not just a historical Thriller. It is also a philosophical treatise. For sure, on the front end, it is a story about Ancient India, set in the times of the Maurya Empire and focuses on the rise of two Emperors: Chandragupta Maurya in 326 BC and Asoka in 272 BC. But its scope is far greater than just telling a story about A game of thrones. It is the political discussions of Chanakya and Radhagupta in the story that are the most important part of it. Their thoughts on issues of religion, society, economics and warfare which are reflected through their conversations are still relevant in the modern world and that philosophy of the great minds of those times is what I am trying to convey though this story.
3) Is the protagonist inspired from someone you know?
It is said that Fictional characters are always inspired from another fictional characters. If I was to compare the voices of my characters in my head to other existing fictional characters, I’ll say that Kanakdatta the Buddhist’s voice is like that of Lord Varys from HBO’s epic TV Series: GOT. I’ll say Asoka is like John Snow. Chanakya is like Petyr Baelish. Radhagupta is like Tyrion. Maharaja Sushem is like Robb stark. Avarak the one eyed is like King Stannis. Hardeo of Vidisha is like Tywin Lannister. And yes, the Mother of Dragons of the Asoka trilogy is Alexander the great himself!
4) What do you enjoy the most as a writer?
Writers are restless creatures! To me, there is no other joy which compares to the completion of a story. While the story is being written, I am totally jumpy and agitated. But when a story is complete, it can be any story, whether a short story or a 100k words long manuscript, the completion of a story brings its own sense of calm and achievement that can be compared to trekking to the top of a mountain peak. Sure, we have a long way to go to descend after that (I.e. Publishing and book marketing), but the calm of being high on the peak of the mountain is what brings me joy.
5) What made you come up with this plot ?
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 was a king from Patliputra faraway, building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited a 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.
Trailer to his book –
6) If you can be the character in your story, who will it be and why?
The Prince of Patliputra is a historical fiction so of course, it is filled with numerous real historical characters that have left their mark over the pages of history that their names are remembered even until this day. I’d sure love to be Alexander the great, for he never lost a battle and will be remembered for ever for his ambition to capture the whole wide world.
7) What was your greatest difficulty in writing and how did you overcome it?
The greatest challenge I faced was of course is the plotting of the book. Any book must have a great plot, it must have a great climax, or else, people will not love it. The chapters must end on anticipation; The plot must be a page turner. Lot of thinking time goes into the plotting of the story but once the plot is perfectly prepared, everything else flows very smoothly. I have detailed my experiences in writing a historical fiction like ‘The Prince of Patliputra.’ In my blog here.
8) Which Is your favorite book and why?
If I would have to choose just one book through the plethora of titles that are available to us, then I will definitely choose ‘Atlas shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. This was a book that inspired me, made me cry made me learn and made me a better human being than I was before.
9) As a writer what do you think your commitment to society is ?
As a fiction writer, my commitment to society is to entertain them and provide some value addition to their lives through my stories. Maybe I can inspire my readers through my stories, or maybe my stories can help them cope up with loss or sadness or maybe my stories can jumpstart their thinking process about some topic which will lead to some research on their part. The foremost point is that any reader reads fiction to be entertained but if a writer can provide some information to the reader through his fiction, he achieves something greater than being just a storyteller.
10) What is your advice to budding writers?
I am a budding writer myself so I’m sure just having one book published out there does not qualify me to give advice to my peers. What I can always do is share my experiences. What I noticed while pitching my first manuscript to everyone was that publishers prefer a writer with an established audience over a good story any day. So If budding writers can maintain a blog and write about a topic which really moves them, then they can generate a good amount of following which will be invaluable to them when they pitch their first story for publication. Also, having skills in video editing or let’s say image processing will also help them to create professional book marketing tools like ‘Book Trailers’ and ‘promotional posters’ but that is definitely a bonus and not a necessary point. To summarize, write about topics you really want to write about, generate a fan following who love your persona and be open to new ideas is what I’ll want to tell them.
Thank you sir for taking time from your busy schedule to be our first author of this new space ……… ALL THE VERY BEST for your future ventures 🙂