Hi Falguni. Thanks so much for taking time out and being here on ye old blog today.
Hey Kwana! Thanks for having me here, and for always cheering for me, and driving with me…and lots of other stuff.
Oh hursh! It’s always a pleasure. Now first off can you tell us a bit about your current work?
Absolutely! Soul Warrior is the first book in my new myth-based fantasy series, The Age of Kali, and reimagines the old myths and legends of India. The story focuses on Karna, the son of Surya, who has been the guardian of the Human Realm for almost 8,000 years, and has recently been appointed guru to a bunch of delinquent godlings fresh of the Celestial boat. On the surface, the divine request seems simple. But very quickly, the situation goes from bad to worse. Karna’s new students give him no small amount of trouble in the obedience department. His old paramour suddenly comes back into his life, seemingly to her own sinister agenda. Also, there are rumors that his old nemesis is on his way back to Earth after 5,000 years in exile to even scores. Then there’s the whole mess about his secret ill-fated offspring. All in all, the demons who Karna vanquishes on a daily basis seem like stress-relief compared to the new unearthly calamities disrupting his life.
SOUL WARRIOR is a shift from what your romance fans are used to. What made you choose this genre to write in?
It’s true that this book is categorized as fantasy fiction, but it has ample romance in it to make my romance readers happy. In fact, I started writing it as a romance between these two iconic mythological characters from an ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Karna and Draupadi did not get a love story in the original epic, and I had since many years wished to write one for them. How the story morphed into more of a fantasy than romance still boggles my mind. So, by deliberately bringing Karna and Draupadi together I accidently unleased a whole alternate universe for the book…which since then has turned into a series. And its all good.
Fantastic! SOUL WARRIOR is your first step into the wonderful world of self-publishing. Can you share your first impressions of the experience? Has it been easier or harder than you thought it would be? Are you enjoying the process?
Honestly, I am loving the self-publishing experience. I love having full and final control of my work from prose to final product, even when its scares the pants off me. I love that every inch of this book is my own creation, decision and idea. While I had extremely great experiences working with both my publishers on both my previous books, there still was a kind of detachment from the publishing process after handing in the manuscript. With Soul Warrior I am creator and executor, and that appeals to my inner control freak like nothing before.
What advice would you give other aspiring writers who want to try self-publishing?
Be prepared for some hard work, hard thinking, and hard spending. With self-publishing, you will need to spend first: on excellent editing, fantastic professional covers, ISBN numbers, formatting your manuscripts correctly, PR if you have the budget. There’s a lot of money that goes into publishing a book. You might find free or cheaper alternatives, and finally it’ll be your decision how much or how little you want to spend. See? Full and final control. Do it your way! But do it the correct way. And to do it the correct way you will have to understand self-publishing.
Lastly what can readers expect next from you?
I have a women’s fiction story ready for publication, and set to release in May 2016. Yes, yet another genre jump. But it seems that’s how my writing rolls. I think of a story, write it and then sort out its category. What connects every one of my stories is love and a little bit of India.
Thanks so much for being here today. It’s been a real pleasure.
The pleasure is mine, Kwana J
SOUL WARRIOR: The Age of Kali teaser.
PRALAYA: THE CATACLYSM
Asht Dveep, off the coast of Madh Island, North Mumbai.
“We have visitors, my lord.”
Karna paused perusing the Times of India on his tablet, and cocked a brow at Lavya. Pale and lean, his friend and housemate loomed just inside the door to the den, hands folded in a neat Namaste. Irritated, but not at the interruption, Karna sighed, wondering why he bothered reading the news at all. Daily bulletins had become standard—or substandard, depending on one’s viewpoint. Climate change, economic disasters, terrors and terrorists all held front-page positions, every fugging day.
And what else could one expect in the Age of Kali? It was the age of sin, tsunamis and stock options in this currency-ruled realm. Not that the Gods had ever—not once in his almost eight-thousand-year career as humanity’s soul guardian—asked him to interfere with, subvert or reverse any of the realm’s natural or man-made calamities. His duty required only that he keep the world free of supernatural evil.
Karna stretched, his spine separating from the fiberglass chair like Velcro ripping. He was shirtless to battle the unrelenting October heat and though he’d queued up his sun-bleached, shoulder-length mane, sweat dampened his forehead, nape, armpits and back.
And therein lay the rub, he thought, coming back to the dos and don’ts of his duties. Being “asked” not to meddle in human affairs only made him more determined to help the helpless. At times, he managed to contain the disasters, and all was well in the Cosmos. But sometimes, his actions worsened the fate of the mortals, as well as his own. Like when he’d tried to repair the deficient ozone layer with his god-powers a couple of years ago.
Blasting the stratosphere with a load of solar radiation to augment the emissions from his godsire’s Celestial abode had been a solid, scientifically vetted idea. The extra UV rays he’d discharged from his fingertips had accelerated ozone production, and for a while he’d believed the crisis slowed, if not solved. But the hyper-paced oxygen cycle had also amplified energy output, creating miscreant solar flares, a couple of which had whipped across the Cosmos and breached the lower regions of the Higher Worlds.
Needless to say, the atmospheric fireworks hadn’t amused the Celestials or Heaven’s ruling Council. And as punishment for his hubris, Karna had been saddled with an annoying quirk—his body temperature was now directly proportional to his emotions—specifically, high-voltage anger. And stoicism did not come naturally to him.
Soul Warrior is available on AMAZON, KOBO, iBooks and Nook.
Find out more about Falguni Kothari
Thanks so much once again for being here.
**Falguni has kindly agreed to giving one lucky commenter a SOUL WARRIOR pendant. So comment away!**
*US residents only*
**Please leave your contact email in the comments. **
**winner will be announced on Monday.**
All the best,