Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I am from Mumbai, India. I have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and three postgraduate degrees in management. I started my career at Rockwell Collins in the US but later shifted back to Mumbai to join our family business. I am also a marketing and branding professional and have my own firm, Media Panther. Apart from writing, I enjoy collecting old coins, reading fiction, travelling to exotic destinations, watching movies, and listening to music. I am keenly interested in psychology, mythology, and ancient history.
A century old book transports four children to Sceadu, a land inside their shadows. The reluctant visitors search for a way back but find themselves chased by the Hefigans, creatures of Sceadu. The stakes are suddenly raised when an ancient prophecy foretells the doom of the world they left behind. Now, the children must navigate the dangerous terrain, overcome grave challenges and unlock the secrets of the shadow, or suffer the destruction of their own kind.
Sceadu is a fast-paced adventure which blurs the boundary between the physical and the psychological, the real and the mythical.
I have always been fascinated by shadows, those supposedly docile grey shapes that are always by our side. But what if they held a land replete with dangerous creatures waiting to find a way into our world? This question inspired me to write Sceadu.
How do you create your characters?
While there are plenty of formulaic approaches to developing characters, I prefer to adopt a more organic one to start with. My process begins with trying to understand the target audience, not simply the ‘what is’ but also the ‘what if’, their aspirations, their fantasies, and things they feel are missing in their lives. I mold, tweak, extrapolate and exaggerate this information to create interesting characters. Once the basic characters take shape, I then fine tune the details, which among other things involve christening the character, creating a physical description, writing a detailed biography, giving the character a unique voice, and immersing the character in complex situations.
What inspires you and what got you started in writing?
I have always had a great imagination. However, the decision to write happened much later. It was fuelled by a dream where the plot intrigued me so much that I had to get out of bed and pen down my thoughts.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I write at my desk at home. The two things I really need when I write are peace and quiet and a clear mind.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
I think my biggest resource for ideas is my imagination. I also find inspiration in personal experiences, be they events from my life or related to people I meet.
What do you like to read?
I enjoy reading children’s fiction, YA fantasy fiction, historical fiction, and romantic comedies.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regard to writing?
Read more. Write more. And most importantly, enjoy the journey.
Anything else you’d like to share.
Just read Sceadu. You will never take your shadow for granted again.
Book title: Sceadu
Author name: Prashant Pinge
Genre: YA fantasy fiction
Publisher: Prashant Pinge (self published)
Date of publication: Nov 10, 2014
Number of pages: 246 (in 6” x 9” PDF)
Word count: About 70,000
Book trailer: http://youtu.be/BIQHTbekS8Y
Purchase link: http://amzn.com/B00NVCV0I0
Aceadu – Excerpt
Matilda sat at her old wooden desk, staring into the thick yellowed pages of a book under a dull moth ridden beam cast by the night lamp. But every time she blinked, it seemed as if the words had played a round of musical chairs. And the moths, fluttering through the words at times and hovering over them at others, did not make things any easier.
Matilda was about to turn the page when there was a tug at her feet. It was a very gentle one, almost imperceptible. Surprised, she glanced down, but there was nothing. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, she thought. She was about to shake her thick dark brown curls out of her face when she felt it again.
Matilda pushed her head down and looked into the dark void with furrowed brow. Her skinny legs stared back. But before she could decide on whether she had actually felt anything, there was another tug, an unmistakable one this time. And another one. The truth suddenly dawned upon Matilda. It was her shadow, trying to drag her into itself.
Matilda jerked back the chair, kicking hard at her shadow. But it snapped back, pulling at her even more viciously. She stomped upon it repeatedly. But the dark grey shape began jabbing at her feet and ankles. Matilda pushed herself up and made a frantic attempt to run. But her legs refused to move, and she almost toppled forward.
All this while, Matilda’s shadow had been growing larger and larger. Suddenly, it lunged out of the ground and swallowed her, like a python does its unsuspecting prey.