Interview with Saji T. Villoth

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The experience of translating the images in my head via the printed word to other people's heads. The mystery of communication thrills me.
What do your fans mean to you?
I am humbled that other people tell me that they are touched, profoundly, by my writing and imagery. That to me is of more validity than all the endorsements of pundits or scholars. I write for people like myself: befuddled and bewitched, and above all, besotted by the wonder that is around us.
What are you working on next?
Book Two. My protagonist learns to live in multiple worlds simultaneously. The challenge for me is to accurately depict the theological and philosophical debates that were raging in the Mediterranean and the Orient around 40 AD.
Who are your favorite authors?
Bill Bryson, Mark Twain, Idries Shah, James Barrie, R.K. Narayan, and on and on without ending.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh, yes, and with vivid embarrasment!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Oh, yes! The story of Noah's Ark, when I was two years old, just had my little mind whirling with the possibilities unwritten! Elephants, crocodiles, gnats and rats in one confined space???
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Huckleberry Finn, for opening my imagination.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, for audacity.
Dream Days, for poetic writing.
The Arabian Nights, as translated by Richard Burton for the limitless boundaries of storytelling.
Jataka Tales, same as above.
Any Bertie Wooster story by P.G. Wodehouse, for command of language and expression.
What do you read for pleasure?
Fact, fiction, fantasy, anything that teases my interest. I also like recommendations from other folks, who've read something that makes them go "Wow"
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
In the Middle East, and India. My family traveled a lot, so everything I write comes from a moment of my experience,an image frozen away in my memory.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The premise that Thomas the Apostle established churches in the East is not generally well known in the West. People looked at me with disbelief when I told them of my descent from those whom he converted two thousand years ago. Then, I looked around and noticed no-one had told the story of how he came to the Malabar Coast from Palestine, and decided to be one to attempt that.
Published 2014-06-10.
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Books by This Author

Letters to Cephas: Book One
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 87,590. Language: English. Published: June 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Historical, Fiction » Adventure » Travel
The travels of Thomas the Apsotle to the Malabar Coast of India, in the year after the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, as reconstructed by a descendant of one of the original families converted by Thomas.