After a long time, I came across a multitalented author whom I interviewed very recently. Yes, it’s Mr. Krishnarjun Bhattacharya the author who penned down a Tantric Trilogy which personally impressed me a lot. I was quite curious to know the author and the interview happened. So, continue reading this interview and learn what he shared with us.
1) Welcome, Krishnarjun! It’s a pleasure to have you on Indiacafe24.com. Our readers would surely want to have a sneak peek about you and wish to know about you. Kindly share a brief about you, your education, and your family.
A) Thank you, happy to be here! About me, I’m an author, a film-maker, a storyteller, and a game designer. I’m a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and have done my post-graduation from the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. My mom is a doctor, an Ophthalmologist, and my dad is a mechanical engineer and a teacher. Sudden emotional shout out to my folks—I couldn’t have done any of this without them.
2) Which authors and their work inspired you the most?
A) A bit of a curveball, because there are so many, right? It’s like asking someone to identify their favorite book, or film, or song—and for the record, I can’t answer any of those questions! I suppose I admire different things about different authors. Off the top of my head, I’d name H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Earnest Hemmingway, J. R. R Tolkien, Neil Gaiman, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joe Hill, Edgar Allan Poe, and Robin Hobb among others. Seriously, I could go on.
3) Can you recall that moment when you first realized that there is an author within you? Or was it someone else who discovered the author in you?
A) I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a kid in school, I maintained a weekly column about the supernatural in the Hindustan Times, then I started writing game reviews for SKOAR! and so on. There was a lot of fiction too, entire novels, written across scores of notebooks, all lost now.
I think the realization that I wanted to write was like a slow burn rather than a sudden flash. It took me time during which I convinced myself (with a little bit of help from certain people) that I couldn’t possibly be a writer—and it took that to make me realize that writing and writing alone is my true calling; if that makes sense to you.
I did have a mentor, though, at a very early age; a gentleman who egged me on, read great literature to me and curated my earliest reading lists. Like any good mentor, he also knew when I had to find my own way, and he let me go at that point. He’s credited in my first book, lovingly so.
4) We came to know that you are a film-maker. Please share some glimpse about your work in the film making industry?
A) I learned the craft of film-making throughout college. It is a form that fascinates me, and is yet another medium that I explore to tell the stories I do. I mostly make Ad Films in Mumbai—working as a Director and Writer—and I want to make the jump to fiction soon; there are things in the pipeline, but I’d rather talk about them after they fully materialize. If you really want to check out my work, you can Google ‘Krishnarjun Vimeo’, and it’s the first link.
5) Besides being an author and a filmmaker, you are also a game designer. How you manage so many roles together?
A) So, the thing is, I don’t look at it as a bad thing, or having to manage these roles. I’ve always needed a sense of change in my work, I NEED to push new barriers and experiment with my craft—if I stuck to just a single role, it would become far too static far too fast, and perhaps even uninteresting, which is why I like wearing quite a few hats.
The one thing that doesn’t change for me is the storytelling—I’m always using a new medium to tell stories in new ways, but they’re always stories I’m very passionate about.
Also, I love gaming. I have a humongous board game and video game collection. Games have actually influenced quite a bit of my work.
6) What attracts you towards dark, grotesque, and cosmic horror world
A) Perhaps the idea there might be things out there that we cannot comprehend, and the fact that sometimes that’s okay, it’s not something that gets in the way of closure. The human mind, while exploring anything dark, has to wilfully descend into depravity, struggle with fantastic concepts beyond morality and sanity; somewhere, in that space, there’s a lighthouse that calls out to me. Fear, on a conceptual level, is something I’ve always been fascinated by—and that, combined with a chance to build entire worlds—becomes the dark fantasy I write.
7) Myths of Old is your third book. Which amongst The Tantric Trilogy is your favorite and why?
A) It has to be Myths of Old. It’s just an epic culmination of all the events that I’ve been building up to, all the secrets I’ve hidden away in plain sight, all the character developments you’ve been sensing, but want to see with your own eyes, feel, walk the path they’ve taken. It’s also designed as something which embraces the relentless pace of Tantrics of Old and the eerie, slow lore-building of Horsemen of Old.
Somewhere, a part of me doesn’t want to play favorites between my children—I mean, I love all three books in their own way, they all have elements both tangible and not, that make me adore them—but if you’ll make me pick, I’ll pick the finale. It took time, it took time, but when you read it, you know why.
8) How have the readers responded to The Tantric Trilogy?
A) The response to the Trilogy has been overwhelmingly positive and very, very humbling. I feel blessed to have readers who have written to me with so much love; there have been so, so many letters, all lamps in the dark, egging me on. My characters have really come alive for so many people, and they’ve formed passionate attachments, likes and dislikes, just as I have—there can be no greater compliment for a creator.
9) How do you develop the plots for your books?
A)To avoid delving into a very long and confusing rant, I’ll just say this—I become unhealthily obsessed with an idea, and then I don’t rest until I hunt it down and kill it.
10) The conflict between the publishers and authors is very common. Have you faced such a problem while finding a publisher for your book?
A)Not with publishers, but I was rejected by a lot of literary agents when I was looking to get published for the first time. With publishers it’s always a conversation, like anything else—conflict can nearly always be avoided if you’re willing to talk it out.11) Does poetry interest you? Any plans to try this genre?
11) What about poetry- It attracts you or not? any plan to try this section of the literature world.
A)I do write and perform poetry in open mics and line-ups in Mumbai. It’s been incredible. I’m part of a poetry collective called Cerberus Poetry, you can find us on IG. Also, a big shout out to Hooted1ce for giving this really cool platform to performing poets and storytellers.
Also, I sneakily include poetry in my novels. It adds to the lore, I believe.
12) What are your other passions in life and what else would you want to try out in the near future?
A)I’ve talked about gaming and poetry already, but I also love reading Tarot and acting as Dungeon Master for weekly sessions of D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) with my regular group. It keeps the storytelling sharp. I also like singing and playing the guitar, though that is strictly a hobby.
Yes, I am unapologetically an absolute geek.
For the next leap, I’d like to learn how to play the piano; but that’ll take me a while, considering time is always my greatest foe.
13) Coming back to writing, what’s next in the pipeline? And what genre?
A)I’m working on two novels, currently: titled Witchpunk and The Book of Bones. They both fall in dark fantasy, though there’s more to that than meets the eye. I’m very excited about the books, actually—they’re completely new tales built-in completely new worlds—I’m finally breaking away from the Tantrics universe and creating brand new lore.
14) Please share some tips for young authors who wish to make a mark in the industry with their work?
A)Don’t let anyone else tell put you down, and tell you what kind of writer you are. Work hard, very hard. Work nights. Put in the hours; that’s how novels get written. And hand in hand with that—don’t be afraid to take your time writing. Take months, years if you have to. Good things take time. Believe in yourself, and be very careful about who’s reading your first drafts.
15) Define Krishnarjun Bhattacharya the author in One line?
A)A storyteller who’s bursting with tales to tell.
Also, tough question, guys! My first response was something like a laser katana-wielding velociraptor riding Cthulhu worshipping cultist chronicler!