Symposium Saturday welcomes author A.J. Chaudhury, writer of fantasy and historical fiction
About the author
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in Assam, India with my mother and sister. I am a student of botany who likes to write every time he has a free minute. Creating stories has been my passion since I was in kindergarten. I plan to keep writing as long as I live.
What are your hobbies?
Besides writing, I like to watch good films. Someday I hope to direct a film of my own. I also like to play badminton sometimes. I like travelling and want to see the world.
Which writers inspire you?
It’s a long list. The first writers who inspired me were Rudyard Kipling, Conan Doyle. Then came the marvellous J. k. Rowling, followed by authors like Tolkien, David Gemmel, GRRM, Richard Matheson. Currently I am in love with Kurt Vonnegut’s writings.
For your own reading, do you prefer e-books or paper/hard back books?
I prefer paperbacks, but I usually read more ebooks.
What are you reading at present?
Breakfast of Champions, that centres around Vonnegut’s famous character, Kilgore Trout. After that I plan to read The Invisible Entente by Krista Walsh.
What is your favourite book and why?
No other book has blown me away like I Am Legend. The loneliness of the main character was portrayed beautifully. The last lines particularly were phenomenal.
What is your favourite film/ series and why?
I watch a lot of Bollywood films. Queen is by far my favourite film, though I am kind of obsessed with the film Haider.The Roots series was great too. From KuntaKinte all the way down to Tom, the life of the slave was artistically shown.
What do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?
Haha, getting paid from Amazon!
How do you relax?
Writing, reading, listening to music…
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Writing should be more than something you do in your spare time. It should be a religion. You must do it day it and day out, its the only way to achieve success in any art form.
If your friends could use one word to describe you what would it be?
What made you realise your calling as an author?
Never really had a calling. Apparently I have been creating stories for as long as I can remember. It was during the time I was in the eighth standard though that I got really serious about writing.
Where do your ideas come from, what inspires you?
My ideas come from a wide range of sources. From other books, movies, real life and so on. I find the internal conflicts that go on inside the brain of an individual very interesting and it inspires me to create organic characters.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Currently I am doing one thousand words a day. Going by that my new book should be done in three months. It used to take me much longer before, up to nine months plus extra time for typing as I used to write on paper first. Thankfully I have give up that habit now and directly write on my laptop these days.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Somewhere in between really. I do outline, but I believe that the more I deviate from the plot, the better my stories become. It feels great when you plan one thing and your characters come up with something completely different.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Doing it day in and day out. No shortcut to success I guess.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Doing it day in and day out. I don’t feel driven to do anything as much as I am driven to write. There is this itch at the back of my mind when I don’t write.
Do you ever get writer’s Block and if so, how do you deal with it?
Some people say writer’s block does not exist, but I think it does. There are times when you feel like you can’t come up with any good story, like it’s impossible to write another word. But you must get through that phase. The best solution to writer’s block is reading books by other authors and watching movies. It inspires you and wakes up the inner artist in you.
How many books have you written, which is your favourite?
Two full length books, a couple of novellas and some shorts. Plus I am also working on an experimental book that is part historical, part science fiction and part fantasy. I am hoping to get it published traditionally.
Among my own books, I think I did a good job with A Song of Blood. Not to say I hate my other books. But that particular story seemed to write itself.
What are you working on at the moment?
The experimental book, plus editing the third story in my Pragjotisha series. The experimental book is currently titled “A Rift In Time” though it’s likely to change once the book is complete.
About the books
What genre are your books?
Fantasy, historical and science fiction mostly.
What book titles have you released so far?
The Pragjotisha books. A Song of Blood and A Prophecy of Chaos. I’ll soon be releasing the third story in the series plus rereleasing my first Belarianovel titled The Sword of Tropagia.
Give us an insight into your main character(s). What does he/she do that is so special?
In the Pragjotisha series there is a mad character, who also happens to be the antagonist, whom I find really interesting. His name is Bisor and he was born hairless. He kills without much thought.
In my Belaria series prequel The Drabird there is a guy called Lameey who loves gold. Than there is BenglamSingsit from The FelisCatus. These are my favourite characters in my own fiction. Not to say though that I dislike my other characters. These three are just the really weird ones.
Who is your favourite character and why?
In the fiction of others writers I would say that my favourite character is the psychotic nurse, Annie Wilkes, from Misery. She proves what a master Stephen King is. Then there is also the trio from Harry Potter. I basically grew up with them.
Tell us a little bit about the book(s)/ series.
My Pragjotisha series takes place in ancient Assam. These are dark tales with characters killed without much mercy, but that’s not to say there is no glimmer of hope in the stories because there is.
The Belaria series takes place in an alternate dimension that was created by an African magician thousands of years ago. It’s a fun series that explores the weird and magical world.
Where can we buy it/them?
All my books are available on Amazon.
In what formats is your book available?
Kindle. I also sometimes give free pdfs of my books to my mailing list subscribers.
When is your next book due for release?
The Drabird rereleases sometime this month or the next. After that I plan to release A Song of Hope, the third tale in the Pragjotisha series.
Book titles and synopsis:
A Song of Blood: Vishva isn’t happy when he is woken up in the middle of the night and forced to join the wild goose chase of a spirit, reported to have carried off the chieftain’s son. But it’s more than a spirit and Vishva little knows of the tragedy he is embarking on.
A Prophecy of Chaos: Cheng travels to the village of Bhiji, accompanied by Sor, the strange hairless and eyebrow-less man he met in the forest. Little does he know that Bhiji hides a precious secret, one that must be guarded at all costs. But a riddling prophecy doesn’t help and soon Bhiji falls into utter chaos, following the nightly murder of a woman.
Connect with the author:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Chaudhury/e/BO12SQGNM2