Shreyas Bhave started off his bibliography in 2017 with an impressive debut called The Prince of Pataliputra, the first in the Asoka trilogy. And earlier this year, in July, the second in the trilogy, called Storm from Taxila came out and has stirred up quite a storm. With a story that boasts of a mix of folklore and history, Storm from Taxila promises to be quite a ride. With his first two books published with Leadstart Publishing, he has bagged a five-book deal with them.
In this conversation with Writers Melon, Shreyas Bhave opens up about Storm from Taxila, his plans for the trilogy, and his writing history and process.
Shreyas Bhave – The Start of Storytelling:
Shreyas Bhave is an electrical engineer whose love for history prompted him to write his take on Asoka’s story, one of the towering figures of Indian history. He goes back to the time when his father instilled in him a passion for storytelling.
“When I was a little kid, my father would tell me made up stories of far-away galaxies and inter planetary politics. Maybe the gene for storytelling comes to me from him, but I have always been creating stories since I was a child. I would play a one-man play in my terrace all with props (wooden sticks) and costumes (a long flowing scarf as a cape) and bring imaginary stories to life. When I went to college, these storytelling efforts formed a concrete structure and I completed my first manuscript when I was in third Year.”
Writing and Jealousy:
There’s a concept that Shreyas Bhave puts forward that really does make sense. One that connects writing with the feeling of jealousy.
“If jealousy can ever be a virtue, it can only be one in writing. Whenever I read a great book, it always drove me to try to write something better. Whenever I saw a great movie, it made me open my diary and start writing a story to rival what I just saw. What made me write the Asoka trilogy was extreme anger over seeing foreign fictions gain popularity in our country when we had stories of the same quality from our history and mythology.”
What is Writing?
Writing to some is catharsis. For others, it is a hobby. And for yet others, it is what they do best. Shreyas talks to us about what writing exactly is to him.
“Writing for me is like creating a Horcrux. You leave some part of you behind in each book you write. It is both uplifting & painful at the same time.”
Shreyas Bhave – The Writing Process:
Shreyas Bhave’s writing process isn’t all that complicated. Here’s what he does:
“I try to bring some structure to this complexity by plotting the story first & focusing on writing 4000 words per day. Mostly when I write, I take a long break from my daily job of executing turnkey Government contracts of Railway Electrification works.”
The Asoka Trilogy:
Everyone knows the name of Asoka but few know about his life beyond the sketchiest of details. And it is imperative that a huge amount of research needed to go in before it could make sense from A to Z.
“The Asoka Trilogy was an ambitious project for a first time author like me. This trilogy, based on ancient texts as well as folklore, attempts to give new life to a riveting tale. Uniquely conceived, the narrative juxtaposes two timelines, fifty years apart, drawing haunting parallels between them. The first features Chandragupta Maurya and his legendary Guru, Chanakya; the second, his grandson Asoka, and his Advisor, Radhagupta.”
Why Read The Asoka Trilogy:
“Gone are the days when readers are going gaga about simple stories with one villan and one hero. This is the age of grey characters, of lovable villains and disgusting heroes. That is why readers are loving my Arya Chanakya who turns into a villain from being a hero. And are moving into tears when Sushem, the main negative character in my book is killed. Overall, the Asoka trilogy has done well.
The style is compelling, the action fast moving. Peopled by unforgettable characters, emotions, situations and events, the narrative has the irresistible force of destiny in a larger than life drama. A classic series that will remain relevant reading decade after decade.”
Future of the Asoka Trilogy:
“The AV rights of the Asoka trilogy are optioned to a renowned media firm in Mumbai. It will become a web-series in the near future. I have taken the crux of writing Secret stories to heart. My next one is a fictional treatise behind the mysterious death of a famous Indian freedom fighter. I hope that with the support of my readers, I shall be able to give many other voices from the past new life in books that tell the stories of this country’s past, and those who peopled its history.”
Author(s): Shreyas Bhave
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Release: August 2018
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