7 Days, 7 Interviews
We hope you’re enjoying this Interview series. And in order to maintain the element of entertainment, today we’ve with us a ‘fresh’ best selling author. Today we present to you Satyarth Nayak, the author of bestselling novel ‘The Emperor’s Riddles’. His book hit the top-selling charts recently ,within a short period of 4 months of its release. So let’s share the success book today with Satyarth.
Let’s see what Satyarth has to say about our doubts and queries. Have fun!
• So Satyarth, let’s start with a brief introduction of yours.
I am a Delhi based author, script-writer and journalist and have always been passionate about writing since my early days. I have been penning short stories and was closely involved with my college magazine while studying literature at Venky and St. Stephen’s. My short story ‘Eve’ won the British Council Prize in 2006 and my stories have also appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. So writing a full length mystery novel was a natural extension and I have thoroughly enjoyed writing ‘The Emperor’s Riddles’.
• You recently published your book ‘The Emperor’s Riddles’. What inspired you to write it down in the first place?
The idea grabbed my collar when I stumbled upon the fascinating legend of the Emperor that forms the backdrop for my book. It was so intriguing and so detailed that my instant reaction was to create a plot around it. The thought that such a captivating secret was lurking in the shadows of our ancient Indian history mesmerised me. That’s how the journey started.
• Any difficulties you faced while writing this book?
The hardest thing is to actually write. A writer’s head is full of a million ideas, each calling out loud and clear. To actually sit down and put one of these ideas down in black and white is the challenge. Creating the riddles was also the hard part. They are in verse and a mix of history and mythology. I also wanted them to get more and more cryptic as you progressed on the trail. Also these days, promotion has become a big deal and after you finish writing, the writer also needs to promote his work as much as possible.
• Your favourite character from the book?
I enjoyed creating them all. As you said, they all are unique in their own way, so they are all my favourites. Someone told me she enjoyed Alia, the journalist the most and that maybe because I was a correspondent myself. Perhaps art imitated life in this case.
• Your book has now gained ‘The National Bestseller’ tag? Were you determined that your book will reach the success when you started
You can never plan such things. You can only write and hope for the best. Today when I walk into a bookstore and see the book on the Bestseller shelf or see it topping the Bestseller chart on Amazon or Asian Age, it’s a big high. The fact that the book has gone into reprint gives me a huge sense of relief that all the hard work has paid off and people have accepted me as a writer.
• Where does writing fit in your daily schedule?
Schedules don’t work for me. There are days when I am typing away furiously and days when I can’t pull a single line out of my head. But I generally prefer writing late into the night. Quite therapeutic. My room is where I write. That’s the private chamber of secrets where all my zany ideas come to life. Enter this space and you will find way too many thoughts floating around in despair.
• Every review about your book says that your book is a ‘Well researched book’, what’s your say on that? How long did it took to pen down such a story?
The fact that the legend was full of details made my job a lot easier. But a lot of research went into faithfully recreating the ancient era since the track of the Emperor’s evolution runs parallel to the main track of the murder intrigue. This is a History meets Mystery book and historical research was of paramount importance. Lot of research also went into creating those riddles in the book since they are a blend of history, mythology and urban legends. The book took well over 2 years.
• So which is your favorite book? And your favorite author?
Definitely And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
• What lies in your writing carrier’s future? Any sequel or something?
Right now am taking a break and enjoying the success of the book. That it has become a National Bestseller in four months of its release and already gone into Reprint is a big relief. Next will be a mystery thriller again but this time I am looking at exploring fantasy and supernatural. Let’s see.
• If you’re left on a deserted island, what 3 things would you like to keep?
Family and friends or I shall get bored.
• Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
Meryl Streep and ask her how does she get it right every time?
• How was your experience with your publisher?
It was awesome. Amaryllis has a close-knit team and interacting with them was extremely informal and rewarding. I am highly grateful to my editor Rashmi Menon for showing such maternal love for my book throughout. Also grateful to Manoj for being the looming presence. I love how they have created the final product. Best thing about Amaryllis has been their outstanding distribution process making sure that the book is available at maximum stores and online sites across India. That has been a big factor in the success of the book.
• Would you like to deliver a ‘word of advice’ for budding & emerging writers?
If you are planning to write a history meets mystery tale here are a few pointers. Make sure the mystery you create is not simply for the sake of doing so, but a natural extension of the history you are exploring. There’s nothing uglier than yoking history and mystery by mere illogical force. Treat historical characters with care. Artistic license is fine but keep in mind that these are real life legends and you can’t tamper beyond a point. Research the period well. This will not only give you great perspective but also help you recreate the era as perfectly as possible. And have loads of fun. You can’t thrill others unless you are thrilled yourself
• Any words for us, i.e, The Author’s Blog?
The word that comes to mind right away is innovative. I love how you come up with such unique projects every time and it’s a pleasure to be a part of them. Keep shining and keep the love for reading and writing alive.
So that was all from Satyarth. He is a wonderful writer and a must-watch author for mystery and thriller fans. Congratulations to Satyarth for the great success of his book. Hope to see another amazing mystery book from his side soon. And guys stay tuned for more interesting interviews in this series.
You can buy his book, The Emperor’s Riddles, from the following links :