“I firmly believe that if a story has an intriguing plot and is well told, it will find readers regardless of anything” says the author Prashant Pinge in a candid chat with Timid Fingers. When his next book Secadu, is scheduled to release in next two days the author opens up on his new book, on the Indian readership of fantasy fiction and on his inspiration behind writing in this genre.
Prashant Pinge: My literary journey started more than a decade ago. It has certainly been a rewarding one thus far, with several publishing credits along with award nominations. However, at the very core, it has always been about pursuing my passion. So I am really grateful to be on this wonderful journey that provides me with the opportunity to express my imagination through words.
TF: Children’s fiction is always your forte, any particular reason behind that or you always wants to write children’s fiction?
Prashant: I have found the children’s fiction genre to be very endearing. It is a paradigm where animals can talk, where toys come alive, where fairies live across the street, and where magical creatures play with you. It gives me a chance to let my imagination flow without any constraints. So yes, I do enjoy writing children’s fiction but also plan to experiment with other genres.
TF: Your new book Sceadu, which is going to hit the stands soon, is a fantasy fiction. I would like to request you to say few words about the book.
Prashant: Sceadu was born out of my fascination for shadows. The adventure starts when a century old book transports four children to a land inside their shadows. The reluctant visitors search for a way back but find themselves chased by the Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. The stakes are suddenly raised when an ancient prophecy foretells the doom of the world they left behind. The children have no choice but to try and unlock the secrets of the shadow or suffer the destruction of their own kind.
Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.
TF: How tough it is to pen down such a story which can exist in imagination only?
Prashant: The biggest challenge when penning down a story like Sceadu was coming up with a logical basis for the land. I did not want to have the protagonists travel to another land without giving the readers a reason to believe that such a place could actually exist. I had to do a lot of research in psychology and mythology to add that layer which makes this entire adventure so plausible.
TF: There is loads of new author coming but fantasy fictions by Indian authors are very few. What do you think the reason behind this, is this because writing love story is always a safe genre or something else?
Prashant: There is obviously no doubt that popular fiction is a hit with the masses in India. However, the concept of fantasy is also strongly rooted in our culture if you consider how deeply connected it is to mythology. So I would say that fantasy, in that sense, has been there for a long time in our psyche. I cannot pinpoint a specific reason though for the dearth of Indian authors writing fantasy fiction, but I do believe the trend is changing.
TF: Do you think there is enough readers in India for this kind of book, which will force them to go beyond their imagination?
Prashant: I firmly believe that if a story has an intriguing plot and is well told, it will find readers regardless of anything. And besides, we have a very sophisticated reading class in India, and I have absolutely no doubt they will enjoy reading Sceadu immensely. In fact, a lot of fantasy fiction from the west has garnered significant fan following in India. So I would expect nothing less for my book.
TF: Any incident you want to tell us which you have experience while framing the plot of Sceadu?
Prashant: I got up one night for a drink of water. I switched on the lamp and reached for the glass. At the same moment, my shadow mirrored my movements on the wall behind. That was when I asked myself the question. What if my shadow held a land with dangerous creatures waiting to find a way into our world? That was how the plot for Sceadu was basically conceived.
TF: Why have you chosen to publish your new book Sceadu on your own? Why not a establish publisher or a self-publishing one?
Prashant: The decision to take the self-publishing route with Sceadu came after a lengthy period of deliberation. The primary drivers were complete creative control and the ability to reach a global audience. However, I do plan to work with publishers, with my next work of children’s fiction already picked up for a 2015 release.
TF: So, are you going to try some new genre in your upcoming endevaours or the plan is sticking to these, children’s fiction or fantasy fiction?
Prashant: While I will always continue to work in the genres of children’s fiction and fantasy fiction, the basis for my writing has always been the need to tell a great story. So I do not plan to restrict myself to these genres only. In fact, I am working on a romantic comedy right now. And I also plan to write a historical fiction novel in the near future.
TF: Which is your favorite book in these genre you write, or I would say which book you used to keep under the pillow while sleeping as a kid?
Prashant: It would be very difficult to identify one book, but I am really enjoying the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. As a child though, I was completely enthralled by Enid Blyton.
TF: I hope everyone liked the book as much I did. All the best for the book. Now few words for your readers who might have already got bored and few words for the Timid Fingers blog.
Prashant: Thank you for the wishes. For the patrons of this blog, just pick up a copy of Sceadu. I guarantee you will never take your shadow for granted again. For the Timid Fingers blog (and especially the force behind it), a very big thanks for reading and reviewing the book. And all the very best!
Website - http://prashantpinge.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/prashantpinge
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