We are delighted to welcome an up-and-coming novelist Gaurav Sharma for a brief Q & A session at our website about his Amazon Bestseller duology, 'The Sullied Warrior'. Gaurav is also the founder of Think Tank Books, a Delhi-based publishing house.
In this Q & A session, he will be talking about his writing aspirations, inclination towards offbeat mythological fiction, and much more. Stay on...while we chat with him.
How did you evolve the concept of duology over trilogy?
I wrote God of the Sullied as a stand-alone novel initially. It was after my friend & editor who works at Penguin Random House suggested that the story could become a trilogy; I decided to write its sequel. I noticed there are fewer duologies in India than trilogies. Thus, I wanted to create a duology. Breaking convention is my thing, you know? That's when I started writing Long Live the Sullied.
How did you feel when the first book 'God of the Sullied' became a national bestseller?
It was a thrilling experience seeing God of the Sullied topping Amazon India charts in overall 'Books' category for a long time. Since it was listed as Rank 1 in the overall category, it topped almost every sub-category as well. I couldn't resist posting about it on social media and in excitement, wrote a cuss word too. Looking back at that time brings a smile on my face. God of the Sullied was published in September 2018 & attained bestseller tag in May 2019.
Is there any chance of extending this duology to book series, more than 3 or 5?
I am not sure as of yet. I mean, I did not know if it would become a duology, but it did. The second book, Long Live the Sullied, also has an exciting ending that leaves the room for its furthering. However, I haven't thought about it yet.
How did you research this duology?
I only had to research about Characters like Adi Shankaracharya and Mohammad to be able to match the timeline of my story. Rest all is fictional.
Who is your favourite Indian mythological author?
I don't know if I should say this, I have never read any mythology. The Sullied Warrior Duology is a result of my understanding of religions, TV shows and tell-tales I watched & heard during my childhood. This duology isn't influenced or inspired by any other mythological author.
Which one is your favourite book from the Sullied Warrior Duology?
This is tough to say as both stories are dependent on each other. God of the Sullied being the first book forms a solid overall base, while Long Live the Sullied is like the structure built on the base. I can't pick one, but I think readers can decide it better than me.
Who do you like most: Eklavya or Pundir?
Both characters are very close to me. Eklavya & Pundir have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses. Acharya Virbhadra is being liked by many readers too. I have received mixed feedback from many readers about these three characters. Some liked Eklavya, while others liked Pundir's side of the story. Many loved how Virbhadra shapes both Eklavya's and Pundir's future. One super-strong character is Maha-Purohit, who is an epicenter of all good and evil happening in the story. Wait a minute, is there any not-so-important character in The Sullied Warrior Duology? I don't think so!
What are you working on next?
I am translating The Sullied Warrior Duology into Hindi for my readers who prefer Hindi novels. I am about to be done with the translation job. Proposed names for the Hindi novels are Charitranayak Eklavya and Mahanayak Eklavya. After publishing them, I think I am going to work on a non-fiction book. But again, life happens at random, and I can't say for sure if my next creation would be another novel or a non-fiction book.
Any advice for the budding authors in India?
Keep writing whatever comes to your mind. Let the draft be as raw as possible. Many aspiring writers approach me, asking suggestions on how to get them started. The issue is, they over-think in their heads and never pen down anything. The key is to begin writing raw thoughts and then edit it once there is nothing left to add to the story.
Connect with Gaurav Sharma:
Publishing House: https://thinktankbooks.com/