After creating ripples with her debut novel, Blood, Sweat and Tears, the stunning fiction novelist Arya Rajam is onto her next novel.
A Dual-Dragoned Throne is the first book in a planned trilogy which traces the journey of the brave princess Aurora as she embarks on a dangerous journey to save her kingdom from the evil clutches of a powerful sorcerer. Based in the medieval kingdom of Caelisia, the book takes the reader on a roller coaster ride that is replete with thrill, suspense, action and certainly a generous amount of adventure.
The daughter of the famous danseuse, Anita Ratnam, Arya fondly recalls her childhood love for books. From Nancy Drew to Enid Blyton to J.K. Rowling, books always kept her good company and growing up she dreamt of becoming a writer herself.
Born in Chennai, Arya Rajam studied English Literature in college and later moved to the United States to pursue courses in creative writing. In her spare time, she loves watching theatre and mythological plays and pursuing eco- friendly hobbies like composting and recycling.
A fashion enthusiast and a style icon in the making, she looks up to Audrey Hepburn for inspiration.
Arya Rajam counts Daphne Du Maurier, Salman Rushdie and Jane Austen amongst her favourite authors and hopes that readers will like her venture into the fantasy land of Caelisia.
We at bookGeeks got a lucky chance to have a tête-à-tête with the talented author. Here’s what she has to say about her latest book, writing and her love for all things bookish.
bookGeeks: Tell us something about yourself?
Arya: I am a Madras lady who is passionate about writing. I think books are truly magical and the world would be boring without them. Other than books, I like music, theatre and also have too many clothes in my wardrobe.
bookGeeks: Which is your first and/or most precious memory of books?
Arya: My late grandfather would take me and my cousins for book-shopping when we were kids. Those outings are now precious memories. I loved devouring Nancy Drew mysteries and Enid Blyton books back then.
bookGeeks: What inspired you to write your latest book, ‘A Dual Dragoned Throne’? What was the best part of writing it?
Arya: I always wanted to write one fantasy series. Arthurian mythology and Celtic music fed me with great amounts of inspiration. I enjoyed creating fantasy creatures the most. I also loved showing the wizard Alcazar in action on the pages. His powers were fun to put into scenes.
bookGeeks: Have you always been more inclined towards fantasy fiction or is it something that you indulged in recently?
Arya: No. I set out to just write fiction. But the idea for this series became so strong in my head. So, coincidentally, my second novel became a fantasy.
bookGeeks: Who is your favourite fantasy author?
Arya: I deliberately stayed away from reading fantasy while writing my series. I have read only Tolkien. But of course, he is the greatest.
bookGeeks: If given a chance to date an author from any time period and any part of the world, who would you choose?
Arya: Oooh!!! cool question. Perhaps Arthur Conan Doyle because I would love to know how his genius mind created the awesome Sherlock Holmes mysteries.
bookGeeks: What makes writing a fantasy different from writing a generic fiction?
Arya: Fantasy is more challenging in many ways. I tried not to be too similar to a few fantasy movies I have seen. Fantasy allows you to let your imagination soar and invent creatures and magical acts. That is something you cannot do freely with normal fiction. Fantasy is more difficult for me to write. I had to make sure that it had the right mix of emotion and action and magic.
bookGeeks: Who is your biggest critic and why?
Arya: I am my biggest critic. Being a perfectionist, I always feel my books could have been better.
bookGeeks: A few words for our readers.
Arya: I love that book-lovers still exist in today’s age of too much technology. It is great that you can all connect with places like bookgeeks.in!