In Heir to Malla, set in fictional Land of Magadha, you were introduced to Princess Meera, Prince Jay, Rish Vindhya, and many other characters. If their stories captivated you, you would enjoy returning to this world in book 2.
This book starts a few years later and includes many of the familiar characters you met in book 1. Because I have spent many years in these characters’ heads, the story has been flowing more naturally. The human heart in conflict is what I enjoy writing about, and there is plenty of drama to enthrall the readers.
I recently wrote Chapter 12 of the book, so I am about 40% done with my first draft. We see a main character’s chambers for the first time in this book, and I was surprised by it. And had fun envisioning how it looked.
A chapter that simmered in my head for many months was finally penned. I will go back a few weeks later to read it. I hope you like it as much as I did when I wrote it.
The next set of chapters planned essentially completes the first half and will be an emotional rollercoaster to put in words. I will probably read light romances to balance it out.
When the world around us is unpredictable and chaotic, we all need an outlet to escape reality.
I can pick a book to read and get lost in its pages for hours. I can be following a Scotland Yard Inspector solve a murder mystery in gloomy grey London. I can be shapeshifting in a magical realm, chasing a dark lord bent on destructing the world.
I started writing five years ago, and quickly, Heir to Malla became more than a novel. Writing became a way for me to relax. The creative outlet allowed me to meditate about characters and plot, rather than worry about everyday struggles.
Writing my second book in the Land of Magadha series has kept me sane during this pandemic. I may not be able to travel anywhere in the real world, but my characters have been riding elephants and horses and sailing the seas.
These characters that have been with me for over five years feel very real to me, and I can forget about the virus for some time every day and write about Meera and Rish.
Imagining a dark corridor, hearing the sounds in a battlefield, or describing a palace feast let my mind savor these things. Instead of obsessing about things I cannot control, I can chart a course for my story.
What are you doing to keep your sanity in these times?
When I started writing the book, I aspired to craft a strong female protagonist, while staying true to the medieval settings. Princess Meera wields no sword or magic. Her strength is still very palpable. She has influential role models to learn from, her grandmother, and her stepmother. These older women have very different traits and provide Meera two distinct paths to follow. What she learns from them is a subtext in her story. Strength comes in different forms, and Princess Aranya provides an intriguing contrast to Meera. Two adjacent chapters feature Meera and Aranya, where their similarities and differences are presented, and I had fun writing those chapters. The men in Meera’s life play a significant role in her journey. I will save that for another day.