Today in the world of Odealeous, we interview AJ Chaudhury. Its pretty cool how we both have the same initials. I sit here with Chaudhury in Kazenolumos. He is also a fantasy author.
So lets get started.
1. So first question. What inspired you to write fantasy? Every author has some sort of inspiration either from childhood or thorgilsome real life influence. What was yours?
Thanks for inviting me to your blog … It was the Harry Potter series which really influenced me to write fantasy. There were fantasy books and TV shows before it too, but nothing had gotten me so involved in another world before the Potter books. Harry, Ron and Hermione used to be like my best friends. For me Harry’s world was real. It still is.
2. Tell us more about your book “The Staff” and what can readers expect?
My book ‘The Staff’ is the first in the Belaria series, which revolves around the live of Charlz Bezon. Each book in the series would deal with a certain facet of his life. He would get older as the series progresses and may or may not die in the final book. In ‘The Staff’, Charlz is fifteen years old and finds himself in the dreaded Tropagian forest for the first time. ‘The Staff’ has lots of action and adventure and is designed to be a fun fantasy novel. And one thing. The Belaria series contains serious Cat characters, so beware.
3. With the magic of CG technology, where do you see fantasy films heading?
Fantasy films will keep getting more and more realistic looking and as new technology comes there might be a point where we might be watching a movie and not be able to distinguish it from the real world until it ends!
4. Why do you think people read fantasy?
People read fantasy to escape the real, non-magical world. Despite all the assurances that magic does not exist, people like magic. We are fascinated by the things we can’t explain. That’s why there are magic shows. Fantasy books too are there for the same reason.
5. Albert Einstein spoke of parallel universes and dimensions. Do you think that in another realm, fantasy creatures such as unicorns and dragons exist?
Such a realm probably exists. If black holes can exist, such parallel dimensions too can… Even if they don’t, we ‘have’ created such realms through fantasy books. I believe books are our gateway into such realms. Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter are fictional characters, but you can’t say they don’t exist. Same with unicorns.
6. JK Rowling said that she uses her third eye to write her Harry Potter novels. How do you write fantasy?
I write fantasy by observing fantasy elements found in the real world. Dreams are one such element. Strange things happen to us in dreams which usually can’t happen in real life. The world where the island of Belaria is located is nothing but a product of an African wizard’s dreaming.
7. Do you feel as though your characters have a lot in common with you?
Not a lot. But every character has something in common with me. It’s usually happens on its own. I just can’t help it.
8. What is your favorite fantasy movie or TV show thus far?
It might sound cliched but it’s the LOTR movies. They have this fantasy feeling about them which few other films have. The Potter films are great too.
9. Self publishing is becoming very flooded. How do you feel about the competition and the visibility in self publishing?
Self publishing is becoming very, very flooded. Everyone with a completed book wants to get published and the internet allows them the freedom to do so. As more and more authors join everyday, conventional marketing strategies are going to the dustbins. In 2011, if you made a book free for a day, you would get almost 20k to 30k downloads. Now if you do so, you would be lucky if you get 20 or 30 downloads. That doesn’t mean indie authors should quit. They should adapt. They should spot the unconventional marketing strategies and use them. Whoever does this will succeed. Even authors in 2025, forget 2015. I hate the word ‘competition’, because it can only lead to ruin. ‘Collaboration’ is a much better word. Collaborate with other indies, market together and help each other.
10. Do you cosplay or go larping at comic book conventions?
Comic book conventions are a rare thing where I live so…
11. What is your favorite animal and why?
Cats. Because they are in my books, and they are serious ones. They don’t like being called ‘cute’.
12. If you could challenge one celebrity to arm wrestle who would it be?
13. If you could be one fantasy creature (besides a dragon) what would it be?
Troll. Because trolls rock.
14. What words of encouragement would you give to people and authors who are just starting?
Don’t give up, no matter what. Keep writing, keep marketing, keep an eye on what is going on in the industry. Eventually your time will come to succeed.
The most important thing is to collaborate with other authors. Want reviews? Do review swaps! Want sales? Promote each other’s works! Do book bundles! Help others.
I myself am only starting out so I am open for such collaborations.
Visit me at my blogs: http://ajchaudhury.wordpress.com/
Also check out AJ Chaudhury’s book “The Staff” on amazon