Aayush Kumar Rajput is an author published under his long-sought pen name: A.K.R, and postgraduate alumnus, in Master of Business Administration, of K.C.M.T, Bareilly. AKR delights in comparative mythology, cosmology; quirky hypothetical theories about the universe and the extraterrestrial life, and predominantly, imagination. Azrar and The Tale of The Curse is his debut high-fantasy book published by Petals India and has chunks of all that he delights in with a colossal chunk of his fantasy. AKR hails from a peaceful city of UP, Bareilly, and now immersed in penning down sequels of Azrar and The Tale of The Curse.
Here is Aayush Kumar Rajput aka AKR in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) How did your journey as a writer begin?
Well, my journey began with a nightmare, out of the blue, back in 2017 when I was in the 2nd year of my graduation. I saw myself transported to a far-off, peculiar world, peering across the bushes at giant human-beings feasting and dancing. Soon, I’d been caught and about to be murdered, so I’d to beg them mercy. We made a deal consequently, according to which I was bound to venture into a dark, bewitched castle to recover an artifact—here, saying “artifact” despite knew even then what it was—they were in dire need of. I luckily recovered the artifact; unawares a trio of hideous beast stood guard for it. Two of them did put a rush on me, and I killed them, but the third—didn’t come.
Here, I woke up puzzled as I was well-versed with the reason the last beast couldn’t show up of. This reason was so enigmatic I couldn’t put my mind off it and ended up, deciding would write it as a mere note in my diary the third day. However, I failed to label a 30k-40k draft a mere note months later. That dream today is known as Azrar and the tale of the curse. J
What was that artifact and what benefit it could fetch Azrarians? Why the last beast didn’t appear? You know very well where such answers can be found, don’t you?
2) Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration has always been none other but widely admired all over the world, J.R.R Tolkien. I’m a diehard fan of Tolkien that I can read his work over and over again, maintaining the same level of curiosity and attentiveness. His magnificent stories aren’t the only thing inspirational to me; it’s the resemblance in our imagination I discovered when I became a reader and writer, was uncanny. His stories gave me confidence and reassurance, when I needed it most, at the beginning of my writing carrier. I was relieved the world relishes such fantasy tales like of which I too had in my diary.
3) Tell us about your book.
Well, the book speaks about how our young protagonist, Henry Smith, who hails from Boston, U.S.A, meets with a major accident and falls off a bridge into a river; an accident in which he must die. He doesn’t. Henry discovers he has come to a mysterious world, crammed with the unworldly creatures, supernatural beings and their tales, a world so similar yet he can’t call it his own, Earth.
He soon stumbles upon a remote kingdom, after a deadly journey, Azrar, and finds it shackled in a terrible curse that kills their children either in the womb or too young. Azrar is at its brink of destruction with only nine such cursed young left, and their hope lies in a prophecy about a guardian to deliver him to a prosperous life they’d been deprived of for decades. The guardian is nowhere to be found.
Falling in love with one of the cursed girls of Azrar, hardly been forced by the deal he’d made to save his life, he ventures into the spellbound castle to recover the artifact, which would lift the ancient curse off Azrar even when he’s well aware of the fact he isn’t the chosen one.
So, will he be able to recover the artifact when he isn’t the chosen guardian? Or, his love is truly that stronger he care not death lay in store for him?
As I mentioned my book is solely based on my dream, and if I’m successful to suck you in suspense, you’re just a few clicks away before your phone rang with a message from Amazon, confirming your order for Azrar and the tale of the curse. Don’t wait!
4) How difficult is it to get your book published?
Difficulty . . . well, the first difficulty about getting your book published is that it requires a great deal of patience, which is literally hard to gather. When you send your manuscript to the publisher they don’t reply for months, and you wait in dilemma whether the publisher is reviewing your book or has dumped it already—a lot of patience, and still a rejection, and you’ve to wait yet again. It hurts when they reject you. It feels like your story is garbage. It isn’t as good as it must be to become a book. When such doubt prevails everything becomes tough. But this is a test, and if we don’t quit, we lay our hands on our published book. So, to make it easy, I’d suggest, one must try to get a literary agent first. In my case, he is Suhail Mathur from The book bakers literary agency.
5) How much time does it take to complete a book?
It takes around 2 months for me to finish my first draft, and to finalize it—6-8 months are more than enough.
6) How is life on the other side of writing?
A writer’s life may look mute and boring despite it’s too noisy and interesting. It’s almost far-fetched to comprehend a writer’s face even when he’s mass beheading his characters inside his brain or kissing a beautiful girl on Rialto Bridge, Venice. He’s like this. He sees the world with not blind eyes; he takes heed of every bit of movement happening around him—at the end of the day, that’s how he makes his story vivid enough to startle readers. For a writer stories can be found anywhere, the whole world’s inspiring for us. In fact, even a torn shoe can grant us a splendid idea.
However, our life is also mingled with troubles. For instance, the writer block when our mind shutdowns, lengthy research to write about; abrupt idea in the middle of the night; fat, dark-circles; lack of fund for a writer isn’t rich except a few. . . . In fact, I’ve spent just staring at my PC screen, writing not a word. In spite of that, if a reader praises our work, we forget it all. That is wealth for us.
7) What advice shall you give to aspiring writers?
A famous piece of advice every aspiring writer must’ve heard before—read and read. Well, I must tell you don’t have to be a reader to write a book, but if you want to be a high-quality author, you must read. It doesn’t mean you should be 10-20 books old before you begin writing—you can start now, but make sure you’re reading a book alongside. It’ll help you immensely that you’ll be thanking, someday, every book you’ve read so far.
Second—you promise yourself you’ll never give up on writing at all costs. Third—get a good job to earn your living and fund your book all the while as it isn’t cake to be a full-time author. Fourth—never ignore book-editors at any case for another pair of eyes is imperative to make your beloved story an error-free one. Last but not least, never forget to award yourself after every page you’ve written.
8) Do you want to be a screenwriter? If yes, why?
I reckon if I had, the thought of it would’ve come earlier. Perhaps, it isn’t that interesting for me.
9) Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Well, I’m looking at myself on various prominent places in the next five years, concerning every field I aspire to be excelled in. As far as writing is concerned, I’m a celebrity author. Ha-ha! I know the hard work it’ll take, but it doesn’t bother me as long as I’m determined enough. I AM.
10) How is life in quarantine?
Funny it is a typical writer lives already a life in quarantine. Thus, I’m not experiencing much change in my lifestyle, although I’m missing weekly outings and partying, street-food, and yearning that usual life for us all. It’s painful to witness everyone have to be caged because of the Covid19 outbreak—but we’ve not lost our hopes all the same that’s most essential. Someday, very soon, the sun will shine upon us and we all be thinking of the same thing that Coronavirus can do us now no harm. That’ll be our day, a day I’m waiting for wholeheartedly.
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Really inspiring and exciting 😊