Interview with I.J. Roy

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first stories that I imagined and narrated, was when I was 8 or 9 years old. Most of these, were narrated to my younger sister, and two of my younger cousins.
However, The Pparahan Oracle is the first story that I actually penned down.
What is your writing process?
I don't think I have one. Once I started writing The Pparahan Oracle, it just flowed. I did not plan the full ending or even the next chapter. However, I have been pondering over three different endings to the whole series. I haven't decided yet on which one I will finally use. Maybe, I will use all three, and see what the readers like.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Since childhood, everyone in our family, were avid readers. And come to think of it, I don't remember the first book I ever read.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest, and actually my first book happened quite by accident. I had just left my job in London, and moved back to Westchester County, which is just north of New York City. As my previous employers had put me on a gardening leave, after many years I had some free time. At the same time my elder son had started attending a weekend school to learn my mother tongue, Bengali. That year, the organization that runs the school, Lipilekha, was also introducing the students to the history of India. My son chose Indus Valley Civilization, for his project in this history class. He had many questions, many of which I had no answers to. When I was in school, we had studied about a relatively small civilization in this area, which was contemporary to Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization. However, when I started surfing the net, I was intrigued by what I found. When I had studied history in school, only about 40 to 50 sites had been found. Now there are 1400 and growing. One fifth of the ancient world’s population lived here. It was bigger than Mesopotamia and Egypt combined. And what fascinated me even more was the fact that we still know close to nothing about these great engineers and scientists. That was the genesis of my book.
Who are your favorite authors?
I have many. I have been an avid reader since childhood. And as for most of my professional career I have travelled a lot, giving me even more reading time. The authors who have influenced my thoughts behind The Pparahan Oracle are also many - but mainly JRR Tolkien and Wilbur Smith.
What are you working on next?
The sequel to The Pparahan Oracle. I don't have a title for it yet - my project is called East of Meluhha
You have recently changed the Title of your book. Why?
Well originally when I was writing this book - I had decided to call it The Meluhhan Oracle. But the editors the Self Publishing House I was using, suggested the title The Pparahan Oracle. Being new to this business, I went along with their suggestion. After publishing, I realized that most people who had read the original manuscript, preferred the original title. Then one of my acquaintances, who had read my book, told me that she could not refer my book to her friend, as she was not sure how the double 'P' of Pparahan was supposed to me pronounced. That is when I decided to go back to my original title.
Published 2015-01-06.
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