Q&A with Saiswaroopa Iyer
I like to write about forgotten stories or remote stories from the ancient past. In a way it kindles my creative abilities by prodding me to delve deeper into character imagination. I discovered Vishpala when I was searching for an ancient female warrior. Being the first recipient of a prosthetic limb made her stand apart from other female warriors. I found the story to be compelling from a social as well as civilizational stand point.
2) Is there a particular book you've read that inspired you to write mythological fiction?
I was fascinated with this genre ever since childhood. In Telugu Classical literature, the genre flourished and peaked in the 16th Century. But among the modern writing, Krishnavatara by KM Munshi has to be credited for churning my creative wheels. In reading and experiencing Lord Krishna in the 7 volume series, I discovered the joys of reimaging the past with active inquiry.
3) If you had to describe Avishi in five words, which would you choose?
I think Avishi is characterised by courage, compassion, forethought, wit and leadership
4) Do you write with a detailed outline or do you see where the story takes you while writing?
Panstingor writing as the unseen storyteller commands our finger tips has its own joys. But given the complexity of the genre I attempt, I found that a level of outlining helps me anchor myself. Often, the outline seldom stays in its initial form and transforms itself through the whole writing process.
5) Are any similar books or sequels planned for the future?
Right now, I am wrapping up a sequel to Abhaya, written from the POV of Mauri, the daughter of Mura. I don’t have a sequel to Avishi planned in the next couple of months, but the world of Rig Veda is still under explored and I might come back to explore one or two of the sub plots from Avishi. Let us see what the future has in store. :-)