His debut novel entitled The Emperor’s Riddles, a mystery thriller, has turned into a national bestselling book, holding the number 1 spot in many major book charts in India including, The Asian Age and on Amazon. The book has been highly praised by authors such as Amish Tripathi and is earning comparisons with Dan Brown. The next steps now include transforming it into a Bollywood movie. The name of the man, who penned The Emperor’s Riddles, is Satyarth Nayak and we interviewed him to find out more.
Welcome to e-Books India, Satyarth! Please tell us a bit about your background, where you’re from and about your professional experience and how you came about to be a writer.
I am a Delhi based author, script-writer and journalist. Holding a Masters degree in English Literature from St. Stephen’s College, I was an award winning Correspondent with CNN-IBN, Delhi for 5 years until I quit in 2011 to write my first full length novel. I call my book a freak act of nature. One fine evening after re-reading one of Dan Brown’s novels, I had this sudden curiosity to know if we have any similar esoteric mysteries or secrets in our Indian history and culture. It was a random search on the Net during which I stumbled across this beautiful story associated with one of our most iconic Indian Emperors. The man’s vision mesmerized me. The more I read about the Emperor’s fascinating deed thousands of years ago, the more I knew that I had to tell this story. That’s how this journey began.
What types of fictional work have you had published? What genres do you write in?
I have so far published short stories and my debut novel. My short story Eve won the British Council Prize in 2006. Subsequently two of my short stories Music & Lyrics and The Opportunity were published in the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series in 2011. My latest short story Elixir has been selected and published by Penguin in its new anthology Something Happened On The Way To Heaven – 20 Inspiring Real Life Stories. My novel The Emperor’s Riddles was released this year and has become a bestselling mystery thriller. Thriller is certainly my favourite genre.
Can you please tell us a bit about your debut bestselling novel The Emperor’s Riddles, which is currently gripping readers across the country?
The media is calling this a history meets mystery since they are both parallel tracks in the novel. The legend used in the book involves a fascinating historical secret of one of our greatest and most celebrated Indian Emperors. Since this royal mystery acts as the cornerstone of my book, it was imperative that the book would turn out to be a mix of history and thriller. So while the present day track has my main lead walking a trail of riddles scattered all over the country that they must solve one by one, the historical track involves the evolution of the Emperor. There are plenty of riddles to solve. The path beckons…can you crack them all?
There is an emphasis on Buddhist teachings in The Emperor’s Riddles. Can you please tell us how the idea to use Buddhist principles in your story came about?
Yes, my book may well be the first Indian thriller to make use of Buddhist mythology and philosophy. Buddhism finds a crucial place in my book because it is present in the story of the Indian Emperor that forms the backbone of my plot. Also, the book deals with various themes and journeys of the characters and Buddhist teachings lend themselves beautifully to highlight it all.
Can you please share 3 top tips with writers who want to publish a really successful first novel?
You can never predict the success or failure of a novel. However, I would advise them to write only when they get an idea that absolutely grabs them by the neck and makes them sit and write. Only when they have that one idea that makes them want to do nothing but write, should they begin. It’s also imperative that debut authors promote their book as much as possible. The publishers will certainly do their bit but authors these days also need to spread the word about their book. Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads are excellent social networking tools to make readers aware of your books. And enjoy the process of writing. Unless you have fun writing, readers won’t have fun reading!
Do you have any other book(s) you’re currently working on? If so, can you please give us a sneak preview into what we can expect from you in the future?
Yes, the idea is quite exciting. It is the mystery thriller genre again but this time I am looking at exploring the supernatural and fantasy. Research is on and I am quite enthused about this one. There is also an interest from Bollywood to convert my book The Emperor’s Riddles into a film and if all works out, I might even collaborate on the film script.
How can people find out more about you?
They can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads. To know more about The Emperor’s Riddles, they can ‘Like’ the official FB page of the book – https://www.facebook.com/theemperorsriddles. The book is available at all leading bookstores and online retails sites like Amazon.in and Flipkart.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]