Taking inspiration from his parents who used to write poems to each other during their pre-marital days, Antar Atreya truly discovered the power of the written word at the innocent age of nine.
What started as a curious interest turned into something much more serious and intense as Antar wrote his first book at the tender age of just fourteen years.
A book of short stories that had a perfect blend of horror and suspense, he had managed to sell over five hundred copies of the book all over Assam.
The positive response of these initial years gave him both the courage and motivation to go ahead and live his dream. Though the writer in him did take a short hiatus in the coming years but he simply couldn’t stay away from the charms of writing for long.
Now, all of 24 years, Antar Atreya is back with his latest book, Chronicles of the Mortal Vishnu; a book that has been hailed as one of the most anticipated reads of 2019 by a number of leading media portals.
The author has also been featured by prominent media houses like New Live Channel, Ten News Video, Daily Hunt, Outlook India, Business Today, Telly Buzz, etc.
In Chronicles of Mortal Vishnu, Antar takes inspiration from Hindu mythology and its many characters and weaves around it a fascinating saga that is a near-perfect blend of fantasy and mythology.
An atheist who until very recently did not believe in God, religion and the inspiration for this book came to Antar as he started exploring the world of yoga, spirituality and Hindu mythology.
Passionate and indulgent, in between all the writing that he does, Antar manages to take time out for the things that he loves including storytelling sessions.
We at bookGeeks got a chance to get candid with the author at a recent interaction and here’s is what he has to say about his book, his love for writing and books and about life in general.
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about yourself? Who is Antar Atreya as a person?|
|Antar:||Well, I am a small-town guy from an average Indian family who is currently attempting to make an unforgettable mark in an industry that I love but actually that is untrodden for me. I am a kind of rebel and risk-taker who believes in assessing his own weaknesses and strengths and taking big leaps. |
However, because of various personal reasons, I was an atheist and kind of pessimist who has turned into a God-loving person, not fearing; and learned some salient things about life like the power of apology and gratitude and most importantly now after writing this book I have also learnt the importance of patience and undying perseverance.
On a non-professional front, I am someone who wants to be a ‘human’ in its truest definition.
|bookGeeks:||Which is your first and/or most precious memory of books?|
|Antar:||My father used to buy me books of the Famous Five series during my early school vacation days. That is still my first most and most precious memory of books. I used to read and imagine myself being one of the characters and would often spend the entire day reading a Famous Five book and even sleeping with it.|
|bookGeeks:||Tell us something about your latest book, ‘Chronicles of the Mortal Vishnu’. What should the readers expect from the novel?|
|Antar:||Chronicles of the Mortal Vishnu is a mythic-fantasy fiction saga which creates a new universe. It talks about a theory of the origin of the Gods and the creation of a new universe. |
Right from the emergence of the first civilization to the first battle on the new earth, the book has an almost invincible antagonist. The story is full of battles, betrayals, romance, bromance, politics, socio-economic structures and also attempts to clarify some misinterpretations of ancient Hindu texts.
The best thing about my book as shared by my readers and newspaper reviews is that it is indeed a visual reading experience, where every scene is presented as graphic imagery.
|bookGeeks:||Have you always been more inclined towards fantasy fiction or is it something that you indulged in recently?|
|Antar:||Actually, I was not previously inclined towards fantasy. I was more into thrillers and romances. But I started watching fantasy movies first in 2015, especially the Marvel Movies and then the Lord of the Ring Series. This generated my interest acutely into fantasy and I went on a reading spree of fantasy books as well. I particularly loved reading Lord of the Rings books.|
|bookGeeks:||Who is your favorite fantasy author?|
|bookGeeks:||If given a chance to date an author from any time period and any part of the world, who would you choose?|
|Antar:||Agatha Christie. It’d be fun, I reckon. Going on dates with this legendary author and discussing murder mysteries and plots for a terrific investigative story. She was also the first female author that I read as a teenager and definitely I would consider it a privilege if I could go back in time and have a few words with her.|
|bookGeeks:||If you had to co-write a fantasy novel with one of the most famous authors, who would you select?|
|Antar:||J.R.R. Tolkien again.|
|bookGeeks:||What makes writing a fantasy different from writing a regular fiction?|
|Antar:||I believe a regular fiction is by default more connecting and relatable to readers. The challenge therefore for a fantasy novel is to make strong theories revolving around the various fantasy elements depicted in it. People must not find the mysticism used in fantasy too over the top and difficult to comprehend.|
Also, the world created in a fantasy will be more or less different than what the real world is. So, as a fantasy author, I must be able to make my readers travel to the various places along with the story. The readers must be able to imagine the scenes and visualize them in case of a fantasy; whereas for regular fiction, they just need to feel a connection with the story.
|bookGeeks:||Choose between 1) A Song of Ice and Fire and 2) the Harry Potter series? Tell us why.|
|Antar:||A Song of Ice and Fire. Although I am not a fan of its TV adaption - Game of Thrones - the writing was fantastic. It is believable, with an intriguing style of narration and a solid pattern. |
The reason why I’d choose it over the Harry Potter series is that personally I have always had a problem in the theories of wizards and witchcraft and the basic origin of the Harry Potter’s mystic world. I don’t find the depictions in Harry Potter believable but A Song of Ice and Fire is totally set in a believable environment and timeline.
|bookGeeks:||Are there any new projects that you are working on currently?|
|Antar:||Well, yes. I am now working on a mythological retelling which is actually about a clash between two Hindu Gods. I am planning it as a trilogy post the Mahabharata.|