YA Writer Wednesdays is happy to welcome Laxmi Hariharan, author of THE DESTINY OF SHAITAN! Comment on my interview with Laxmi for a chance to win her e-book, THE DESTINY OF SHAITAN! I'll draw the winner at random on Tuesday, August 14!
About Laxmi Hariharan: (In the author’s words) I am a writer, technophile and, dare I say, a futurist, with a penchant for chai and growing eye-catching flowers. Wanderlust drove me out of my home country, India, to travel across Asia, and I lived in Singapore and Hong Kong before coming home to London. I am inspired by Indian mythology; I draw from the stories my grandmother narrated to me as a child. It is in acknowledging my roots that I found my voice. When not writing, I love walking in the woods with my soulmate, and indulging my inner geek. My debut novel, The Destiny of Shaitan, is available on Amazon (e-book).
Welcome, Laxmi! What's your book about?
Partially set in a futuristic Bombay, The Destiny of Shaitan is a coming of age story painted against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic world. When Tiina, a young seventeen year old, accompanies her ex-boyfriend Yudi on a mission to save the universe from the ruthless Shaitan, she seeks more than the end of the tyrant; she seeks herself. Driven by greed and fear for his own survival, Shaitan bulldozes his way through the galaxy, destroying everything in his path. Tiina wants Yudi to eliminate Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the autocrat being killed by his son, but she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Yudi and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight—including getting rid of Tiina. The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan's ultimate destiny be fulfilled?
What inspired you to write it?
I am inspired by Indian mythology. My grandmother narrated for me these amazing stories of Indian Gods and Goddesses and their fantastic adventures when I was growing up in Bombay. So I think the seeds of this book were sown when I was a five year old. I hope The Destiny of Shaitan will introduce an entire new generation around the world to Indian mythology – in a very cool, easy to understand fashion.
When is your book coming out / When did it release?
The second edition of The Destiny of Shaitan released on July 1. If you have read it, I'd love to profile you my reader in my Reader Avatars series on my blog . E-mail me to be included: email@example.com .
Has the reality of being published been different than you thought it would be?
With being published comes the enormous responsibility of giving my readers the best experience my words can afford. I found I had to be very true to myself about acknowledging why I write. I write to be read.
What's the best part of being published?
The best part is to be read! I write to introduce a new generation of people around the word to the magnificent wonders of Indian mythology and culture. If I have managed to move even one person, I am fulfilled.
What is something about publishing that you wish someone had told you in advance?
That it is no cakewalk and that there are no real monetary rewards at the end of it. I don't think you can write to make money. You write because it is a compulsion and there is no other way out!
Do you write from an outline or are you a "pantser"?
The Destiny of Shaitan is a sheer seat of the pants story which grew from a very organic space. The characters were off having mad adventures and I had to make sense of it all for the reader. With my next one, The Seven Islands, I am going to plot first--then write!
Who's your favorite author? What is it about his or her writing that has made you a fan?
George R R Martin is my favourite. His characters drive the story forward. And he does not hesitate to kill them off and come up totally new and even more intriguing ones. Fantastic!
Are you a full-time writer or do you have a "day job"? What do you do in your "day job"?
My day job is working in a creative media house. I am fortunate that my job nurtures my soul and pays my bills so I can write!
Why YA as opposed to some other genre?
I not only write YA, I am YA. In fact I have my own quiz to help you figure out if you are also a Young Adult:
a. Do you have more in common with your girlfriends’ fourteen year old (especially your love for Hunger Games, Twilight, et al)?
b. In workplace meetings or in ‘grown up’ parties or at the pub, are you the only one who knows Formspring (or for that matter, Twitter)?
c. Are you health-conscious (in fact, probably vegetarian?) and also probably love to take extra vitamins in the hope of staying perpetually young?
If you got even two of the above three right, chances are that, like me, you are YA forever.
Who's your agent? Take this opportunity to brag on him/her if you'd like!
I’d very much like to talk about my PR representative and my all around favourite woman, Pavarti K. Taylor. You must read her new novel, Shadow on the Wall. Its bold, daring and unputdownable! She is a phenomenal lady who just keeps going, never gives up!