Interview with V. Lakshman

What's the story behind your latest book?
Hi Readers,
I've been fascinated by myth and legends. Why do people have these beliefs, and where do these tales come from? There are no less than 90 different flood myths from the different religions of the world. What does it all mean?

Now, place legend and myth in a world where belief begets gods (and demons) and you get the idea of Mythborn. Myths come to life and shape the world around them in such a way that they create legends. Are these legends, like our stories of the flood, passed from generation to generation, and what if those legends give rise to more gods?

I balance this with a comprehensive world based on science (though it's well hidden), and feel everything (magic or science) should follow consistent rules. I think this juxtaposition creates an interesting counterpoint for the reader, as you understand what is going on and can begin to anticipate how certain powers or items might work. It doesn't mean there's not true 'magic'... Silbane can make copies of himself, break stone with his bare hands, move at lightning speed, even manifest a skin of flame to protect him from harm. Yet all these powers stem from a system that at its very core is based on something that is real and predictable.

This same 'magic' powers a person's faith. Imagine a world where an entire society's faith is powerful enough to create 'gods'! What rules will these beings follow? Will they appreciate the ephemeral existence they are given? How did the Greek gods feel when Rome supplanted their beliefs. Did Zeus go quietly into the night when Jupiter arrived? What of their feats, acts of valor and might, which create more faith and thereby strengthens them?

Mythborn follows the arch of these gods, but through the eyes of a young student who doesn't realize he's about to become a force within the world, but for good or ill? I wanted to write about that arc, a world made out of our beliefs, myths, and legends. More importantly, I want to write about how perception can make a villain or hero out of anyone. Is someone truly 'evil'? Maybe, but usually more often than not if they are on an opposing side they are vilified.

I believe we all have a balance of good and evil, and so Mythborn exists within these shades of gray and explores what it really means to be a hero. My working title for the book while I was conceiving the world and backstory (before it became, Mythborn) was 'Sacrifice'. This gives you an idea of where the series is heading.

Book 1 spends the obligatory time building up the world and mythos. Once done, you'll find yourself in an epic and sweeping saga that includes meticulous character development and real moral dilemmas. Mythborn is a story about what makes a hero? I sincerely hope you'll give it a chance.

Book 2 is out, and I am hard at work on Book 3! I plan on writing another trilogy following this one, set in the same world but from a vastly different perspective. I hope I can count on you to join me for the ride.

Thank you,

V. Lakshman
April 2015
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I love reading, and often look for what other authors or readers recommend. A good review will usually sway me if I'm 50/50. One secret that I hate to admit, but I love great cover art! I know it doesn't say anything about the quality of writing inside, but I feel if an author took the time to make sure their cover is great, they are a person who cares about details and aesthetics.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a story about a young (good) knight who loses his princess to a bad knight. It was a fairy tale in which the bad guy won, and it let me really explore the nature of tales and why we root for a the good guy.
What is your writing process?
I wrote the first two books of Mythborn without an outline. I don't recommend that to anyone! <grin> For Book 3, I wrote the story out using one sentence per chapter. It told me where it was going, and what was important. I then expanded each sentence into a paragraph. This essentially created a 'short story' that I use as a guide, and it made sure I didn't forget a thread or resolve an issue. Then I sit down and write! Some times that writing process creates some new branches, so I'll go back and do a pass on the short story to make sure it's up do date.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Shogun, by James Clavell. What an amazing book and amazing story. It had a little bit of everything, but most of all it took me to another time and place. I also really loved the Thomas Covenant series by Stephen R. Donaldson. Amazing world that for me that really came to life.
How do you approach cover design?
Honestly, I ask artist friends to help. Usually I'll do a stick figure of what I think is important, what the camera angle is and how the scene should be formatted. Then I hand it over to the experts and we iterate until we're all happy!
Published 2015-06-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.