One of the great pleasures of having a book blog is the discovery of books and authors that I may not have heard of otherwise. The Destiny of Shaitan which is an epic fantasy novel set in a futuristic Bombay combining Indian mythology is an intriguing concept.
Always fantastic to share books that have such a fun interesting idea and with such great reviews it has me very curious. It can be purchased on amazon for only 99 cents!
When Tiina accompanies 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 destroy Shaitan, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Shaitan being killed by his son. But she finds that Yudi is hesitant to do so. The final showdown between Tiina, Yudi, and Shaitan has unexpected consequences, for Shaitan will do anything in his power to win the fight. The stakes are high and the combatants determined. Will Shaitan’s ultimate destiny be fulfilled?
What is your work space and writing routine like?
I write best at my table in the kitchen overlooking my amazingly wild back garden which has a massive chestnut tree and many of my favourite eye-catching flowers which I love to grow
Some favorite authors and books?
George R R Martin is one of my favourites. 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! I am also a big reader of romantic fiction. J.D.Robb’s Eve Dallas series is one of my favourites. It combines romance with procedural crime drama and is set in a futuristic world.
What are you reading now?
I just read Queer by William Burroughs, which was amazing
What was the inspiration behind The Destiny of Shaitan?
I am inspired by Indian mythology. My grandmother narrated 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.
Do you feel that your travels and having lived in many parts of the world has had an affect on your writing and if so what kind of effect?
Having moved around so much, I see myself as a ‘new age boat person.’ This novel is my first born. Only it took me nine years to deliver it. In between I moved three countries and also lost my first baby in a bad miscarriage—this near-death experience, compelled me to get this book out, for I realised tomorrow maybe too late. During this time I had to really understand myself and my own motivations. It was as if I had to resolve my own issues before I could address my characters’ conflicts. When I landed in Hong Kong which is at the confluence of the East & the West, I felt as if I had been dropped into an alien city of the future. It sparked off the character of Tiina in a futuristic environment, and the rest of the novel really followed. Having grown up in Bombay (well it is now called Mumbai, so Bombay itself is a mythical city, it does not exist anymore, and that is what makes placing some of the scenes in the novel there so interesting.) whenever I go back, the realisation sinks in that the crowded, dirty, dusty, cosmopolitan Bombay of today may be on a real path to a desolate, dystopian landscape by 3000 if people keep up their current rate of abuse of the environment. So I actually just exaggerated the reality I see around me in this city of my childhood.
Epic fantasy, futuristic Bombay, Indian mythology why incorporate these? Why do something so different from what is “the norm”?
Normal is what you make of it, isn’t it? Fantasy is my reality in many ways; my characters always have a great time whether at war or at love; they can throw caution to the stars and explore dimensions within themselves or without, in the wider realm. When I started writing, no one was more surprised than me to see how much I borrowed from the plotlines of Indian mythology. It was finally in embracing my roots that I found my voice. So here I am, influenced by ancient Indian culture yet painting my characters against a canvas of lush futuristic settings. And of course I am learning all the time. With Shaitan, I realised I need to zoom in even more on the characters, their motives, their internal thoughts, what drives them to do the things they do. So in my next novel I hope to do so even more.
What future works do we have to look forward to?
The Destiny of Shaitan is #1 in Chronicle of the Three. I am in the process of researching Return to Seven Islands, #2 in the series. In the Destiny of Shaitan I created a new order of the solar system set in the late 29th century to early 30th century. In this world, the planet of Java where the readers meet Tiina for the first time, is an ideal place where rice paddies are farmed and gigantic swarms of bees roam. The Destiny of Shaitan is only partially set Bombay on the mother planet Earth. It is a gritty place where Rai is left when his mother, one of Shaitan’s mistresses, escapes to gave birth to him. Compared to the lush planet of Java, Bombay and Earth are filthy, almost sordid; very similar to Pluto which is Yudi’s adopted home planet. In The Destiny of Shaitan, I allude to the setting of Return to the Seven Islands, a futuristic Bombay—the original city is destroyed, leaving only the original seven islands in its place—it is here that my next novel is based. I stay in the same galaxy I have created for Shaitan, but zoom into the city of Bombay even more as a setting for the characters.
About Laxmi Hariharan: (In the author’s words) I am a writer, technophile & 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 http://tiny.cc/szqsew.
I would love to connect with you:
Twitter @laxmi, https://twitter.com/#!/laxmi
My music http://www.myspace.com/laxmihariharan
If you like my writing and would like to be profiled in my Reader Avatar Series then please email me at email@example.com