Author's Interview by Kamal Niranjan.

First, before we move forward with our Authors Interview, I would like to start with an introduction.

1. Could you please introduce yourself to us?
Hello New Book Reviewer! I hope you are doing well. Firstly, thank you for having me in this interview. I am Kamal Niranjan, working as an IT professional. I am from Bangalore and an avid reader of books on Indian history and mythology. So, that is pretty much about me in a nutshell.
2. Congratulations on your book. So what inspired you to write this book?
Thank you so much! The major inspiration was Amar Chitra Katha that we all love and devour (not literally!) as kids. The wonderful drawings of two horse-riding brothers, Hakka & Bukka, portrays their journey of humble beginnings and how they eventually rose to establish an empire that lasted for 300 years! Little did I know that these comics, in my later years, would inspire me to write a feature-length novel and present it today to readers and history aficionados.
3. What is the book all about?
Hakka & Bukka – Dawn of the Vijayanagara Empire is an underdog story that delves into the lives of these lesser-known heroes of the Sangama dynasty. These valiant brothers rose from the ashes of defeat and their sorrowful past to herald a golden period in medieval Indian history that lasted for three centuries. This is about their beginnings and the birth of Vijayanagara – the Land of Victory.
4. Why did you choose this genre for your book?
I love Indian history. My mother was a social studies teacher in a school, which was also a reason for my interest in it. We have often felt what the ACK comics depicted about the Vijayanagara Empire, and what information our history books provided back then, were not even remotely connected. I felt our school textbooks had omitted a major portion, for reasons known to them, of the Vijayanagara Empire's invaluable contribution to our Indian heritage.
5. How much time did it take to complete this book?
The initial planning and research took me 2-3 months. This involved gathering information on the dates & events, collating facts and placing them chronologically. This also involved me in reading thesis and history books on medieval India by esteemed historians (details of which are in the 'References' section of my novel) to enrich the quality of writing and presentation to the best possible extent. With these details and a basic storyline, I embarked on an 8 month-long writing journey by adding a bit of fiction to history, thus resulting in the book belonging to the Historical Fiction genre. Then the complete manuscript was followed by a few rounds of self-editing before handing it over to an editor and then publishing the book.
6. What makes your Book Special?
This book is a one of its kind historical fiction that describes a lesser-known portion of our medieval Indian history which deserves a wider platform to convey it to the readers and general public alike, and what better way for me than to present it to all of you in the form of a book we'd always love to grab and read anytime.
7. When is your second book coming?
My first book has opened avenues to explore a few more personalities in Indian history who deserve better visibility as they remain unknown to a large part of our country let alone the world. These ideas are quite exciting, and if God willing I get a chance to write about them in the future either as a novel or novella.
8. While writing did you get any writer's block? What is the Tip that you will give others who are facing a writer's block?
Of course, I had my fair share of writer's block. A suggestion that I can share from my writing experience is to have faith in your material and the patience to wait for ideas that can help complete your manuscript. Frankly speaking, my writing journey has been enriching and humbling. I feel grateful for this God-given opportunity to write this magnum opus in a short span of 8 months – a blessing that I will cherish for a lifetime!
9. Apart from being a talented author, what are your other hobbies?
Thank you, you are too kind to call me talented! But to answer your question, I read, write and do pencil sketching.
10. Last but not the least, How did you feel, while giving this interview?
To sum it up in one word – Fantastic! I also wish to thank you for giving me this opportunity to describe not only my novel but also an untold part of Indian history. Keep up the good work!
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