EXCHANGING WORDS WITH SHREYAS BHAVE

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Shreyas is a 21 year old guy currently pursuing his B.Tech in Electrical Eng. from VNIT Nagpur. His love for history since his childhood prompted him to write his take on the story of Asoka who was one of the towering figures in the history of India.

Apart from writing, his hobbies are songwriting, composing music, painting watercolors and sketching with pencils. He loves hiking in the hill forts of Maharashtra, is fond of blues & southern rock music, plays the guitar.

He is currently working on a startup to provide quality services to the end users of Transformer and Switchgear products in the country.

He is also presently working on the second part of this trilogy which shall be called The Scourge from Taxila.

He can be reached on theasokatrilogy@gmail.com

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1.Tell us about yourself ?
Hi! I am Shreyas, currently studying electrical engineering at VNIT Nagpur. My debut novel, called ‘The prince of Patliputra’ has been published recently and is available in the market. Apart from writing, my hobbies revolve around songwriting, playing lead guitar and trekking in the hill forts of Maharashtra.

2. Writing for you is …. ? 
Writing for me is a restless activity! To me, there is no other joy which compares to the completion of a story. While the story is being written, I am totally jumpy and agitated. But when a story is complete, it can be any story, whether a short story or a 100k words long manuscript, the completion of a story brings its own sense of calm and achievement that can be compared to trekking to the top of a mountain peak. Sure, we have a long way to go to descend after that (I.e. Publishing and book marketing), but the calm of being high on the peak of the mountain is what brings me joy.

3. Who inspired you to write ?
Reading and watching movies inspired me to start writing. My first stories were fan fictions. Then, I began to copy styles of famous authors until I finally developed my own style. Now days, whenever I read a new book, it drives me to go write something. Same is with watching a good movie or a nice TV Series. That is the way I deal with my writer’s block.

4. “The Prince Of Patliputra” is your debut book. What made you choose to write this historical book ?
I was visiting a mountain pilgrimage called Girnar in Junagarh district few years back. It boasts of a vast Jain temple and also the highest point of Gujarat state. When I enquired who had built the Jain temple, the answer I received was it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. The question which came to my mind is why was a king from Patliputra faraway, building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited a underground network of Buddhist caves nearby. I was impressed by its architecture. “Who built these caves?” I asked and the answer that came was “Samrat Ashoka.” This was the incident that drove me to find out more about this great Grandfather-grandson duo and the outcome is the Asoka trilogy.

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5. How much research you did before writing ?
I was visiting a mountain pilgrimage called Girnar in Junagarh district few years back. It boasts of a vast Jain temple and also the highest point of Gujarat state. When I enquired who had built the Jain temple, the answer I received was it was built by Chandragupta Maurya. The question which came to my mind is why was a king from Patliputra faraway, building temples at the edge of his empire? Afterwards I visited a underground network of Buddhist caves nearby. I was impressed by its architecture. “Who built these caves?” I asked and the answer that came was “Samrat Ashoka.” This was the incident that drove me to find out more about this great Grandfather-grandson duo and the outcome is the Asoka trilogy.

6. What were the challenges you faced while writing and getting published? 
The greatest challenge I faced was of course is the plotting of the book. Any book must have a great plot, it must have a great climax, or else, people will not love it. The chapters must end on anticipation; The plot must be a page turner. Lot of thinking time goes into the plotting of the story but once the plot is perfectly prepared, everything else flows very smoothly. I have detailed my experiences in writing a historical fiction like ‘The Prince of Patliputra.’ In my blog here.

7. Why readers must read this book?
The Prince of Patliputra is not just a historical Thriller. It is also a philosophical treatise. For sure, on the front end, it is a story about Ancient India, set in the times of the Maurya Empire and focuses on the rise of two Emperors: Chandragupta Maurya in 326 BC and Asoka in 272 BC. But its scope is far greater than just telling a story about A game of thrones. It is the political discussions of Chanakya and Radhagupta in the story that are the most important part of it.  Their thoughts on issues of religion, society, economics and warfare which are reflected through their conversations are still relevant in the modern world and that philosophy of the great minds of those times is what I am trying to convey though this story.

8. Name few books you love the most and why?
I’d like to take the liberty to mention two books here. The first one would be ‘Atlas shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. The book introduces the philosophy of objectivism and preaches that selfishness is the greatest virtue of human life. The other one would be ‘The man who speaks with flowers.’ By Glenn Frey which is a biography of the American Inventor George W Carver whose life was the emblem for selflessness.

9. As this is just the first part of the book,where can we expect the other part ?
The next book of the Asoka trilogy shall be called The Scourge of Taxila. I have already uploaded sample chapters from this book at https://authorshreyas.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-scourge-of-taxila-coming-soon/ The second part will detail the great siege of Patliputra by Sushem in 270 BC as well as by Chandragupta 50 years ago and will end at Asoka’s coronation as Samrat. The third book then will venture into the times during and after the Kalinga war.

10. Message for new authors…. ?
I am a budding writer myself so I’m sure just having one book published out there does not qualify me to give advice to my peers. What I can always do is share my experiences. What I noticed while pitching my first manuscript to everyone was that publishers prefer a writer with an established audience over a good story any day. So If budding writers can maintain a blog and write about a topic which really moves them, then they can generate a good amount of following which will be invaluable to them when they pitch their first story for publication. Also, having skills in video editing or let’s say image processing will also help them to create professional book marketing tools like ‘Book Trailers’ and ‘promotional posters’ but that is definitely a bonus and not a necessary point. To summarize, write about topics you really want to write about, generate a fan following who love your persona and be open to new ideas is what I’ll want to tell them.

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Facebook link : https://www.facebook.com/shreyas.bhave.9
Page link : https://www.facebook.com/theprinceofpatliputra/
Twitter link : https://twitter.com/shre14uses
Mail id : shre14uses@gmail.com
Links to buy the book : http://www.amazon.in/The-Prince-Patliputra-Shreyas-Bhave/dp/9352015509?tag=googinhydr18418-21&tag=googinkenshoo-21&ascsubtag=78a651bb-c27d-4ad6-9f60-62ac805513df

Nidhi

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